James, it seems that what everyone needs is an exit strategy. Governor Paterson can’t be seen elevating someone so obviously unserious and unqualified. Caroline needs a way of escaping from this reputation-crushing experience, which has in large measure eradicated her reputation as a self-effacing and well-behaved member of the Kennedy clan. And President-elect Obama needs to find a way to have his prominent supporter and surrogate avoid further harm.
So: what to do? Caroline obviously needs a different job, one which, oh so regrettably, would make it impossible for her to serve the great state of New York as its next senator. No, Secretary of State isn’t open, nor is any other cabinet post. There are always ambassadorships, but posts in prominent places (e.g. London, France) are too important for her and other locales are just too silly (the ones you have to look up on the map). Well, there’s always Assistant to the President for Education. (It’s a believable, albeit fictional, position). There is Special Assistant for Public Service. (Let her work on President-elect Obama’s volunteer corps, in the vein of her uncle Sargent Shriver).
You get the idea. She’s not, as has become abundantly clear, ready for the U.S. Senate. But her yen for public service — if real — could be put to good use. And if she does a fine job, proves herself capable and learns to, “you know,” manage the press, then there might be a senate seat in her future. Just not her immediate future.