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Why Not Caroline Kennedy?

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As Hillary Clinton moves on from the Senate to her new position as Secretary of State, New York Governor David Paterson is looking for someone to fill her Senate seat for two years, ending with a special election in 2010. Among those being considered is Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John Kennedy and niece of longtime Senate fixture Teddy Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Kennedy is an independently wealthy mother of three, author of a handful of bestselling books on politics, literature, and the law. She is a lawyer admitted to the bar in New York and Washington, a former journalist, and a very successful advocate for public education who was largely responsible for raising $65 million in private funds for special programs in the New York public schools. Kennedy has held down a real 9 to 5 job, working in media relations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and has served on the boards of various charities and foundations. At the age of 51 she is politically active, well educated, and has a wide variety of useful experience. She is also a well known figure in liberal political circles and has been the focus of media attention since she was a small child living in the White House.

Strangely, although Kennedy was a darling of the media as a celebrity for many years, now that she has political aspirations she is coming under a great deal of criticism from fellow liberals and from the left-leaning press. This past Sunday on ABC's This Week, Alison Stewart of NPR discussed Caroline Kennedy's motivations for running for the Senate as described in a previous interview, saying:

She (Caroline Kennedy) describes her motivation "I thought it would be a good time to volunteer for service." She talks about the inspiration. I think the word 'volunteer' is really kind of interesting, that she's putting herself up as somebody who (says) I'm going to give of my time for the Senate, and I thought, you know, that could be a real turn-off.

This typical comment illustrates the bizarre thinking of many of those who are criticizing Kennedy's interest in serving in the Senate. How can it be a "turn-off" that someone with every opportunity to sit back and just enjoy life would choose to sacrifice their time and their money and their hard work to step forward and use their skills and knowledge on behalf of the people by serving in the Senate? What more appealing motivation could there be than a selfless desire to be a spokesperson for the people in the highest house of government? Clearly Kennedy turns off Alison Stewart. She makes the idea of volunteerism sound strangely suspect. But isn't volunteerism supposed to be a good thing? Is she right, or do most people like the idea of someone who isn't a career politician offering themselves for public service?

Most of the attacks on Kennedy come in the form of questioning her credentials for the job. For example, on Salon, Mark Schone said:

Not to denigrate Kennedy's commitment to public service, but the only line on her CV that truly recommends her for the post is the one at the top: her name… How about somebody, anybody, who has something to offer besides celebrity and good intentions, and who can do something for New Yorkers besides scratch the itch of baby-boom nostalgia.

Yet how different are Kennedy's qualifications from those of others who we consider qualified for the same job? Hillary Clinton, who currently holds the seat, is a lawyer and was First Lady. Kennedy is also a lawyer, was a First Kid, and has held a variety of other volunteer and paid positions. She's certainly as qualified for the job as Hillary Clinton was when she moved to New York and ran for the Senate. At least Kennedy has been a New Yorker for more than a few months.

Marc Moore at PoliGazette.com makes a similar argument dismissing her qualifications, writing:

Ms. Kennedy says that she has good relationships in Washington that could help the people of her state. But what exactly are her qualifications for the job? Knowing “the right people” is no substitute for actual ability. Neither is being the daughter of a murdered president.

But isn't "knowing the right people" actually a pretty useful skill to have when you're making deals and framing legislation in the Senate? Isn't it a real asset to be able to go to prominent leaders and instantly be taken seriously because of who you are and where you come from? Isn't Caroline Kennedy likely to automatically be more effective as a legislator because of who she is than someone with no background and no connections would be? Isn't that a major asset which will benefit her constituents? The truth is that growing up in a political family and with the family connections which she has, Kennedy has been constantly immersed in politics and political activism for most of her life. She grew up surrounded by leading political figures and was fed liberalism with her morning cereal and public service with her dessert at dinner.

Consider this question as well. If Caroline Kennedy was a CEO who was as successful in private business as she has been in fundraising and promoting causes and if the boards she had served on were corporate boards instead of charity boards, would the same questions be asked about her qualifications? If she were Mitt Romney before he was governor or Michael Bloomberg before he was mayor or Arnold Schwarzenegger before he was governor, would she still be considered unqualified? Her experience in the world of charity and fundraising is awfully similar to their experience in business when they first ran for election.

The other more general criticism leveled at Kennedy is that she is part of a political "dynasty" because so many of her relatives have served in public office. Well, so is our current president. So is Hillary Clinton. So is her uncle Ted. So are a good many of the people currently serving in the House and Senate who come from political families or have political connections from Evan Bayh to Jesse Jackson Jr., to her cousins Patrick and Joe who are both in the House. It's a legitimate charge, but if it's a real disqualification we're going to have a lot of empty seats in the halls of power. Like it or not, celebrity and family and other aspects of a person's background are legitimate qualifications for office, just as valuable as an Ivy League law degree or a fat bank account, both of which she also has.

The only real question that should be asked about Caroline Kennedy is whether she will do a good job of representing the interests of her constituents in the Senate. I don't agree with her on most issues and wouldn't vote for her myself, but there's no question that with her background, experience, and connections she will be an effective advocate for the people of New York, and her views and ideas ought to please a constituency which voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton. She may not be a professional politician, but an earnest volunteer will probably do more good than another jaded political hack.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • I am glad that you and brother Bachman have written about the Kennedy for Senate appointment situation. I started to write about it myself but decided not to because it is not near and dear enough. Maybe.

    That she did not support Hillary is more important in New York than her supporting the President elect, name, money and age aside. Let me refer you to an excellent op-ed piece by Jonathan Capehart in Tuesday’s Washington Post for more.

    It seems to me that being a policitican, like being a pick-pocket, begins at an early. At 51 one doesn’t just decide to become a “dip.” There is an apprenticeship that must be successfully completed.

    If there is a list of things that Kennedy can do for the State of New York, being one of its senators is down from the top 5.


  • Hope and Change?


  • So Tommy, you’d prefer Senators who are old and experienced and corrupted from years of political dealmaking, fundraising and owe lots to special interests and lobbyists?

    As for Hope and Change, Kennedy is more progressive than Hillary Clinton was, so she ought to satisfy those who voted for a rich white woman and those who want to see more political change.


  • As I noted on ZZs post, I find it difficult to understand why Kennedy has chosen to enter politics.

    But I totally agree with Dave on this. She likely has more wherewithall in the political world than anyone else vying for the seat. As Dave notes, there is a significant percentage of the Congressional membership, governors, etc. who are related one way or another to other former or current politicos.

    And what qualifications did Arnold bring to the California governor’s office? Perhaps his relationship to the Kennedys? Hmmm.

    The old saw – It ain’t what you know, it’s who you know should serve Caroline well. I doubt that there isn’t a mover or shaker in Washington politics that she doesn’t know. Yet she is not likely beholden to them for anything. Her connections and her skills could carry her quite well in the Senate.

    Again, though, I just don’t know if she’s ready to be beat up everyday after leading a fairly charmed life as the former Princess of Camelot. Perhaps she could glom onto a set of brass knuckles. She may need them. She is a classy lady. Maybe she should watch the WWF for some pointers about how to succeed in the political arena.


  • By all accounts she had a pretty hard time growing up with her dad dead and a too much paparazzi harassment and all the ‘poor little rich girl’ problems which most people will deride, but which are still pretty hard when you’re living through them. She gives me the impression of being pretty tough, but we can’t expect her to be as tough as Hillary “The Iron Lady” Clinton.


  • “She likely has more wherewithall in the political world than anyone else vying for the seat.”

    In New York?

  • Hope and Change?

    So according to Dave, Princess Caroline is qualified for one of the most powerful positions in the world because she had a “pretty hard time growing up”.

    Gee I guess the American voters have turned our democracy into an MTV reality show and Dancing with the Stars!

  • No, Dave was simply countering my concerns for her ability to survive in politics.

    Actually, it’s not that I think she’s too soft as such. It’s just that she has maintained a level of privacy, a distance from the craziness of politics throughout her adult life and the many tragedies that she and her family has faced. She still has teenage children at home (a rather grand one, I imagine.)

    I just wonder if she is mentally and emotionally prepared to lose that privacy and distance for the privilege of serving in the Senate. The down side of her being a Kennedy is that the press will be all over her every minute. If she were almost anybody else, few people outside the realm of NY politics would pay her any attention. Her name alone guanantees an ongoing circus.


  • Jet

    How stupid do you people have to be? The GOP WANTs Caroline there-she’s an easily beatable target in the next electons.

    But you knew that, didn’t you?

  • Baronius

    I made fun of Obama’s inexperience. I made fun of Palin’s inexperience. Come to think of it, eight years ago I was laughing at the stupid voters of New York for electing an unqualified candidate based on her last name. How anyone can take Caroline Kennedy seriously is beyond me.

    Jet, good call on H&C’s real identity. He barely registered on my radar in any of his incarnations.

  • Jet

    To be honest Baronius, the cue was taken from Doc. Once I was the dumb tag lines I was sure.

  • Hope and Change?

    Thats right Jet!! How stupid do you people have to be? The GOP WANTED Obama to win in a ladnslide election! This way they can blame him for every thing rather than blame bush for everything! This way the Dems will be deetroyed in the next election cycle!

    The GOP must be brilliant….they lose control to win…wow! It all clear now….

    Ahh, but the strawberries that’s… that’s where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt and with… geometric logic… that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox DID exist….

  • Jet

    HA HA HA HA HA HA Oh that’s so silly, ROFLOL. HO OH OH HO HO HA HA HA

  • H&C –

    I don’t like most of what you post, but I must admit I enjoyed the reference to Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny.

    But personally, I liked the transitional Ensign Pulver from Mister Roberts.

  • Hope and Change?

    Who is Captain Queeg at what is the The Caine Mutiny?

  • ALL RIGHT!!! I have been waiting for weeks for some Caroline Kennedy articles to pop up on blog critics. I need to rant my endorsements. And a few of the same commenters are here on Dave’s article that appear on ZZ’s article. A bunch of us have been waiting…

    Finally, a name in USA politics a huge generation of our country can identify with. She has always been the nation’s ‘sister’ image for a bunch of us out there. Say if you were born between 1954 and 1968. Finally, someone in the Senate speaking for me…

    The point being, Caroline Kennedy has the potential to be the most effective politician our country has had in a long time. Just like uncle Robert, she seems to be in touch with the reaching tentacles of forgotten aspects of society. $65 million for education in NYC. Damn! That is a tough gig…. No child left behind… Robert K? Hispanics in LA as well as other minorities of the USA have good words for that guy. If it is in the blood, she is qualified. She has the best sources to confer with should she have any questions.


  • Uh-huh. Okay. Whatever.

  • H&C (#12), Jet (#9). True, but all those politicians are aware of all that walking into the deal.

    the trick is though, that they really don’t know what could happen. Put the gal in there and let her rock. It is like being a record executive trying to pick what will be the ‘single’ off the new album. Most times the execs are wrong. No way to predict.

    Who will win the Super Bowl, etc. ? Place your bets. Who will the winner be? Caroline could extend the dynasty…


  • Baronius

    Doug, why does it matter whether you can identify with a senator? Why do you think senatorial skill is “in the blood”? What resources do you think that the average NY senator doesn’t have access to?

  • Hope and Change?

    Finally, someone in the Senate speaking for all of the rich kids who never had to work, pay bills or you know….VOTE!

    Now thats what I call hope and chage!

  • Brother Nalle- Seriously, some fancy Kennedy tang is enough to cause you to lose your little mind enought to say How can it be a “turn-off” that someone with every opportunity to sit back and just enjoy life would choose to sacrifice their time and their money and their hard work to step forward and use their skills and knowledge on behalf of the people by serving in the Senate? ???

    Oh my God, what a frickin’ altruist she is. She will graciously consent to having the reigns of power handed to her – against her own preferred interests – just out of the selfless dedication to public service that is the Kennedy family frickin’ trademark?!

    I’ll have what he’s having!!!

    By the way, questioning Hillary’s credentials was reasonable – but she won the office fair and square in an election. It wasn’t just handed to her. Likewise with Obama.

  • Arch Conservative

    Did I hear somebody say Chappaquiddick?

  • Baronius #19, identity means that this Senator has a chance of thinking along my wavelength. And all the social/culture idol theories can be thrown into the concept. All those reasons polls kind find a demographic and support for a candidate of any kind. She could give voice to an overlooked demographic out there. That being those ‘in between’….

    In the blood? Plays a big part of the deal. Need a football player? Go to Texas. It is in the blood. I would bet that Caroline has a political savvy like you wouldn’t believe. She needs to be in the political arena to use it.

    I admire Caroline for making a decision to jump in with the dogs and doing something for the people. I think her intent is sincere.


  • Baronius

    Douglas, those seem like horrible reasons to support Caroline Kennedy. By extension, you wouldn’t have voted for Obama because he’s black, and from an unproven bloodline. And aren’t most senators roughly in the same age group as you? Incidentally, do you equally support George W. Bush because he had a famous, powerful father and he’s around your age?

  • B, oh, also to answer the question about what resources of any US Senator…

    The answer has to do with the bloodline thing.

    Could you imagine what a mess our country would be in right now if there was’nt a tad of bloodline involved? Tho much less of a dynasty involved than the Kennedy clan, I’m sure consultations with big George over the years diverted some potential disasters by little George. Then again, help create some disasters too. Hhhhmmm…isn’t that how he got elected? Never mind….

    Never the less, appoint Caroline. She has got the best bloodline in USA politics. Deep stuff…


  • Yeah, it is a funny thing. Although there are a lot of active politicians and business people my age group, I as an American don’t really feel best represented by that angle of things right now. I mean, a lot is getting done in my interests I’m sure. But….something is missing.

    Barack? Hhhmmm…no boodline involved with that election. So what? If one is involved, check it out. Vote accordingly.

    There is a lot going on out there. A lot of things unseen. 2009 could be a hell of a riot in the USA. Caroline is someone who has good vision to such elements. Hell, we may need her up there.

    Anyway, I have my critereon for choice, you have yours. We’ll see how this all pans out. The real test is to see where she goes in politics after this.


  • Heloise

    Hey Dave, good article one which I could have written myself. I wrote a comment elsewhere stating that pure and simple she is qualified. It is exactly the same argument I used when Obama haters were out in force. She is qualified period.

    The other thing I said was that only journalists and readers of a zillion political tomes as I have realize that journalists who are at the top are there because their parent, uncle or cousin worked as a journalist during Kennedy years, and that carries much clout. Or, they were higher up on the pecking order and had what else–the right connections.

    Journalists many many at the top are themselves a veritable house of lords. Another way many got there is by virtue of a relative running for office or they ran for office or held office.

    So this bit about patronism, or inherited titles is sheer nonsense unless we look under every rock.


  • Dave, for a right-leaning guy such as yourself, this is a very fair-minded article by you, so good job. I should add to this discussion (if it hasn’t been said elsewhere) that 4 out of the last 5 people to hold Hillary’s senate seat had no record of elected office before then (including Hillary). Just like Caroline Kennedy. So I dismiss those critics who would dismiss her qualifications because she’s never been elected to anything. Jon Tester wasn’t elected to any office either but he got elected to the senate 2 years ago.

    But this is an appointment, not an election and Gov. Paterson has lots of good choices for this job. If you look at this seat from a purely New York point-of-view, I would give it to Carolyn Maloney or Jerry Nadler before considering Caroline, simply because of their long and untarnished records of serving New York well, but this state can’t lose with any of them. They are all down-the-line reliable liberals.

    Hillary was a bit more conservative than these possible successors and worked with with Republicans during her tenure. If Caroline has learned anything from her uncle Ted (who has worked well with quite a few Republicans over the years, including John McCain and Sam Brownback, I think), she would work well with her political opponents as well (should she get appointed).

    But if you’re looking at this appointment with a Washington-based point-of-view (and I don’t know if Gov. Paterson is), then Caroline K would be the best choice, because Obama needs all the reliable allies in the Senate he can find to get his agenda passed into law, especially in his first year or two in office.

  • Okay, Jon Tester is a bad example (he was elected to the state senate in Montana in the 1990s) but you get the picture: lots of people with little or no experience in politics have gotten elected or appointed to Congress over the years. Caroline would be just another example.

  • One man’s humble opinion took odds last month:

    100-1: Caroline Kennedy. The most interest Kennedy has ever shown in politics surfaced with her endorsement of Obama this year and her subsequent service as a vice presidential vetter. This one ain’t happening.

    I haven’t heard of anyone else on that list, except for Andrew Cuomo, and I only know of the surname.

  • jamminsue

    Dave, A very nice article. Thank-you.

  • To assume that Kennedy would be easy for republicans to knock off in 2010 is hardly a forgone conclusion. (RE: Jet’s #9.)

    As I noted, if she screws up, then the field may well be open for other Dems to step in. However, if she proves herself worthy, then she could be a formidable candidate.

    Regarding Barger’s #21: “reigns of power?” How much “power” does a senator wield? She would be 1 among 99 other senators, 1 among 534 other legislators. I don’t believe she would get a crown or a throne. But, maybe Al knows something we don’t. He usually seems to think so.


  • Oh my God, what a frickin’ altruist she is. She will graciously consent to having the reigns of power handed to her – against her own preferred interests – just out of the selfless dedication to public service that is the Kennedy family frickin’ trademark?!

    That’s about the size of it, Al. She’s got $100 million and could do anything she wants, but she’s going to go sit around DC with a bunch of irritating old dickheads and make laws instead. There are a lot of bad things you could say about the Kennedys, but profiting from their political work isn’t a charge that’s made by anyone sensible.


  • Baronius

    Dave, you must be unfamiliar with the D.C. building that Teddy bought and flipped to the government for a tidy sum. He’s used his influence for profit.

  • I hadn’t heard about it, but if that’s the worst he’s done, it still puts him way ahead of most of his colleagues on the integrity scale.


  • Jet

    It’s kinda a relief that the libraries are closed today isn’t it?

  • Indeed, Jet.

    Wonder if any internet cafés are open?

  • Jet

    I’m not quite sure (nor do I care) where he’s from, but somehow I doubt it. Theaters and Wal-mart are the only thing open, I think.

  • Clavos

    …it still puts him way ahead of most of his colleagues on the integrity scale.

    One word:


  • Jet

    Clavos why do you make me do this?

    to paraphrase…

    Here’s your problem Clav; it’s like you gleefully went out and bought Kennedy’s 1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88 and parked it out on your front lawn to show everyone how much of a murdering collegeboy Kennedy is.

    You’ve deluded yourself into thinking everyone who sees that car will automattically and completely think the way you do, because, after all, there’s the evidence on your front lawn.

    In reality everyone under a certain age just sees a rusting old car, which is probably bringing down property values on your street because you can’t tell the difference between an old junker argument and the fact that most don’t remember, care, or have acknowledged that the justice system works in the U.S. and Kennedy is a free man because of it-and the fact that it works.

    You have so much fun beating up people that critisize the American Justice system, until it does something you disagree with like finding Kennedy completely innocent of the charges, or declaring that he’s paid his debt to society… FORTY FUCKING YEARS AGO

    … that’s called being a hypocrite Clavos and living in the past.

    Wake up and smell the coffee…

    this has been a recorded announcement

  • Clavos

    Dave said:

    …it still puts him way ahead of most of his colleagues on the integrity scale.

    With which I disagree, prima facie. Most of his colleagues are not directly and personally responsible for the death of an innocent person. There is no statute of limitations for murder; the justice system did not “work,” the Kennedy family influence saved his ass. In fact, breaking the law is a fine old Kennedy tradition, going back to Joe’s rumrunning.

    You want to forgive and forget, fine it’s your right to do so.

    I don’t and won’t.

    Bet the Kopechne family doesn’t and won’t, either.

  • Clav, he was never convicted of anything over Chappaquidick, and it didn’t cost me one cent of tax money, so while it’s tragic and may reflect poorly on his character overall, it really has nothing to do with his history as a legislator. And in that capacity he has been more than acceptable to his constituents, and that’s what he’s properly judged by.


  • “Most of his colleagues are not directly and personally responsible for the death of an innocent person.”

    I am sure some deceased Iraqis would disagree with that statement.

  • Clavos

    I am sure some deceased Iraqis would disagree with that statement.

    Perhaps I should have said, “Most of his colleagues are not responsible for having drunkenly killed an innocent person face-to-face, with their own hands…”

  • Clavos

    Clav, he was never convicted of anything over Chappaquidick…

    Of course not. He’s a Kennedy.

    But he DID kill her, and it DOES mean he’s not “way ahead of most of his colleagues on the integrity scale.”

  • Doesn’t that depend on how high you rate accidental manslaughter and lying relative to defrauding the voters and squandering the public’s tax money.


  • Jet

    Clavos, your comtempt for the U.S. justice system speaks volumes about you. Apparently it only has merit or value when, and only when, you agree with it.


    Do you really think you’re going to sway anyone with your faulty and contemptuous logic.

    Just because you CHOOSE not to believe it, doesn’t give you the right to lie about it or change history with your nose up in the air, picking and choosing what facts appeal to you and disregarding every thing else.


  • Hope and Change?

    Clavos you are mistaken…all rational people know that Bush/Cheney and the GOP were resposible for the incident at Chappaquidick….you see the GOP knew if they made it look like Ted did it he would never be President!! This is just like the perfectly executed GOP strategy of allowing Obama to win so the GOP can regain the presidency and enrich their offshore bank accounts. How can you not see the obvious!

    Please leave Princess Caroline alone! Dont you understand that President Obama needs her!! She would be the perfect guest when Reverend Warren conducts his weekly prayer vigils at the Whitehouse…

  • Jet

    Call the cops, someone broke into the library!!!

  • Jet

    How many hours did you have to drive around to find a wifi connection?

  • Jet

    I think I’ll go watch wrestling or something on PBS, anythings better then this…

  • Clavos

    Doesn’t that depend on how high you rate accidental manslaughter and lying relative to defrauding the voters and squandering the public’s tax money.

    Point taken, Dave, except that it is questionable how “accidental” the manslaughter was. I recall the accounts back in the day which indicated the drunken sot slunk off home without notifying the authorities of the accident or the fact that he had a passenger whom he abandoned.

    All in all, it beats the hell out of a blowjob in the WH or even breaking into Democratic headquarters on the lack of integrity scale.

    Plus, he’s done his share of squandering the public’s tax money–but he’s not unique there.

  • So she got into the car with a drunk driver? So much for personal responsibility.

  • Hope and Change?

    Jet I agree with you on this statement..”Just because you CHOOSE not to believe it, doesn’t give you the right to lie about it or change history with your nose up in the air, picking and choosing what facts appeal to you and disregarding every thing else.”

    How true! It is sad to see Obama supporters being abandoned by the new president. His new administration is rewriting and denying what he promised the American people..at every press confernce…

    You know like – Equal Rights for all…

    You know like – All troops will be home in 16 months

    You know like – The end of Religous intollerance

    You konw like – Full transparency in government

    You know like – End of the Bush doctrine and strategy

    Where’s the hope? Where’s the change?

  • Clavos

    So she got into the car with a drunk driver? So much for personal responsibility.

    A drunk driver who, as the brother of her employer, wielded a lot of power over her.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • ‘Hope and Change?’ (as I suppose we’ll have to call you for the time being):

    Would you care to provide links to transcripts of the press conferences where Obama has announced the reversal of any of those policies?

  • Hope and Change?

    Gee maybe you should stop worshipping Obama and pau attention to what he says and does…

    Supports and expands Bush doctrine, strategy and war machine – you know, like when he, you know named his Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Obama keeps one of the chief architects of the Bush war machine. Funny how under Bush Gates was a right wing idiot but under Obama he is a moderate genius.

    Sets equal rights for gays back 10 years and supports intolerance – you know, like when he, you know when announced the homophobic religious zealot Rick Warren to “bless his administration”. Ironic how the left say this show what a leader he is when a few months ago the where rioting and calling for his lynching in California.

    Promises full transparency in his administration but then you know, like when he, you know is rocked by a scandal form his buddy Blogo and delays, misinforms than conducts an internal investigation that clears his administration…you know.

    In January 2007 promised troops home in spring of 2009. Well, um you know. Now he says the plans our under review.

    You know….

  • H&C,

    1. Perhaps you’d care to find for us a single example of one individual calling Gates a right-wing idiot prior to the election and a moderate genius now. (Personally, I would have found just about anyone an improvement on Rumsfeld.)

    2. Are you referring to the Rick Warren who hosted a presidential debate between McCain and Obama last August? Why weren’t you whining about it then? Also, ‘the left’ encompasses a variety of opinions on Obama’s choice, a significant amount of it negative. It’s the right which seems to approve most…

    3. Why would an internal investigation necessarily not be transparent? I mean, other than the fact that there are several legal cases under way involving Blagojevich and much of the related material would be sub judice? Have you tried obtaining documentation from the Obama team relating to the investigation? Let us know how you get on.

    4. Ah yes, January 2007. That would be before the election campaign actually began… right?

  • Jet

    Unfortunately Doc, anyone can find a website to support any argument, no matter how false. If you try to discredit it to the user, they’ll just say you’re not facing their reality.

    not worth it.

  • H&C, show me some evidence that Obama is Blago’s “buddy”, because the evidence suggests that he despises Blogo and has gone out of his way to distance himself from him since well before the recent revelations about Blago.

    And Robert Gates is a Democrat, hardly a right wing idiot.


  • Baronius

    Here’s an idea: Teddy’s drunk driving doesn’t tell us anything about Caroline’s character. Neither does the family history of sex, violence, suicidal bravado, and chemical abuse. Family history isn’t a disqualification for office.

    Here’s another idea: family history isn’t a qualification for office, either.

  • Has anyone noticed that we’ve started calling ‘Hope and Change?’ H&C – which happens to be the popular acronym for a certain (soon to be defunct) show on Fox News.

    Perhaps we’re a little closer to discovering JOM’s true identity…

  • Jet

    I would’ve thought that the question mark at the end of the handle would be a dead giveaway.

  • Jet

    That and the need to defend JOM while supposedly not knowing who he/it is.

  • Hope and Change?

    According to Rahm Emanuel he and Obama “participated in a small group that met weekly when Rod (Blago) was running for governor,” Emanuel said. “We basically laid out the general election, Barack and I and these two.” A spokesman for Blagojevich confirmed Emanuel’s account.
    So just like with Rev Wright, the Obama the administration is trying to rewrite historical facts. Funny now that Blago is under indictment how they now claim that a Blago, who Obama is on video tape stating “It is my number one goal to get him elected”, was never close and was always an “enemy”…. You know….Gee how convenient….you know.

    Sept 2007 – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told Congress on Wednesday that he envisioned keeping five combat brigades in Iraq as a “long-term presence.” ….its so clear that he supports Obama’s plans for immediate withdrawal.
    And to correct the facts Gates is a long-term Republican and Reagan/Bush loyalist!

  • Hope and Change?

    A little more about Gates past….

    During the 1980 presidential election campaign Ronald Reagan was informed that Jimmy Carter was attempting to negotiate a deal with Iran to get the American hostages released. Robert Parry has argued that Gates was the source of this leak to Reagan. “We now have a lot of documents. We have some records from that period. We have statements from former Iranian officials, including the former Iranian president, Banisadr, the former defense minister, the former foreign minister, all of whom saying that they had these dealings with the Republicans behind the scenes. So, as we went back through that, the evidence built up that there had been these earlier contacts and that Bob Gates was one of the people involved in them.”

    Jimmy Carter’s secret negotiations posed a serious problem for the Reagan campaign. If Carter got the hostages out before the election, the public perception of the man might change and he might be elected for a second-term. As Michael Deaver later told the New York Times: “One of the things we had concluded early on was that a Reagan victory would be nearly impossible if the hostages were released before the election… There is no doubt in my mind that the euphoria of a hostage release would have rolled over the land like a tidal wave. Carter would have been a hero, and many of the complaints against him forgotten. He would have won.”

    According to Barbara Honegger, a researcher and policy analyst with the 1980 Reagan/Bush campaign, William J. Casey and other representatives of the Reagan presidential campaign made a deal at two sets of meetings in July and August at the Ritz Hotel in Madrid with Iranians to delay the release of Americans held hostage in Iran until after the November 1980 presidential elections. Reagan’s aides promised that they would get a better deal if they waited until Carter was defeated.

    You know…the Democrats must have used the same strategy with Jimmy Carters reelections as the GOP did in O8..”We need to lose to win!”

  • Jet #51, can you turn the TV to Roller Derby?

    Thanx man,

  • H&C, would you care to explain exactly what is not transparent about all the publicly available facts you’ve just so kindly laid out for us?

    It’s perfectly possible to dislike someone intensely and yet work closely with them. Case in point: Kennedy and Johnson.

    For the record, I also wasn’t that impressed with the ‘internal investigation’. But since Blagojevich’s case is yet to go before a court, it’s hard to see what else Obama can do at this point without compromising the judicial process.

    I’m not impressed by your ‘disillusioned Obama voter’ persona either. In fact it’s almost as unimpressive as your impersonation of a black man a few months back.

    You are correct, though, that Gates is a Republican – he confirmed as much last month. But whether he personally supports Obama’s plans for Iraq is neither here nor there – as Defense Secretary his job is to do what the President directs him to do.

  • Hope and Change?

    Kennedy and Johnson??? They worked well together??????Hmmmmm….there are some that believe that Johnson was the one that had him killed.

    Whoaaaaa….you mean “disillusioned Obama voters” dont exist? I am just an illusion?

    Please….Obama has proven himeslf to be just another politician….stop worshiping false gods!ther.

  • I didn’t say they worked well together, JOM. I said they worked closely.

    I think a sincere Obama voter would wait until the guy had actually had a chance to take office and enact some policies before becoming disillusioned. So yes – you are an illusion.

  • Hope and Change?

    Ok…lets stop the personal attacks and you know get back to the you know topic you know issues,,,,,

  • “A drunk driver who, as the brother of her employer, wielded a lot of power over her.”

    What? You shouldn’t let your hatred of Teddy get in the way of the facts. Robert died in ’68, so I am unclear how he employed her, although I will concede late ’60s employment law isn’t my specialty.

    According to what I find online she was working for Matt Reese Associates at the time of her death in ’69, so exactly what kind of power did Teddy wield over her? Was there a little-known half-brother working there?

    Look, I agree Teddy was majorly responsible for her accidental death. It’s tragic, but if it’s true he was drunk, she, as a 29-year-old woman, deserves some of the blame as well for getting into the car. If you find that cold-hearted, so be it.

    If you keep up with the insults instead of the issues, we will have to start referring to you as MoonClaven.

  • Jet

    You know, if we’re going to go this route, with this time frame, let’s explore Laura Bush heartlessly and wrecklessly murdering those poor innocent people in that car crash (which she didn’t) and see if it’s fair to smear one person’s character but not another, based solely on political affilliation and decades-old materieal.

    El, they’ve run out of smartassed remarks on subject, so they’re digging back 40 years to spread inaccurate and fictionalized lies.

    Please don’t try to confuse them with the facts.

  • Jet

    HEADLINE, First Lady Laura Bush tried to kill actor Michael Douglas in 1963 with car while riding with Dykes!

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Details in a 1963 accident report say that Laura Bush, then 17, ran a stop sign in the Texas crash that killed a friend in another car. The report, adding information to previous reports of the crash, was released to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

    “It was a very tragic accident that deeply affected the families and was very painful for all involved, including the community at large,” said Mrs. Bush’s spokesman, Andrew Malcolm. “To this day, Mrs. Bush remains unable to talk about it.”

    She did say in March, when asked at a campaign stop about the crash, “I know this as an adult, and even more as a parent, it was crushing … for the family involved and for me as well.”

    There had been published accounts of the accident, but city officials had declined to release the records because those involved were under 18. The police report was released Wednesday in response to an open-records request that was submitted to Midland officials in March.

    According to the two-page accident report, Laura Welch was driving her Chevrolet sedan on a clear night shortly after 8 p.m. on Nov. 6, 1963, when she drove into an intersection and struck a Corvair sedan driven by 17-year-old Michael Douglas.

    Although previous news accounts have reported Douglas was thrown from the car and broke his neck, those details were not in the report.

    The speed of Laura Bush’s car was illegible on the report. The speed limit for the road was 55.

    Laura Bush and her passenger, Judy Dykes, also 17, were taken to a hospital and treated for minor injuries, according to an accident account printed at the time in the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

    The police report indicates no charges were filed. That section of the report was left blank.

    “As far as we know, no charges were filed,” said Midland city attorney Keith Stretcher. “I don’t think it’s unusual that charges weren’t filed.”

  • Clavos

    bicho, I don’t hate Teddy Kennedy, nor do I admire him. Alcoholism is a tragic disease, and Kennedy’s life is a perfect example of why that is so.

    Had he been born with a less recognizable name and no sibling coattails on which to ride, he probably would not have been even a blip on the nation’s radar.

    He’s certainly the least of the clan.

  • Jet

    See how facts can be scrambled to match headlines Clavos?

  • Jet

    See how facts that are that old, that no one remembers can be twisted to mean just about anything you want them too.

    I could say for example that Laura and a Dyke were taken to the hospital, leaving Douglas laying in a field with a broken neck.

    I could say Laura and a Dyke had been drinking, though it wasn’t put in the report.

    I could say she intentionally rammed young actor Michael’s car, because he didn’t return her interest in him.

    this is the kind of shit that H&C/jom and others like Clavos are trying to spread based LOOSELY on the facts.

    Is this unfair to Laura Bush?
    you’re damned right it is.

    Is this unfair to Ted Kennedy
    you’re damned right it is!

  • Laura Bush is yesterday’s news. As far as I’m concerned the Bush family can exit the White House and head over to a villa on the Saudi Royal Family compound to live out the rest of their days. Perhaps the Secret Service could secure Bonaparte’s residence on Corsica for them.

    Insofar as Caroline Kennedy, why not indeed? Those on the right fear her by virtue of her name. Those opportunists on the left like Representative Peter King detest her by virtue of her birth. I’ve listened to Caroline Kennedy many times over the years and she has never once struck me as Kennedy-esque. Quite the contrary. She is a Bouvier far more than a Kennedy. She has the grace, sense and compassion of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis but most importantly, she possesses the strength of her grandfather Jack Bouvier. Caroline Kennedy is someone Washington desperately needs. And while some may say she is Jack Kennedy’s legacy, I disagree. If any Kennedy should receive credit it is her Uncle Bobby.

    The torch has passed to a new generation, my friends. And not only is it fitting, it is appropriate that Caroline Kennedy be the new voice of the Kennedy family. America has passed the extinguished Presidential torch to Barack Obama. While there seems to be a flicker of light emanating from that torch, time will tell if it burns bright again. Should Barack Obama succeed in his mission to restore America, Caroline Kennedy will be the first female elected President in 2016. Those who are students of history will understand that which I have stated.

  • Hope and Change?

    Lets all rally around Princess Caroline..she speaks for those in a America who need a voice! Thats right, she stands for all those Americans who never had to work, pay bills, feed a family, pay taxes or waste their time voting! Yes America if we can’t support that, who or what can we support!!!

    Remember,you know, er um, that Princess Caroline, you know, deserves, er um to be Senator, you know, because…er um she’s a Kennedy!!! You know!

  • Hope and Change?

    Laura Bush, a 17 year old apologized to the family…Ted Kennedy a US Senator TO THIS DAY never did..what does that, you know, er um tell about the person, you know…

    Brain cancer…you know…maybe their is a god…you know…

  • Jet

    You guys do know that the more we pay attention to him the more we’ll get of this trash?

  • Clavos

    Another, you know, viewpoint on Caroline Camelot…

  • Baronius

    I think I finally got a handle on why this possible appointment has stirred up so many negative feelings. There’s a sense that appointing a senator is cheating, an end run around democracy. This year will see four appointments for the Senate – that’s got to be a record.

    There’s also a sense that getting elected without qualifications is a slap to the system, moreso if you’re getting elected on name recognition.

    This story has it all – in a run on senate appointments (and purchases?), someone with no qualifications and a grand last name wants to attain the Senate without having to deal with the people who live in small houses.

  • Hope and Change?

    Viva La Reagan Revolution…the beat goes on…

    Obama embraces key strategy in Ronald Reagans Star Wars strategy and philosophy….

    As reported in ALL Major Medua Outlets…

    Obama’s transition team is considering a collaboration between the Defense Department and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration because military rockets may be cheaper and ready sooner than the space agency’s planned launch vehicle, which isn’t slated to fly until 2015, according to people who’ve discussed the idea with the Obama team.

    The potential change comes as Pentagon concerns are rising over China’s space ambitions because of what is perceived as an eventual threat to U.S. defense satellites, the lofty battlefield eyes of the military.

    Hmmmmm…you know ….unexpected hope and change for the better! You know…

  • charlie

    Silas, NY representative Peter King is a Republican – an opportunist on the right, not the left.

    And Dave, Robert Gates is an independent but considers himself a Republican. That makes perfect sense since until now, he’s only served under Republican presidents (Reagan, Bush).

  • Hope and Change?

    charlie…he also served under Jimmy “The Worst President Ever” Carter. He the one who leaked information to the Reagam/Bush that went behind Carters back to free the hostages.

    So he is a true stalworth of the left. This must be part of strategy by Obama to embrace the Reagan/Bush/Bush doctrine to destroy it…as some in here you know…believe…you know.

  • charlie

    Gates (who was born and raised in Kansas) is a “true stalworth [sic] of the left” because he supposedly – but was NEVER proven to have – leaked hostage information under Carter? You can’t be serious, H&C. You just can’t. [BTW, upon further research I found out that Gates served under every president from Richard Nixon to Bush I, including as a staff aide in the NSC under Carter. So again, that hardly makes him a lefty.]

    If supporting a bombing campaign (in 1984) and regime change (the Sandinista government) in Nicaragua, staunchly supporting and prolonging our military presence in Iraq as SecDef (before Iraq’s SOFA forced Bush/Gates to accept an Obama-like withdrawal deadline), being hawkish (not doveish) in the War on Terror – increasing our military effort in Afghanistan by 20,000 troops as he plans on doing soon – are considered “left”-leaning positions, then I must be in the wrong political universe. [In other words, get a clue, H&C]

  • Hope and Change?

    O ye of little wit…let me spell it slowly…

    It is know as S….a…r…c…a…s…m!

    Obama is becoming a glimmer of hope for the radical right wing!! He embraces…Reagan/Bush policies and anti-gay religious leaders..WOW!

  • charlie

    Obama is socially liberal – that “glimmer of hope” the radical right feels will be gone as soon as he enacts policies along those lines. Inviting Rick Warren to the inauguration should be seen as a symbol of tolerance and inclusiveness of differing hot-button religious views and nothing else, as Obama will close his inauguration with a benediction from leftist religious icon and pro-gay supporter Rev. Joseph Lowery.

    Obama said he would reach acroos the religious divide, and inviting both these men to his inauguration is exactly how he’ll achieve that for now. Will Obama’s version of Faith-Based Initiatives be similarly inclusive of all kinds of faiths? We don’t know. Only time will tell.

  • Jet

    Charlie, you feed him every time you pay attention to him…

  • charlie

    I guess so! (LOL) I’ll stop feeding him now 🙂

  • Hope and Change?

    Whats that annoying buzz in here?

  • H&C #79. hhhmmm…you just don’t gt it, do ya?

    Yeah, I am definately into Princess Caroline Kennedy. She does represent a voice for the USA. What does the work ethic you presented have to do with it? she does work, actually, in a position much beyond what you could comprehend. And I ain’t talking about princess crap….I’m talking quite a schedule physically and of the mind….

    Here is the deal. Here is what you don’t get. There is something happening out there. something that has not yet been comprehensively discovered or defined by social pundits at this point. Caroline represents a growing awareness of this. What the result of this movement will be, I don’t know. But, whether she knows it or not, I think she can be the blasting cap of what basically becomes a new awareness and function.

    What the fuck am I talking about?? OK, what I see happening out there as a culture and as individuals is something ethereal yet pragmatic… hhhmmm…let me try to focus on what I see happening in this country. I mean, I do have an idea and see Caroline as an example and advocate…

    Ah shit. A lot of change is brewing. It will be good in the end…

    Saturday Morning Blog Punditry,

  • Jolie

    I really hope Caroline Kennedy does not become a senator. Every thing she has suffered and it has been a lot, but she has money to take care of everything in her life. She really does not know how or even want to relate to people who have suffered and cannot just take off and go on an extended vacation. She has a staff that does everything for her. She has the luxury of being able to write a book when her kid(s) are all taken care of, her house is always cleaned, her bills are always paid. She has never ever had to truly know what it is to worry about these things – all the things a great deal of NY has to deal with and deal with death, sickness, etc. Please. People suffer way more than her and have far, far less to help them cope.
    She is too used to doing things and having things her way. She will not be able to work hard and will expect preferential treatment. She also, by her commment about women’s magazines to the NYTimes reporter, demonstrates contempt. She thinks she is above a lot of people. She is not.
    I am not a Kennedy fan. Her father was a philanderer, her mother doth protested too much about not wanting to be photographed, and loved money, and let her self be a companion” to a married man, her brother seemed a decent sort – actually probably the best Kennedy.
    My vote is please, no. Don’t do this to our great state.

  • Jet

    Doc, I rest my case

  • Hope and Change?

    Jolie…you know…agreed NY and the US has enough problems with the current entitlement mentality of both rich and poor…we do not need another “little rich do nothing kid” in the senate…you know..

    Doc, my case has been resting all day. He was out late last night…you know

  • Hope and Change?

    Breaking Story on Drudge…YOU KNOW


  • zingzing

    what’s with the “you know” thing?

    jom never did that. although this guy’s “creative” use of syntax is a bit of a trademark.

  • Zing, it’s from an interview with Caroline where she fumbled for words.

  • You know, perhaps H&C isn’t JOM. Could he possibly be… you know… Michael Phelps??!?

  • zingzing

    oh yeah. ok. he was quoting that endlessly when he first showed up. it was annoying at that point. he might have a point, but he sure is beating it into the ground.

  • Hope and Change?

    Zing…you know… you might be right… I just might be be beating…you know…to the groud…you know.

    In addition, whats up with you guys? Half think I am some JOM guy and the other half dream about me in a speedo…very disturbing…you know

  • Clavos

    Actually, y’know, Miss Camelot liberally salts y’know ALL her speech with, y’know, well…you know.

  • Hope and Change?

    Clavos…you know…I never…you know…noticed it before. Now that you mention it..it is you know…pretty obvious. You know…

  • Cindy D

    LOL – welcome to the madhouse

  • Sorry, charlie, I keep forgetting King is a Republican. That doesn’t lessen the slime factor.

    Anyway, I continue to support Caroline for Senator. I think it’s appropriate. She has served the New York community for many years at her own expense (pipe down Conservatives, I’ll sick Larry Craig on you). Even if it turns out to be a two-year stint, she deserves it.

    Insofar as my previous prediction, I stand behind it. Should this nation survive (and that’s a big IF, believe it or not) the next 8 years, I can see Caroline Kennedy being the 45th President. Barack Obama has the distinction of being the first bi-racial President. The media keeps saying African American but let us all be reminded that Barack Obama may be an amalgam of the best both races have to offer. He is a combination of black and white — a true reflection of America’s base. The day will come when a “pure” African-American will be elected but not before the United States elects Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg the first woman President.

  • Hope and Change?

    “She has served the New York community for many years at her own expense” So now we are down to just “making shit up” to support her Highness!

    Name three (3) things she has, you know accomplished?

  • Cindy D

    In addition, whats up with you guys? Half think I am some JOM guy and the other half dream about me in a speedo…very disturbing…you know

    HaHa!! H&C, you are hilarious.

  • Cindy D

    ooops forgot the italics, quotes whatever

  • Jolie, #94. Where the hell did you come up with all those assumptions? she is this, she is that….

    How do you know? Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups. Such a statement has zero accountability or understandng.

    I am hardcore YES CAROLINE if she is sincere and driven in the quest for US Senator. If so, she will be one of the best. If not, don’t bother, Caroline.