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Hillary vs. Caroline

vastleft's picture

How do you compare and contrast Hillary Clinton's initial candidacy for senator for NY with Caroline Kennedy's?

Obvious comparisons are that both have famous-family star power, neither had held elected office before, and both doubled-down on X chromosomes.

Is the widespread razzing of Caroline's aptness for the role fair (by dint of her low public profile), but what Hillary encountered wasn't fair (by dint of her healthcare czar work, writing and other First Lady-related experiences, and the CDS that fueled many of the insults)?

Is the fact that Kennedy's making her move for a Governor's pick rather than an election germane to assessing her fitness for the job?

I haven't made my mind up about what I think of CK's candidacy, but I do see echoes of the diminution that Hillary was subjected to in her first Senate run and think the compare/contrast exercise might be worthwhile.

It may be that there are massive differences between the appropriateness of the two candidacies, or there may not. Please enlighten!

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amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

Hillary had decades of work on issues-- from the 70s on. She was 2-for-the-price-of-1 with Bill, too.

she worked like a dog to win the trust of NYers, and actually started running not by hiring people or contacting movers and shakers, but by trudging all over upstate -- to listen and talk with actual voters.

the comparison itself is insulting to Hillary, and is intended to make it a psychodrama and to continue to keep her in the picture (and as the "evil" one to contrast the good, innocent Caroline against) -- it's disgusting.

here's a little chart tho, if you must continue this bs -- Let’s compare the two ladies individual qualifications, shall we?

coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

between these two women except for what the main post laid out.

Does anyone else see a pay-for-play in Teddy's "offer" to the NY governor to look favorably on NY issues if Sweet Caroline is given (note: given) the job?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

should for NY, too (which we knew all along here in NY)

Teddy putting his fat thumb on the scale is not as surprising tho, as that she wanted the UN job and that the Senate seat wasn't even her first choice or something she had wanted all along (or even for more than a few months).

coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

the UN job?

I know he has a lot of favors to pay off, but her endorsement of him vs HRC should have generated a BIG payoff from him.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

I see the similarities, too, VL. A lot of derision coming towards Kennedy is similiar, especially in relation to their family connections.

But, the big difference is that Clinton submitted herself to the will of the voters, whereas Kennedy isn't.

Here is Rolan Martin CEO of Dept of Missing the Point.

Even Clinton's rabid supporters are trying to scuttle Kennedy's bid, still angry because she endorsed then-Sen. Barack Obama over their candidate for president.

Um, no. But please, continue the "dumb bitchez" meme.

And this.

But when she[Clinton] made it clear that she was going to seek the job, the New York Democratic congressional delegation stepped aside,

How was Clinton seeking the position, though? By making the case to the voters.

I don't have a problem with politicians cashing in on familial connections to get elected. But that is the key difference. Elected

Now, Kennedy would face the voters in 2010, but at that point wouldn't she really be unbeatable?

I don't like the arguments that Kennedy is capitalizing on her family name, b/c they are eerily similiar to the arguments against Clinton, and are based in sexism. It is ignoring the fact that one of the few paths for women into political power, is through their family, and trying to delegitimize, which only limits women in power, something we desperately need.

I dislike the idea that Kennedy could get the post, without ever being subject to the voters. The seat should be awarded to someone who has been elected before.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... the prospective new one intrinsically unfair, especially when some of the jeers directed at them ring familiar?

I'm offering you the platform to prove "there's no comparison." Please don't begrudge me offering that platform to see how much difference an honest look at the two will indicate.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

that's wholly intended to help Caroline and hurt Hillary -- again.

if Caroline is not qualified, that has nothing to do with Hillary.

if Hillary was not qualified, that has nothing to do with Caroline.

and vice versa.

Comparing and contrasting them is intended to achieve what exactly, and more importantly, isn't it just a distraction and a way to avoid actually examining Caroline's qualifications?

The only relevant contrast -- esp if you give a shit about issues at all -- is bet Caroline and all the other contenders for the seat
-- not bet Caroline and Hillary. Making it Caroline vs. Hillary avoids discussing issues and makes those secondary -- if not totally irrelevant. That's disgusting.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

this is wholly intended to set Caroline up AGAINST Hillary -- just as they did with Obama.

but Caroline is not running against Hillary.

there's no VS. here at all.

Caroline vs. Cuomo.
Caroline vs. _______
Caroline vs. all the tons of others who want it -- that's the only relevant contrast -- esp for voters, and concerning the issues.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I'm hearing, in the lines of argument used against CK, loud echoes of what was said about HRC. I'm looking to shed light on whether (and why) we should consider those arguments differently re: this different candidacy.

When history rhymes, I look into why. So sue me.

As I stated, I have no dog in the NY Senate hunt. Just gimme some truth, not your unearned abuse.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

most primarily because Caroline is getting the Obama treatment -- and the whole setup is not intended to slur her in any way shape or form -- but to set up a false contrast and to raise Caroline up and make it seem equal.

they are not being sexist, or saying "how dare she think she can represent us" (only very few very outshouted pols have done that)

they are not diminishing Caroline but in fact the opposite.

they are not portraying her in any way the same they did Hillary -- in fact it's the opposite.

i'm not impugning your intentions--it's that you're propagating a narrative that further prevents me and other New Yorkers getting a Senator who will help us -- on the issues.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Outgoing senator compared to incoming, two famous-family women without prior elected experience seeking the same seat.

I suggest that, instead of shooting any Captain Obvious who admits that the comparison is inevitable, you illuminate the differences between the two.

What better way to show that the new candidate is unacceptable than to contrast her with her predecessor?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

when it's absolutely NOT and has been entirely based on issues, NY needs, the role of Senator, and her experience and achievements (it's not razzing--not from the media, not from NYers, not from anyone), is simply one reason why illuminating the differences --which has been done, and has been done here too -- will not enlighten.

If you see the treatment of Caroline as the same as how Hillary was and is treated, you should provide proof of that maybe. If that was your point, then setting it up as a contrast and wanting us to provide proof of differences won't achieve it--in any way.

We've all "illuminated the differences" endlessly -- esp when it comes to Hillary.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

as lacking experience (especially prior to her election as senator) and as someone who's riding on family coattails? Where ya been?

Many here have sung the praises of Hillary as a candidate for president, but mostly I've seen defensiveness when asked why what was bad for one goose is fine for another.

I'm not saying there is no reason -- in fact, in my post, I allude to some differences -- but I am struck by how similar the prevailing arguments against CK are to the ones that HRC faced, especially when she was vying for the Senate. 1,000 pardons for noticing that and for suggesting it was worth examining.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

as has been explained.

there's no question of Hillary always having been bashed and continuing to be bashed.

Hillary's still being bashed-- and this VS shit does it as well.

& the arguments are not similar--precisely because Hillary has decades of experience fighting for issues.

"Where ya been?" indeed.

the arguments against Hillary back then actually fit Caroline now far far more--and are far far more apt -- they're not at all "bashing".

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

"Harrumph!"

Defensiveness doth not an argument make. I have yet to hear a substantive argument here -- not that one can't be made -- that HRC was a vastly superior candidate for senator than CK is.

Mostly I'm hearing a lot of umbrage about my temerity in raising an incredibly obvious question.

UPDATE: I see that Iphie just posted a detailed response.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

seriously.

you're talking about the most active and involved in policy/issues First Lady since Eleanor Roosevelt -- with a long record going back further -- of issues advocacy and work.

... When President Clinton wanted to reform America's ailing health-care system, he gave the job to his most trusted adviser — his wife. For more than a year, Hillary Rodham Clinton led a Presidential task force on health care. Its job was to figure out how to fix the health-care system and present a plan to Congress. No First Lady in American history had ever had such a direct role in making Presidential policy.

While supporters cheered her on, critics attacked her for meddling in her husband's job. ...

Hillary Clinton was never this kind of political wife. She had her own career as a respected lawyer, children's rights advocate, and education reformer. Campaigning for her husband in 1992, she promised a co-presidency, saying, "If you vote for Bill, you get me too."

Hillary Clinton spearheaded White House efforts on health care, breaking the tradition of First Ladies staying out of policy making.

Who Elected Her?

But many Americans say she has no business making official policy. "Americans don't want a First Lady who gives the impression that she's running things and making policies," says Paul F. Boller Jr., author of Presidential Wives. "No one elects a First Lady, so pushing the idea of a co-presidency is seen as a betrayal."

Although Clinton has since tried to lower her profile, the attacks against her continue. Republicans in Congress zeroed in on scandals like Whitewater, in which she was accused of involvement in an illegal Arkansas land deal. They also accused her of firing the staff of the White House travel office and replacing them with friends from Arkansas. Clinton denies any wrongdoing in Whitewater and says she never ordered anyone fired.

Clinton was not the first President's wife to come under attack. Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, spoke out for workers and took up the cause of civil rights long before it was popular. Tall and toothy, she was not conventionally attractive. She was attacked for her looks as well as for her controversial political stands. ...

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

and that was early on -- and Caroline didn't originally want the Senate seat anyway -- she wanted Ambassador to UN, if this is right (and Murdoch's longstanding ties to Caroline make it reliable) --

TEDDY WANTS CAROLINE --

Powerful senator and family patriarch Ted Kennedy has been working back channels to promote niece Caroline as the replacement for Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Senate, family sources told The Post.

The elder Kennedy (D-Mass.), who's battling brain cancer, has sent word to Gov. Paterson's office that Caroline Kennedy, 51, has contacts and family connections that would mean legislation affecting New York would receive prompt attention, family sources said.
...
Caroline had been more interested in being ambassador to the United Nations, the source said. But after that position went to Susan Rice last Monday, she called Paterson and the two discussed Clinton's Senate seat, the governor confirmed Friday.

...

elixir's picture
Submitted by elixir on

position and influence to stack the deck. Nice. And as to the comparison of Caroline v Hillary - there is no comparison because they're not in the same league. Sharing a gender and famous last name doesn't cut it.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

as if you don't already know that -- which starts by putting them on exactly the same level -- don't you see that?

by presenting it as some kind of case that has to be made--when it's not--instead of the absurd premise it is to begin with, you affirm it all -- and validate that it's true of both.

If people have to "make the case" -- for the millionth time -- that Hillary has experience and qualifications -- then you've either been asleep or are playing with us.

and the only relevant question or case-making is "making the case" for all the current contenders' qualifications -- not for proving that Hillary isn't Caroline.

Submitted by lambert on

There's the talking point versus, where you can compare the material used against Hillary and Paiin (so similar!) with the glowing reactions to CK (at least in the Village)*.

And there's the electoral versus where you compare the other candidates for the seat with CK (as amberglow points out).

I think the key distinction is the "faced the voters" talking point, which CK has not done. I'm not big on the analytically featherweight dynasty talking point (who cares, if they're good on policy) but it does exist, and it's hard to escape the conclusion that dynasty and celebrity are all that's at work here.

I imagine Teddy's working the phones in the Senate for her, and that his requests must be very, very hard to refuse. And I imagine the Obama operation would love to have somebody they see as pliant, as well. I'm not sure why Paterson has to listen to any of them.

What's interesting is what position she'll take on health care. Obama and Teddy must care greatly about that. But we don't know! She is a piece on the board, but of unknown potential.

UPDATE No doubt, because Conservative talking points are so virulent, there are some using the same talking points used against Hillary or Palin against CK, as VL points out. I get so tired of this "any stick to beat a dog" shit.

elixir's picture
Submitted by elixir on

Let's be honest, the chances of Ted surviving brain cancer are slim. Meaning, the US would be without a Kennedy in DC. I guess there's got to be a Kennedy in DC or the holigram disappears, so why can't we put a good Kennedy in New York? Kathleen Kennedy Townsend has been in politics quite a while and appears to have done some good. I mean she supported Hillary in '08 so she must have a brain. Let's change her address (it's been done before) and get her in the Senate.

lizpolaris's picture
Submitted by lizpolaris on

But to address the one toward the end of your post - 'I haven't made my mind up about what I think of CK's candidacy' - here's some thoughts on that.

I haven't heard anything in CK's resume that would indicate she has many, if any, qualifications for the job - other than personal acquaintance due to her family connections with some politicians currently in office.

However, I have read about several other men and women from NY who have good resumes and experience for the job. Why is Gov Paterson not more serious about considering candidates with better qualifications? That would to be the most relevant question, in my view.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

But I do think the nature of many of the popular arguments against CK begs some explication: dynastic nepotism, never-been-elected, etc.

I'd feel like a hypocrite if I slammed Kennedy's candidacy on those terms if I didn't at least explain why they're more relevant here than when identical critiques were leveled at HRC.

lizpolaris's picture
Submitted by lizpolaris on

they were easy to refute using her past work history. Kennedy, however, has only her family name as a reference. It's all pretty clear-cut when you look at this from an HR perspective.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

Two different types of arguments are being made about CK:

1. Anti-dynastic, anti-no-experience, etc. (put forth by CK opponents); and

2. CK has as much experience as Clinton when Clinton ran, so argument #1 is irrelevant (put forth by CK-proponents and, in some significant measure, by Obama-proponents).

Perhaps some of the heat throughout this thread is because by asking why it's not hypocritical to use similar arguments, the implication is that it is hypocritical and needs disproving. In other words, accept #2 as a valid presumption and put the burden on those who disagree to disprove it. To apply the same arguments is only hypocritical if the situations are in fact the same.

But #2 is prima facie problematic; even if it were true factually (it's not), it would not justify skipping CK to the head of the line. Two wrongs don't (or shouldn't have) made a right. It is only because Clinton has proven herself a more than competent politician who is committed to public service and has been effective that the essential falseness of the argument is hidden; #2 implies causation where there is none (ie, just because one inexperienced, untested famous woman turned out to be good at the job doesn't mean that a different inexperienced, untested famous woman would also turn out well).

And in the end, although the same words may be used, the cases are factually dissimilar. Clinton is famous yes, in part because of Bill, but Clinton has also largely created her own fame through her own accomplishments, and has actively and aggressively leveraged the unearned part of her fame to change the lives of us non-Villagers. CK, unlike Clinton and unlike her relatives already in public service, has little in the way of earned fame.

By asking the question about the comparison in a neutral way is to accept a superficially true but factually false premise, one which bolsters the false-narrative spinning that generally repulses most of us, and asks others to disprove it. (note, I am not saying that anyone here is NOT repulsed by false narratives; just that the question(s) as worded are putting the burden of proof in the wrong place; what seems like neutral questions really are not neutral at all). GQ said this all much more clearly than I am here.

I'd flip the whole question around and ask why is it not hypocritical that many of the same people who attacked Clinton for her lack of experience, etc. are now defending Caroline's? That's how I've seen the MSM narrative is shaping up, at least on my local news circuit (Boston).

Argument #1 is a somewhat different matter. An argument against inexperience, or against grabbing fame-derived spoils, really IS a neutral argument until one considers who is making the argument and what the motivations are. Experience comes up in every political race or appointment, and is a perfectly legitimate factor to consider. How the argument is applied is what would make it similar (or not) to the Clinton situation. Just because it was misused against Clinton, though, does not mean it is misused against anyone. Would we be having the same discussion if it were Fran Drescher (who has also expressed an interest in the seat) at issue? Did folks make a strong experienced-based argument against Arnold Schwarzenegger for governor? Against Jesse Ventura?

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Especially here, make argument #2. That might be part of the problem with why this thread has been all over the place, but I don't think anyone is claiming that Kennedy is in any way, shape, or form equal to Clinton, nor have the attacks she has suffered equal to what Clinton has suffered. No one here is arguing that.

There are plenty of valid arguments to make against Kennedy's appointment, the problem I have, and VL as well, I think, is that not many people are using the valid arguments.

elixir's picture
Submitted by elixir on

So how will Hillary's experience match up to that of current Secretary of State, Condeleezza Rice? Here's a thumbnail. There's no question Condi has some serious chops but does that translate into effective leadership for our country? I'll let you be the judge. I'll get working on that...

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

It might be interesting to compare what the previous and prospective SoSes brought to the table.

In a sane world, Rice's epic fail as National Security Advisor would been deemed enough evidence of her unsuitability for the job. But that tiny quibble aside, how do they stack up?

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

An obvious point (which others have noted here, but has been largely ignored otherwise) is that Hillary was elected. Hillary was criticized as a carpetbagger with no relevant experience to the people of NY; so she faced the criticism, made her case, and was then elected. To me this is huge, perhaps the most important distinction.

Something else, though, that really galls me, is that not only has CK not faced the public and made her case to us, she has spent her entire life working to avoid us. Even when she was raising money for the public schools, her position was designed in such a way as to shield her from the public, the City Council and of any questions of possible conflict, etc. HRC has made public service her life's work.

HRC made her own case to NYers, she didn't rely on out-of-state third parties to do it for her. I'm not interested in hearing a second-hand defense of CK's political positions. She needs to prove that she is capable, prepared and knowledgeable enough to be our senator by herself. The same was true for HRC -- but she recognized the fact and made an effort to speak to as many New Yorkers as she possibly could. She visited every single county in the state (a feat that many homegrown politicians have not completed), and was able to demonstrate her mastery of the issues important the people. I need to be able to assess CK's qualifications, I need to see her make her case, just as I did with HRC.

I'm not interested in what Harry Reid and Ted Kennedy think about the situation -- they don't represent me and they should stop mucking around in our state politics. Their continued interference is creating increased resentment of CK -- she needs to defuse it, and a really good way to do it would be to embrace the HRC comparisons and follow HRC's lead -- she should start holding public forums where people who have never heard her speak are able to question her directly.

HRC's entire life was an open book. Other than very basic biographical info that is more about her family than about her, we know nothing about CK. We don't know what her policy positions are -- and just being a member of Team Democrat isn't good enough -- we don't know about her work history and business experience, we know she was a lawyer, though we don't know what kind of law she practiced, if she ever did. (She allowed her law license to lapse, generally considered a big no-no for elected officials, I'd like to know why.) We don't know what corporate boards she's sat on, if any, we have no inkling of who she is, really. Not only did we have this info about HRC, she was frequently asked to defend it.

HRC was forced to open her personal finances to public scrutiny. Other than CK's inherited wealth, what are her sources of income? What charities does she support, and how (and how much) does she support them?

We know nothing about CK's marriage, her husband and any of his connections or conflicts. And just as it was (is) for HRC, we need some basic information.

Currently, the comparisons being made between HRC and CK are superficial; they are both women interested in representing NY in the senate, and both are given at least initial consideration because of their famous political names. If CK's supporters want to offer HRC as a comparison, and she is going to be held to the HRC standard, let her be held to all of it. It is a high standard; she wants to be our senator, she needs to be able to meet it.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

If she is going to be held to the HRC standard, let her be held to all of it. It is a high standard; she wants to be our senator, she needs to be able to meet it.

A question for you: do you think Hillary's experience would have been sufficient for an appointment to senator, or was the crucible of an election campaign necessary for her to prove her credibility? If you think it wasn't, that's a pretty disarming argument, that Hillary wouldn't or shouldn't have been an appropriate appointee, but she was necessarily vetted and battle-hardened during her senate campaign.

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

of appointing anyone to such an important position who has not made the case directly to the people. It is so incredibly presumptuous and paternalistic of anyone to think that we should just take the word of Mike Bloomberg, or Harry Reid or Teddy Kennedy about who would best represent us. Does Harry Reid really think that his estimation of a person as "wonderful" is enough? It is a giant, "Now, now dear, don't you worry your pretty little head. You may not realize it now, but this is really the best thing for you. In time, you'll come around to my way of thinking."

When Valerie Jarrett was being mentioned as a serious contender for Obama's senate replacement, I thought the same thing. A senate seat must be earned, it is not a reward for private support of another powerful person. That's what ambassadorships are for (and even those require confirmation hearings).

Historiann's picture
Submitted by Historiann on

but might I venture an answer? Looking at her qualifications, I'd say that Clinton would have merited a special appointment to the Senate (let's face it, not all Senators are the brightest bulbs in the chandelier, if you know what I mean), but I also think that it would have been a politically stupid move. The point of appointing someone who's already a proven winner and vote-getter is not just that campaigns are good experience and they make people better candidates, it's also just politically smarter to honor to the voters and suggest that their opinions mean something.

Believe me, if Kennedy gets the appointment, her R challenger will make the argument that Gov. Patterson and Kennedy are royalists committed to dynastic succession over democracy who have disrespected the founding principle of the republic: that government is just only when it rests on the consent of the governed. And that's a damn good argument.

Let's close our eyes and pretend that a Republican President-elect is raiding the Senate for cabinet appointees, and he steals a senator from a state with a Republican governor. Neil or Dorothy Bush as a Senate special appointment, anyone? The same arguments that are made on Kennedy's behalf could be made for either of them. Are you comfy with that?

By the way, we're facing a similar situation in Colorado now, and I've thrown my hat in the ring for the special Senate appointment. I realize that my arguments here against special appointments for people who have never faced the voters may seem to be at odds with my own stealth campaign, but what good is a pol who can't turn on a dime? (For details, go to Historiann.)

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

I think HRC had a rather unique experience in that people knew of her policy positions and she had more than proven herself as battle-hardened, but I still would not have appreciated the precedent of just handing over the Senate seat to her. True, she's not an inheritor of a dynasty the way so many Kennedys are but instead is a partner on a high-octane team (Chelsea, not her mother, would be the inheritor of the Clinton dynasty since her parents were the ones that built it up), but it's better to safeguard the public interest by ensuring democratic representation involved somehow, that the public know what they're getting, especially in a Senator.

I agree with Iphie: there's really no comparison between Caroline and Hillary. And I'll stress again: Caroline inherited her power while Hillary earned it by not only campaigning but also by working on behalf of the public for several decades and partnering with Bill to create a dynamic team.

I don't think Caroline Kennedy will be a good Senator at all. She obviously doesn't like interacting with the unwashed masses or she wouldn't have led such an intensely cloistered life. And I don't buy that Kennedy magic bullshit. How long can Caroline hold onto that when she's in the public eye on a regular basis, especially since she comes across boring as hell and we're in the midst of a financial clusterfuck? The people of New York need a brawler, a proven winner. How I wish Spitzer could be the one chosen! Hell, I'd even take Cuomo.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

By asking people to essentially "prove" that Kennedy is not comparable or that she's not an preferred candidate you are setting a frame--intentional or not is irrelevant--that makes any criticism look bad. Hillary made the case to voters against two tough GOP opponents. Rather than asking Kennedy or her supporters to make the affirmative case for that candidacy, your asking the opposite. I don't doubt your intentions, but don't you think demonstrating ones qualifications is a better way to go about this than asking folks to show so-and-so isn't qualified/desirable? That's the whole Obama campaign framework.

And, can you point to direct instances of people treating Kennedy like Clinton? Exact quotes? Or, can you point to locations where a "general mood" can be figured out? I don't go many places so I haven't really seen much on this, pro or con.

Here's my take on a difference in the "nepotism" argument (which is lame, generally): Bill advocated to the voters for Hillary, Ted is advocating to pols who will determine who gets appointed. Is the difference not immediately obvious? Wouldn't the argument (ignoring qualifications for a moment) be the same regardless of gender?

In Hillary's case, everything she did was reduced to her being Bill's spouse and said to be valueless. The denigartion of Hill's accomplishments were done in a very sexist way, like that tea with world leaders BS. Or she only has her cheating husband to run on rather than one of the keenest policy minds in government. Since I miss much of the commentary, can you show me similar such denigations of Kennedy? Saying someone is experienced is neither racist nor sexist if it happens to be true. While Hillary had a lifetime of advocacy on a number of issues, not having "elected" experience still doesn't mean she has no experience. As first lady of Ark and the US she was much involved in state and national affairs, also experience. Where is Kennedy's similar experience? If you think experience as an argument is "similar", show an equivalent level of interest and activity by Kennedy as I outlined for Hillary. And if she has similar qualifications please point where they are mocked (like the tea time comment).

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

I've been travelling around, and yes I've seen many reader comments on several PUMA leaning blogs, against Kennedy that are eerily similiar to arguments made against Clinton, like the whole "continue the Kennedy Dynasty" one. That argument was used alot against Clinton, saying she was only going to do what Bill wanted her to do, ignoring the fact that she is her own individual person with her own desires and goals.

Yes, Ted is advocating for her, but that doesn't necessarily mean she is going to march in lockstep with her uncle, any more than it meant Clinton was going to take marching orders from Bill.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

it's beyond odd that we're still required to justify Hillary's record in any way at all -- and no one else's.

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

Or, at least, I'm not. I'm arguing the exact opposite. I'm acknowledging that superficial comparisons are being made, and basically challenging anyone who is making those comparisons in support of CK to make a much more thorough comparison. Let's follow this line of thinking all the way through.

I think HRC is an excellent standard by which to judge potential successors -- I can only hope that whoever does succeed her is only half as impressive. But in order to determine if someone meets or falls short of that standard, we do, by definition, need to review HRC's qualifications and experiences. That is in no way meant as an exercise in Clinton denigration, if anything, it will more likely illuminate the shortcomings of the other.

If I were CK, I would not want to be compared to HRC -- I really don't see how that can do anything other than diminish what accomplishments she does have (difficult to say for sure because I know nothing about her). Her supporters should never have opened that door on that comparison because it is only going to look bad for her.

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

is supporting anything more than his own publicity, but Al Sharpton has made the comparison. Then again, he thought he was qualified to be president.

HeroesGetMade's picture
Submitted by HeroesGetMade on

In Hillary's case, everything she did was reduced to her being Bill's spouse and said to be valueless. The denigartion of Hill's accomplishments were done in a very sexist way, like that tea with world leaders BS.

Yes, and it goes without saying that Hillary's experience on the international stage was much more valuable than Obama's and that's why it was belittled and reduced to tea in the Sahara. Has Caroline even done the belittled version of Hillary's international experience in preparation for her first choice as UN ambassador? If not, then there's no comparison here.

Saying someone is experienced is neither racist nor sexist if it happens to be true.

Conversely, saying someone is inexperienced is some kind of -ist if it happens to be false, as with tea in the Sahara. My first question when seeing Caroline pushed for the Senate seat was 'what are her qualifications'? Does she have qualifications, and has someone belittled them in some fashion? Some linky goodness to the 'widespread razzing' and actual qualifications would go a long way since I too have not followed the discussion of her qualifications and general vetting. Or, it may be that Caroline is following the Obama playbook and fending off any sort of vetting by pre-emptively declaring it some form of -ism?

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

she did a one year internship at the Children's Defense Fund, which resulted in her writing "Children Under The Law" - to this day, one of the most cited briefs on the subject. She joined the board of the CDF, not as a well-connected off-spring, but as one of the most brilliant young attorneys of her generation. She served on the panel of Watergate. Once she moved to Arkansas, she opened a legal aid clinic for lower income families dealing with family issues. She was asked to join the board of the Corporation Of Legal Services, which does similar work as her legal aid clinic, and was quickly made chair of the Board. During her time, the Reagan administration sought to cut the budget. Clinton went to DC, and not only prevented the cuts (again, not using a family name either), but actually sold them on expanding the budget. Back home, she discovered that rural Arkansan's didn't have access to healthcare because building clinics in isolated areas is not financially viable. She returned to DC, and rounded up money to build healthcare clinics in the countryside. Headstart was, as ever, overbooked, so she developed a home schooling program for parents who couldn''t get their kids into headstart. She took on the teacher's union - a job no Democrat wants to touch - and succeeded in getting new standards in place for teachers. On and on like that. The microloans, her work as First Lady of US - she was one of the foremost advocates for the administration in both development and execution of policy.

Clinton was constantly, aggressively, looking to create programs that changed the lives of ordinary people in tangible ways. She was familiar with DC in her own right because of the work she had done - not because she was born connected or married right. She was still the one in DC working with the Reagan administration on the budget cuts to the Board Of Legal Services. She was still the one who went to DC to find funding for health care clinics. Her paper on children's rights is authored by Hillary Rodham - it's her name that is there.

I disliked Kennedy's ostentatiously disrespectful endorsement of Obama, and I see a high-handedness here that i don''t care for. It's like she doesn't want to take the risk of running. Clinton didn't hire insiders to smooth the way for her. She went on the listening tour and won because she won voters statewide. With Kennedy, I see two books (one of which I have read), and not much more. I see no effort for her to create programs that make people's lives better. I'm not hearing the tales that I heard about Clinton, of Kennedy upstate figuring out how to work with the conservative farmers. It just seems like she wants it handed to her with out having done much except be her father's daughter. What makes anyone think she'd be a good senator?

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

A nice case for HRC, something one can put forth to challenge those who would argue that their qualifications are the same.

That -- and not the "how dare you compare" responses -- is what makes for good discourse. Thanks!

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

at all-- and in fact only for the opposite.

we know Hillary's substance and experience -- that's the whole point.

why don't you ask about Caroline's?

why is it that only Hillary's still needs to be endlessly endlessly repeated?

what does that show? what's the value?

seriously.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

the court of public opinion.

She's going to be coronated as Senator or she isn't, and the case for her will be well-made or it won't.

The initial post is an invitation to show how much daylight there is between the two. I'm not suggesting that such a comparison is only about Hillary, as with a tango, a comparison takes two.

In these circles, the interesting question to me is "how superficial or meaningful are the similarities."

What part of "It may be that there are massive differences between the appropriateness of the two candidacies, or there may not. Please enlighten!" says that only Hillary should be studied, and Caroline should not?

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

the table to compare the two - not that we don't know Clinton's accomplishments. A lot of the people who opposed Clinton do NOT know her accomplishments, and so it looks like folks are being arbitrary when they dismiss Kennedy's qualifications. Whether it has been rehashed a million times in another forum is irrelevant.

Just memorize the list, add the things to it you know that I have left out and when someone asks, spit it out. Ask what Caroline has ever done that has made ordinary people''s lives better. They won't be able to answer, just as they couldn't with Obama. It may not stop the appointment, but it will reframe the discussion and that may or may not be the best we can hope for.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

If Obama didn't think CK was skilled, experienced, or good enough for the UN Ambassador gig, why should Paterson have to think she's good enough for NY Senator? Or even if he thought CK was good enough, but made his decision based on experience and qualifications, why should NY have to accept a choice made on lesser and irrelevant grounds? Why should NY be saddled with CK's uncle's desperate need for never-ending legacy?

Inevitable comparisons -- the comparison may be inevitable, given our crack MSM, but that doesn't mean we have to promote them. Let's compare CK and the other possibles. In fact, as the Institute for Advanced Criticism (or whatever that phrase was from a few weeks back), shouldn't Corrente (to the extent there's a dominant ethos of opinion here, ever) be trying to counter bad comparisons?

As far as I can tell, the most significant post Kennedy has held was as chief executive for the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the New York City Department of Education, but for that job she was primarily a fundraiser, not a policy maker or legislator. Fundraising is hard work, even with a famous name, and requires particular skills (which I do admire as I don't have any of them), but it's a far cry from from the skills to be a good legislator.

It's very difficult to discuss CK's qualifications to be a US Senator because, as was often the case with Obama, the argument is to an absence of evidence rather than an evaluation of evidence. All her work has revolved around doing 'good' for unremarkable causes. Can you picture her taking a strong and unequivocal stand on health care? the war? the economy? Can you envision, based on any evidence so far, admiring her grit and determination to fight for the non-Villagers of the country?

I can't, because even now she is making her case not to the people of NY or the country, but to The Village only. Her p.r. team is spinning her story to the masses, yes, but as we all (or most of us) agree, that's one of the growing perversions of politics, not a bright new practice that should be encouraged.

In Mass., we have another child of Camelot as a U.S. Representative. When Ted retires, Joe Kennedy will almost certainly get Ted's seat. He had a record before he ran (although name recognition gave him a big boost), having created a nonprofit to distribute heating oil to low income families, and has worked his butt off since. If he were to be appointed to the post, he'd have to run in an election within 160 days (not 2 years). Let him be the next generation of Camelot, if that's somehow an important and valid element of choosing our senators besides experience and the votes of the electorate.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... we have to promote them."

You answer that concern in your own comment: "shouldn't Corrente (to the extent there's a dominant ethos of opinion here, ever) be trying to counter bad comparisons?"

That's precisely what I'm seeking here, and ultimately -- I think -- what we're accomplishing here. Pretending away the question (which at some level is fair -- the arguments against the two candidates rhyme, and comparing a hopeful to the current job-holder is hardly uncalled for) or diving for the fainting couch doesn't match flexing one's rebuttal muscles.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

is that those who are advocating against Kennedy, take care not to couch the argument in the same sexist terms we have seen used against Clinton. Why that is so offensive to you, I have no idea, and I can't imagine why you have taken umbrage to it. You travel the internet a lot more than I do, yet I have seen these arguments all over the place, are you saying you haven't?

It's not that Clinton and Kennedy are comparable, but the arguments used against them are very similiar. I have seen a lot of denigration of Kennedy's accomplishments, as we did w/Clinton. We didn't tolerate when Palin was targeted this way, why is Kennedy any different? The friend of my enemy is fair game?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

they're far more echoes -- and exactly the same -- of how Obama vs. Hillary was treated -- with Hillary losing out this time too, and still having to justify her experience and record while Obama and Caroline never have to.

that's why i take umbrage -- bec even this post does the same, as well as VL's repeated call for enlightenment on Hillary alone, when we all know her record and the unknown one's record (like with Obama) is ignored.

this isn't like the sexist and diminishing treatment of Hillary and Palin -- it's exactly the unfair standards still being applied to only Hillary -- even when she's not in the race, for God's sake.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Just like this was bullshit (and never apologized for).

that's why i take umbrage -- bec even this post does the same, as well as VL's repeated call for enlightenment on Hillary alone, when we all know her record and the unknown one's record (like with Obama) is ignored.

Much as you take delight in saying otherwise, I am not calling for enlightenment about Hillary alone (though since the absence of a record is the big argument about CK, there may not be much to say in that regard).

We also are not all necessarily fluent in what the argument was for Hillary in 2000. During the 2008 presidential campaign, there was no reason to restrict ourselves to considering her biography as it was in that timeframe, but for purposes of this comparison -- if one indulges or is drawn into it -- that's the timeframe that's relevant.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

-- and that's the whole point, which is not your point here.

that's what makes this far far more an echo of Hillary vs. Obama.

and that's what all detractors have been focusing on -- especially NY ones.

it's not similar to Hillary in 2000 because even then -- as now -- there was a record of decades of advocacy -- and that's ignoring the real work she did to prove herself to NY voters and to win the election -- it was Rudy against her at first, and not just an easy run against Lazio.

just because some very few --unspecified and so-far undocumented here entirely -- (not the media, not big blogs, not most pols, not the Village, etc) -- are using sexism against Caroline (and use sexism against all women pols), the vast vast majority of criticism and assessment against Caroline is in no way sexist, but in fact about her record or lack thereof, her absence of contact with voters -- and the fact that it's an appointment and not an election.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Against an argument no one is making.

Where did VL call for people to enlighten him about Hillary alone? Everyone else on this thread decided to make this argument about Hillary alone, not VL.

And, no the attacks on Kennedy may not be equal to the ones made on Clinton, but that doesn't mean they don't come from the same place. They are not making valid arguments, they are designed to trump all valid arguments, for or against Kennedy, that can be made.

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

You continue to make the argument that somehow Hillary's record is in question here -- it isn't -- it is, in my opinion, a benchmark. You seem to be operating from a position that any discussion of her accomplishments is negative -- maybe that's a knee-jerk reaction because so often, it has been, but that isn't the case here.

Hillary is a part of this discussion, if for no other reason than it is her senate seat that needs to be filled, just like Senator Moynihan was part of the discussion when Hillary was running to replace him. People liked the way the job was being done and so they used the template created by the person who who was doing it as a way of assessing the person who hoped to fill the position. How can it be otherwise?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

-- at all -- Moynihan's record and experience were taken as given -- all the focus was on the people who wanted the seat, not those who had had it.

contrast to now.

it's not a benchmark if no one is raising or even requesting Caroline's record, but doing so for Hillary. Using it as a benchmark would mean that you'd first and foremost need or ask or demand to know the contender's record so that you could compare/contrast with the incumbent -- that's not what's happening here, nor is that what VL asks for.

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

Yes, she was compared to Moynihan.

Whoever succeeds him is bound to seem a minor figure by comparison. Neither Rick Lazio nor Hillary Clinton will ever approach Moynihan in intellect, style or wit.
There are many more examples, I'm not finding them for you.

And when I say compare, I mean it in the same way that CK should be compared to HRC -- that is, can she fill her shoes? In order to answer that question, we have to know more about her, right now we know virtually nothing, something that I have written repeatedly here, whether you have read my words or not. It's ridiculous to continue to argue the same point over and over with you -- "first and foremost," I have written a list of things that we know about HRC, but do not know about CK (it was the very first thing I posted on this thread), and I have written that we need that info in order to decide how she stacks up against HRC.

If you are not going to read the thread, maybe you should refrain from making statements about what it contains.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

and i agree with you on most things --

but "that we need that info in order to decide how she stacks up against HRC." is absolutely wrong in my view -- we need that info because it's essential to US regardless -- not so we can compare and contrast with Hillary.

Moynihan was a legend who was retiring, and BOTH contenders were compared--they both were contending for his seat. The overwhelming mass of -- and far more relevant -- comparisons/contrasts were not Hillary vs. her predecessor, but Hillary vs. Rudy and then Hillary vs. Lazio.

What we have never needed -- in this post or elsewhere -- is this setup of Hillary vs Caroline -- and that setup actually is simply avoiding the real point -- which is not how Caroline compares or contrasts to anyone -- but who the hell she is, what she's done, what she'll do for NY, and what basis people have for her appointment, when we have tons of incredibly qualified and experienced ppl here who could also be appointed -- and who also want this very powerful job.

plus -- the wording, framing -- and esp the false assumption -- that in 2000, Hillary was actually like Caroline. The only similarity is in their celeb/recognition, and family connections, and networks of power -- which are not what matters at all compared to issues and stances and experience.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

which in itself makes the framing of this post, and of using Hillary in this "vs." way -- or other ways -- concerning Caroline messed up and simply further damaging in all sorts of ways -- for me, at least.

You laid out tons of things that are common knowledge -- or should be -- about Hillary, and that election, and her work before and since for ages.

Raising this situation as a compare/contrast, and the treatment of both, is in itself simply rewriting past history & conflating 2008 and 2000, and an actual election vs. this appointment, to fit a premise -- and it has the result of further validating Caroline whether intentional or not -- and specifically thru Hillary's own history and experience, which is presented as somehow comparable. (And it's also using --and reducing-- Hillary -- as a rorshach test or test pattern type thing -- she's who other pols are held up against, or in competition with, or some kind of (anti?)"normal" or whatever. Even when she's not involved at all.

It speaks of present "diminution" of Caroline -- as if it's like how Hilary is, and was, treated -- when many of us see only approval, exaltation, and coronation of Caroline being most prominent by far -- and that it's really more like the treatment of Obama and Dubya and others than like Hillary.

it's sorta like how the Overton window moves in a way, and the damage that always does to us when things and people -- not good or unknown or "new" or previously hidden, etc -- are inserted into the mainstream, maybe -- i'm not explaining it well.

there are so many layers to all this to begin with -- and none of it is going to benefit me or my state -- or the country, i don't think.

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

And you bring up a good point about the fundraising. Her fundraising skills have been one of the prominent points cited in her favor among the various sources I have read. Here I think a comparison to Obama would be more apt than one to Clinton. Many Obama supporters cited his ability to raise large sums of money for his campaign as a positive qualification for the Presidency. It appears that the same argument is being used to support Kennedy's bid for appointment. it seems that the Democratic party no longer sees working for issues, or even taking a stand on issues as its primary goal. Apparently, raising money has eclipsed any concern for issues or representation of its rank and file. This is what disgusts me about today's Democratic party.

As for Clinton, as I recall one of the strongest criticisms of her run for Senate was on the "carpetbagging" issue. And that one she faced head on by campaigning face to face with the voters throughout the entire state. If Kennedy really wants the job, I suggest that she do what Clinton did and start running for the seat in 2010. That will allow the voters of NY to get to know her and where she stands on the issues. If they choose to vote for her then I would have no problem with her as the junior Senator from NY. Until she does that, the comparison to Clinton is not valid in my book(besides the obvious point that Hillary had tons of public service work that Caroline doesn't have). Its not her name that's the problem. The problem is that. with her appointment, the wishes of New Yorkers would trumped by the wishes of Democratic party poobahs who care more about power and money. ( And yes, VL, I'd have objected to Clinton being appointed instead of elected. Frankly I doubt that Clinton would have ever accepted the Senatorial job under such conditions.)

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

What we have been told is that CK is a successful fundraiser. But mostly she has raised money from relatively small number of people who are able to donate very large sums of cash. That is very different from a campaign for elected office where the legal constraints require raising small sums of money from a large number of people. That kind of fundraising requires that one convince a large number of people -- a large number of exactly the kind of people CK has spent her life avoiding.

Interestingly, I just heard on the radio that CK has launched an upstate tour to meet with "politicians and power brokers" to convince them she should be senator. This comparison with HRC does not reflect well on CK: When HRC went on her initial upstate tour, she did so to meet and speak with the voters and convince them. Caroline still doesn't seem that interested in mixing with the little people, apparently, she can do this without us.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

This debate isn't in a vacuum. Hillarys life has been discussed extensively. Were you asking folks to once again go over Hillary's resume? That's yawn worthy because you, I, and most people know that. Kennedy may very well have done as much as Hillary has, but she hasn't been discussed as much. Since you're making the charge, can you provide Kennedy's resume and where instances in her resume were reduced to being overly "feminine" in a "bad way" (like the "tea" incident)?

The "defensiveness" you speak of has a lot to do with the reduction of Hillary solely to a spouse when her resume was never really in doubt. How many freakin' times do we have to go over everything Hillary has done? The issue is that her resume was painted in the light of her being a woman and a spouse. I don't see Kennedy's resume being similarly reduced (again, caveat of not going to the same places as you). Show me Kennedy's resume before making this charge.

I don't think this means that Kennedy hasn't, or won't experience sexist attacks. But you haven't made a strong case for even making a comparison to the attacks on them.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

As Aeryl nicely crystallized it, there are "eerie" echoes of the arguments made against HRC's first senate run in the current commentary about CK.

I'm aiming a flashlight at the source of those echoes and looking for more understanding of how their circumstances are similar or different. I guess that's too much for some to handle.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

How many campaigns have you seen "experience" leveled against one of the candidates? I've heard it in most, if not all and it has nothing to do with sex/gender. That was not what got many Hillary supporters upset, its a very valid question to raise in any campaign (except against our 43rd and 44th presidents). What bothered many was the reduction of Hillary to a spouse with nothing to speak of on her own merit. Her qualifications were reduced to being Bill's wife, never mind the fact that she is probably one of the top policy minds in the country, and certainly probably the tops in current elected government (who else can talk about S. Carolina water delivery issues while campaigning in Nevada?). And "First Lady" was used as a pejorative: all she did was throw parties. The attacks against Hillary specifically reduced her, and reduced her in a very sexist manner.

I'm not arguing for or against Kennedy, really, I'm arguing that you have not demonstrated compelling evidence to make the Kennedy-Hillary comparison when it comes to attacks. To make the case that its a good question, you have to at least go through Kennedy's resume and show how specific instances of her resume are reduced. If charges of inexperience and nepotism are somehow inherently bad, then every campaign--or at least the vast majority--is bad in the same way. Inexperience and nepotism are common in campaigns and were expected in Hillary's campaign and should be expected in Kennedy's bid. But if you want to compare the attacks on the two, you should show more than just the experience/nepotism charges made against Kennedy. You need to show that those charges are specifically made to reduce a very valid line on her resume. That's the apt comparison, not just the charge of exp/nep. To do so, you need to make the case for Kennedy first, as it was made for Hillary before she ran. That hasn't been done for Kennedy so I see this as a Villagese level post since it reduces the comparisons to personalities rather than the substance of the attacks.

None of this is to say, again, that Kennedy isn't receiving unfair treatment. But Hillary is a very specific and ugly case in U.S. history and you have given me no evidence that the two belong on the same page when it comes to the attacks on them.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

here

For real, how wierd is it that people who once defended Palin's qualifications, are now downing Kennedy's qualifications? Or people that once defended Clinton from the dynasty charge, are now levelling it at Kennedy?

This is happening all over the blogs, especially PB 1.0 and some PUMA sites. Amongst PB1.0, I am not surprised, but amongst the PUMA set, I am rather shocked.

This is not to say there aren't legitimate arguments against Kennedy, I think I made a pretty good one at the top of this thread. But, unfortunately, to me
at least, is how often the legitimate argument is skipped, in favor of the easy one.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

both Palin and Hillary had public records either as advocates or in elected office, going back years and years -- that's the difference.

Kennedy has no public record -- and if she has, no one is discussing it at all -- that's what's really weird.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Male or female. Gay or straight or something in between. Black or white or brown or red or yellow or....

That that argument is used against a woman does not make it sexist, any more than criticizing Obama's lack of executive experience and decision make was racist. But the experience argument can be turned into a racist or sexist attack, as was clearly the case for Hillary (or do I have to provide linky goodness to that bit of common sense?). In making a comparison between the attacks on Hillary and Kennedy you have to do more than show that experience and nepotism are being brought up, you have to show that they are being made in a sexist way to reduce Kennedy's resume. I haven't looked much so I haven't seen it, but if its as common place we should be provided a handful of examples.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

so far i see the opposite -- that many who were horrendous towards Clinton -- incl the media and Obama-pushing blogs -- are bending over backwards to support Caroline.

and that raising Hillary all the time has not at all been to make some rational or in any way issues-based or voters' need-based comparison/contrasts -- but simply a way to validate Caroline -- using false and damaging and non-issue-based anti-Clinton established media narratives.

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

critics of the critics missing the point and mis-stating the arguments.

From this by Steve Clemons:

"It seems hypocritical to on the one hand challenge Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's qualifications and readiness to have potentially assumed the presidency .... and then on the other, say nothing about Caroline Kennedy's dearth of real policy and political experience to assume one of the most powerful offices in the country — even if a Senator is usually not as consequential as a President."

which Barron calls Exhibit A of a "particularly troubling rationale", Barron then goes on, after the now requisite Palin bashing, to state:

I don't remember having ever seen this kind of contretemps involving what amounts to a caretaker Senate appointment. That we are seeing it now feels to me like a weird, delayed stress reaction: a backlash, however misplaced, against various high-level appointments made by Obama that may have displeased the progressive set. We'll show you! And by "you," we mean "somebody or other"!

So by Barron's take, in support of Kennedy, anyone who criticizes her "caretaker"(!) appointment is just another bitter-knitter who needs to STFU.

Perhaps Barron is not a representative example of the counter-argument. But if he is, I would say that you are looking through the wrong end of the telescope.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

I read that line as more aimed at Obama supporters, who are angry about X appt, and pointing at this instead of getting angry at O, instead of the former Hillary supporters. And since Barron's posting is on a feminist site, many of whom supported Hillary, I don't think this post is aimed at them*.

I don't agree with Barron that this is a caretaker appt. It's pretty commonly believed that whoever gets this post will get to keep it. That's why there is so much heat about it.

*I assume that is who you refer to, when you say bitter knitter. And seriously, where is the STFU?

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

Its an equal opportunity appellation. All that's needed is a criticism of a policy or position that can just be dismissed as emotionalism or pettiness by someone who doesn't want to rationally deal with the basis of the criticism itself but rather prefers to personally denigrate the critic her/himself.

Calling someone a "bitter-knitter" is the essence of STFU and as I interpretted Barron's post, that's what he was calling, in other terms, anyone who criticized Kennedy's appointment.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Specifically targeting certain arguments that are being made against Kennedy, like we are here, instead of all arguments.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I cited the Shakesville post expressly as a roundup of the razzing.

I confess, I despise Hillary Clinton and will stop at nothing to humilate her, even asking a Hillary-friendly crowd to opine about Caroline Kennedy's bid to fill her vacant senate seat.

I'm beginning to miss being called a racist and a bugfucker.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Sorry, but I haven't seen anyone criticize you personally. There have been many criticism of the question you pose and a lot of reasoning, good or bad, was put into the critiques. I don't see how anything here can be taken personally, its all been critiques on your reasoning with explanations given. You haven't made the case of the validity of your question to me and it seems others. How is that saying you're a Hillary hater? I object so much to this because Hillary Clinton is a special case where the loathsomeness was beyond the pale and reducing any charge of inexperience to a similar level excuses much of what happened to Hillary.

With the exception of the politico link at Shakesville, the argument about Kennedy's razzing is weak on a sexist ground similar to what Hillary experienced.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

It's that it comes from the same woman hating place.

Why is this so hard to fucking understand?

I've seen many places(and I'm sorry gq, you are just going to have to trust me, b/c I don't really feel like taking the time to comb for it, if you want to see it that bad, Google it yourself) that Kennedy is only going to be an extension of her Uncle Ted(read her husband Bill). I have even seen that argument made(by James Wolcott no less!) in support of her!

That her only experience is PTA meetings(read tea party), is another one. Or that she is unknowledgable, even though her closeness to politics rivals Hillary's, and she's even written as many books as Hillary. She only has public support because her father was assasinated(read her husband cheated on her).

It all goes back to the impossible standards women are held to, and not falling into those traps. To delegitimize the treatment Kennedy is getting, in reference to Clinton, also delegitimizes the sexist treatment all women suffer, because it's not as bad as what Clinton suffered, so we shouldn't do anything about it. And that's horseshit.

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

I didn't call you any names, and I wouldn't. I merely pointed out that the link used to illustrate unfair criticism of Kennedy was in fact a far better illustration of unfair criticism of the criticism. I 'm not sure what the hangup is, but we seem to be having a hard time communicating our points to you without being misunderstood or maligned.

I think I understand what you are trying to get at but my point, which I think is similar to points others are trying to make here, is that you are failing to provide any proof that the concerns about Kennedy's qualifications are equivalent to the rampant Clinton bashing.

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

We aren't asking you whether you are a partisan or whether you are knowledgeable about her. And we aren't assuming or implying anything about your personal preferences in all this. We are stating that you haven't provided any proof to your assertion that the criticisms of Kennedy are equivalent to the criticisms of Clinton.

What's the sufficient number of times for us to make that point without being accused of personally attacking you or projecting vile thoughts about you ?

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Nobody has ever said they are.

They are similiar to the other arguments made against all women, Clinton being a very stark example of this treatment.

Arguing that this treatment of Kennedy is invalid for discussion, because it doesn't equal what happened to Clinton, is bad for all women. Which is what the sexist fuckwits making those argument want, to continue to create an atmosphere where women can't be taken seriously as leaders.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Perhaps not equivalent in scope, but a sexist attack is a sexist attack and is equivalent. You're non-linked comment above was the first discussion of real sexist attacks on Kennedy. The shakesville link was lame in that regard. What I asked for was a discussion of Kennedy's resume and how her resume was reduced to nothing because she was a woman or a sexist frame. Your observations should be part of the main post, not buried in the comments. For those of us who haven't seen those attacks, we have a post with no specific examples. The only examples I've seen for or against are that she can raise money, is a popular choice among current leadership (for) and that she has never advocated or stated specific policy positions (against). Documented references to your above comment would probably have made this a thread where we all agree, but we weren't even given undocumented sexist attacks to say: "oh yeah, that's awful and needs to be addressed".

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

that "this treatment of Kennedy is invalid for discussion"? VL talked about "widespead razzing of Caroline's aptness" and seemed to imply that it was of the same tenor as the sexist attacks on Clinton. I read all of Steve Clemon's article that Barron (your link) criticized. For the life of me I don't see anything sexist in Clemon's post, which by the way, is not even particularly negative about Kennedy. I see nothing there that couldn't have been written about a man in Kennedy's position.

I don't think that experience and nepotism are verboten as topics in politics. What is verboten in my mind is holding men and women to different standards. I don't see that in Clemon's argument, and yet his point was dismissed by Barron as sour grapes and emotional negativism. Its a bad example if you are trying to prove "widespread razzing" of a sexist nature.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Both HRC (circa 2000) and CK have both been called light on resume and primarily bolstered by family fame?

I'm not claiming that every form of criticism Hillary has ever encountered, nor the total amount nor the viciousness, has been leveled at CK, if that's what you're asking me to defend (i.e, by "equivalent criticism").

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I stated earlier that being challenged on experience is common and what set Hillary apart (and we are only comparing Hillary to Kennedy here) from standard run of the mill experience arguments is that her experience was reduced. For example, sure she met with world leaders of dozens of nations, but what was she doing, having tea? Sure she worked on universal health care and knows more about it than most people, but that's because she's Bill's wife. Two very important pieces of experience were reduced to nothing because she is a woman. Aeryl provided undocumented instances where similar charges were leveled against Kennedy. Had those been pointed out in the main post, this discussion would have ended long ago. At least from me.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

Hillary has a record of being attacked since at least 1991 -- and has been in the public eye even longer and working on important issues even longer than that.

And most importantly -- she was most often attacked in the past -- not because of being reduced or because of "tea parties" -- but because of being seen to have too much power and input ("2 for the price of 1", "not going to be some stand-by-your-man", healthcare, solo diplomatic trips, etc)

and also very important -- The treatment and reduction and sexism and misogyny towards Hillary was far more intense and overt this cycle -- not in 2000 -- and Hillary more than proved herself to NYers then, unlike Caroline ever has. There was no talk of "tea parties" in 2000, and all her public work during Bill's terms was well known and fresh in everyone's minds. It was this cycle that made "she only got her seat because of Bill" an issue -- it really wasn't one -- precisely because of her own actions and record.

In 2000 she was called a carpetbagger -- and wholly unaware of NY needs/issues -- not that she didn't have relevant experience, or that her resume was "light". And she purposely worked like a dog all over to counter the charges of "name recognition/celebrity".

What was never in question was that there were issues she cared about, and had worked on -- for ages.

Both Hillary and Caroline have name-recognition, fundraising ability, machines that help them, and access to and knowledge of powerful people -- so do many people.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

Hillary Rodham Clinton scores historic win in New York

... The former prosecutor and four-term Long Island member of Congress presented himself as the only "native" New Yorker in the race and a moderate in touch with "mainstream New York."
...

He also did his best to paint his opponent as a liberal "carpetbagger" and said she had left behind a poor record on education in Arkansas, even though it was Bill Clinton and not Hillary Clinton who held the office of governor.

Clinton campaigned using a variation of her husband's 1992 campaign mantra, "It's the economy, stupid."

Clinton reached out to upstate voters, vowing to improve the economic picture there. She said her plan would yield 200,000 New York jobs over six years.

It included specific tax credits to encourage business investment, especially in the high-tech sector, and to reward job creation. She also called for targeted personal tax cuts, such as for college tuition and long-term care.

While Clinton stood on solid ground in New York City, she repeatedly visited the suburbs, campaigning intensively on issues that appeal to voters there such as education, health care and the environment.

In her last full month of campaigning, Clinton aired a television spot chastising Lazio for "sneaking out of Washington so he could campaign back home." Clinton also noted that Lazio "skipped 59 0f 60 votes in Congress."

This was the first time a first lady ran for a political office. President Bill Clinton campaigned on his wife's behalf.

The president, first lady and daughter Chelsea voted in Chappaqua, New York, the community where they bought a home.

One of Lazio's weaknesses appeared to be his youthful appearance and questions about whether he had the experience or stature to be effective in the Senate. He was also widely thought to have hurt his chances when, in the first debate, he walked over to Clinton shaking papers in her face while challenging her on campaign finance reform. ...

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

of the questions Clinton faced in 2000 coincides with my own. In 2000 the major criticisms of Clinton as Senator were the carpetbagging charge and the charge that she would abandon the seat during her first term to run for President in 2004. (Not including of course the usual " Evil Clinton", a cross between Lady MacBeth and Cruella DeVille.)

The meme that Hillary was not experienced, or that her experience didn't count, was really a creation of the 2008 race and not of the 2000 Senate race. It developed in particular because of Obama's own lack of experience, which was countered in a very sexist way by both his campaign and the MSM.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

his lack of experience -- which is something i see happening now with Caroline.

This whole "is it different from Hillary in 2000? let's compare." thing really really gets to me.

that even Lazio had credited her with running AR schools in the 80s (in the cnn story i linked to) shows just how much she was credited with back then.

no one was talking of tea parties -- that was all Obama, and the media.

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

He isn't making any assertions, he is asking questions. He is not presenting a point of view, he is starting a discussion.

By stating that VL is lacking proof of a thesis (when he hasn't presented a thesis), based on a question he has asked, you are assuming intent and meaning that have not been defined. By making that assumption, you are implying certain things.

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

Is the widespread razzing of Caroline's aptness for the role fair?

That question includes an assertion that there has been "widespread razzing" of the proposed Kennedy appointment. I am not implying anything. I am stating that he hasn't laid down any support for his assertion that there has been "widespread razzing". I am asserting, not implying. If you think I am implying something else, in which case I'd be curious as to what you think that is. I haven't a clue what that might be.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Either it has totally passed you by, or you totally agree with all of it, so you didn't notice.

The link I provided, showed many of the razzings that have been going on, and you tried to change the subject about the topic of the link.

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

Steve Clemons remarks. I read all his article and commented on it here. I found no sexism there. If you want to point out the sexist points in Clemon's article, feel free. Otherwise, please refrain from projecting about what I do or don't agree with. Thanks.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

The dynastic argument, made by Drum, is sexist, since women are limited in their paths to power, usually through family(see Pelosi, Clinton), as well as robbing women of their own ambitions and goals, implying they are going to be subservient to the men in their dynasty.

Or the Politco argument, "Cute Little Girl Runs For Senate".

Plus this discussion isn't solely about sexism. And I never claimed the link was about sexists attacks. I said it was relevant to this discussion.

It's highly irritating to continue to have to show you where people have provided evidence and backup. Maybe you should read the whole thread before you continue to engage on some of these discussions.

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

I really wish that you would engage the argument instead of insisting that I haven't read the whole thread. Believe me, I have. I see you fail to mention Clemon's article . I asked you twice what was sexist about his article. So, should I assume that you couldn't find anything sexist in it or would you rather I assume that YOU haven't read the whole thread.

The politico video, albeit billed as sarcasm, was sexist.

Drum said this:

For what it's worth, I'd like to join the almost unanimous blogosphere consensus that Paterson should choose someone else. Rich and famous people already have a huge leg up when it comes to winning political office, but at least they still have to run and win. Appointing them instead so they can avoid the whole messy business of engaging in a campaign is just a little too Habsburgian for my taste.

Needless to say, I've got nothing against Kennedy. But appointing her to the Senate just isn't the right thing to do.

From that you leap to this:

The dynastic argument, made by Drum, is sexist, since women are limited in their paths to power, usually through family(see Pelosi, Clinton), as well as robbing women of their own ambitions and goals, implying they are going to be subservient to the men in their dynasty.

May I say that I think your argument is sexist here. Clinton was not limited in her path to power, she simply chose to delay it in support of her husband's path to power. I have no doubt, nor do many many others, that she would have been a political power in her own right regardless of whether she ever met Bill Clinton or not.

Nothing in Drum's comment speaks to him believing that Kennedy was going to be subservient. It seems to me that you are putting words in his mouth that he never said.

Outside of the politico video and Hamsher's off-handed sexist quip about "doing her nails", which was only obliquely linked to by way of BTD who called her on it, there isn't much there.

I'm not having trouble finding where you linked your "proof", I'm having trouble buying the link as proof that Caroline Kennedy is a victim of "widespread razzing" of a sexist nature. And that's because I've read the whole thread, including reading your link and every item it linked to as well.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

By your attitude here, you seemed to be a person who was well versed in the sexist lessons we learned this year, but now it seems I have to educate you on this.

Drum, by making the dynasty argument, is making a sexist argument. Part of the sexism inherent in that, is because of the denial of familial connections as a path to power. When someone makes the dynasty argument, they are including all elements of that argument, including the subservient part, even if they aren't explicitly making it.

I also never said Clinton was stuck making her way to political power through her husband, just that for many women it is the way to go, and many more, the ONLY way to get political power.

You are also lumping an argument I made with an argument VL made. VL said there has been widespread razzing. There has been. Look around and find it yourself, you found your way here easily enough. I made the argument that much of the criticism has been inherently sexist, and people are making arguments that they wouldn't make against a man, hence SEXIST.

And one again, in all caps for your reading comprehension, I NEVER SAID THE LINK WAS TO DEMONSTRATE THE WIDESPREAD RAZZING OF A SEXIST NATURE. I said it was relevant to the discussion, not that it was solely about sexism, and some proof of the widespread razzing.

Your big problem seems to be, no one is arguing what you want to be arguing about, so you keep trying to imply that many of us made arguments that we haven't, or are treating two different arguments as the same one.

Submitted by lambert on

Of course "paths to power" aren't sex-neutral. D'uh. [lambert slaps forehead, retracts comments on dynasy]

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

but dynastic arguments aren't inherently sexist. The same arguments were made against Joe Kennedy when he ran for the House, and he had much more relevant political experience than Caroline.

Some arguments are inherently sexist; "she can't do the job because she's a woman." Some arguments are otherwise neutral arguments or questions to ask, but are sexist in their application, such as the tea-party crap leveled at Clinton. As gq has pointed out, there doesn't seem to be the same gendered tenor to the anti-CK experience arguments as with Clinton. And some arguments are not at all sexist, but are only made where it's a woman in question, or are only made with especial obsessive fury when it's a woman (I'd argue that many of the anti-Palin arguments fall into this category, and certainly many of the anti-Clinton ones). That is, they're arguments motivated by sexism, but the arguments themselves are otherwise valid.

The dynasty argument and the experience argument don't fall into any of these categories, as far as I can see. In fact, as far as I can tell, aside from predictable Republican arguments, that pro-Caroline arguments are being made largely by the anti-Clinton and/or anti-Palin crowd, not by the same crowd.

The fact that the experience factor disproportionately affects women is an effect of an otherwise valid element for judging politicians; that is a sexist result, not a sexist argument (absent others factors listed above). The solution to the effect is NOT to stifle the argument, but to change the effect. Get more women into politics at lower levels, get rid of the barriers, and certainly make sure people are aware of the obstacles when experience is an issue. But in this case, with plenty of other qualified female politicians in the mix, it carries less weight.

My sense of the whole Clinton comparison is that it is not being made to denigrate CK's accomplishments, but just the opposite -- to take the experience argument out of the mix, frighteningly similar to the reason the anti-Clinton tea arguments were made in the first place.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

The fact that the experience factor disproportionately affects women is an effect of an otherwise valid element for judging politicians; that is a sexist result, not a sexist argument (absent others factors listed above). The solution to the effect is NOT to stifle the argument, but to change the effect. Get more women into politics at lower levels, get rid of the barriers, and certainly make sure people are aware of the obstacles when experience is an issue. But in this case, with plenty of other qualified female politicians in the mix, it carries less weight.

The effect of Caroline's appointment harms all the work and fighting women who work their way up in politics do, no? This spot is being handed to someone who never lifted a finger nor has to do so to get this top spot now -- and who avoided all public life, and politics, her whole life.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

only got where he was because of it, for instance. It's gender-invariant -- even if it's harder for women to get power overall.

The dynastic thing in regards to Caroline is important tho -- precisely because of her lack of public work, overall experience, and lack of public statements and policy stances.

Kennedy = public service dynasty for most Americans, so that has to be highlighted to help give her cred, even tho it's unearned.

Hillary didn't simply pop up after an entirely private life, and trade on the "Clinton" name. The media and many in power were all running away from it and still trashing it daily in 2000 -- Gore certainly ran from it and the accomplishments--to his detriment.

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

so let me try again.

Thanks for the "lesson" but I don't agree with it. Notice that I didn't question your reading skills, or imply that you have a "problem". If you want you can take that as a lesson in how to conduct yourself in an online discussion without having it devolve into the personal and how to win the respect of those you are arguing with... Or not.

Drum's dynasty argument could have been just as easily made against John Kennedy, Jr. had he lived to see this day and refrained from politics as much as his sister has. It is a sex-invariant argument. Yes, in the past, and in some instances today, women have been limited to gaining power in any other way, but the answer to that is NOT to make yet another dynastic appointment, but rather to appoint one of the numerous qualified women candidates who have made their way up the political power ladder, rather than say to them, yet again, that the only way you are going to gain power is to attach yourself to some male power figure.

It seems to me that our disagreement centers around what the meaning of "razz" is. To me, it means petty and meaningless teasing and deriding. I would assume by your defense of the link you provided that you take "razzing" in this context to mean any criticism at all of the proposed appointment. I assume that because, outside of the Poltico video, all of the criticisms seemed reasoned and rational, and not at all what I would call "razzing" in any sense of the word.

I'm glad you didn't mean to imply that Clinton only achieved power through her husband, but I do think your wording was awkward and could lead one to assume that was what you meant.

BTW, off topic a bit, but one of the sexist aspects of this, other than the possibility of many qualified women being overlooked for another simply because she has ties to a powerful male, is the fact that from what I have read, no one seems to be interested in whom Senator Clinton would like to fill out her term. I would think that, in any case where, as here, the Governor is of the same party, that the outgoing Senator's choice would be giving major consideration, but I see no discussion of that anywhere. This is the big difference that I see between this situation and the replacement for Biden's seat.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

It pervades all discussions. I agree, Clinton's preference has seemed to be absent from all these discussions. She is a party animal, so she'll likely back whoever the party coalesces around, which seems to be Kennedy at this time. I'm guessing she may not be that invested in who replaces her, which is why she hasn't made her preference known. She probably is also aware, that her choice to back someone will bring out her own enemies *within* the party, who will then be determined to see that person lose. It is odd though, that it seems no one has approached her, and at least reported her desire to leave it up to the governor.

And yes, the argument could be used against any other member of the Kennedy family, vagina owner or not. Yet, it is an argument that is used with more regularity against women, and tends to be more effective. It was very effective against Clinton this past election, not real effective against W, if I remember. It can't be divorced from its particular effectiveness against women, because of the ingrained sexism in our discourse.

The reason I question your reading skills, is because you continue to imply that I am making arguments I am not, in almost every response you've written, including the one above.

And, once again, I've explained my defense of the Barron link, which you continue to say means something other than what I read it as meaning(which is: "Specifically targeting certain arguments that are being made against Kennedy, like we are here, instead of all arguments."). If you see it differently, fine. But stop trying to infer that I am making an argument I am not. I do not feel every criticism of Kennedy is inappropriate(see: Second post in this very thread where I make one myself). The one ypu make, about her prominence being mainly due to her male family members, totally ignoring accomplished women who are running, is also a very valid argument.

My only concern during this whole debacle, is how very easy it was for people, including ones who were Clinton supporters, to fall into the easy sexism trap, when it came to criticizing Kennedy.

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

but has made it clear that this is Paterson's decision -- apparently, when her office is contacted about her choice, they are directing people to call Paterson's office.

She also doesn't want it look as though she is behind the anti-CK sentiment

One source close to the replacement process said the former first lady is staying out of the race - and signaled to any of her supporters who questioned Kennedy's qualifications that those comments weren't appreciated.

The source said Clinton wanted to make sure "that nobody thinks we're behind it."

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

what the best arguments for her are to ask the question. Instead of discussing the implications of the answers, the questioner is being attacked for even broaching the subject. Do we all know so much already that there is nothing to be gained by even considering the question?

The initial question was:

How do you compare and contrast Hillary Clinton's initial candidacy for senator for NY with Caroline Kennedy's?
What is so dangerous about that that we can't even have the discussion? Seriously, why can't the question be asked?

Submitted by lambert on

There are times I don't understand the blogosphere. This is one such time.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

apply that to Clinton too please -- and especially to your repeated calls for us here to make those arguments -- but only where it concerns Clinton.

it seems that you believe that we have to make a case (even now) about Clinton's experience and record -- and that you do know what the best arguments for her are but want us to re-make them -- while you won't treat Caroline the same.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

especially to your repeated calls for us here to make those arguments

Because you are the only person arguing this. I never saw it, though I may have skipped it, but I never saw anyone ask for the arguments in favor of Clinton.

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

Not once, and not repeatedly -- there's no need to, the case has been made.

What I have done is reiterated Clinton's experience and qualifications (at least some of them) as a way of highlighting what is missing from the case for CK and stated that we can't do the same for Caroline Kennedy because we know nothing about her. I am using Clinton's example and asking that CK measure up. I am making the case that without more information about her, there is nothing to recommend her for the job. (And when I say nothing, I am speaking directly about the recommendations she has received from her uncle, Mike Bloomberg and Harry Reid -- those things mean nothing to me, I need something more substantive.)

I have re-read my comments and don't know how you can understand my words to mean what you think they mean.

Submitted by lambert on

... (here) doesn't discuss what IMNSHO are the two most important reasons why one might not support CK:

1. She's never faced the voters, where equally qualified candidates have, and

2. She might not represent "our" values and interests. Curiously, the post mentions "activists angry that Kennedy didn't support the progressive cause du jour back in the day," but doesn't even mention progressive causes today!

It's certainly a reasonable position to support a replacement for Clinton who's (a) faced the voters and (b) supports HR 676. I mean, don't we want another Senate vote for single payer?

And if those two arguments are sexist, I'll eat my hat.

That leaves the question, why the CK boomlet? Surely (a) her prominence as a (b) celebrity Obama supporter from (c) the Kennedy dynasty has a lot to do with it. Pretty weak arguments against her, IMNSHO -- and if they're sexist, I'll eat a second hat -- but pro or con, they're all Village arguments -- high school shit of little importance except to the Village.

So, CK deserves to be in the running, I suppose. Why not? But is she by any means the strongest candidate on policies "we" support? I'd say no. And I'd ask if that's another reason why Reid, Obama, Schumer, et al, are all in her corner.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Is because the focus of the post, was on the horseshit arguments being made, both in favor of and against Kennedy. I don't think anyone denies that there are legitimate arguments that can go both ways, the problem is, no one (of prominence at least) is making those cases.

That leaves the question, why the CK boomlet?

The obvious answer to me, is b/c she's a woman, and no one could get away with making those arguments against a man(where was the stink about Biden's buddy getting his job?). Maybe I'm an "oversensitive feminist" but we have yet to see this over previous appts, so the big question for me is, what's the diff? And vagina ownership is about the only diff I see.

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

that have been mentioned are women, and Gov. Patterson at one point said he believes that a woman should be appointed.

Frankly, I believe that its a bit of sexism that is responsible for her consideration in the first place. There are multiple talented qualified women available for the seat, from what I have heard. I fail to see why its necessary to select a woman that truly is only being seriously considered because she is related to a famous and influential male Senator, and ignore the various successful women candidates that are already in the running. In the end, her selection would be about pleasing an influential male Senator and not about finding the best qualified woman for the position. I'd have said the same thing about Clinton had she been appointed not elected (despite the fact that Clinton had much greater public service credentials). Let Kennedy run for the office and if she wins more power to her.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

what if there are no issues-based arguments, or arguments relevant to NY, or experience arguments -- in favor of Caroline -- unlike Hillary then and now?

what if it is that people refusing to examine Caroline on her record and merits -- and her positions on issues -- is precisely because there aren't legitimate arguments that can be made on those things?

and -- what if feeding the all-too-common Clinton hatred, derangement, and psychosis-- and inserting her in all discussions of Caroline -- simply further ignores issues and harms us even more?

Submitted by lambert on

But why can't things be over-determined?

Can't all of these things be true?

1. CK's being selected because she has a vagina (could be true)

2. Sexist arguments are being made against CK because she has a vagina (could be true)

3. CK's being picked because nobody knows which policies she supports (could be true)

4. CK's being picked as part of Obama's spoils (very likely true)

5. Teddy's supporting CK for dynastic reasons (very likely true)

6. Others with similar "qualifications" (whatever that means) are not targeted if they do not have a vagina (certainly true)

5. CK being a celebrity greases the skids for her candidacy, especially in the Village (certainly true).

Note that the truth of these propositions insofar as we can ascertain them bears no relation to their strength among likely decision makers.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

I think they are all very true. But part of the reason I think CK and the NY seat is getting more heat and attention, is because:

A) CK is a woman, where the other top considerations for other senate appts weren't, AFAIK.

B) The seat was held by a woman.

Like I said, Biden's seat was passed on w/out hardly a comment. But, there is also

C) New York city is home to a big chunk of the Village, so of course this is coming from them.

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

1. CK's being selected because she has a vagina (could be true)

1.(Amended)CK's being selected because she has a vagina that is related to a politically important penis. (could be true)

A majority of the the candidates mentioned have vaginas. What sets CK's apart is its relationship to male power figures.

Submitted by lambert on

The question, is it not (and if you live in the District, it is) is which is the best choice on offer.

No point complaining that a tennis shoe is not a trainer if only tennis shoes are on the shelf, or vice versa.

(And see my versuses post above on filling shoes.)

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

Caroline Kennedy says publicly she wants Senate seat

and of course, they compare it to Hillary's upstate stuff with actual voters.

and these are her first public statements -- on any topic at all -- since her appearances at Obama events --

Caroline Kennedy finally made public her desire to carry on her famous family’s legacy, reaching out to a handful of mayors and some political leaders today in a carefully choreographed effort to win support for her quest to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton in the U.S. Senate.

Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, was driven across the state along the main east-west road, hitting three of its four biggest cities to talk to elected officials and Democratic party power brokers ...

In Rochester, Kennedy stuck closely to a tightly controlled script but started to sound themes apparently designed to assuage those who question her readiness for a high-profile elected office.

"I just hope everybody understands that it is not a campaign but that I have a lifelong devotion to public service," she said. "I’ve written books on the constitution and the importance of individual participation. I think I really could help bring change to Washington."

Before that, in Syracuse, her handlers cut her off when she was asked what her qualifications were to be a U.S. senator. As she left Syracuse City Hall, the first of her brief stops, she spoke briefly to a group of reporters and took no questions.

"I just wanted to say, as some of you may have heard, I would be honored to be considered for the position of U.S. senator," Kennedy said. "I wanted to come upstate to meet Mayor Driscoll and others to tell them about my experience and also learn how Washington can help upstate New York." ...

"There are lot of good candidates the governor is considering and he’s laid out a process and I’m proud to be in that process," she said. ...

Kennedy’s outreach is similar to Clinton’s "listening tour" in 1999 and 2000 when she first ran for the Senate. Like Clinton, Kennedy faces criticism because she’s never been elected to public office. ...

no, it's not similar, but it's absolutely intended to appear similar.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Seems to me that Caroline Kennedy didn't come out early and say, "I want to be the next Senator". Instead, we hear about Teddy saying stuff behind the scenes. She had voiced no real interest in office before. Then, suddenly, she now wants the seat. That is strange to me. I think that is a big reason behind some of the push back against her, probably more so than outright sexism. Hillary supporters who may be railing against Kennedy's lack of experience were almost assuredly making similar arguments against Obama (both experience and nepotism--being chosen by, guess who, Teddy and Howie) so sexism doesn't seem the main issue driving some of their pushback. Of course they could be both racist AND sexist.

My question is: would so many stories and discussions be taking place if it were Caroline Kennedy who came out early stating that she was interested in the seat rather than having the appearance of Uncle Teddy clearing the way for her (if she was a male, I'd make the same statement so peddle your sexist charge elsewhere). Its hard to deny the appearance (from the media reports) that Kennedy's current jockeying was helped by outside actors before she publicly stated her interest. That is just the sequence of events and has nothing to do with her sex/gender. Its all a little too convenient that Hillary was snubbed for the #2 position (VP) only to be given State and to have Teddy immediately start pushing his neice (would be similarly sketchy if it were his nephew). The stench of nepotism is heightened because its an appointment, not a campaign and the blame belongs to Ted Kennedy for that appearance.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I didn't realize all dynastic arguments were inherently sexist.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Yeah, IMO, they are. Because they cannot be divorced from their particular effectiveness against women. People have used this argument against men, but they don't hold as well, usually because we in this country are still hung up on legacy, and it seems natural that a man would follow in his father's footsteps, and be raised and groomed to take his place. Our culture has no problem accepting this.

But when that argument is used against a woman, it is instead seen as a woman trading on her family name, to get recognition and accolades she doesn't deserve, because our culture doesn't see women as legitimate inheritors of the family legacy. So yeah, the meaning of the attack changes, depending on who it is made against.

And I don't agree with you that this reaction would be any different, if it hadn't seemed to be Ted Kennedy behind the push, but Caroline herself.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

on experience/nepotism? That's as close a comparison that can be made, right? Its the most testable case I can think of. They share very similar pedigrees and both have vaginas. The difference I see is that prior to running for Lt. Governor she had 8 years of political experience, including running for office. But, if the "its because of the vagina" argument is true, then the reaction to KKT should be the same as that of CK, right? If KKT were the one being appointed would she experience similar opposition? If not, what does that have to say about the "its all sexism" charge?

I bring this up because many a PUMA who are against CK are big proponents of Carolyn Maloney or other NY female pols.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

The practical result of your argument is the rather silly result that men can be criticized on dynastic grounds, but no woman ever could. And this argument echoes the (illegit) argument made by Obama supporters -- that no one could question his experience because it was racist! racist! racist! to do so.

But besides the practical considerations of declaring any experience criticism as sexist despite the factual situation, you are making a usage-based argument to 'prove' inherent sexism.

There are a million different scenarios in which dynasty-based criticism of CK could be made in a sexist way. For instance, if the dynasty-based arguments were made only against female Kennedys; if she did have a clear record of strong and effective public service which was being ignored; if the dynasty arguments were being made more viciously against her than against a similarly situated male; or if that was the only or predominant argument against her. I'm sure folks can think of others.

CK is possibly one of the worst examples in which to make a usage-based case for sexism. The dynasty objection is really just another way to describe the inexperience criticism; that is, she's got the job not on the merits but because of her name and her relatives. Even her supporters have been unable to put forth her qualifications as other than she's a super-nice woman and she's a tremendous fundraiser. Of all the women on this earth, CK has probably been the least affected by the inequalities that most women face every day at work, at home and in politics. What door has ever been closed to her (or at least squeaky and hard to open) because she's female?

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

That we as human beings perform, in the interests of fairness, would be rather silly, if they are all taken to their logical conclusions. No one would be allowed to make an argument advocating for and against anything. I am not asking for that.

All I'm saying, is that because of the brutal way the dynastic argument is used against women, when that argument is made, it must be made with care, as has been done here.

It hasn't been done with care overall though, at least in the coverage I see, and all this post requested of people, was that if they were going to use arguments that carried similar connotations to unfair arguments made in the past, people do so in a careful manner.

And I'll also point out, that the way someone gets a job or the reasons behind it, are not necessarily indicators of future job performance. While Kennedy is not the most qualified candidate, if through the machinations of the party apparatus, she is awarded the seat, she may do a good job. She has the potential, and is an intelligent, compassionate woman.

Many of her detractors, and supporters, seem perfectly willing to paint her as a mindless drone, who would have no agenda of her own, and no capabilities of carrying it out.

And just because she hasn't faced as much adversity of other women, is no reason to exclude her from the club of women deserving of defense from unfair attacks. Not all of the attacks against her are unfair, not even all of the dynasty attacks are unfair. But many are, and many of these unfair attacks, are coming from the same exact people who used these unfair attacks against Clinton and Palin with such effectiveness, and it is no coincidence that these types of attacks, were rolled out first, before she was accused of "carpetbagging", or of being afraid to face the voters. Go with what works after all.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

experience arguments which you speak of. I've not done any exhaustive study, but watching the news and surfing around a moderate amount, don't see it (aside from perfectly predictable crap from Republicans).

I do object to the overuse of 'Princess' Caroline, as I think that is a diminution tied to her gender (did anyone refer to her brother as Prince John?), but even that is a bit troublesome because it's how she's been referred to most of her life, and it's a appellation that few have had a problem with when used to enhance the overall Kennedy mystique.

The idea that she might be a competent Senator is appointed is not any kind of recommendation, nor should it be a basis for appointment, given that NY has all kinds of talented and experienced people who we, based on their records, can be pretty sure will do a good or even great job. Heck, I might make a great Senator of NY. There's not a whole lot of evidence that she has any particular political beliefs (aside from the presumtions assigned to her because she is a Kennedy), and other than fundraising, sitting on several nonprof boards, and stumping for Obama, not a lot of political experience.

Take her resume, pull out anything connected to her family and redact her name, and what's there? How does that stack up against other possibles resumes? against Cuomo, Suozzi, Gillibrand, Maloney and Higgins? In other words, take the dynasty-argument right out of it. Would anyone even be seriously considering her outside of her ability to raise money (a pretty crappy reason anyway)?

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Would I be arguing against it, if it didn't exist? Please give me a little more credit than that. And I don't believe a possibility of competence is a recommendation, but I've seen too many people argue that she couldn't possibly be competent, or have her own agenda.

These arguments aren't inherently sexist, I was incorrect in that usage earlier. They can be used against men, whereas an argument based on "sentimentality" or some such. But, once again, the arguments are uniquely effective against all women, and that shouldn't be ignored.

Submitted by lambert on

Here:

These arguments aren't inherently sexist, I was incorrect in that usage earlier. They can be used against men, whereas an argument based on "sentimentality" or some such. But, once again, the arguments are uniquely effective against all women, and that shouldn't be ignored.

A lot of thinking going on this thread, despite the weirdness...

Submitted by jawbone on

thought the Caroline Kennedy nomination was a done deal. And had to correct herself two or three times!

So, either the MCM is simply ga-ga over having part of Camelot return to DC--or she knows something from the power brokers which lead her to speak that way. Over and over.

The NY state guest was an editorial writer from Rochester or Syracuse(?), definitely Upstate, who said the problems of his part of the state are huge and the people deserve someone who knows something about legislating and can represent the needs of NY assertively and aggressively. He did not feel Caroline Kennedy brings that style. He also noted she knew very little about Upstate issues.

What kind of flummoxed me was that Caroline Kennedy's trip today to Upstate to meet some power brokers up there was spoken of as being comparable to Hillary Clinton's long listening tour--to not only Dem pols but regular people who wanted show up.

We have a sorry excuse for journalists among our MCMers (members of the Mainstream Corporate Media).

What struck me today was that Caroline Kennedy would not be so open about her wish to be named senator if she had not received some clear signals that she would probably get it. But I am not a politician nor a political analyst, so who knows?

Update: I missed some of the comments on the later pages--sorry if I've duplicated anyone's comment.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

if only because she has name recognition and political clout.

Ha! If only because...

She's no Hillary. Does she truly understand those who need help in the far reaches of New York?

I grew up in WNY. It's pitiful there, except for my hometown - which is a booming ski resort.

She needs to travel everywhere, not just the eastern part of the state.

ElizabethF's picture
Submitted by ElizabethF on

compare Hillary and Caroline. Hillary Clinton is not running for the office.

Wouldn't it more constructive and generous to keep Hillary Clinton out of this and let her just go about doing her job as Secretary of State. Is it wise to set up Clinton again for comparisons on anything? She needs not prove anything to bloggers or pundits or senate campaigns.

Wouldn't it be more constructive to compare, if you must, Caroline Kennedy with the other nine presumed candidates who have expressed interest? Particularly Carolyn Mahoney and Kristen Gillabrand if Patterson is leaning toward a woman to replace Clinton?

Hillary Clinton is going forward. Bye bye New York. Hello world. Let her go.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

The set-up for this thread was so ridiculous, and I'm glad to see it torn a new one. I'm particularly proud of the early answers by gqmartinez and basement angel. It is incumbent upon the person seeking office to explain herself, not the other way around. Hillary vs. Caroline? **hmmph** Yes, all the damned gall, indeed. We don't owe you anything, and to do this under the guise of 'concern' is offensive. Obviously, you don't believe us to be better than that. Whatever. I'm really getting tired of your preachy ways. This is hardly the first time.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

This is my precise motivation for the thread:

1. On various blogs, I'd seen a number of arguments made against CK's candidacy that reminded me uncannily of arguments previously made against Hillary Clinton, especially a lot of pearl-clutching about dynastic nepotism.

2. At a gut level, I'm not thrilled about the CK candidacy, because like others on this thread, I was turned off by her unwarranted passing of the JFK mantle onto Obama, and the giddy fantastical show much of her family made of it.

3. But trying on for size the popular critiques made me feel hypocritical. How could I go on a jag about the evils of nepotism and a sudden elevation to Senator of someone who'd never been elected to a smaller office, if that didn't faze me particularly about HRC?

4. To settle this dissonance, I opened a discussion to shed some light on what to make of the similar frames used for CK and HRC. Was it that CK deserved them, and Hillary didn't? That was possible, including for reasons I noted in my original post. Was it that only women candidates were belittled in certain ways? That was possible, too, since we've seen that misogyny is alive and kicking.

That's it. Pretty evil and high-handed, huh?

The defensiveness I've seen by many on this thread has been stunning. I appreciate that a few commenters responded commensurate with the original request: help make sense of the similarities and differences. Given the good and bad reasons that make comparisons of the two inevitable (and there are both), those who are outraged that CK is being fast-tracked for the job could use those responses to build a case.

Those who freaked out and projected onto me some kind of thumb on the scale for CK or bad intent toward the candidate I supported at great personal cost during the 2008 campaign, I don't know what you're smoking.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

Don't whine when you catch something you don't like. You're post had a down-right chiding and put-upon tone to it, and you got that in return. There is a reason for the "freak-out", and if you didn't notice, even the people that tried to were offended. And, please, don't even try and play the "if everyone's angry I must be doing something right" angle. You didn't find some secret nerve that you hit upon, you were concerning trolling with this one, plain and simple. Sometimes you hit them out of the park, but when you miss and when you turn into "Mother Superior" you miss epically. This was nothing less than an epic fail in its unecessarily accusatory presentation, and no amount of pretending to play the fool will change that.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I simply asked for illumination about a topic that I'm undecided about. How could anyone be high-handed doing that?

No, I have no intentions of playing "if everyone's angry I must be doing something right," since I'm not advocating anything whatsoever in this thread, other than a non-defensive look at a cognitive dissonance and quality discourse in the event that comparisons are made between the current junior Senator from NY and the inside-track prospective one.

Some folks brought their shoulder-chips to this one, and they freaked out.

Apparently, because I was rather general in framing the similarities in the criticisms that were common to the two senate bids, people projected a whole host of issues that were miles away from anything I actually said here.

Damon, you're playing an old tape here. You haven't liked my tone in some previous threads, and so be it. But I asked a completely innocent question here, and it turned out to be a Rorschach test for some people's defensiveness.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Call me a liar. I've described in my previous comment my precise motivation for the post.

If, after reading that, you're calling it "concern trolling," you're calling me a liar.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

I used "concern trolling" out of school. To do that, you'd actually have to be trying to hide something, and you weren't. You were open with your preachy tone as you've always been.

I pushed back so hard against this one because I viewed it as nothing more than bullying, and it was the last straw. To "chide" was far too kind a verb. If you thought I pushed back hard, now, well, just wait and see what happens if you choose to continue to brow-beat and bully everyone else, again. Yeah, guess what? Watching others be bullied is a pet peeve of mine, and you and Chicago Dyke do it more than the average bear to be sure.

Some may like to tip-toe around you, like this ridiculously and pathetically timid comment right below mine by zeezee:

Perhaps this is better left unsaid, but here I go anyway.

I am not.

No, do me a favor and stop showing this blog the disrespect you do by condescending to it whenever you get the chance. I'm done.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

That would be a loss, because (this thread notwithstanding) I've been impressed that your "game" has, IMHO, grown in leaps and bounds since you first got here.

But, sorry, you're in the Twilight Zone on this one. I can only imagine that you were -- as some others were -- offended by the premise of comparing those two candidates, one who currently has the job and one who probably will get it next.

You've gone from "chide" to describe the original post to "'chide' is far too kind a verb."

Yet, you haven't shown what about the post was so snide or superior. You haven't because it wasn't in any way "chiding" or "accusatory."

Since you took such great offense, you're now taking to escalating your superior talk, rather than walking back the accusation.

We're funny creatures when it comes to saving face. For the second time, I've served up an (unaccepted) opportunity for a commenter to apologize for alleging I'd tacitly supported another Corrente Senior Fellow's...

post about Jews, money, and Israel that didn't raise a peep out of you---while it was based on and loaded with actual pernicious and historically deadly stereotypes and lies.

In fact, I had written two comments -- one with hard data and one with high snark to rebut my esteemed colleague.

And so it goes with truthiness.

As I noted earlier, I understand that you didn't like my tone in some other posts. But you've brought that here, along with your apparent offense at a question that was asked with no snottiness or ill-intent whatsoever, but one which I can only surmise either made some people feel guilty (perhaps they'd made the nepotism case against CK but not HRC and felt they were exposed as hypocrites) or defensive (someone's attacking our girl!).

Since you have been a fine contributor, I'd hate to see you go. But the post was written for the reasons I've outlined, and if it turned out to be a Rorschach test, that's interesting but not, I think, "disrespectful" of my own blog.

Submitted by lambert on

Or at least only "done" on this thread, because your contributions really took off like a rocket.

That said, I just don't see your reading on this thread at all -- and there have been, I think, a lot of people talking at cross purposes on this one, and not by intent. Something about the subject matter is raising all kinds of "stuff." For example, I don't read ZeeZee's post (and she will correct me, I am sure) as tiptoeing around any one person at all!

Submitted by lambert on

What "accusatory presentation"? What on earth are you talking about? This thread has been bizarre, though interesting, from beginning to end, and this comment is the icing on the cake, so far as I'm concerned. Of to question is to chide, then gawd help us all.

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

Perhaps this is better left unsaid, but here I go anyway.

I had a criticism of some of the points of your post which I enumerated and in return I was accused of the equivalent of calling you a racist, and later accused of questioning your motives and implying that I thought you hated Clinton or some such silliness. As I said then, none of the thoughts you projected upon me were accurate. I've read enough of your posts to know that's not where you are coming from. Others with criticisms of your post received the same treatment.

In my viewpoint, in this post and your associated comments, a lot of the defensiveness was your own, otherwise you wouldn't have being making such unsupported accusations about the commenters on your post. I offer that up, not as a put down or an accusation, but rather as the alternate view from outside. We all get defensive at times, and we all react to what we interpret as others' defensiveness.

There were a lot of good responses to this post, and I'm sorry that you couldn't see them as such because they didn't answer your question in exactly the form you expected. Valhalla, gqmartinez, amberglow and many others who's names I can't recall right now, had spot-on comments that were mostly ignored for their content, but pounced upon for their assumed "defensiveness" because they were not the responses you were looking for. But one of the great things about getting feedback in a forum like this is that it is often unexpected in its form, and therefore truly provides useful input that one could never provide oneself . You asked for a list, which frankly you could have easily provided yourself, and in response you got much more . If you can quell your disappointment at not receiving exactly what you were looking for, you could find that what you did receive was all the more valuable.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Some of my pushback in a couple of replies to you was not properly aimed at you but at other people/comments in the thread, and I apologize for that.

I was trying to make a few different points while under time pressure, so I wasn't as precise about that as I try to be.

That said, many of the comments critical of me and the original post were wholly fallacious, such as one commenter's insistence that I was cruelly putting Hillary through hoops but had no interest in hearing what was wrong with CK (or whether there's any "right" about her).

I continue to think this was a reasonable and timely inquiry (and one which did yield several high-quality responses). Some commenters, however, decided to respond to things that were never in and were never intended by my post or replies, perhaps because they were filling the the void of what kinds of similarities they imagined I meant to draw between the two candidacies. I have documented this several times in the thread, and I haven't the time to relitigate all of that.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

is very tricky, but (peering carefully around before I stick my foot in), my reaction to the original post was a subdued 'wtf...vl?...hmmm' as well.

Not because it was Clinton-hating or monstrous or anything along those lines, but because compared to many (perhaps most) of your other posts, it was unexpectedly not-pointed. Most of your comments and questions contain a decided viewpoint. So, on the VL-scale, a neutral-sounding question came across (at first glance) as accepting the basic premise (arguments against Clinton = arguments against CK, with all that that implies), giving rise to the implication that you were asking folks to make a case against a presumption.

That is not to say you shouldn't throw out open questions for discussion. Of course you should. Just that it was somewhat anomalous, and that it's difficult to not read frequent posters isolated from all their other posts.

I'm not sure I've put that quite right, so I'll be explicit in this: this isn't an accusation or an indictment or questioning your motives, it's a description of a reaction.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I do, on occasion, post calls-for-response, and they either drop like a rock or they're quite lively and educational.

The collections of substantive responses turn out to be very useful references, such as:

http://www.correntewire.com/just_askin
http://correntewire.com/how_much_of_the_...

True Believers of Obama's or Hillary's pure goodness or evil are liable to be offended by some of these inquiries, because they invite nuanced responses that may challenge Manichean certainties. For example, my request for, essentially, "McCain oppo for PUMAs" was locked by DU administrators, because it wasn't framed sufficiently deferentially to then-Sen. Obama, even though it was specifically intended as an opportunity to convince disenchanted Democrats not to vote for the Republican.

Here, it seems, the possibility that the differences between CK and HRC aren't endlessly vast, or that I'm so stupid and evil that I don't consider the question beneath asking, has similarly struck a nerve. To paraphrase Alanis Morissette's "You Learn": "I recommend getting your blog post trampled on to anyone."

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

If you look at the real reasons behind it.

There are three major reasons CK is being considered for appointment to fill out Hillary Clinton’s senate term. First, with her name recognition, charm and fundraising power she'll be a shoe-in for election in 2010 and again in 2012. Two years is plenty of time to learn the ropes and master talking points, plus build such a huge war chest the Republicans will have no chance. She secures the seat for Democrats, and that is dominantly what the Democratic Party cares about getting from a candidate.

Second, she will be a compliant and reliable supporter of Obama for his entire time in office. From a governance standpoint the Senate will be Obama's problem area and every reliable vote there is like gold. The last thing he or the Democratic Party want to chance is another independent voice to either the Left or the Right. CK will be grateful just to be there, and she will not make any waves.

Third, from the standpoint of New York's Democratic Party interests, Caroline will definitely bring home the bacon. The entire ruling structure of the national Democratic Party will be vested in her success and re-election, so they'll take great care to provide her with an abundance of federal money for New Yorkers, real substance to back up plenty of ribbon-cutting ceremonies and weekly photo-ops and news stories about all she and the Democrats are doing for the people of New York. That's what matters to most New Yorkers, and Caroline will deliver without having to lift a finger.

Want more than these three reasons? Hillary Clinton wasn't even that much. She ran for Senate in New York because it was the next open seat she could target and win, carpetbagging just as Jay Rockefeller did with West Virginia. It was never anything to her but a stepping stone to the White House and now that it isn't useful for the purpose she has no desire for it, tossed that seat aside like a used tissue at the first chance of doing something more interesting.

Hillary Clinton didn't care one way or the other about the people of New York, not any more than she did about people in general. If she did, if she had any true connectedness or special feeling about New Yorkers, she'd have stayed in the Senate to work for them. Caroline Kennedy is no carpetbagger; she has made New York her home for three decades, she knows the state’s issues as well as any intelligent person would, and she has at least some emotional connectedness to the general welfare of New York’s citizens.

Will CK be another Moynihan? Probably not, but then probably neither would any of the other plausible candidates – and neither was Clinton. It strikes me, reading here and elsewhere around the tubes, that there is a general feeling that Hillary Clinton was a really good senator for the people of New York. I can't fathom why that is so.

Can anyone name a single signal accomplishment from her tenure? I can't think of anything. She brought home federal money, but not extraordinary amounts considering the circumstances of the WTC attack, and all of the structural problems that were extant when she took office or later emerged are still there. Upstate is worse off now, economically, than it was in 2000. New York's infrastructure has declined, the WTC cleanup and reconstruction have been a nightmare, public schools outside of Manhattan where Kennedy has been involved have deteriorated in graduation performance, while the general state of health care - supposedly Clinton's big issue - is scandalous across the country, much worse than when she took office. What, as an elected official, has she actually accomplished?

As to the matter of CK not having ever been elected to an office, how can anyone claim with a straight face that this is a real issue? Look around; 90% plus of the people in elected office were selected by entrenched economic interests during their primary or general election or both. What really is the difference between Patterson picking an establishment-approved somebody with no electoral history and choosing someone with an establishment-manipulated electoral history? There is none. Maybe some people just feel more comfortable with a sham over the realities of our political process than they do having to face naked truth.

Caroline Kennedy will be no worse as a US Senator for New York than was Hillary Clinton, and may actually turn out to be better in some regards for New York interests. Compared to the other current candidates, she has a clear electoral advantage in 2010 as well as 2012 and far more individual ability to bring economic benefit to New York during her tenure. With regards to building up seniority, if she ends up only staying a term and two-thirds she’ll have served longer by two years than the current incumbent.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

With anything you say, BIO. Those are all valid arguments in her favor, though I hate that you use the term "pliable".

And I'm really not surprised to see that you agree with the party power brokers on this, as you almost always do.

But don't the voters matter. (Of course your answer to this is no, as it has been before, but still the question must be asked).

I think that is the most important factor in the opposition to her, which is strong in the state(seems they don't agree with you about all the glowing things she could do for the state).

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

or disagree with what BIO said. The entire thing is based on assumptions and unprovable or incorrect statements. He makes assumptions about CK's character and personality, and other people's future responses to her. Unless he's an old family friend of the Kennedy's, I don't know how he can know she is charming (and that the rest of the state will find her so), reliable, compliant, or how he can speak to her understanding of the state's issues -- in fact there is growing evidence that she knows very little about the issues upstate voters face.

He also makes sweeping and incorrect generalizations about Clinton's tenure as a senator and given that he doesn't have a basic grasp of Clinton's accomplishments, I don't know how he can possibly project how well CK will stack up.

He also seems to be unaware of the different jurisdictions and responsibilities of our city, state and federal governments.

All in all, that was a fact-free rant not dissimilar from the one I heard on the L train this afternoon. Actually, that guy was pretty funny, making his performance at least entertaining.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

i: "The entire thing is based on assumptions and unprovable or incorrect statements."
Clueless as you claim I am, shouldn't be all that difficult to debunk me - yet you fail to disprove anything I asserted, and also fail to respond substantively to my simple challenge.

I make no assumptions regarding my assessment of Caroline as a charming person. That is my assessment, I claim it and I own it; how I came by that opinion is neither here nor there. If you want to dispute it, please either state clearly that you don't find her charming, as your opinion, or cite those who say so. I am quite certain you won't find anyone who has actually met her who will say she is otherwise.

The fact is that no one credible disputes her basic decency, good character and charming nature; please, pray tell, how have you come to doubt her in regard to these attributes? Do you know her personally? Do you know anyone who knows her personally? Can you cite anyone who knows her personally saying negative things about her character? Or are you just casting empty, nasty aspersions against someone you don't know anything about?

Caroline Kennedy is intelligent, well-educated and well-read, decent, kind, gentle, thoughtful and well-intentioned. She is also painfully shy, always has been, and to those who do not understand that limitation she can seem standoffish when she is anything but. Considering the magnitude of trauma in her early life I think she's done very well in terms of not being bitter or angry or vengeful, and also considering her upbringing of privilege and wealth she is, like her parents and uncles, remarkably empathetic and concerned with the general welfare of society at large. She is also, to be sure, a product of her class and her concern for the average person is tempered by that distance, but she is not in the least dismissive of the plight of the poor or unaware of the struggle that is the daily life of most of us. If we are going to have representatives from the ruling class installed in government, and we most certainly are, there are many people far worse than Caroline Kennedy we could get stuck with - including most elected officials.

"...in fact there is growing evidence that she knows very little about the issues upstate voters face."
Really? Actual evidence? Please provide links. Without them, you're just making claims too.

"He also makes sweeping and incorrect generalizations about Clinton's tenure as a senator and given that he doesn't have a basic grasp of Clinton's accomplishments...."
Actually I asked a question - Can anyone name a single meaningful accomplishment of Clinton's over the last eight years beyond bringing home tax dollars? I can't think of anything she's done as a US Senator that stands out, and on her supposedly major issues like children's welfare and health care I don't see accomplishments that shine in any way, either for the benefit of New Yorkers or the American people in general. That observation may indeed be a function of my ignorance, but your failure to provide examples only serves to reinforce my conclusion. If I am incorrect, please provide examples - can't you find at least one?

[I'm not disputing Clinton's intentions or desires, nor am I denigrating her many fine positions and speeches. What I'm asking for are examples of concrete accomplishments that benefited New Yorkers or Americans.]

"He also seems to be unaware of the different jurisdictions and responsibilities of our city, state and federal governments."
I'm quite aware of how government works, and the distinction between a simplistic gradeschool concept of a heirachy of boxes and the reality of an intertwining economic power structure that actualy makes the decisions. It is the real government and the real decision makers I was discussing, and my read on their motivations that I offered. I base those observations on now more than 45 years of assiduously watching the American political process at work, along with the analyses of people whose political accumen I value. You may disagree, certainly, but that doesn't make me "unaware."

"making his performance at least entertaining."
I am not currently amused, especially after considering the generally dismal content of this thread, nor is it my job to entertain you. Try a comedy club, if that's your need.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

She handed me the records she wanted to buy and her Harvard Coop credit card, but she didn't say anything that indicated she was deeply concerned about the problems of New York residents. Just sayin'....

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Inquiring minds want to know.

Mid-70's, she would have been in her late teens or just 20, and still processing the horrors of her childhood. New York's problems may not have been uppermost on her mind. And she would have been almost paralyzed in public by her shyness, so maybe the charm wouldn't have shown.

P.S. May not have made this clear: my opinion, VL, you asked a good and perfectly valid question in the original post. It deserved better than it got.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Not a memorable transaction, other than the famous name and familiar face. I didn't get the sense that she was especially shy.

I have a much more vivid recollection of my several-years-later encounter with John-John. I was at a community event where JFK, Jr. was the featured guest. As he walked around the front of the building, a throng of press and well-heeled supplicants lurched straight toward where my family was standing. My son was then about the age John, Jr. was when he was iconically photographed saluting in short-pants. I'd swear that if I didn't yank my son away, this power gaggle would have blindly stomped right over him. It was a pretty chilling snapshot of how puny the rest of us are to those inhaling the fumes of fame and fortune.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Like meth x crack x a triple dose of Prozac. There's some hole in some people's psyche that rubbing up against even the marginally famous or powerful seems to click in like a drug receptor and it makes them crazed. Otherwise seemingly rational people lose all perspective.

If I could figure out how to put it in powdered form, and sell it in baggies....

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

how women wield soft, private power (and what that means now, when women and others have fought for decades to open the routes men have always had) -- that's what this whole thing is about far far more than any other issue -- it's not a drug to Caroline or any Kennedy -- it's simply how the world works -- for them.

Caroline has never had to do the "backwards and in high heels" that Hillary and most other women with power have had to -- nor has she ever even tried to -- even now.

it's actually in itself wholly retrograde -- and sexist -- it's Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush whispering in their husband's ears to get what they want. It's what women did because they were blocked from direct routes -- and from openly and directly wielding power.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

not those with actual power. Once again, you have missed the point.

And for the umpteenth time, you clearly know nothing about Caroline Kennedy, you misrepresent Hillary Clinton's "accomplishments" as though anything she's done since leaving the White House has actually benefited anyone but herself, and you ignore the reality of how our political system works while persisting in advocacy of some fantasized version of literalist first-grade level "democracy" in a nation that has never practiced it in any form.

Politics is about power, who has it, who wants it and the struggle between them. Women will achieve equality when they figure out how to get enough power to make that happen, and not until then. Metaphorical dancing, backwards or forwards in heels or not, won't get it done.

These appointments to fill offices, all of them, are about the political faction that won the latest power struggle shoring up their power. To the extent that the Obama fraction of the Democratic faction of the ruling economic elite can control the selection of appointed senators and House representatives, they will do so. Why ever would they do otherwise?

What voters want will get lip service up front, at best, as always, and maybe if they're lucky some crumbs from the rich people's table down the road. Same as what they have gotten from the Clintons except when the poor, especially poor children, were getting royally fucked by Bill and Hil with "welfare reform."

None of that makes Caroline Kennedy especially inept or unqualified or bad. She's intelligent, enlightened, decent, kind and caring and, for her class, empathetic with the masses. She is pro-choice, anti-homophobic and passionate about quality public education; she is as good for Progressive interests as it is going to get.

But you just keep on blasting her, while you defend the likes of Sarah Palin and her seccessionist witch-hunting anti-choice anti-education Dominionist Armageddon-is-coming-and-we-need-to-help-make-it-happen bigoted white-trash destructiveness. Please. Makes it all the easier for the rest of us to disregard the PUMA residuum as delusional.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

how do you get it? what happens when women compete with men for it in politics? what happens when they don't bother, but use other "softer" forms of power? what results? why are women who compete openly for power -- or actually dare to wield it -- treated so much worse than those who only do so privately? why is it that savage attacks and attempts to dismiss the achievements of publicly powerful women always occur? why are women applauded when they act in retrograde ways -- as Michelle was "repackaged" to do as "mom-in-chief", and as Carolilne has always done and still does? why is that seen as laudable? ...

and what makes people assert unproven things about what CK is for or against, when she has spent her entire life hiding from and avoiding public statements -- and action--except when she could do things wholly using her inherited power and access -- and do them entirely privately?

this is about class and power and women and our society.

your own utter complacency about these things -- and excusing of politicians -- is a whole other matter that entirely ensures more of the same.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Plus it would disrupt my utter complacency.

And require an answer to the question of what exactly did St. Hillary do for anyone but herself with that time in the Senate? Très désagréable, best not to think about it.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

and i voted Tasini in the primary precisely because she hasn't delivered enough.

That's not what VL posted about, however, nor what she was comparing/contrasting.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Here:

It strikes me, reading here and elsewhere around the tubes, that there is a general feeling that Hillary Clinton was a really good senator for the people of New York. I can't fathom why that is so.

Can anyone name a single signal accomplishment from her tenure? I can't think of anything. She brought home federal money, but not extraordinary amounts considering the circumstances of the WTC attack, and all of the structural problems that were extant when she took office or later emerged are still there. Upstate is worse off now, economically, than it was in 2000. New York's infrastructure has declined, the WTC cleanup and reconstruction have been a nightmare, public schools outside of Manhattan where Kennedy has been involved have deteriorated in graduation performance, while the general state of health care - supposedly Clinton's big issue - is scandalous across the country, much worse than when she took office. What, as an elected official, has she actually accomplished?

Still waiting for an answer. Any answer. Can no one provide just one accomplishment while in the Senate above and beyond bring home the bacon? Eight years of empty? Not hard to fill those shoes, without dancing backwards.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The 17,000-member Christian Medical Association today urged the Food and Drug Administration to protect women from sexually transmitted disease and disinformation by requiring a prescription for "emergency contraception" drugs and by accurately labeling the products, known also as "Plan B" and "emergency contraception."

After intense political pressure from abortion activists and politicians including Sen. Hillary Clinton, who threatened to block Senate approval of Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach as FDA Commissioner, the FDA recently announced that it is prepared to reverse itself and approve over-the-counter sales of the powerful hormonal drugs to women aged 18 and older.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

that wasn't what was posted, however.

and keep it up with the insults -- you and bio are quite the tag team -- delightful.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Where are the insults in this comment? How is it some sort of tag-teaming with another commenter who has espoused views that I have taken no position on anywhere in this thread?

All of which suggests that a simple and honest compare and contrast of the current holder of that job and the likely next one would be a useful and healthy thing.

Indeed, what was posted was not such a comparison. What was posted was a request for others who had more knowledge about how the two might be compared/contrasted to do so to shed light on how similar or different they and their circumstances were.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

This has been a quite productive thread, a mix of light and heat, with several observations we may well want to come back to as events unfold.

And the drama has been both interesting and instructive, even if a little worrisome to the reality-based.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

the "reality-based" knew that in 2000 Hillary had wielded real power -- and been attacked for that all along -- not for being "light on resume" in any way shape or form.

and that Obama's and the media's wholly revisionist history and wholly sexist "narrative" of her career and experience this cycle was the opposite of what actually was true -- and wasn't operative in 2000 at all.

that you continue to ignore--and dismiss as "drama"--the people here who tried to point out actual reality and factual history is just sad.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Is what I asked for and gave thanks for. The weird rewriting of what my post said was the drama.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

"VS." in itself, and "how would you compare/contrast", and "razzing", etc, are NOT "asking for" reality.

the way your post was written in itself said and was based on things that weren't real. Things you set up as given -- weren't. The Hillary in 2000 that you set up as comparison/contrast with CK now was not based in reality. The sexism you see in treatment of CK now isn't evident to all, and wasn't proven when asked for. And the treatment of Hillary now is not at all what it was in 2000.

(i'm done--please re-read gq and others here)

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

I really liked "separates the chaff from the drama." Spot on, {paging Dr. Freud :-} but if you don't want it I will gladly steal it for later use.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

But I intended to say that there was good stuff and bad stuff. Chaff and undue drama would mean it was all bad, which it assuredly wasn't. Better ring, the original way, tho.

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

spend the effort disproving anything you've said. You've made the assertions, you should be able to back them up.

My questioning of your assertions does not mean that I believe the opposite of what you are saying, only that you present nothing to support your assertions. It's your argument, now show your work!

"...in fact there is growing evidence that she knows very little about the issues upstate voters face." Really? Actual evidence? Please provide links. Without them, you're just making claims too.
Without them, I'm just making claims, too? So you do accept that's all you were doing.

But you are correct, I did make the assertion that she knows very little about upstate issues, so I will follow my own advice and support my claim with quotes from people who met her on her upstate "listening" tour, as well as with words from her own mouth:

"She was not here asking for something," Duffy said. "She just wanted to get a sense of what are the challenges we face."

If she knew about the issues, why was she trying to get a sense of the challenges people face?
Shortly before 4 p. m., she arrived at the freshly plowed entrance of City Hall in a champagne-colored Toyota Sequoia SUV. Several reporters noted among themselves that driving up in a Toyota was a faux pas in a region so reliant on the struggling U. S. auto industry.
Smart move, not quite understanding your audience -- sort of like flying your personal jet to a meeting begging for money.
But by choosing to meet only with Brown and Casey, and no other local Democrats, Kennedy found herself walking squarely into the midst of a local Democratic brouhaha.
And that's not about some little podunk town, this was about the second largest city in the state. Forget about knowing the issues of the region, she doesn't even know the issues facing the important people: other politicians.
Brown, in introducing Kennedy, gave her high marks following their sit-down. The mayor said he acquainted her with the issues facing the financially struggling city.
You don't need to be acquainted with something you already know. And as she herself has already acknowledged
KENNEDY: I have quite a bit to learn. But I feel like I bring a lot with me as well.

You ask for specific accomplishments of Clinton's, there are many, and I'm guessing that you know that -- your question's a little like saying "'George Bush has done damage to the reputation of the United States?' Why, I've never heard anything like that. Give me examples!" But I'll humor you and tell you about one that specifically impacted me.

While all of the NYC congressional delegation has worked to provide aid to the city following 9/11, Hillary Clinton has done yeoman's work, especially in the area of continuing funding for healthcare for people affected. It has been an incredibly piecemeal endeavor -- one battle might be waged to get emergent care to first responders, but then that chunk of money doesn't pay for long-term care, or doesn't pay for treatment for the people caught in the plume, or people who lived in the area, and on and on. The past seven years have been a continuous battle for funding. Hillary Clinton has been THE champion.

I know, because I am one of the people affected and aside from closely following the subject in the press, I have firsthand knowledge of who amongst my elected officials worked hard for this issue, who issued press releases and not much else, who would try but not try hard enough. And I know who it was who would not quit, who took the fight almost as personally as I did and who pushed harder than anyone else. I will be forever grateful to Senator Clinton for this, if for nothing else.

I realize that to your mind, that might not be much of an accomplishment, but for the thousands of people who have the same story and to the people all around this state who can tell similar stories, it is huge.

And as for my "grade school" understanding of our systems of governance? You may have been watching the political process for the past 45 years, but I have been actively participating -- I have seen the sausage being made and I know that it is incredibly simplistic to believe that any elected official with "real" power can snap their fingers and get done whatever it is that they desire, it just doesn't work that way.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Without them, you're just making claims too. Irony.

I set aside the WTC disaster for making claims about Hillary's accomplishments, because as you say the whole NY delegation has been involved and, to one degree or another, influential. I asked for one thing where she singularly stands out as championing and succeeding in getting done.

You cite the simple act of asking for the opinion of others as a sign of ignorance on Kennedy's part; I'd reply, but I'd be forced to use the word "simplistic" again. As to the politics of which car some staffer arranged and/or rented, it really is complicated now. That Toyota SUV is American made, in Indiana, while the car companies in Detroit and the subassembly plants in Upstate NY buy parts from all over the world. I'd have been more careful, but there you go; if that's her biggest mistake....

As to your sausage making, I've had a hand in crafting as well as fighting against legislation and regulations in a number of settings and in my experience if you are not either a wealthy power broker or a legislator or a senior bureaucrat then no matter how much time or effort you put in you are not much more than a spectator - watching while others make the decisions. Beyond local politics it is all but impossible to have an effect as an individual citizen, and even there it has become tough to make an impact. Mass action, now, is a different story.

But perhaps I've underestimated you, and you have actual office-holder experience with an axe to grind in favor of some chosen candidate and now you're miffed that Caroline is swooping in at the last minute to claim spoils, getting a position you had planned for another. If so, by all means speak up and tell us all who it is you're backing instead - and why they would be any better.

More likely, it is Caroline's support for Obama that has you and others here upset. The ultimate unforgiveable sin, apparently.

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

but you prefer not to take people at their word? You know my reasoning for not supporting CK, even if it is contrary to what I've written?

More likely, it is Caroline's support for Obama that has you and others here upset.
Take a look around, this isn't the only thread where people have expressed an opinion, you might want to read some of those, they'll answer your questions -- that is, if you really want to know and aren't just being willfully obtuse -- though, perhaps it's not all that willfully.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Where ever do you get that idea?

If I say "Look, that tiger is going to eat the villager" does it mean I agree with the tiger? The facts of our political process are what they are. Doesn't mean I have to like them, or agree with them, just because I point them out. My opinion is that we can't hope to change anything unless we understand the process as it now exists.

Currently there is no role in federal elections for voters outside of fundraising. That could change, to some degree, if voters choose to become engaged on the substance of issues rather than as fans or fanatics. Progressives will have to find a way to either raise voters' awareness of the real meaning of issues or find some way to transform those issues into bright shiny objects to get their attention, one or the other.

If you have a plan that doesn't include an honest assessment of how our current system works, please lay it out. Otherwise, I'd appreciate it if you don't bash me for telling the truth.

Oh, and as for "pliable" I'm not wedded to it; please substitute any word you choose for "doing exactly as she's told."

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

But you always seems to end up defending it, so what would you call it?

And how exactly do you know she would "do what she's told." Is her timidity so severe, as you imply above, that she has no thought for herself?

For purely strategic reasons, I think her appointment could lead to a few interesting things. If she were to get the appointment, it seems that she could have enemies in both camps, like Hillary. It is entirely probable that CK would get hit with a big double whammy of misogynistic innuendo, and it might finally open some eyes, as to how bad it is for women in this country, as well as the rest of the world.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

When I write here about how things work politically and why politicians are making their decisions, I'm usually just explaining - from my perspective, in my opinion. I don't have to agree with or defend them to explain. Sometimes, as with some actions intended to defeat the Republicans, I do agree with what Democrats have decided from a strategic or tactical standpoint even as I am saddened by the neccessity behind their decisions. Sometimes I think they are actually in the right, and sometimes I think they are in the wrong. What ever, in politics I am all about winning; second place is no place at all.

If Caroline is appointed, and there is a chance she may not be given the size of the unexpected backlash on the Left, she will be handled by the Party leadership like a precious object. Again, not trying to defend that approach but it is IMHO the truth. She'll be mentored and tutored and supported and coached and brought carefully along over months, given slowly increasing media and then public exposure with plenty of carefully crafted upbeat stories. They will take very, very good care of her, and the word will go out to NY Democrats that they had better not mess with Caroline or they will feel more political heat than they can survive. The press love a romantic story, and they will largely treat her with kid gloves and celebration.

Like the rest of her family, Caroline was raised to have a sense of obligation to serve society in return for her socioeconomic blessings. I believe she will see her duty as Senator to do as much good for her constituents as possible and that will come as cash, in bucketsfull, so long as she goes along and gets along. She isn't stupid, she certainly knows that, and she wouldn't be pursuing the office if she hadn't already come to terms with that reality. All in all, it will be good for the people of New York to have a senator who gets the state what ever it needs in the way of money and consideration; on a dollar basis the citizens will get good value from her representation.

She is a very shy and naturally retiring person, and I was pleasantly surprised to see her step into the limelight with Obama. I think it is very good for her to get outside her protective shell and stretch her wings, but I don't see her being bold enough to make any sort of fuss. She abhors confrontation, doesn't like to argue, and would rather walk away from conflict than confront it. That doesn't mean she won't be effective as an advocate for New York, but it does mean she likely won't be any sort of thorn in the side of the Dem leadership - which suits them just fine.

Could be wrong, maybe she'll surprise me, get the hang of this speaking up thing and really become a powerful independent voice. Be absolutely delightful if she would because she is a strong believer in equal civil rights, universal quality education, universal health care as a right, and equality under the law in general. We can use as many of those sorts of people as we can get, what ever their names might be.