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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Off Topic Saturday

- Off topic post if you don't mind:

Personally, I find myself to be highly offended by Caroline Kennedy's shamelessly high-profile power play to win Governor Paterson's appointment to Hillary Clinton's seat. I think it's nothing but the presumptuous play on the entitlement brought by her last name that her critics make it out to be. The woman has little qualification for the job, and I don't certainly don't blame others who may (or may not) be interested in the position - those who have already demonstrated that they know and have what it takes to win an elected position in this state, but who have conducted themselves with dignity throughout this process - for being resentful.

As Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf points out in an op-ed piece for, we have no idea where Ms. Kennedy stands on any of the important issues of the day; not even, and especially so, after her little tour of upstate, during which she arrogantly refused to answer any substantive questions (perhaps taking a lesson from Sarah Palin). She's a "Clinton-Democrat?" What does that mean - that she initially supported the war in Iraq? But as Sheinkopf sarcastically points out, none of this really seems to matter:

Her unique experience of writing a book or two, smiling well, appearing from time to time -- but not too often -- at city mayoral news conferences announcing help for those who attend New York City public schools -- and, well, just being a Kennedy -- should suffice.
What's even worse in my mind is the pressure being applied on Governor Paterson to pick her; in particular, that from US Senate Majority Leader Henry Reid, who was reported to have spoke[n] by phone with Paterson and urged Kennedy’s appointment. We've been reading quite a bit about the Blagojevich scandal, and using a Senate appointment to curry favor can work both ways. I don't know exactly what Senator Reid's stake in this is, perhaps merely a nod towards Uncle Ted. But Reid must be aware that Paterson will no doubt soon be coming before the Senate in desperate search of federal aid towards his bloated deficit, and I therefore find any lobbying of the governor on Ms. Kennedy's behalf to be completely inappropriate.

Having said that, let's of course not be naive. No doubt that Governor Paterson will make the pick with his own political fortunes in mind. But here's what I think is are fallacies in the argument that he would pick her to enhance his own election chances in 2010. For one thing, with Ms. Kennedy being the blank slate that she is, Paterson may be concerned about the potential pitfalls regarding her actual political skills, and the possibility of his being dragged down with her should her performance be lacking, or worse. In addition, remember that Senator Schumer will be running for re-election as well; so Paterson will already have a familiar and popular (enough) name on the ticket with him.

And finally, Paterson has to be thinking that a headlining ticket trio consisting of a Senator from Brooklyn, a governor from Harlem, and a denizen of the Upper East Side with a lot of powerful friends on the inside is not going to play well upstate. So I'm going to remain out on my very lonely limb and say that he goes with Rep. Gillibrand instead.

- While I'm already off topic, the Jets are five point favorites in Seattle tomorrow. Now that everyone here seems to be writing them off - after a win! - I actually feel better about their chances to cover that spread than I did last week. One thing I've found about football over the years (especially from rooting against the Giants) is that a win is a win, not only in the standings, but in terms of a team's confidence as well. It doesn't matter if it's "lucky," or against a bad team. You may call it luck, but as far as the Jets go, Abram Elam and Shaun Ellis made a play, and they won the game. I think it will carry over. And besides, as a loyal reader pointed out to me, the football Gods are setting us all up for the showdown with Chad next Sunday night. Oh man...


Anonymous said...

I thought this blog is about talking horses not about politics. Who cares.............

Anonymous said...

I agree that Caroline Kennedy feels she is entitled to the job and that she has minimal experience. However, she has the ability to raise several million dollars for her future campaigns and the campaigns of her politcal friends.

The same shit is happening here in Delaware. Senator for life Biden just moved to the VP and Gov. Ruth Ann Minner appointed a Biden staff flunky named Ted Kaufmann to keep the seat warm for Biden's son, Beau.

Beau is the current Attorney General of Del (who never tried a single case in his short law career) and will run for his father's seat in 2 years as Kaufmann will step aside for the young man.

Obviously, cash and name recognition are very important in the political game.

To rectify these problems, term limits and limits on campaign spending should be instituted. But we have a better chance of hitting a Pick 6 than ever seeing it happen.

Patrick J Patten said...

i love your off topic posts just so i can read the first anon post that always says, "shut up and stick to the horses" Dear Anon, we bloggers are not machines our lives are not completely 6-12f, and if we feel strong about sharing something the least you could do is check it out, and give it a chance.

Anonymous said...

A better fit would be Ambassador to Ireland.

Anonymous said...

Give Caroline a shot and then see how she does in '10 when running for the seat. Of course, it won't happen on that basis because everybody knows once a Senator is seated they have to screw up royally not to be re-elected.

It's all very amusing, especially with the Kennedy's involved; if Caroline is not appointed it may finally signify the end of Camelot. It had to happen at some point. So, Alan, what's the latest line on the succession? Is Caroline really more than even money at this point?

Seems to me that it's always Democrats involved when we get into these droit de signeur, nepotistic issues of succession. Don't criticize unless you have conducted an unbiased Lexis/Nexis search and have the goods to dispute this hypothesis! /S/greenmtnpunter

Anonymous said...

you're just pissed off because you were wrong about this not having any chance of happening and I have been telling you that it will and why.
here's a story from the Buffalo News outlining her positions.
gay marriage, a return of the ban on so-called assault weapons, and extending the Bush tax cuts.
I don't think she feels entitled; she looked at the weak field of Dems most of whom feel entitled to rise up from some other public tit (mayor, congressman, attorney general etc.) and said "I can do better.)"
and alan tell us all about what Kirsten Gillibrand has done for the economy of upstate NY? tell us why she's such a great pick. Handicapp her without your left wingnut politic bias.
Just look at her breeding -- a millionaire rum running grandfather,President father, AG, uncle, Senator Uncle... pretty good past performance.

Alan Mann said...

Yeah, I read today about her positions. Would have felt better about them if they were in her own words rather than an email from her spokesperson! Cmon, what is that shit all about?? "Caroline opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning." That is fucking weak!

John said...

I'd like to see Fran Drescher and Caroline Kennedy mud wrestle for it, after all wallowing in the mud is a requirement for higher office these days!

Anonymous said...

her position on the Iraq war is the same as the president-elects -- he opposed it from the beginning and never voted for or against.
And she has written books about the second amendment (books she wrote herself, not like hillary whose books took a village to raise a publisher's advance) because guns have hit close to home.
Still haven't told us why Kirsten Gillibrand so great. Another family dynasty btw.
Your resoning is that of a six year who wants to take hos ball and go home when he doesn't get his way.
Why don't you "Off topic" on your fellow dem state senator elect Monserat? He got elected as a liberal and now emerges as a girl-friend beater.
Kennedy is entitled -- her family, to quote Linclon from Saving Private Ryan -- has sacrified greatly on the altar of democracy.
Gillibrand is the connected granddaughter of Erastis Corning's bimbo -- I'll take the president's daughter -- there's already enough progengy of whores in Washington.

Alan Mann said...

>>Still haven't told us why Kirsten Gillibrand so great.

Never said she's great; in fact, I said that she's far too conservative for my taste. Just stating my opinion of who I think he may pick, while looking for some value going against the favorites. You make some very fair points, but why the hostility, bub? And I'll get to Monserrate in due time.

Anonymous said...

There's humble and there's arrogant and we all know they don't teach humble in the Kennedy household.

I too am appalled, not that she wants the job, but the way she is going about it is essentially a public shakedown. If the Gov, who I actually respect, does NOT pick her he will forever be remembered as the first democrat to stand up against the Kennedys, aka his political future is dead in the water.

I suspect he will capitulate, but not without milking it for all it'$$ worth.

Anonymous said...

"that is fucking weak"

its time to wash your mouth out Alan. There are some ladies who read this blod & post also. Always knew you were disgusting.