CAROLINE KENNEDY TO SEEK SENATE SEAT…. It’s not necessarily a surprise, given her outreach efforts to New York political leaders, but Caroline Kennedy has reportedly decided to formally pursue Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat.
The decision came after a series of deeply personal and political conversations, in which Ms. Kennedy, who friends describe as unflashy but determined, wrestled with whether to give up what has been a lifetime of avoiding the spotlight.
Ms. Kennedy will ask that Gov. David A. Paterson consider her for the appointment. The governor was traveling to Utica today could not immediately be reached for comment.
If appointed, Ms. Kennedy would fill the seat once held by her uncle, the late Robert F. Kennedy.
Ms. Kennedy has been making calls this morning to alert political figures to her interest.
Roll Call is reporting the same thing.
Speculation about Kennedy’s interest in the seat has prompted some strong analysis, but I’m afraid I don’t have especially strong feelings on the subject. I’m not a fan of family dynasties, and I’m even less comfortable when dynasties are continued through appointments, rather than elections. So, by this score, count me as a skeptic.
On the other hand, it’s certainly possible that Caroline Kennedy would be a fantastic senator and a champion of values and issues I hold dear. The problem, I suppose, is that I don’t really know much about her, other than her last name, and some of the work she did in support of the Obama campaign. Kennedy’s never held or run for public office, and I don’t yet have a sense of why she wants to serve, what she’d do if she held the office, and whether she’s prepared to run in a special election in 2010 and for a full term in 2012.
That’s not necessarily meant as criticism. If given a chance, Kennedy may have compelling and persuasive responses to these points, putting all doubts to rest. At this point, though, we haven’t heard any of these responses, so it’s hard to know how best to respond to the news.
I guess we’ll learn more soon enough.