Filling the blank slate

FILLING THE BLANK SLATE…. Caroline Kennedy’s interest in filling New York’s vacancy in the Senate has more than a few hurdles to clear, not the least of which is the fact that no one really knows her positions on any issue. The Politico submitted a questionnaire to Kennedy in the hopes of fleshing out some of these pertinent details.

It appears that she’s staking out a claim on the more progressive side of things.

Caroline Kennedy is finally sharing some of her political opinions with the people she’s campaigning to represent — casting herself in the liberal tradition of uncle Ted Kennedy, bucking Barack Obama by supporting same-sex marriage and disavowing Hillary Clinton’s 2002 vote for the Iraq invasion.

A Kennedy spokesman drafted seven written answers to the eight questions submitted by Politico to the 51-year-old attorney, author and electoral novice.

Some of Kennedy’s responses were brief and vague — and she flatly refused to answer a pressing political query we posed: Will she support the Democratic nominee for New York mayor in 2009?

The answer of gay marriage was pretty unambiguous: “Caroline supports full equality and marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.” Her response on the 2002 AUMF was also clear: “Caroline opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning. She supports President-Elect Obama’s plan to work with our military leaders to begin a responsible withdrawal.”

Now, it’s hard to do a compare-and-contrast with some of the other Democrats who might be considered for the Senate vacancy, but at least we’re getting a sense, for the first time, of the kinds of positions Caroline Kennedy would take if she serves.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.