Now that Barack Obama has appointed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, the guessing game as to who will take her place as the junior Senator from NY has begun. A lot of names has been floated through the ether; Robert Kennedy Jr, Andrew Cuomo, Jerry Nadler, Nita Lowey and even Bill Clinton have been rumored to have their eyes on the prize. So will someone please explain to me how out of many qualified and able candidates, it is Caroline Kennedy who has somehow floated to the top of the pack?
Don’t get me wrong, Caroline Kennedy is a strong and capable woman. She is philanthropic, interesting and a symbol of sorts, but she is not qualified to be Senator of NY. First of all, she has never even held a real job! Sure, she has sat on school boards, charity committees and most recently was a prominent supporter of Barack Obama’s candidacy for president, but let’s be honest, is she really the best and most fair choice as Hillary Clinton’s replacement? I think not.
If Caroline Kennedy is appointed by Gov. Patterson it will be yet another example of power, privilege and insider connections triumphing over the hard work and perseverance of others. Some may argue that Hillary Clinton herself didn’t have much experience when she ran, but the difference here is that she did indeed run. Clinton was elected by the people, whereas her replacement will be appointed – no input from the public needed. Shouldn’t the seat go to someone with political experience? There is no shortage of candidates.
Kennedy is a wonderful person. She has given a lot to society and could definitely make a mark if she chose to, but lets test her out first. Politics is not a gene. Just because you come from a political family does not mean you yourself will be a great politician. If Kennedy wants to get into the political arena then she should, but she should run for office, not get handed a giant prize just because her last name happens to be Kennedy.
American royalty or not, we need to keep in mind that this county was founded as a meritocracy. There are no real Kings and Queens, and we should not be operating as though a royal family exists.