Send Caroline Kennedy to Court of St. James

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gordon brown caroline kennedy twn.jpg
(UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown receiving bust of John F. Kennedy from Caroline Kennedy)
Caroline Kennedy is having a rough time convincing fellow New York-based Dems that she’s good for them. If she really, really wants to be in the rough and tough of hard scrabble politics — and show us all what she is made of — I wish she had decided to enter the political fray via election rather than appointment.
George W. Bush and Richard Cheney abused this democracy, built an imperial presidency, emasculated Congress, launched an illicit war, spied in massive proportions on American citizens, authorized torture as a tool in interrogations. They ruined what “democracy” means in the eyes of many American citizens — but also for many around the world who want to knock back their totalitarian governments and achieve some form of real democracy and self-determination.
To succeed the Bush era with a high profile appointment of the untested, iconic Caroline Kennedy does not bolster the Democratic Party’s message that democracy at home needs to be rebuilt and revitalized.
Caroline Kennedy’s first efforts to sell herself to New Yorkers — but also to make herself look like a compelling choice other than having a good “brand name” to Americans at large — has not gone well.
Barack Obama should stop this grilling and torment that is being prepared for Kennedy and all who helped push her candidacy for “appointment” by offering Kennedy the Court of St. James, the U.S. Ambassadorship to Great Britain.
Kennedy has an outstanding record of public service to those in need, and she is savvy about the who’s who of the political world. In fact, she’s playing the role of Ambassador on behalf of her father’s memory and her clan for a long time — while maintaining a tight lid on her private affairs. She’s incredibly “ambassadorial” already.
Caroline Kennedy would perform well in London and could help to bolster Obama’s relationship with the UK and with Europe more squarely — something that is vital. If she did a superlative job in her role, she might be able to translate that into some kind of compelling campaign to later “run” for public office.
But seriously, Obama should make Caroline Kennedy his ambassador to Great Britain.
There have been rumors that outgoing Senator Chuck Hagel has been discussed by some close to Obama for this role in London — but in my view, this would be a waste of Hagel’s considerable talents at a macro-level on American foreign policy. Hagel should wait for appointment as Secretary of State or as a top envoy for some form of global negotiations.
Kennedy would be perfect in London.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

69 comments on “Send Caroline Kennedy to Court of St. James

  1. David Arneson says:

    Wasn’t her grandfather, Joe Kennedy, kicked out of that position
    during WW2 by Roosevelt because he was a Nazi sympathizer?
    How would this be a good idea? After all, Brits have kind of long
    memories.

    Reply

  2. barry clark says:

    Please do not post disparaging comments about Ambassadorial positions in foreign powers.
    As a British citizen, I find some of these comments insulting and distastful and unbecoming of the American political establishment.
    I did not expect you to engage in insulting comments about the ancient structures of other societies, particularly when these titles no longer hold true power and you do not understand their significance in British history.
    Perhaps you would do well to remember who your reliable friends are, their are many in Europe and the wider world who will still work against the principles of freedom and democracy despite the apparent wonder effect your new President.
    5srxcx

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  3. ted says:

    From CBS:
    SHOCK POLL: Kennedy Trailing Cuomo Huge
    Public Policy Polling Shows Princess Of Camelot Losing Grip On New Yorkers, Falls Behind 20 Points Among Dems

    Reply

  4. John McAuliff says:

    Re Paul Norheim’s comment:
    “But what if Barack Obama becomes, not the new John
    F. Kennedy, but the new Lyndon B. Johnson – escalating the war in Afghanistan?
    Have you ever thought of that?”
    My reply: Yes, that analogy has occurred to me and is of great concern, particularly when the response to failure is to send in more troops.
    My fear of a quagmire in Afghanistan is one of many reasons I post on http://www.thehavananote.com that Obama must be pressed to use his full authority to end all restrictions on non-tourist travel to Cuba right after taking office.

    Reply

  5. ted says:

    Henry. You are embarrassing yourself. The lightweight “constitutional books” wrote by somebody (who made Caroline “co-author” are suitable for People Magazine.
    Her intrade probabilities are dropped like a rock, from high 80′s to 48.6 today. Her aides are leaving in droves and she is turning herself into a national joke.
    Any democrat would win the NY Senate election so this is purely intra-party issue, but in the long-run, having Senate full of out of touch rich elitist nobodies like Caroline Kennedy, Victoria Kennedy in MA and Biden Jr is hardly good for the party. Maybe John Kerry can transfer his seat to his daughter, too? Likewise, that 90-year old Klu Klux Klan leader (Byrd) can testament his seat to the next generation.
    Anyway, Cher and Madonna would be at least as good choices. THEY GET THINGS DONE.

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  6. henry says:

    TED writes: “Marriage equality? So you could marry your father or sister?”
    HENRY: No, TED. So I can marry the person I love. So the laws apply equally to all of us. I guess by your comment you are referring to the argument that marriage equality will lead to incest and polygmy. Listen very closely: If the law prohibits hetersoexuals from marrying an immediate family member or more than one person at a time, then APPLY THOSE VERY SAME LAWS TO GAY PEOPLE. I believe that Caroline Kennedy has written several books on constitutional law. Maybe you should borrow one from your local public library and read up on the Equal Protection Clause. HENRY.

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  7. ted says:

    Henry. Princess is not going to appointed. I hope we get somebody who is not out-of-touch elitist refusing to release his or her financials etc.
    It is likely to be Cuomo so Paterson has free ride in the primaries. Maybe Cuomo family makes Paterson an offer he can’t refuse.
    Anyway, you are so right.
    Kennedys stood up to powerful interests, such as Mary Jo Kopechne and wind farms blocking the ocean view from the Kennedy mansion.
    Marriage equality? So you could marry your father or sister? Anyway, soon we will have a theocrat president who is opposing gay marriage based on his religious view. Isn’t that lovely.
    Energy independence? There is always a wind farm or domestic energy source to be opposed.

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  8. henry says:

    TED: “Apparently Henry was pretty much the only New Yorker who was impressed by the Princess.”
    HENRY: Today, 12/31/08, the NY Times has yet another front-page article about Caroline Kennedy. See you at the swearing in ceremony, TED! The Kennedys are are targets because they have stood up to powerful interests: armaments, insurance, religious right, etc. But that is also why so many people love and respect them. If Robert and Ted Kennedy had been elected President, we would today have a smaller military (no Iraq War), energy independence (no Iraq War), national health care insurance, and marriage equality. In otherwords, we would be a better country. Regular people would be better off. So bash away, TED. I know which side I’m on. HENRY.

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  9. WigWag says:

    Henry, thanks for the information about Cher, I didn’t know that.

    Reply

  10. ted says:

    Apparently Henry was pretty much the only New Yorker who was impressed by the Princess. Her aides are now leaving in droves and Paterson is accepting new bids from other candidates.
    nypost today:
    ” Kennedy, a political novice, didn’t help matters when she started granting interviews that demonstrated her inexperience, according to the source.
    “She wasn’t prepped enough,” said the source. “She wasn’t ready to do this.”
    Anyway, Ted Kennedy is saying that his (MA) senate seat belongs to a Kennedy and he has been pushing his wife for the royal appointment, if Ted has to go. Maybe Caroline can now take seat instead?

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  11. henry says:

    WIGWAG writes: “HENRY, you are truly the biggest Caroline Kennedy fan anywhere.”
    HENRY: Thank you, WIG-MAN. I only wish that it were true. But once again you are wrong. Caroline Kennedy’s biggest fan is BARAK OBAMA. He put her in charge of his VP selection team. He wants her in the Senate. Caroline would NOT have asked for the Senate appointment w/out the President-elect’s support. Maybe the #1 reason why Caroline Kennedy should be New York’s next Senator is that she has the ear of our next President.
    HENRY: With regards to Cher, did you know that she was offered but turned down the #1 hits “Angie Baby” (then recorded by Helen Reddy), and “The Night that the Lights Went Out in Georgia” (then recorded by Vickie Lawrence)? It is true. HENRY.

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  12. WigWag says:

    Henry, you truly are the biggest Caroline Kennedy fan anywhere. Congratulations!
    Caroline is very lucky to have a supporter like you.
    Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about Cher for New York Senator?

    Reply

  13. henry says:

    TED writes: “I agree that Madonna … Sarah Jessica Parker would be equally good choices.”
    HENRY: You agree with who that Madonna and SJP would be equally good choices? I haven’t heard anyone say that besides you. I have heard one person — another candidate for the Senate appointment (hardly an objective commentator) — compare Caroline Kennedy to J-Lo. Is that who you are talking about?
    GDH writes: “She is a pig….”
    HENRY: No, Caroline Kennedy is not a pig. With all of her fame and fortune, I suppose that she could easily have become a “pig.” But instead she is a fine, decent person (I give Jackie some credit for that, for how she raised Caroline and John, Jr after their father was murdered). GDH, maybe Caroline Kennedy is not your choice for the Senate appointment. But she has conducted her life with quiet dignity, raised her family, and worked hard for many years for social justice. I think that you comment is completely inappropriate. HENRY.

    Reply

  14. gdh says:

    she is a pig…………..

    Reply

  15. leveymg says:

    Steve – Didn’t FDR try the same thing with Caroline’s Grandfather? That one didn’t work out so well.
    I think it’s still early for April Fools jokes.

    Reply

  16. ted says:

    I agree that Madonna, Chelsea Clinton (and Rosie?, Sarah Jessica Parker?) would be equally good choices.
    I never understood the myth of Kennedys anyway. Joe was anti-semitic Nazi-loving disgrace. JFK trampled civil liberties, ordered illegal wiretapping of black civil rights leaders (together with “Deep Throat”), and carried out election fraud in IL with mafia. Yes, he had his George W. Bush moment during Cuban missile crisis but he screwed pretty much everything else. Ted Kennedy let a girl die as he prioritized his political career over the life of an innocent girl. Patrick Kennedy abused his position as he got caught drunk driving in DC. Now we need to appoint some rich socialite because he is a Kennedy?
    Give me a break. I thought we had a revolution to get rid of this non-sense.

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  17. henry says:

    WIGWAG: “So who is really more popular (Andrew Cuomo or Caroline Kennedy)?”
    HENRY: LOL!! Caroline Kennedy is more popular. Many New Yorkers revere the Kennedys. But, alas, the Kennedys are also a target. I just hope and pray some nutcase out there doesn’t decide to make a name for himself by Killing JFK’s daughter. I am sure that Caroline has Secret Service protection. But it is something that many people do worry about. HENRY.

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  18. WigWag says:

    “But let us talk a little bit about Caroline’s chief rival, Andrew Cuomo. In 1990, partly to advance his political career, Andrew Cuomo married Kerry Kennedy (Trust me, WIGWAG: no Kennedy needs to marry a Cuomo to advance his/her political career). He then messily divorced her in 2003.”
    Henry, he messily divorced her because Kerry Kennedy was having an affair with one of Andrew’s closest friends. Just like a Kennedy; right?
    “New Yorkers LIKE Caroline Kennedy. Andrew Cuomo? Not so much.”
    How can you say that, Henry? New Yorkers liked Andrew Cuomo enough to elect him to office in a state-wide election; they elected him Attorney General. They’ve never elected Caroline Kennedy to anything. Cuomo’s won a state-wide election; Caroline Kennedy never won anything (except the lottery of life). So who is really more popular?

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  19. Paul Norheim says:

    Nice, John. Especially the allusions to the “spirit of her father and
    her uncle”. But what if Barack Obama becomes, not the new John
    F. Kennedy, but the new Lyndon B. Johnson – escalating the war
    in Afghanistan?
    Have you ever thought of that?

    Reply

  20. John McAuliff says:

    As a New Yorker, I will be pleased and honored to have Caroline Kennedy as my Senator.
    She brings an essential awareness of American history, including the positive and negative legacies of her father, and of the price he and her uncle Robert paid for trying to take the country on a different path.
    Caroline’s support for Barrack Obama came at a critical moment, and conveyed dramatically his continuity with the spirit of her father and her uncle.
    She will be a far more powerful and reliable advocate for Obama’s vision in the Senate than other probable candidates.
    Whoever Governor Patterson chooses, we will decide in less than two years how she or he compares with more conventional candidates.
    –John McAuliff, Tarrytown, NY

    Reply

  21. henry says:

    WIGWAG writes: “Everyone knows the Cuomo name and Andrew Cuomo is as famous in New York as Caroline Kennedy. Upstate he might be more famous.”
    HENRY: Oh God, are you wrong. But let us talk a little bit about Caroline’s chief rival, Andrew Cuomo. In 1990, partly to advance his political career, Andrew Cuomo married Kerry Kennedy (Trust me, WIGWAG: no Kennedy needs to marry a Cuomo to advance his/her political career). He then messily divorced her in 2003. Now Andrew Cuomo / his camp is a leading source of the anti-Caroline Kennedy whispering campaign. Does the word “asshole” mean anything to you? In 2002, as you know, Andrew Cuomo ran for governor in the Democrat primary. The polls showed that he was getting CLOBBERED so badly that he withdrew his name from consideration in order to keep his political career viable. WIGWAG, an important quality of successful politicians is that the press and voters LIKE them. New Yorkers LIKE Caroline Kennedy. Andrew Cuomo? Not so much. HENRY.

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  22. WigWag says:

    “Caroline Kennedy’s ability to raise money — which you must do to succeed in politics — is unmatched by any of her opponents.”
    Now how do you know that, Henry? Her uncle Ted hasn’t faced a strong opponent in years so he hasn’t had to raise any money. So what evidence is there that she would be a good political fundraisier? Just because they say it in the newspaper, doesn’t necessarily make it true.
    Before Senator Schumer was elected to the Senate he was just a congressman from Brooklyn. Hardly anyone had heard of him. But he’s been able to raise tens of millions of dollars, not just for his own campaign but for Democrats all over the country. How famous is Sentor Schumer, Henry?
    “With all due respect to Nadler, Gillibrand, Cuomo, et al, most people don’t even know who they are.”
    Everyone knows the Cuomo name and Andrew Cuomo is as famous in New York as Caroline Kennedy. Upstate he might be more famous.

    Reply

  23. henry says:

    RICH writes: “We don’t need a princess here, Henry. No aristocracy, and certainly not one with so little grace as to strong-arm her way into an appointment.”
    HENRY: We do not have a princess here, RICH. What we have is the daughter and niece of two great men who had their heads blown off. The “poor reviews” are comming largely from her political opponents who want the job that she wants. Her candidacy is also generating an awful lot of support: Caroline Kennedy is BY FAR the most popular of all of the people running to be NY’s next Senator.
    RICH writes: “Henry, just tell us what postive qualifications Ms. Kennedy brings to the table.”
    HENRY: OK. If Uncle Ted dies and she become NY’s Senator, Caroline Kennedy will be the leader of a powerful, connected, beloved and respected Democrat political family. Caroline Kennedy’s ability to raise money — which you must do to succeed in politic — is unmatched by any of her opponents. Caroline Kennedy has the support and ear of President-elect Obama. I do not believe for one minute that Caroline would be running for Senate if she did not. She is right on all of the important issues that I care about: e.g., but not limited to, national health care insurance, getting out of Iraq, equal rights for gay people. And Caroline Kennedy commands public interest and media attention in a way that only a handful (if that many) of politicians can. People like her, know her (have known her since she was born; know her family), trust her. We like Caroline; we’re willing to follow her leadership. With all due respect to Nadler, Gillibrand, Cuomo, et al, most people don’t even know who they are. Caroline Kennedy is a superstar, and because of that, and because of all of the other attributes that I have listed, Caroline Kennedy more than anyone else in the running, can get real, meaningful results for the people of New York. So, RICH, those are some of the positive qualifications Caroline Kennedy brings to the table. HENRY.

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  24. rich says:

    Henry,
    Whoever Gov. Paterson appoints is it. I like the Kennedys plenty. But it is not the case that Caroline Kennedy has been “mobbed by well-wishers” “everywhere [she] goes.” It’s not true. And far from “impressing an awful lot of people” with her political acumen, she’s been garnering poor reviews across-the-board for a thoroughly disappointing performance. Worse than a letdown, really. Just poor.
    We don’t need a princess here, Henry. No aristocracy, and certainly not one with so little grace as to strong-arm her way into an appointment. Hell, Chelsea Clinton would be a better choice (but dont’ get me started).
    What you forget, though, is that Bloomberg and Reagan at least ran for office. And I don’t let them off the hook. Caroline — I call her Caroline — is lobbying. And lobbying solely, blatantly, based on her “deep connections.” Not her qualifications. Further, she’s pretty much placing herself above Governor Paterson himself in implying she’s basically entitled to the spot. Puts him in a difficult position, and like you said — it’s his decision. Isn’t it? Again, wonder what he’s being offered behind the scenes in exchange for the appointment.
    Henry, just tell us what positive qualifications Ms. Kennedy brings to the table. What jobs has she held? Which political offices?

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  25. henry says:

    RICH writes: “Caroline Kennedy is not impressing anyone with her political acumen.”
    HENRY: To the contrary, Caroline Kennedy is impressing an awful lot of people. None of her rivals is generating ANY particular interest or excitment. In contrast, as has been reported in the press, everywhere Caroline goes she is mobbed by well-wishers, standing ovations, and shouts of “Senator!”. RICH, Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Corzine, both billionaires, basically bought their positions. Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger became Governors of California because of their celebrity. But it’s always the Kennedys who seem to draw this particular venum that they’ve gotten what they have only via priviledge. Enough already. And RE the matter of appointment: THAT’S THE LAW. Hillary is vacating her seat, and the law says that the governor gets to appoint someone. The people of New York are awfully fond of Caroline and her family. From all of the polling many, many people want her to be New York’s next Senator. And so do I. And if she is selected, and runs for office in 2010, I’ll bet you $2,000 here and now that she wins that election, handilly. HENRY.

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  26. rich says:

    The more Caroline Kennedy opens her mouth, the less I want to see her appointe to the Senate.
    This is a Dick Cheney move. She’s been cited as an influential Democratic player, perhaps even to some extent a kingmaker. But that’s precisely why Senator-by-appointment should never be her path to public office. And in effect, like Cheney, she’d be to some degree appointing herself.
    But by definition, a power broker — even a socially-connected one — is not a proven politician. “I know people” is a rather pathetic fallback position. We know very little about Caroline Kennedy, what she wants to accomplish or how she’d perform day-to-day, let alone under pressure.
    Appointing a Kennedy reeks of privilege and plays into every Republican meme, no matter how odious. Caroline’s been alternately demanding her new senatorial pony and diving into limousines to avoid uncomfortable questions. New York can do better. If Gov. Paterson appoints Ms. Kennedy to please the Kennedy political machine, to amass power, or pump up his popularity, he’s doing it for the wrong reasons. This country needs better.
    And Caroline Kennedy is not impressing anyone with her political acumen:
    She’s been “forceful yet vague” (NYTs), unable to define herself or her qualifications.
    Except, that is, for self-regard and a near-total lack of perspective:
    “ ‘I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think I would be the best,’ Ms. Kennedy said, sitting in the back room of an Upper East Side diner around the corner from her home.”
    Hmm. Pairing a Palin-esque appeal with the complete inversion of what public office is all about really completes our current picture of Ms. Kennedy:
    “[Kennedy] provided only the broadest of rationales for her candidacy for the Senate, saying her experience as a mother, author and school fund-raiser, her commitment to public service and her deep political connections had prepared her for the job.”
    Lots of people are mothers or authors, and her PTA experience provides some common ground with Sarah Palin, even if it doesn’t put her in the same league, experience-wise. But think about this: Ms. Kennedy is citing “her deep political connections.”
    Two points. First she’s got it backwards — people come to Senators, and if she thinks they should be going hat-in-hand to those with “connections” then we REALLY don’t need her or the damage she’ll do. Second, the inherent contradiction in citing her motherhood (just like you common people) and her presumption of privilege through “deep connections” to certain social circles (nothing like you) really does betray an inability to a) understand what a “job qualification” is, and b) communicate substantively to people about the issue at hand.
    “Deep connections” is precisely what makes Caroline Kennedy is an egregiously lousy pick, and a stillborn Senator. Publicly putting the squeeze on David Paterson, new to the job and rising via Spitzer’s resignation, is a tone-deaf power play that shows a real lack of humility, lack of class, and lack of political acumen.
    ‘I want it! It mine!’ is just such a profound disservice. Get a job. Earn it.
    Worse has been the simpering of Ruth Marcus, whose empty-headed embrace of the storybook arc of Caroline’s return to Washington: from her childhood White House pony to a Senate seat she doesn’t have to earn, what Caroline wants, Caroline gets, according to Ruth Marcus. Too bad working for what you get in life has no bearing on Ms. Marcus’ political insight or Ms. Kennedy’s political overreach.
    I like the Kennedys as much as anyone (with a jaundiced realism, mind you), and agree with a good chunk of their politics. So . . Earth to Ruth and Caroline: no one but the deluded and undeserving get a fairytale return to Camelot. No one gets a warm thrill out of eviscerating America to confirm a princess’s least constructive misapprehensions.
    Jesse Ventura did a better job of articulating what he wanted to see happen. Until Ms. Kennedy can do that much, she needs to suspend the PR campaign.
    Looking forward to hearing just what, beyond “appreciation,” the Kennedy’s are offering Gov. Paterson in return for the appointment. John-John would’ve run for the seat.

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  27. Steve says:

    People are underestimating Caroline Kennedy’s fortitude. The idea she’s going to break down from some rabbit punches and some mud is funny. Of course she’s having a hard time convincing some Democrats – especially those who want the Senate seat and their supporters. She seems to be doing well – as AG Andrew Cuomo – with the voters and that’s what counts.

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  28. henry says:

    WIGWAG writes: “As a gay man you certainly know that Barack Obama was the Democratic candidate most opposed to gay rights … if Caroline Kennedy is so in favor of gay rights, why did she work so hard to elect the Democrat who was most against gay rights?
    HENRY: None of the major Democrat candidates supported marriage equality. But Barrack Obama isn’t “against gay rights.” You know that. He says that he will work to expand gay rights in some areas. We’ll see. I do believe that Barrack Obama will appoint liberal judges to the federal bench, which is very important RE this area, and acutely needed after 8 years of conservative Bush appointments.
    R.BLAIR writes: “Henry … so your (argument) is that Caroline is qualified to be Ambassador in the UK because 1) She endorsed Obama … and 2) She supports gay marriage.”
    HENRY: I do not want Caroline Kennedy to be Ambassador to the UK. That’s Steve Clemen’s idea. I want her to be the next SEnator from New York. HENRY.

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  29. R.Blair says:

    Henry, you can’t be serious. So your argumentation is that Caroline is qualified to be Ambassador in the UK because 1) She endorsed Obama (seriously, did anybody even notice it?) 2) She supports gay marriage (unlike vast majority of Americans).
    It is sad when these are only qualifications for somebody. I bet you were in the crowd saying that Governor Palin was not qualified.
    Why not just make Caroline some sort of unofficial Celebrity, Gay and Goodwill Ambassador to the World and leave the serious public work for those who are qualified? Let’s face it. She has never done anything in her life. She is a caricature of out of touch pampered celebrity.
    Democratic party has a lot of highly qualified serious candidates both for the NY senate seat and ambassador to the UK.
    Appointing Caroline to the UK would be a major embarrassment to Obama. Heck, why not appointing Madonna? She even has fake British accent and she is also a celebrity, a mother and supports gay marriage and Obama?

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  30. WigWag says:

    Henry, I admire your passion, but if you support Caroline Kennedy because she helped Barack Obama get elected you’re making a serious mistake.
    As a gay man you certainly know that Barack Obama was the Democratic candidate most opposed to gay rights. He refused to campaign against Proposition 8 in California, he allowed a number of avowedly anti-gay preachers to campaign for him and worst of all, he’s invited Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. That’s the same Rick Warren, Henry, who compared gay marraige to pedophilia and bigamy.
    Do you think Hillary Clinton would have asked Rick Warren to say a prayer at her inauguration had she won?
    Henry, if Caroline Kennedy is so in favor of gay rights, why did she work so hard to elect the Democrat who was most against gay rights?
    And by the way, almost all of of the other candidates mentioned so far: Carolyn Maloney, Gerald Nadler, Andrew Cuomo, Kirsten Gillibrand all favor gay marraige. The only one who doesn’t is Tom Suozzi; he supports civil unions.
    Henry, have you ever even heard Caroline Kennedy give a speech? How many interviews of her have you watched.
    How can you be so sure you support her?

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  31. henry says:

    R.BLAIR writes: “Over the past year she has taken stands of principal in supporting Barak Obama and marriage equality.” Ok, I’m impressed now. After all, there are only about 1-2 NY state residents who qualify based on these strict tests … Who can deny anymore that Caroline is not qualified??”
    HENRY: Who can possibly deny that if not for the Kennedy imprimatur Barak Obama would not be President-elect? If Cumo, Nadler, Gillibrand et al had endorsed Obama NOBODY would have noticed or cared. But when Caroline Kennedy wrote that Op-ed in the New York Times, when she and Uncle Ted went to American University with Barak Obama and publicly endorsed him, it changed history. And that’s what I mean: when you have that kind of following, respect, and star-power, you GET THINGS DONE that others cannot. Things that really matter in regular people’s lives. That is precisely why Caroline Kennedy is the most qualified, best person to be New York’s next Senator. And as for the marriage equality issue, Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton do not qualify under that “strict test,” as you call it. But Caroline does. HENRY.

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  32. R.Blair says:

    “Over the past year she has taken stands of principal in supporting Barak Obama and marriage equality.”
    Ok, I’m impressed now. After all, there are only about 1-2 NY state residents who qualify based on these strict tests. These are crucial issues for wartime top diplomat!
    Who can deny anymore that Caroline is not qualified?? Certainly not me.
    Besides, she has voted at least once in the primaries in her life and she have had 1 TV interview.

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  33. henry says:

    WIGWAG writes: “Caroline Kennedy is simply a member of the lucky sperm club. No more; no less. Selecting her would be a travesty.”
    HENRY: Caroline Kennedy is indeed lucky. But she is much, much more than that. Her lack of a long political career is partly due to her desire to protect her family and children, as Jackie did for her and JFK, Jr., after her father and uncle were assassinated. Caroline Kennedy brings a lifetime of experience in non-elective politics, a family both powerful and beloved in the Democrat Party, an ability to raise money that none of her rivals can even begin to match. And yes, Caroline Kennedy brings star power as big as New York. And that means something in terms of getting things that matter done. Finally, on a more personal note, let me add that as a gay man, Caroline’s support of marriage equality was for me the deal clincher. I love and respect Hillary Clinton. But it would be so wonderful to finally have a Senator who is not running for President, who is just concerned with representing New Yorkers, who is free to take a stand for controversial but just social issues like marriage equality, and who has the political sock to MAKE IT HAPPEN. For me, that person is Caroline Kennedy. HENRY.

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  34. henry says:

    McFarlane writes: “Caroline Kennedy’s
    grandfather Joe was … a bigot, an anti-semitic and a profiteer … I rather doubt the Brits want a re-run of that movie.”
    HENRY: Are you saying that Caroline Kennedy is an anti-semite? Or that she is financially corrupt? What evidence do you have of this? Caroline Kennedy is a decent person. Over the past year she has taken stands of principal in supporting Barak Obama and marriage equality. I think that Caroline would be a wonderful ambassador. I think that she’d make an even better Senator. HENRY.

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  35. WigWag says:

    “But would you know either one of them if they sat on your face? Caroline Kennedy is a superstar. EVERYONE instantly would know Senator Kennedy from New York. All of the other candidates combined cannot generate the kind of public interest and press coverage that Caroline Kennedy is receiving.”
    Fame and effectiveness have nothing to do with each other, Henry. Mrs. Clinton was an effective Senator because she was competent. She was not born competent to be a Senator. She developed the skills necessary to be effective over a lifetime. She was a practicing lawyer (and rated as one of the top 100 lawyers in America), she served as an aide to the Senate Judiciary Committee. She was the First Lady of Arkansas, twice. She was Firt Lady of the United States, twice.
    Mrs. Kennedy may or may not be a good person (we really don’t know enough about her to say one way or the other) but she has done nothing in life to prepare her for the job. And by the way, in New York, the Cuomo name is as famous as the Kennedy name and Andrew Cuomo has been elected to an office (Attorney General) by all the people of the State. If it’s fame you’re looking for, why not select Cuomo? He’s famous and he’s qualified.
    But if fame is all you really care about, maybe Governor Paterson should select Derek Jeter or Bill Parcells or Bette Midler. They’re all as famous as Caroline Kennedy. And while like Mrs. Kennedy they don’t have alot of experience in politics, at least in their own fields they’ve earned their stripes through hard work.
    Caroline Kennedy is simply a member of the lucky sperm club. No more; no less.
    Selecting her would be a travesty.

    Reply

  36. l mcfarlane says:

    Um…Does anyone remember their history here? Caroline Kennedy’s
    grandfather Joe was the most disastrous US ambassador to the UK
    in living memory. The man was a defeatest of the worst sort,
    constantly advised FDR that Britain would fold, insisted on leaving
    his post in London when the blitz began, ran away and hid in the
    country, etc. etc. He was also a bigot, an anti-semitic and a
    profiteer.
    It’s customary for the host government to be consulted before a
    new ambassador is named. I rather doubt the Brits want a re-run
    of that movie.

    Reply

  37. henry says:

    WIGWAG writes: “Congressman Nadler would be good, but Kirsten Gillibrand would be even better.” But would you know either one of them if they sat on your face? Caroline Kennedy is a superstar. EVERYONE instantly would know Senator Kennedy from New York. All of the other candidates combined cannot generate the kind of public interest and press coverage that Caroline Kennedy is receiving. Front page NY Times coverage day after day. Caroline Kennedy is the person best able to get results for the people of New York. She is the best possible appointment that Governor Patterson could make. No one else is even close. I enthusiastically support Caroline Kennedy for the Senate. HENRY.

    Reply

  38. WigWag says:

    Congressman Nadler would be good, but Kirsten Gillibrand would be even better. She’s a woman and she’s from the most neglected part of the State (Upstate NY).
    Here’s how she was described on another blog:
    “Born and raised in Albany, she graduated from the Emma Willard School in Troy, the country’s first all women’s high school. She went on to Dartmouth, graduating magna cum laude in 1988. She got her law degree from UCLA in 1991 and served as a law clerk for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals whose jurisdiction includes the Districts of Connecticut and Vermont, as well as the Eastern, Southern, Western, and Northern Districts of New York.
    She served as Special Council to HUD Secretary, Andrew Cuomo, during the Clinton administration where, among other efforts, she helped strengthen the Davis-Bacon Act of 1936 which states that all federal construction contracts, and the majority of construction projects operating with federal assistance of $2000 or more, must provide for paying workers no less than the local prevailing wage and benefits package for similar projects.
    She was a partner at Boise, Schiller, and Flexner, doing pro bono work for abused women and their kids. She sat on the Board of the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee, the Committee on Greenway Heritage Conservancy for the Hudson River Valley, and the advisory board of the Brennan Center for Justice.
    Representing New York’s 20th Congressional District, she supports stem cell research, the Children’s Health and Medicare Protection Act, is against the partial privatization of Social Security, and in favor of allowing gay people to marry.
    In Congress she sits on the Congressional Agriculture subcommittees on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture, and the subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry. On the Congressional Armed Services Committee she sits on the subcommittees on Sea Power and Expeditionary Forces, and Terrorism and Unconventional Threats.”
    Kennedy has the name but no credentials, Gillibrand has the credentials but no name. Send Kennedy to London, Paris or just home to Park Avenue. Send Gillibrand back to Washington; just to the Senate side of the Capitol instead of the House side.

    Reply

  39. Cycledoc says:

    It’s one of the weaknesses of our State Department that there are no qualifications for those wanting to be “political appointee” Ambassadors. It might be safe for these neophytes to be appointed to small unimportant embassies but London, give me a break!
    I have no problems with Caroline Kennedy or her interest in public service. It would be refreshing in this merit-based new administration for her to be appointed to positions commensurate with her experience–perhaps a position at State in one of the regional bureaus or Consular Affairs where she could learn the workings of the organization. Later, based on interest and performance other positions could be considered.
    It does a disservice to the country the Department of State and the mission in U.K., to say nothing of Caroline Kennedy, to think she could be a good administrator and ambassador now.
    Let’s have some change!?

    Reply

  40. John Tackaberry says:

    Why not send Caroline to the Court of Saint James’s instead of the ungrammatical Court of Saint James?
    I should not pick on you too much, of course, because I know that editors no long exist anywhere in our public discourse nor on the internet AT ALL!
    But, nonetheless, how hard could it have been to remember how the English-speak world uses its possessives?

    Reply

  41. Val says:

    Appointing Caroline Kennedy to anything besides a local NYC arts board is ludicrous. She hasn’t proven herself at anything. I agree with Francis that making fun of Sarah Palin and then speaking up for Caroline Kennedy is hypocritical. Palin earned her governership, whether you agree with her politics or not.
    Watching the Office of the President-Elect has been a painful experience. I admit I voted for Obama, and I am sorry.

    Reply

  42. Francis G says:

    I like the idea of her using the family name. It’s about the time that a female Kennedy can use it. His Uncle murdered his girlfriend and used family name and connections to escape jail time (jail is for riffraff, anyway, not for the Kennedys). Patrick used his family name to avoid prosecution while DWI in DC and Amb. Joe Kennedy was indeed a Nazi symphatizer. I’m afraid nazis are not around anymore for Caroline to hang around in London, but she should find likeminded people in Finsbury Park.
    I find it ironic that the very same people who were dissing a successful female Governor a few months ago are now praising this nobody who has never done anything in her life. Now “being a mom” is apparently enough for important positions. Well, I suppose I’m not progressive enough for this high society crap.

    Reply

  43. henry says:

    I support Caroline Kennedy for Senator from New York. She was right on Obama. She is right on marriage equality. Caroline has the family connections, financial sock, and star power to get real results for New Yorkers. Most of the snipping about her candidacy is from her opponents who want the job. But many, many regular New Yorkers support Caroline. We’ve know her since she was born, know her family, grew up with her. We like Caroline, and trust her. The others running not so much — don’t even know who they are. I think Caroline Kennedy would be a great Senator for New York. HENRY.

    Reply

  44. alan says:

    As a Brit let me say that American Ambassadors in London are a source of amusement an party jokes. It shows little respect for the partnership when the Regent’s Park residence is occupied by political hacks. But if Camelot is part of royalty is an argument, then the Irish are treated with even more reserve.
    Caroline’s grandfather was a pro-Nazi sympathiser : a gift to the local papers which in their nastiness far outdo American publications.
    Sorry, Steve, this suggestion shows how little respect you have for the British connection. But us Brits know that we are the junior partner (Blair being the exception) and the transatlantic relationship is not as strong as it once was.

    Reply

  45. Ty Lookwell says:

    Oh, she deserves a nepotistic political place of lesser magnitude. OK then, good values.

    Reply

  46. Dan Kervick says:

    Apparently Jerry Nadler is now making a bid for the senate seat. Nadler strikes me as much better option than Kennedy. He is a solid, hard-working progressive, and seems to bring a lot more to the table in terms of the skills and background that would predict success as a United States senator: skills like legislative experience, detailed policy knowledge, debating skill, and on the ground grasp of kitchen table and Main Street issues.
    And frankly, doesn’t it seem like someone like Nadler has done much more to actually *earn* a seat in the upper house? Nadler has spent years getting his shirt dirty and hands greasy working on the actual, messy, nuts and bolts of our social machinery.
    I hate to be in this position of dissing Kennedy, since I don’t have any bad impressions of her. But face it. It’s hard even to figure out what her actual career is. I know she has put in a lot of time working on various boards, guiding foundations and raising money for good causes. But frankly, this seems like somewhat ethereal, high society charity work – not an actual career of the sort that would prepare someone to be a US Senator.
    If Kennedy is eager to get into politics, then good for her. But then she should start by hitting the pavement and actually running for something a little bit further down the ladder, and then prove her mettle on the job before being handed one of American politics’s top political prizes.
    Or she can do the ambassador thing.

    Reply

  47. Hans says:

    Excellent choice. After all, Joe Kennedy, well-known nazi-sympathizer who was against helping Britain in its darkest hour was wartime Ambassador to the UK (before fired by Roosevelt). I’m sure Caroline can continue his legacy smoothly! Besides, US is aristocracy after all. Elections are for loser nations.
    Also, she is a mother so she is clearly qualified for the demanding job of being the top diplomat with our most important ally during war.

    Reply

  48. Paul in NC says:

    Her grandfather, Joseph Kennedy, held that ambassadorship, if memory serves.

    Reply

  49. John says:

    Ummm. Paris? Is there any particular reason you have suggested Western Europe for
    her Ambassadorship? Do you think Caroline is qualified to be Ambassador to India,
    China, Israel, Pakistan, Russia – or just London and Paris? I agree with you that
    it would be a waster of Hagel’s fp acumen to send him to London, but it would also
    be a waste of a political savvy woman with hopes of a bright and successful
    political career.
    If you are against her going to the Senate – surely you must have a better
    suggestion for Caroline than London…and by extension a suggestion for Paterson
    on who he should choose…

    Reply

  50. Steve Clemons says:

    Paris would be a great spot as well.
    And of course, I am well aware of her grandfather’s legacy in
    London — but that is besides the point. Caroline Kennedy would
    be a likely hit in any of these premier European capitals, and the
    Obama administration should recruit her for one of these envoy
    positions and give her an opportunity to excel or fail — and from
    that, she can consider whether she’d like to “run” for a political slot
    in Congress rather than having it appointed to her.
    Great comments above — all around,
    Steve Clemons (in the not-raining-anymore Los Angeles)

    Reply

  51. Dan Kervick says:

    Yes, apparently her French is good. Here is a 2002 article from Vogue:
    19 November 2002, 08:56AM
    “PARIS paid tribute to the inimitable style of Jacqueline Kennedy last night, as her daughter Caroline arrived in the French capital to open an exhibition dedicated to her mother. “Her passion for history guided and informed her work in the White House,” said Caroline, who was accompanied to the exhibition by her uncle, Senator Edward Kennedy to meet the likes of Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld and Pierre Cardin. “It was a passion that came alive during the year she lived and studied in Paris. She loved French literature, poetry, art and haute couture, but most of all she admired the reverence for history and culture that she found here. As First Lady, she was determined that Americans should treat our own past with the same respect.” Speaking in flawless French, Caroline described Paris as “the city that my mother loved, and that inspired her throughout her life” and therefore the most fitting place to act as the only European stop for the exhibition, ‘Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years – Selections From the John F Kennedy Library and Museum’. Jacqueline Bouvier studied French art and literature at the Sorbonne before marrying John F Kennedy, becoming First Lady and then one of the world’s most celebrated fashion icons. And it is her love for haute couture that is the focus of the exhibition, with dozens of the outfits that she wore for JFK’s 1959 campaign as well as subsequent state functions. The exhibition runs at the Musée de la Mode et du Textile, which is part of the Louvre complex, until March 16. (November 19 2002, AM)”
    Envoyez-elle à Paris.

    Reply

  52. Ebuka says:

    What’s all the noise about? All the beef with Caroline? The only surviving child of a beloved late President, receiving the raw end of the stick is nothing new to New Yokers. I lived in New York City for years and these lines of attack are nothing new or mean. Senator Clinton had her own share of attack. She stuck to her script and ultimately won even her ardent critics. Caroline Kennedy will do just fine.
    Her recent political job, sorting and vetting the Vice Presidential candidates was well executed and that should not be taken away from her.
    People who don’t want to be the Senator from New York are afraid that it will not be business as usual, using the office for narrow interests. She is a change agent and a lot of people are scared of that prospect.
    If Gov Patterson tosses her away for another person, he would have open a door to political instability that may likely upstage his own re-election. He will invite an infighting in the Democratic Party because Caroline will likely contest the primary against the nominee. Patterson himself will also meet stiff challenge. All these will open opportunities for the Republicans. I will campaign against Gov Patterson if he dumps Ms Kennedy.
    I am for Caroline Kennedy!

    Reply

  53. Michael Rogers says:

    Brilliant.
    ANYTHING to keep her from being anointed Senator.

    Reply

  54. WigWag says:

    “I don’t know for sure, but I bet Caroline speaks French close to fluently.”
    The question is does she speak English close to fluently? She wants to be appointed to the Senate but no one in New York has ever heard her give a speech. And according to the links Steve provided, her handlers are requiring her to maintain “radio silence.” I wonder why?
    So the people of New York have never heard her put more than two or three sentences together. Can she speak? Can she give a speech? Can she campaign? Is she a real progressive? If she’s appointed, does she want Rick Warren to administer the oath of office?
    No one knows.
    I agree. Send her to France. Let them vet her.

    Reply

  55. eliza gordon says:

    steve
    i think ‘tortured’ is hardly the word here; his pro-nazi sympathies
    were the cause of those ‘tortured’ relations, and the memories
    many in britain still have might not serve his granddaughter well.
    but i do think an ambassadorship is a brilliant solution. my vote:
    france(where the first lady idolizes her mother)

    Reply

  56. Jacques Poitras says:

    Why not appoint Caroline Kennedy as ambassador to France?
    The US and the UK still enjoy a “special relationship,” but the US-France relationship has been badly damaged and is in need of repair.
    Anyone who read the recent Vanity Fair piece about how Jackie charmed the French culture minister into sending the Mona Lisa to Washington while JFK was in the White House would appreciate just how resonant it would be to have Caroline representing the U.S. in Paris.
    Sarkozy would melt, and the French in general — anti-American in their politics but fascinated by American celebrities in their culture — would swoon.
    I don’t know for sure, but I bet Caroline speaks French close to fluently … which would add another layer of meaning.

    Reply

  57. Steve Clemons says:

    Jim — It means no more than it says it does. Of course I think Hillary Clinton will be confirmed. But perhaps she is there for two years, perhaps four, perhaps more….I can’t see that far ahead.
    But I have always believed that Chuck Hagel would have made a great Secretary of State — and still think that to be the case. There are other roles he can play as well — but I don’t think that appointment to Ambassador to the UK (which has had some bit of rumor attached to it) is the best way to deploy Hagel’s foreign policy skills.
    best regards,
    steve

    Reply

  58. Jim says:

    “Hagel should wait for appointment as Secretary of State…”
    What does that assertion mean, Steve?
    Are you suspecting, or suggesting, that H. Clinton’s appointment may not be approved by Congress?

    Reply

  59. Valkyrie says:

    Steve Clemons knows how to apply pressure right at the soft point
    of a debate. He’s the tilt. Always the tilt. Maybe she’ll get the
    appointment by Pattersen, but if she doesn’t, this little essay by
    Steve here at at HuffPost will have been a factor.

    Reply

  60. Steve Clemons says:

    Greetings Timber…
    let’s.
    best, steve ;-)

    Reply

  61. Timber Wolf says:

    let’s not.

    Reply

  62. Steve Clemons says:

    John — thanks for those cites of earlier rumors. Interesting — but
    the rumors then were not true, but it would be useful I think to
    nudge the concept further. She might also be a great Ambassador
    to Paris and elsewhere.
    Jane — Of course I know about Joe Kennedy but felt by digging into
    his tortured relations with Roosevelt and with the Brits, I’d be
    tainting what I think is still a very good idea.
    All the best to everyone during what I hope for many is a holiday
    week.
    As ever — from a Starbucks in Claremont, California –
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  63. Janet Gilles says:

    We lost her father,not by choice. If the Caroline the daughter will have us, let’s give her a chance.

    Reply

  64. Jane Hernandez says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention that her grandfather, Joseph
    Kennedy Sr., was also the Ambassador to the Court of St. James
    prior to WWll, so there would be a family precedent.

    Reply

  65. John says:

    This idea was floated and rumored back in August.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2592704/Prepare-
    for-a-Kennedy-at-the-Court-of-St-Jamess.html
    Caroline Kennedy who had just done a tremendous
    job in helping to vet and choose Obama’s brilliant
    VP choice in Biden, had taken to Meet The Press to
    discuss her role. And got rave reviews for her
    perfomance…
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26377338/
    She was brilliant. She is brilliant. And would
    make an excellent Senator from New York. I am not
    a big fan of appointments – and feel that New York
    should have a special election in this case -
    particularly since Paterson wasn’t elected to the
    Governorship himself.
    That being said, I wonder Steve, why you have
    chosen the UK as the choice for her? Why not
    Afghanistan or Russia or Israel? Here we have an
    extremely talented, intelligent, politically savvy
    individual who wants to run for Senate and
    legislate. And to top that she has the ability to
    raise enormous amounts of money and has a good
    relationship with both Obama and Biden. Why would
    you want her to be in a ceremonial role as opposed
    to something where she can get her feet wet,
    dirty, etc… Or a Cabinet role? Why not that?
    Caroline Kennedy is not a diletant. She is a
    powerful force to reckon with.
    Is the lack of experience bothering you or
    something else? Her Uncle Ted had no experience -
    Dwight Eisenhower was never elected to anything
    other than the Presidency, Barack Obama — well –
    ….
    New York doesn’t have any very good options.
    Kennedy will have to run in 2010 anyway — so why
    not giver her the appointment and see how she
    does.

    Reply

  66. WigWag says:

    Steve Clemons idea is brilliant.
    It’s obvious that Caroline Kennedy can’t handle the scrutiny she is getting. First it comes out that her voting record is spotty. Then it turns out that Kennedy has essentially been AWOL when it comes to providing financial or rhetorical support to New York Democrats. Of course the piece de resistance is her unwillingness to rule out supporting Republican turned Independent, Michael Bloomberg in his next campaign for Mayor. In this she resembles no one more than Joe Lieberman who refused to back Obama and instead backed McCain. The idea that New York’s Democratic Senator wouldn’t back the Democratic candidate for Mayor is mind boggling. Senator Schumer’s wife, Iris Weinshall, was Mayor Bloomberg’s Transportation Commissioner and Bloomberg recently appointed her as Vice Chancellor of the City College of New York. Despite all of this, Schumer will back the Democrat running against Bloomberg.
    The Court of St. James is a perfect spot for Kennedy. She will feel right at home at those Embassy parties for all the dukes, marquises, earls, viscounts, barons and knights.
    And Steve is right when he says “if she did a superlative job in her role, she might be able to translate that into some kind of compelling campaign to later “run” for public office.”
    I have even a better idea. If she does a great job in her role as Ambassador, why should she “run” for anything? There’s way too much financial disclosure and public airing of your opinions. It would be better for her to apply to the Crown for British citizenship and then seek appointment to the House of Lords where she could be permanently ensconced for the rest of her life, no questions asked. And she would never have to worry about messy campaigns; the only one she would need to impress is the Queen! And of course her hereditary title would insure that her children, Rose, Tatiana and John could also serve. Or if the rules of primogeniture are still in effect perhaps only Rose as the oldest or John as the oldest male could serve. Either way, the Kennedy name could go on forever! The only problem is that Caroline is of Irish descent (and a Roman Catholic) and her children are half-Jewish.
    Does anyone know if Irish or Jewish (or half-Jewish) people are allowed to serve in the House of Lords?

    Reply

  67. Susie says:

    Brilliant solution!

    Reply

  68. JohnH says:

    Why not Ambassador to Camelot? Seriously, as you say, she has already been playing the “role as Ambassador on behalf of her father’s [legend] and her clan for a long time.” She would fit right in, and King Arthur would be delighted, I’m sure.
    It might even trigger a burst of economic activity in the form of Broadway re-runs.

    Reply

  69. Azor says:

    100% agree on both counts, Kennedy and Hagel. I keep feeling sorry for Caroline, she should have known that she will get muddy, and I dount she likes it. And this has really little to do with whether she would make a good senator or not, IMHO she probably would. It’s just the disassociation betweem the electoral part, even when no actual election is involved, and the job itself. It’s not how it should be, but unfortunately that’s how it is.

    Reply

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