Caroline Kennedy for Senate?

The daughter of President John F. Kennedy may be contemplating a trip to the US Senate.

The seat being vacated by Hillary Clinton - if she is confirmed for Secretary of State - is subject to an appointment by New York Governor David Paterson and Caroline Kennedy has let it be known she may be interested:

Of all the New Yorkers on the potential list for Hillary Clinton’s soon-to-be-vacated Senate seat, Caroline Kennedy is perhaps the most notable—and unusual—choice.

The Associated Press cited Democratic officials who said that the former first daughter has spoken with New York Gov. David Paterson about the Senate seat.

The governor must appoint someone to serve out Clinton’s current term which expires in 2012, although Paterson said earlier this week that he is in no rush to make a decision and is seeking counsel from fellow New York political leaders.

While Kennedy hails from one of the most prominent political families in American history, the 51-year-old daughter of former President John F. Kennedy has shied away from the political arena for most of her life.

An attorney, Kennedy has focused much of her career on maintaining the Kennedy legacy and multiple philanthropic efforts.

However, in the 2008 campaign she wrote a widely publicized op-ed in the New York Times endorsing Barack Obama that aligned him with her father. She and her uncle, Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, campaigned for Obama and after he won the party nomination, Caroline Kennedy served on the vice-presidential vetting team.

The generally media averse Kennedy has made no public statements about her interest in the Senate position, although unnamed Democratic officials said she is interested.

The Kennedy family still has enormous clout in this country. They still help bankroll the Democratic party and they still have media drawing power - despite all the shenanigans and illegalities the family has been involved in over the years.

It is unseemly for the citizens of a republic to be so interested in - and supportive - of the comings and goings of a single, rich family. It's something they do in monarchies, not representative democracies. This fascination with everything Kennedy in this country is inexplicable - as was the fascination with Princess Diana and that soap opera in England. It has enabled several generations of this family to place themselves above the law on numerous occassions and ride roughshod over the rights of others.

There is no American politician more responsible for this country's obsession with celebrity than Caroline's father President Kennedy. He actually studied what made movie stars so glamorous in the eyes of the public and  concluded that part of the reason was clever self promotion and media manipulation along with adopting a public personna that made them seem larger than life. JFK - and a slavishly devoted press - created excitement and glamour around a rather ordinary, mostly failed presidency that became legend following his death.

Caroline Kennedy has no more qualifications to be senator than most and less than many. The fact that if she wants the job she will get it tells us much about politics in this country and the cult of celebrity that is ruining it.

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