Thursday, January 22, 2009

New York’s Senate screw-up

I am deeply disappointed that Caroline Kennedy has been forced to withdraw from consideration for the New York Senate seat. I think this will prove to have been a boneheaded move on the part of Gov. David Paterson. I don’t understand why he has waited this long to make an appointment, but it was clear that he was just letting Kennedy hang out there and twist in the wind. She was being battered everyday by bad press and bad opinion polls and if Paterson had just made his pick weeks ago it would have gone much more smoothly.
Now, as a result of his dilly-dallying, it does not matter who Paterson picks - New York will lose power in the Senate. Hillary Clinton was a high-profile Senator who commanded respect and wielded power despite having little seniority. Caroline Kennedy would have gone a long way to fill those shoes with her history and celebrity. She would have wielded at least as much power as Clinton from day one. Now, New York will end up with a Senator who will have greatly diminished power reflecting their lack of seniority. Even if it turns out to be Andrew Cuomo, he won’t garner half the attention that a Senator Kennedy would have mustered.
That’s too bad.
Perhaps Caroline will now wait for the Senate seat to open up in Massachussetts when her Uncle Ted decides to step down.

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