I still don't think I support naming Caroline Kennedy to the vacant New York Senate Seat, but Ezra has some pretty impressive arguments. Of course, I haven't had DC Senate Vision® installed and I can't tell you whether she'll be able to commandeer the political capital of her ailing uncle and use it for TedKennedyesque liberal ends.
But the realist in me (98% of me by volume) is impressed by her fundraising chops. Apparently she went out and raised $50 million for the NY public schools. And she strikes me as the sort of person who would be able to go and wring millions of dollars out of rich people that could then be transferred to Democratic Senate candidates who really need it. If the system requires our Senators to spend several hours a day dialing for dollars, why not have some of our safe-seat Democrats from cash-cow states just be fundraisers? She can leave the policy design to other people and just be a human ATM and sometimes a pretty face to go on TV.
Color me convinced on Caroline. Yeah, dynasties suck, but I care way more about the votes that are being made, and assuming Caroline's views are pretty much in line with her uncle's, I want that block of votes in the Senate.
And remember who she is replacing here. I mean the argument against Kennedy is basically that a high profile lawyer who has never served in office and whose only relation to politics is familial should not be appointed to replace someone who was elected having never served in office and whose only relation to politics is familial. OK, appointment vs. election, but I think that is balanced out by Caroline not being a carpetbagger.
Now, I don't really care about Hillary being a carpetbagger, because apparently New York didn't, either. States can vote for who they want. And it sounds like Caroline would win reelection easily, and if that's the case, I don't see putting off the selection for some symbolic signal of legitimacy.
Is that "her ailing uncle?" As to the merits, if the alternative is Andrew Cuomo, swear her in.
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