Tag Archives: Caroline Kennedy

Kirsten Gillibrand; The Rodney Dangerfield Of Democrat Politics

Bookmark and Share   Kirsten Gillibrand is truly the Rodney Dangerfield of Democrat politics. She just can’t get any respect.

As a little known Congresswoman from upstate New York, Governor David Paterson appointed her to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton when thge former First But Not Only Lady was taken out of the picture after President Obama made her Secretary of State.   Gillibrand was not Governor Paterson’s first choice.  For that matter, Paterson wasn’t even the first choice of New Yorker’s for Governor. He only came into the position when as Lieutenant Governor, he assumed the office because of a sex and money scandal that forced Governor Eliot Spitzer out of office. Since that time Paterson has not exactly been seen as a great Governor. His approval numbers have been in the dumps.

So few were encouraged when he was given the chance to appoint Hillary Clinton’s successor in the Senate. But people were actually mildly excited when word came down that David Paterson was using the appointment to rekindle Camelot.

His first choice for the job was Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of iconic President John F. Kennedy and a true, long time resident of New York.

As the decision was leaked, it initially met with an enthusiastic reaction. Many, including Caroline, even lobbied for her appointment to the seat. But under intense scrutiny, before anything was ever official, Caroline stumbled. She could not answer questions as to why she wanted the job. She also failed to demonstrate any true desire for the job. This did not bode with many Democrats who, before Caroline was mentioned, saw Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the son of former Governor Mario Cuomo, as a top choice for to fill the vacancy.

Then suddenly, Caroline withdrew herself from consideration.

The name game was back on. But could it really end up being Andrew Cuomo?

Had it been Attorney General Anna Cuomo, maybe.

Since the appointment was to replace Hillary Clinton, the rules of politics kind of made this a “woman’s” seat and if low-in-the-polls, acting Governor Paterson betrayed that misconception, he would have had a bunch of bitter, testosterone injected, females holding a grudge against him.

So after much consternation , Paterson made his big announcement and appointed Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to the US Senate.

The question then became who is Kirsten Gillibrand?

Gillibrand was practically unknown.

If Paterson’s qualifications were that the seat go to a woman, who is liberal and in Congress, there is a whole host of more accomplished and well recognized candidates, such as Nydia Velasquez, Nita Lowey, Carolyn Maloney, Carolyn McCarthy, Louise Slaughter, or former Congresswoman and Vice Presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro, to name just a few. In fact, till this day the question is still who is Kirsten Gillibrand. She has been in office for just about one year now and all that she has really done is be overshadowed by the domineering, senior senator and media whore, Schmuck Schumer.

And there in lies her problem. She was unknown and largely remains unknown. She has failed to hang her hat on any single issue or make a name for herself as anything special. Without any claim to fame to latch on to, a mountain full of hungry opportunists are just dying to push her out of the way and be king of the hill.

There was talk about several Democrat challenges to Gillibrand. For a while some lesser known names than hers toyed with the idea. Then former New York City Comptroller and the recent Democrat candidate for Mayor New York City, Bill Thompson thought about it. Having come closer to defeating Mike Bloomberg than originally expected, Thompson sees a bright future for himself. But he decided that he will forgo a run for the Senate and probably take another shot at Mayor in four years.

Then there was Eliot Spitzer. Even disgraced Governor Spitzer considered making a comeback by challenging Gillibrand for the nomination. Just about the only person who had not considered was Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Andrew is instead gunning for David Paterson’s job. Cuomo is anticipating defeating Paterson for the Democrat nomination and sailing into the Governor’s mansion.

In retrospect, David Paterson would have been much smarter to have appointed Cuomo to the Senate seat instead of Gillibrand. She was no threat to him. And had he been the Senator instead of her, few would be threatening to challenge him. Unlike Gillibrand, his name ID is high and his favorability rating are sky high.

Without that behind her, any Democrat with a green card and a dream has been looking at the chance of taking Kirsten Gillibrand’s seat away from her.

In fact more Democrats are eyeing her seat than Republicans.

Rudy declined to run and so did several others. Currently, the only Republican name of recognition considering it is former Governor George Pataki and that is unlikely.

Now the latest Democrat to contemplate shoving Gillibrand out of the picture is the cocky and arrogant, Harold Ford, Jr.

Harold Ford, Jr. is a feisty and ambitious fellow from Tennessee. He inherited a seat in congressional that was held by his father for 12 terms. In 2002 he was so sure of himself that he ran for House Democrat Leader against then Minority Whip Nancy Pelosi. Nancy beat him.

After one more term in Congress, Harold announced that he was going to seek the open U.S. Senate Seat from Tennessee. He received the Democrat nomination and proceeded to lose to Republican Bob Corker. Not long after that, he fled his beloved Tennessee, moved to New York City and took up employment as a political insider for the brokerage firm Merrill Lynch.

Now like another southern carpetbagger, Ford is threatening a challenge to Kirsten Gillibrand.

His overtures have not been met positively. After several previous possible challenges to her nomination were averted, the White House stepped in and declared that they are behind Gillibrand and no one else. This ticked off Ford. Apparently he is unaware of President Obama’s Czar-like propensity to tell who is or isn’t running for what. During the summer, the White House clearly indicated that they expect David Paterson to not seek reelection to Governor of New York because of his sagging poll numbers. They are insisting upon the nomination of Andrew Cuomo for Governor.

In the end, Ford will probably not run. He most likely won’t be able to.

You see, for all the disrespect that Senator Gillibrand is getting from fellow New York Democrats and even out of town Democrats, she has raised a campaign war chest of $7.5 million. In just nine months. In just that small amount of time, in office as a US Senator, she has raised the third largest amount of campaign money of anyone in the Senate. Only Majority Leader Harry Reid, and New York’s senior Senator Chuck Schumer has raised more. Harold Ford would have a lot of catching up to do to be competitive with Gillibrand in a primary. Even though she may not be a household name in New York yet, she is a good politician. Supporters claim she is a future President. Allies describe her as an incessant campaigner who never misses a hand to shake or baby to kiss. If true, combined with her money, pleasant demeanor, the power of incumbency and Harold Ford’s Tennessee history and voting record, he would have a better chance at catching a fully prepared catfish dinner for two, right out of New York City’s Central Park Lake than he would at winning a  New York US Senate seat.  At least under these current conditions.

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Who Will Succeed Ted Kennedy In The Senate

Bookmark and Share    As sad as the passing of the iconic Ted Kennedy is, after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, the writing on the wall became not just clear, it became quite bold. It was understood that Senator Kennedy would not be in office much longer and that although he would not dare resign to resign despite his inability to effectively serve the people of Massachusetts a replacement would be needed.

Now, even though Senator Kennedy’s life came to an end liberal politics continues. But to discuss possible replacements to pick up where he left off was taboo. Even the most boisterous, power hungry and egocentric politicians refused to at least publicly discuss the issue. But maneuverings behind the scenes most certainly did occur.

Even Senator Kennedy tried to manipulate the selection of his successor by changing the law that allowed a special election to make that determination to one that would give the state’s Democrat governor the opportunity to hand pick who that individual would be.

But aside from that demonstration of political insincerity and hypocrisy, there are reports that Teddy wanted his wife to inherit his senate seat but before his death she indicated no desire for the position. Other reports suggested that Robert Kennedy’s son Joseph was the Liberal Lion’s choice.

Possible Ted Kennedy successors Patrick (left) and Robert (right) Kennedy

Possible Ted Kennedy successors Patrick (left) and Robert (right) Kennedy

That selection would be a tough one to elect. The disturbing details of a messy divorce and Joe’s close ties to Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez make him an easy target to focus on and raise doubt about. But he is a Kennedy, which is the most important consideration that Massachusetts politics apparently takes in to account. He is also a former Congressman who still has 2 million dollars in his campaign account.

Other Kennedy’s mentioned included Caroline, President John F. Kennedy’s daughter, but after failing to show herself up to the job when New York’s Governor David Patterson contemplated appointing her to fill Hillary Clinton’s vacant senate seat, she is unlikely to be her uncle’s successor.

Teddy’s sons Edward, Jr. and Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy are possible contenders but neither really have demonstrated any significant abilities. In fact Patrick’s history of D.U.I.’s makes him a poor choice especially when you combine it with his being a carpetbagger who is serving in Congress as a representative in another state.

Marty Meehan

Marty Meehan

There are of course more than just Kennedy’s in Massachusetts and some are seen as strong possibilities.

That list could include the state’s governor,. Deval Patrick, , the state’s attorney general Martha Coakley, Rep. Edward J. Markey; Rep. Barney Frank; Rep. Stephen Lynch; Rep. Michael Capuano; and Rep. James McGovern. Also under

Edward Markey

Edward Markey

 consideration are Former Rep. Marty Meehan, who resigned his seat to become chancellor of the University of Massachusetts and has $4.8 million in leftover campaign funds.

Rep. Barney "Elmer Fudd" Frank

Rep. Barney "Elmer Fudd" Frank

On the Republican side prospects for victory are slim with the most competitive choices being former Governors Mitt Romney and William Weld, former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey; and former White House chief of staff Andrew Card.

Romney would be wise to forego such a run. I believe he has a better shot at being elected President of the United States than he does at winning another statewide election in Massachusetts. Bill Weld is wacky enough and at times desperate enough to go for it. After serving his two terms as Governor of Massachusetts he briefly ran for Governor and Senator in New York. Briefly. Very briefly.

Andy Card in my opinion could get the nomination but he would go over like a lead balloon and be defeated before the race begins. That leaves former Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey as a likely choice.

Governor Deval Patrick

Governor Deval Patrick

Wherever the chips inevitably land, watching them fall over next few weeks will be very interesting and regardless of all the crocodile tears that many liberal Bay State politicians will be shedding as the nation mourns Ted Kennedy’s death, most of them are dieing to burry Teddy’s body so that they can maneuver themselves into his still warm senate seat.

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U.S. Senate Employment- ABILITY NOT REQUIRED

CAROLINE KENNEDY - The Most Qualified New Yorker forthe Job?

CAROLINE KENNEDY - The Most Qualified New Yorker forthe Job?

Does anyone really believe that Caroline Kennedy is the most qualified person in New York to represent the interests of New Yorkers in the United States Senate?

Assuming, for a moment, that she was not a Kennedy, would the replacement Governor of New York, David Paterson, be considering her for the position?

I think not.

But politics is a strange and twisted business.

Take for example David Paterson’s ascension to the Governor’s office.

Paterson was the son of a locally well known New York State Senator, Basil Paterson. Before Basil resigned from his senate seat, he pulled some strings and positioned his son David in the District Attorney’s office in Manhattan.

In 1985 David resigned from the D.A.’s office to work on the campaign of David Dinkins for Manhattan Borough President. Dinkins later became one of the city’s worst Mayors ever, served one term and was ultimately defeated for re-election by Rudy Giuliani.

After Dinkins’ campaign for Borough President, Leon Bogues who succeeded Basil Paterson in the state senate died. Subsequently a hastily prepared special election to fill the vacant seat was held.

With fifty eight percent of the districts Democrat County Committee behind him, David Paterson received the nomination for his fathers senate seat.

This senate district covers parts of Manhattan including Harlem, so it is staunchly liberal.  As such,  the Democrat nomination is tantamount to winning the election and David did.

In 2006, the state’s Attorney General, Elliot Spitzer sought the Democrat party’s nomination for Governor. With many high profile, Wall street crimes successfully prosecuted by Spitzer, he was the party’s rising star. In fact many saw him as a future national leader for Democrats. His race for the nomination was anything but a race. With one opponent Spitzer won the nomination in a landslide and with a Republican of little recognition and even less money, Spitzer was assured of winning the Governor’s race.

That in mind, he selected David Paterson to be his running mate. The selection of Paterson helped to win favor with minorities and the liberal wing of the party. As an African -American who established an ultra liberal following, the addition of Paterson to the ticket allowed Elliot the freedom to not have to campaign too far to the left. Thereby allowing him to speak to those in the middle without turning them off  by publicly addressing liberal concerns.

With Paterson on the ticket, Spitzer knew liberals would be behind him.

And they were. As expected Elliot Spitzer won in a landslide election.

But that landslide victory quickly turned into a even quicker and more dramatic fall from grace as the earth shifted again and Spitzer was forced to resign from office after it was discovered that he was hiring call girls for, shall we say,  nongovernmental business.

And that is how David Paterson became Governor.

Now as Governor, David Paterson finds himself in the position of appointing  someone to replace Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate.

That situation, in and of itself, is another stroke of luck for David Paterson.

After losing the nomination for President, New York Democrats wanted assurances that Hillary would not challenge David Paterson for the nomination for Governor of New York in 2010.

They never got that assurance until Barack Obama took care of that for them and nominated Hillary for Secretary of State.

Of course Paterson could  feel that a challenge to his nomination for re-election is not yet resolved with Clinton out of the picture.  Andrew Cuomo’s desire for the job could pose a threat but if Paterson appointed Cuomo to the U.S. Senate, he too would be taken out of the picture thereby assuring Paterson the nomination.

So what of her replacement?

Well a look at David Paterson’s rise to power would indicate the rationale behind choosing Caroline Kennedy.

Paterson did little to get the job that he now has.

He entered politics through the political strings pulled by his father and came to political office through his fathers name. And ultimately he became a governor because of a vacancy in the seat.

So why not select Caroline Kennedy?  She has the Kennedy name and there is a vacancy.

So putting qualifications aside, there is absolutely no reason not to select her but quite a few reasons for Paterson to do so.

The first being, by appointing Caroline Kennedy to the U.S. Senate, Paterson will be winning the favor of Kennedy’s allover the country. That means plenty of money in his bid for re-election.

The second reason is perception. As a Kennedy, Caroline is adored. Regardless of issues or her positions on the issues, the public perceives her as a symbol. As the last surviving child of an adored, martyred President, Caroline Kennedy is a figure few want to oppose. So she is a safe choice that spares Paterson a great deal of criticism.

 Additionally, after choosing Caroline for the senate seat, a race against Andrew Cuomo probably would not be a much of race. Paterson would have the backing of both U.S. Senators form New York, Chuck Schumer and Caroline Kennedy. He would also have their organizational and financial support as well as that of all the Kennedy’s.

So given the logic of politics, whether Caroline Kennedy is qualified or not, really doesn’t matter. Qualifications are not a factor. If they were David Paterson might be considering New Yorkers with expertise in areas that need leadership like our economy. Why not consider New Yorker Donald Trump? If Mike Bloomberg is such a great Mayor of New York City, why not appoint him to the senate? Why not replace one Clinton with another?  Bill is available.  It is not unprecedented for a former President to serve in congress and if he is so great, why not him?

I am not saying I want any of those characters in the U.S. Senate but why not consider them?

The answer simply is that qualifications are not a factor.

As Peter King, a New York congressman from Long Island said “ if name identification is a qualification, why not pick J-lo?”. Jennifer Lopez has plenty of name recognition.

He’s right.

I do not know where Caroline Kennedy stands on the issues. I do know that of all the Kennedy’s she is my favorite. There is nothing to dislike about her. So she comes to the table with a clean slate with me. But is her name really a reason to suggest that she is the most qualified New Yorker to help shape the future of our nation?

Realistically, no, but politics has little to do with the reality of national concerns. Politics is personal and it revolves around the personal ambitions of individuals in government, not the people who are effected by government.

So why not Caroline Kennedy? It could be worse. MoveOn.org founder and liberal lunatic, George Soros is a New York resident.

Considered the 55th richest person in the world and one of the three wealthiest in New York, with a net worth of 7.2 billion dollars he could certainly finance the success of a political careers including David Paterson. But who will assure the success of our nation?

While some play name games and others try to auction off elected offices, who will assure us that the best people represent us?  Certainly not those who are already in office.

punchline-politics21

At the height of a political corruption trial, the prosecuting attorney attacked
a witness.

“Isn’t it true,” he bellowed, “that you accepted five thousand dollars to compromise this case?”

The witness stared out the window as though he hadn’t heard the question.

“Isn’t it true that you accepted five thousand dollars to compromise this case?” the lawyer repeated.

The witness still did not respond.

Finally, the judge leaned over and said, “Sir, please answer the question.”

“Oh,” the startled witness said, “I thought he was talking to you.”

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