Sources leaked to the press yesterday that Caroline Kennedy was dropping her bid to fill Hillary Clinton's former Senate seat, representing New York. The rumors were finally followed up with a brief, one-line statement from Kennedy to the press: "I informed Governor Paterson today that for personal reasons I am withdrawing my name from consideration for the United States Senate."
Emily's Take: I think that this was the right move on Caroline's part. It's anyone's guess as to the real reason why she withdrew from the running to fill Clinton's Senate seat. Among the speculated reasons are her sinking poll numbers among New Yorkers, a conflict of interest that turned up in her vetting, or even Uncle Teddy's health problems. We may not ever know the real reason, but I'm glad she withdrew. It's not that I have anything against Caroline Kennedy, as a person or as a Senate hopeful. What I find distasteful is the "sort of" movement on a national scale to force Governor Paterson's hand into appointing her. I found Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's loud public endorsement particularly ill-advised. What Governor Paterson should be looking for is someone who will truly represent the people of New York. It's a question of loyalty, really. I think that Reid's endorsement, as well as her incidental close ties to the Obama campaign, give New Yorkers valid reasons to wonder if Caroline Kennedy would be representing them in the Senate, or if she'd rather be Reid's foot soldier or Obama's surrogate.
Aside from all this, there is the polling that shows that New Yorkers clearly favor New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo over Caroline Kennedy as the right person to fill Clinton's Senate seat. And, of course, that nagging reality that for all of her true qualifications, she would never have been considered if not for her last name. I wish you luck, Caroline, but this was the wrong job for you at the wrong time.
Now what do you think? Are you disappointed that Caroline Kennedy won't be filling Hillary Clinton's Senate seat? How important is it to you that Governor Paterson appoints a woman to replace Hillary?
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