Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Will Class Trump Experience & Race and Make Caroline KennedyThe Next NY Senator

Not as far as New York activist Al Sharpton is concerned. He said in a statement that he is neutral but also defended Caroline Kennedy.

"I unequivocally disagree with those that say she is not qualified," he said, adding that Kennedy'sMore HERE I guess Al Sharpton feels that she deserves to be eased into a U.S. Senate seat because of her class and name? I guess her calls Sharptonblack folks hard hit in this economy. civic involvement makes her qualified. worked. Al must believe that she will fight harder NY residents and

Caroline Kennedy

AAPP: Hey, Rev. I understand that Caroline Kennedy is a very nice women. But Al, stop kissing up! You don't represent how all black people feel about Caroline Kennedy or for that matter Jesse Jackson Jr. There are many differing views.

Get this Rev. Al, as the New York Times reported, "She has not held a full-time job in years, has not run for even the lowliest office." More HERE Rev. Al you know here background, just as much as the NY Times who are reporting that she has no real work experience, aside from a 22-month, three-day-a-week stint as director of strategic partnerships for the New York City schools, her commitments generally involve nonprofit boards: the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., the American Ballet Theater, the Commission on Presidential DebatesJohn F. Kennedy Library Foundation. More HERE and the

Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg speaks at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Rev. Al, you know, News Day also reports that Caroline Bouvier Kennedy, JFK's only surviving child, has spent a lifetime on one podium or another, but has never sought elected office, a gap in her resume that is leading some fellow Democrats to ridicule the notion of naming her as Hillary Rodham Clinton's replacement in the U.S. Senate. More HERE

AAPP: Not everyone in Black NY or in Black Chicago are kissing up like Al Sharpton. But I will tell yah, the possibility of two or three black U.S. Senate seats seems to be over. It seems that black leadership in America is quiet of the Kennedy issue, or are kissing up... big time. There are many grassroot black folks who are concerned about the message being sent about Class and Race in the U.S. and whether OBAMA's CHANGE in his backdoor support of another Kennedy, or Biden, is just another day of old-school American politics that people are sick of. For me, I don't get this, is Carolyn Kennedy's only claim to fame, that she was raised on New York's Fifth Avenue after the assassination of her father, President John F. Kennedy?

Is there not more of a standard other than, "civic involvement," whatever that means. Why is it that Kennedy can be a front runner because of her name - with no experience, yet, a black person can have years of experience and be at the bottom of the list?

Is class and race involved? Of course it is. But guess what, Hillary Clinton is said to like the idea of Buffalo mayor Byron Brown. No idealist, he'd bring a hardball game to Washington. He'd be the first black Senator from New York. More HERE

As Karen Tumulty of the Times.com also noted, "The state has no shortage of more seasoned politicians who are also interested in the job. Among those who are being mentioned as possible candidates are Kennedy's former cousin-in-law, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo; at least four current House members, including Kirsten Gillibrand, Carolyn Maloney, Brian Higgins and Steve Israel; Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown; and Nassau County executive Tom Suozzi. Last week, New York Congressman Gary Ackerman said he didn't know of any qualifications that Kennedy has, "except that she has name recognition — but so does J. Lo." (See other possible candidates for Clinton's Senate seat.)" More HERE

Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy and niece of another Kennedy who previously held the seat — the late Robert F. Kennedy — decided "after a series of deeply personal and political conversations, in which Ms. Kennedy, who friends describe as unflashy but determined, wrestled with whether to give up what has been a lifetime of avoiding the spotlight." That, according to the Times' Nicholas Confessore, who reports that Kennedy will ask Gov. David Paterson (D) for consideration for the appointment. Source: NPR's Political Junkie

Historic Kennedy family campaign buttons.

Two years after JFK was elected president, his brother Ted won a Senate seat in Massachusetts, and brother Bobby was elected in New York two years after that. JFK's grandfather John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, mayor of Boston, failed in a 1916 Senate bid against Republican Henry Cabot Lodge. Source: NPR's Political Junkie

As NPR's Political Junkie notes, "There has been no shortage of names thrown in the mix of potential candidates for the Senate post. As we wrote on Dec. 2, the list is thought to include state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand from upstate, Rep. Brian Higgins of Buffalo, Rep. Carolyn Maloney of Manhattan, and Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi." More HERE

As reported by Elizabeth Moore of Newsday, Kennedy campaigned with her "Uncle Teddy" to elect Hillary Clinton to the Senate. But it was Obama, not Clinton, who got her endorsement at a critical moment this year, in words that not so subtly slighted Bill Clinton as well.

"I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them," she wrote in a New York Times op-ed in January. "But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president."

Elizabeth Moore notes that Clinton allies -- and those of state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who is divorced from one of Kennedy's cousins -- were blunt last week in airing their doubts on Kennedy's fitness for the office. It's a debate that is fast becoming a proxy for the larger turf battles within the Obama-era Democratic Party. More HERE

Like the Political Junkie I also have to wonder how much warmth there is between Caroline and Hillary. The Clintons had lobbied hard for the endorsement of Sen. Ted Kennedy, and many in the Clinton camp were thrown for a loop when Ted and Caroline joined the Obama bandwagon.

Caroline Kennedy, right, and Hillary Clinton wave to the crowd following a campaign speech for Clinton's Senate race on Oct. 17, 2000. Kennedy, from a famous political family, has decided to pursue the Senate seat of Clinton, who has been nominated Secretary of State.
Reuters file photo

AAPP: I have been reading a lot about Caroline Kennedy lately, and as John Mecurio recently wrote in the National Journal, "Caroline Kennedy seems like an intelligent, competent woman. Her family should be proud of how she has conducted her life: as a (relatively) private citizen who, unlike many of her more ambitious relatives, has never openly sought advantage, political or financial, from her famous family name. She's never shown any enthusiasm for a job that people work tirelessly to acquire. Which is why she would be a bizarre choice." More HERE

John Mecurio also notes, "The choice is particularly curious in the wake of Obama's victory last month. I've always found it awkward to watch Obama embrace the Kennedy legacy as part of his mantra for "change." In some ways, they couldn't be more different. The story of Obama, who spent the past two years calming Americans' concerns about his untraditional family tree, centers on the claim that anyone can achieve anything, regardless of race or class. The story of the Kennedys, meanwhile, is America's most beloved bow to political dynasties and inherited prominence.

Democrats can... Read MORE HERE

African American Political Pundit is a 2008 DNCC Credentialed Democratic National Convention Blogger, and writes for African American Political Pundit Blog.

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