NY-Sen, CO-Sen: Kennedy and Bennet Reported As Appointees

by: Chris Bowers

Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 13:21

The AP is reporting that Caroline Kennedy will be appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat:

Officials say the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy will be the governor's choice to fill the New York Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Two people close to Gov. David Paterson tell The Associated Press they believe Caroline Kennedy will be his choice, but the governor cautions he's still looking.

This report appears solid, now that State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is now willing to back Kennedy. The deal appears to made, which is disappointing. Not only will she have received the position because of the celebrity provided by her family name and a bullying, Wall Street faction in New York politics, but the general negativity surrounding her poorly run "campaign" for the seat over the last month makes her potentially vulnerable in 2010. She has appeared foolish and unqualified, giving Republicans a shot at winning a seat in one of the bluest states in the nation.

In equally important, thought far less noticed, Senate news, Denver school district superintendent Michael Bennet will be appointed to fill Ken Salazar's seat. Bennet was short-listed for Secretary of Education last month, but ultimately did not receive the job. He is best known for revising a merit pay proposal in Denver so that it would be supported by local teachers. His only political contributions are to Barack Obama (maxed out), and $1,000 to an education and environmental advocate who lost to Jared Polis in the CO-02 primary.

While I am glad that Ken Salazar's Blue Dog younger brother did not receive the appointment, Bennet doesn't seem to be an exciting pick. Also, it is a little disappointing that, with Barack Obama becoming President and Ken Salazar becoming Secretary of Interior, the Senate appears to have gone from six minority members to only four. The Senate really is one of the most retrograde institutions in the entire country.

Chris Bowers :: NY-Sen, CO-Sen: Kennedy and Bennet Reported As Appointees

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If the Senate... (0.00 / 0)
...admits Burris, it's five.

Great... (0.00 / 0)
Caesar Bloomberg gets his pick and we get an under qualified Kennedy who can't even handle the local media from what is probably the second biggest Democratic bench in the nation. There were literally dozens more qualified candidates. I hope Cuomo primaries Paterson, his budget was bad enough.

And yes, (4.00 / 1)
I recognize the irony of wanting a member of one political dynasty to primary Paterson in reaction to Paterson's pick of a heiress of another political dynasty. Of course, Paterson is a member of a NY political dynasty as well...

[ Parent ]
Obama's influence (4.00 / 1)
How much of this, aside from celebrity, is due to her closeness to Obama? She lent her rather impassioned endorsement, and with it inevitable comparisons to JFK/Camelot, during the primary which was helpful to Obama. He appointed her to the VP search committee. How much of this is appointing an Obama Senator rather than appointing a Kennedy Senator?

Good point (4.00 / 1)
Even if Obama hasn't exerted any pressure on Paterson to pick Kennedy (I doubt he has - getting involved in Senate appointments is something you want to steer clear of right about now), Paterson might perceive that he will curry favor with Obama by picking her.

It is the only explanation that really makes sense. She has made a fool of herself over the last couple of weeks, so this pick certainly wouldn't help Paterson from a P.R. standpoint.  

[ Parent ]
Why do you think this AP report is definitive? (4.00 / 1)
Other sources to "close to David Paterson" have said he still hasn't decided and he's been dismayed by her rollout.  We don't know anything. We dpon't know which report is true.  I am baffled as to why you think this means anything other than another specualtion.

Paterson will announce his choice once Hillary resigns and she won't resign until she is confirmed.  That could be until after Jan 20th.  

This report is as definitive as when the AP wrote Paterson wants an interim appointment...when he wanted no such thing and has said so. As a New Yorker, I heartily agree with him that a caretaker would be bad for NY State.  Caretakes accrue no power and have little power while they occupy the seat.

It ain't over til it's over.

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

AP Story on Kennedy and Paterson: Never Mind it's wrong (0.00 / 0)
Hill Transition
Governor's Office: 'No Front-runner' for N.Y. Senate Appointment
By Shailagh Murray
Gov. David Paterson hasn't made up his mind about the New York Senate seat, but the rumors are swirling.

Today's brushfire: An Associated Press report quoting two unnamed sources close to Paterson asserting their belief that his pick will be Caroline Kennedy.

"The AP story is incorrect," said Paterson spokesman Errol Cockfield. "There is no front-runner, and the governor is not on the verge of any decision."

Paterson has said that he will "move quickly" to fill the seat once its current occupant, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, resigns as planned upon her confirmation as secretary of State in the incoming Obama administration. A Senate hearing on Clinton's nomination is expected sometime the week of Jan. 12.

In Washington, Kennedy is generally viewed as an ideal successor to Clinton, who launched her own Empire State political career as an unlikely contender, being a former first lady. Kennedy's stature as the sole surviving member of John F. Kennedy's immediate family would make her an instant celebrity in a chamber stacked with lower-profile types and could accord her a degree of clout disproportionate to her junior standing.

Kennedy's prospects seemed to dim somewhat in recent weeks, once she began to campaign openly for the job. She received mostly poor reviews for her lack of policy specificity; her unwillingness to be more candid about her private life, including her finances; and even her flat speaking style.

But she made up ground on Wednesday, when one of her most prominent critics, state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, appeared to reversed course. Silver had repeatedly questioned Kennedy's credentials, but then he told New York City television station CBS 2 HD, "She's obviously very bright and has been around politics her whole life."

On Thursday, Paterson refuted another news report that he was considering naming a senior statesman, like former governor Mario Cuomo or former president Bill Clinton, as a caretaker until the 2010 special election. That approach would allow Paterson -- a former lieutenant governor who rose to the top job when former governor Eliot Spitzer resigned due to a sex scandal -- to avoid controversy as he prepares to place his own name on the 2010 ballot.

Asked about the caretaker approach, Paterson told a group of reporters, "I'm actually opposed to that. It would cause New York to lose seniority, and in the United States Senate, the most effective senators are the ones that have seniority. So, I'm hoping that the person I select wins a primary."
Posted at 3:36 PM ET on Jan 2, 2009

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
yeah, whatever (0.00 / 0)
Kennedy would not have gone public with this thing unless she thought she was going to get it.  They wanted to avoid any claims of insider dealing. Americans love dynasties, wealth, and whiteness so why not give her the slot?

PS: How many homes does she own (or could own)? Will her money cause liberal ire?  

[ Parent ]
You asume she is politically astute (0.00 / 0)
An unwarranted assumption. And that her handlers thought nothing would stand in the way.  Another probably unwarranted assumption.

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
Despite '06, '08, Obama, and the collapse of the GOP (0.00 / 0)
Democrats still appear determined to snatch defeat from the mouth of victory, lest anyone accuse them of having a spine. No Risk Reid and Plaintive Pelosi & Co. are constitutionally incapable of doing anything that is in any way seen as risky or contrary to the perceived interests of the political and media establishment, operating under the assumption that their Offices of Sternly Worded Letters protects them from constituent discontent.

Revolutions always come in two waves, the first a united front to oust the dominant corrupt and obsolete regime, the second an internal struggle to determine who will lead the new regime, with a provisional period in-between. We've successfully completed the first wave--the GOP is out, Dems are in, and a Dem will be president. But I think that the second wave is just getting underway, and that the likes of Pelosi, Reid & Co. will be in for a rude awakening if they think that they can keep carrying on so imperiously, incompetently and selfishly.

As the GOP has learned, incompetence is consequential, eventually.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

Is Caroline Kennedy our Harriet Miers? (4.00 / 1)
While I like Kennedy's big apple limousine-liberal crowd a bit more than the Bushies, this pick seems remarkably similar to Bush's attempt to elevate Miers to the Supreme Court.

Aside from ties to political dynasties, both candidates share similarly thin resumes relative to the position and an ability to provoke the intellectual base of their respective parties.

Unfortunately, opposing Kennedy will prove far more difficult than Miers undoing, brought on as it was by right wing antipathy buoyed by the ease with which Bush could select a more acceptable alternative.  What we need is to work on getting a credible primary opponent now, something that will prove difficult given Ms. Kennedy's vaunted fund raising prowess.  

So why are purportedly incompetent women (4.00 / 1)
ghettoized into their own category- Caroline Kennedy compares to Paris Hilton or Sarah Palin or Harriet Miers, but never, say Michael Brown? Do you see why women might start to read this pattern negatively, and a significant gender gap might develop?

[ Parent ]
You're putting a lot of weight (0.00 / 0)
on a single, simple, crude analogy intended to foster discussion about politcal networks and family dynasties.  

[ Parent ]
No, it hasn't been single. (0.00 / 0)
These analogies have been recurrent throughout the netroots.  

[ Parent ]
Taint That A Shame... (4.00 / 1)
I wonder whether political nepotism, wealth, whiteness, and extreme political power inevitably taint Kennedy's appointment. I wonder whether Reid will block the selection of an experienced black politician who faces no charges of wrongdoing -- but accept a wealthy and powerful white elite into the Senate. If so, the "change" express has hit another serious bump.

Do Nepotism, Wealth and Dynastic Power "Taint" Kennedy's Likely Senate Appointment? Taking Reid's Arguments Where He Wouldn't Want Them to Go

FYI (0.00 / 0)
John Salazar is older than Ken.

APPOINTEES (0.00 / 0)
What does President- Elect Obama mean when he says he wants Ken Salazar to clean up the Department of Interior? Is this a janitor reference? Demeaning? Stereotyping?  Read it at, http://stopthepresses2.blogspo...


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