Ten Good Reasons Not to Dismiss Caroline Kennedy So Quickly

It seems that quite a few political pundits are dismissing the idea Caroline Kennedy's appointment to the Hillary Clinton's vacant New York Senate seat as nothing more than a form of Camelot nostalgia.

In a recent article for Time, columnist Joe Klein wrote:

" I've met Caroline Kennedy a few times and she seems like a good person. Compared to many children of the rich and famous, she has lived her life quietly, modestly, in exemplary fashion. She has worked hard for worthy causes; those who've worked with her say she is intelligent and self-effacing. Or was self-effacing. You can't really say that she is now, having thrust herself into the midst of the selection process for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. By doing so, she has displayed an eminently New York quality: chutzpah

If nothing else, Barack Obama's transition demonstrates his intent to launch an era of Real Serious Governance. He has chosen well outside the standard political fast-food menu in some cases--James (OOPs: Steven) Chu, the Secretary of Energy comes to mind. And I'd hope that Governor David Paterson might consider a similar sort of selection--an honorary, non-political (but Democratic) appointee, a person of real, world-class, distinction who would never normally serve in the Senate, to grace the seat until the next election--if he hasn't already been bum-rushed into the Kennedy coronation. Certainly, New York State is filled with extraordinary people."

I agree that New York State is filled with extraordinary people but before everyone dismisses Caroline's bid for office as "chutzpah" or a shot-gun coronation let's consider these ten reasons to think again.

1. Fred Grandy (aka "Gopher" from the TV series "Love Boat") former Congressman from Iowa.

2. Steve Largent, former Seattle Seahawk wide-receiver and former US Congressman from Oklahoma.

3. Jim Bunning former Major Leage Baseball pitcher, former US Congressman and now junior Senator from the state of Kentucky.

4. Tom Osborne, former Nebraska college football coach and Congressman from that State.

5. J.C. Watts, Jr., former quarterback for the University of Oklahoma and later US Congressman for that state.

6. Jack Kemp, former professional football player who began his political career as a Congressman in New York.

7. Sonny Bono, former record producer, musican(?), actor(?) and later Congressman from California.

8. Bill Bradley, Hall of Fame basketball player and former Senator from New Jersey.

9. Arnold Schwarzenegger, (The Terminator) former body builder, actor and now Governor of California ( a state with an economy larger than most countries).

and last but not least ....

10. Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States, whose acting career propelled him to the office of Governor of California.

Now I certainly wouldn't question the credentials of the aforementioned list but I would ask just what in their careers as athletes and actors made them more qualified for public service than Caroline Kennedy's experience as a lawyer, constitutional scholar, writer and service on the boards of numerous non-profit institutions.

Caroline Kennedy may not have a long political resume but apparently a little chutzpah and intelligence goes a long way. And it certainly couldn't hurt to be a good person.

None of us chooses the family to which we are born. We can only play the cards that we're dealt. Some might say that Caroline was dealt a good hand but should be held against her.

Maybe she should have played in the WNBA.

originally posted at Pam's Coffee Conversation


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