I admit I don’t get the backlash coming from the potential Caroline Kennedy appointment. I don’t feel the anger, the urgency, the outrage at the idea of appointing someone like Caroline Kennedy. I can understand the arguments being made – but, as with all political issues, there is a gut-level response that is driving the issue forward – a gut-level response that is then justified by a variety of arguments.
Perhaps I’m missing that certain gene that causes people to root against dynasties. I’m not a Yankees fan – but I like their dominance – and I root for them to maintain it, to some extent. I like the fact that the Kennedys are involved in politics – and can usually get elected when they run. If I followed football (soccer), I’d probably be a fan of Manchester United. I don’t think it corrupts either sports or politics when dynasties are present. I don’t viscerally root for the underdog. To be fair – one of the reasons I like dynasties is that they are excellent foils. When the upstart Florida Marlins are playing the dynastic and storied New York Yankees, it makes the games all the more dramatic. The same was true of Obama when be beat the Clinton machine. I often root for dynasties to do well until they are beaten by a worthy opponent.
But with Caroline Kennedy, that’s not my feeling. I’m not certain she’s the best candidate Gov. Patterson could appoint. But I think she stands a good chance of being an excellent Senator. Most people seem to agree on this point – even as they oppose her appointment.
It’s a very odd argument opponents of Caroline Kennedy are putting forward. Most would acknowledge that Gov. Patterson wants her on the ticket because she would be a very strong candidate drawing many voters in 2010, and that she also would be able to raise money easily, including for his reelection. Yet, the opponents maintain that even though Caroline Kennedy would probably do very well in an election, appointing when she hasn’t run for any office conveys a sense of entitlement. Now – if Kennedy wouldn’t need to run in two years, and again two years after that, I feel like this argument might have more weight.