Caroline Kennedy and Saturday Night Live

Well it looks like Caroline Kennedy is actively lobbying to be appointed to Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat from New York. Hey, nothing wrong with that. It’s better than having to bid on the position on eBay. And I was thinking while running this morning that it would be neat if someday I could be appointed to Congress. The job appears to be essentially ceremonial. And I have two journalism degrees. I could sit in hearings and ask irritating questions. Wahoo.

Probably won’t happen. But Caroline Kennedy does have name recognition. And apparently the ability to raise millions for a campaign a few years from now when she would actually have to face the voters. I guess some others are a little troubled by the fact that she has never run for public office — and has no public position on the key issues facing our nation. Here’s from Politico.

Monday’s outreach efforts came as the 51-year-old former first daughter had begun to receive withering criticism about her lack of political experience.

“She had to work to undo the buzz for the last week — New Yorkers were starting to say, ‘We don’t know her,’ ‘She’s got no experience,’ ‘She’s presumptuous,’” said a top New York Democrat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Does anyone speak these days without a guarantee of “anonymity”? I digress.

Anyway, does it strike anyone as odd that many of the people who are flush with excitement about Caroline Kennedy were mad as hell about Sarah Palin? Yeah, I know. Palin had some endearing attributes. (Note to self: remember to check for the Playboy pictorial.) But her resume was a little thin even by the low hurdle we ask most politicans to clear.

But the rub is that many blue-collar Americans identified with Palin. You know. People who haven’t had everything handed to them. And I’m starting to develop this idea that we are a nation becoming divided as much between white collar and blue collar as we are between liberal and conservative. Wonder if that helps to explain why a majority of Americans oppose a bail out (rescue?) of the Detroit automakers?

And maybe Gretchen Morgenson gets it absolutely correct in her New York Times article Sunday, “Blank Check for Banks, Pink Slips for Detroit.”

Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who leads the Senate Republicans, opposed the rescue. “None of us want to see them go down, but very few of us had anything to do with the dilemma that they have created for themselves,” he said. “We simply cannot ask the American taxpayer to subsidize failure.”

That’s a new concept — not asking the taxpayer to subsidize failure. Is that not what we just did with the banks, to the tune of $700 billion, 50 times what the beleaguered carmakers asked for?

Moreover, in the bank rescue, taxpayers are subsidizing not only failure but also outright recklessness and greed. In spite of the fact that financial institutions drove the nation into the economic ditch, and even though “very few of us had anything to do with the dilemma that they have created for themselves,” the financial industry received billions, with few strings attached.

Complaints about bailing out high-earning autoworkers are another fascinating disconnect. The supposedly exorbitant autoworker wages that get everybody so riled up pale in comparison with the riches of Wall Street.

Neither were the banks required, as Detroit would have been, to get rid of their private jets or supply Treasury with in-depth restructuring plans in exchange for bailout funds.

So it goes.

What’s this have to do with Saturday Night Live? Well, the show had a skit last weekend that poked fun at New York Gov. David Paterson — partly because of the possible Kennedy appointment. Nothing wrong with making fun of elected officials. Or criticizing them for their positions. But Paterson is legally blind — and I think this went over the line into bad taste and stereotyping.

Wonder how Tina Fey will do with Caroline Kennedy?


4 responses to “Caroline Kennedy and Saturday Night Live

  1. I agree that Caroline Kennedy has received far less media scrutiny for her ‘thin’ resume of qualifications. It’s also important to remember that New York state is full of highly qualified candidates to fill the Senate seat. Regardless, Kennedy is beloved by East Coast media and has a network of contacts to aid her in gaining the appointment. It seems that after Blago-gate Kennedy has made the calculation that it is better to publicly lobby than to privately pursue the appointment. We shall see how it works out for her.

  2. I find it interesting that some people are discussing the potential appointment of Caroline Kennedy from a branding standpoint. The Kennedys probably possess the most well known (and perhaps the most polarizing) brand in U.S. politics, even more so than that of the Bush and the Clinton families. People trust Caroline Kennedy on the basis of the reputation her father, uncles and others in her family have built. If she turns out to be as competent as her family predecessors, I’d find it difficult to protest her appointment. At the very least, she won’t provide the type of fodder for Saturday Night Live that Sarah Palin did.

  3. Austin and Scott,

    Excellent points. Thanks. There have been a number of really mean-spirited stories and comments about Caroline Kennedy. She doesn’t deserve that. And she may well make an excellent senator if appointed to the seat. I guess I would feel a little better about it if I knew her position on some of the issues facing the country. The auto industry bailout among them.

  4. The bias of the media was truly exposed on this one. Pathetic.

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