Monthly Archives: December 2008

Op-Ed: Tune in Tomorrow For Another Episode Of…”All My (Kennedy) Children”

Barack Obama and caroline Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy campaigns with Sen. Barack Obama, April 21, 2008.

2008 “ALL MY (KENNEDY) CHILDREN” YEAR IN REVIEW

Well, it sure has been an action-packed year for the Kennedys. 2008 brought us the election of Barack Obama, a man many Kennedy family members believe will be a President like John F. Kennedy.

In the early primary season, the Kennedys split down the middle between Obama and Hillary Clinton. Watching the squabble over endorsements certainly kept the pundits busy during the winter months. The media’s constant comparisons of Obama to JFK resulted in increased awareness of the Kennedys and an encouraging resurgence of interest amongst members of a generation too young to have any firsthand memories of him.

But in May, the golden glow of “a return to Camelot” was dimmed by the tragic news that Sen. Edward Kennedy had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. The Mighty Teddy was suddenly rendered vulnerable before our eyes; his illness a poignant reminder that the last surviving Kennedy brother can’t stay with us indefinitely.

This year also marked two other sad anniversaries for the family: 45 years since the assassination of President Kennedy, and 40 years since Senator Robert Kennedy’s murder.

But we’d like to focus your attention on another important event which passed without much fanfare this year.

On the last day of 2008, it is interesting to “flashback” now and read this article (dated June 4) again. What a critical turning point moment it turned out to be in such a historic election year, although we didn’t fully grasp it’s future importance at the time.

Let’s rewind and take a closer look with some hindsight, shall we?

The news of Caroline heading up Obama’s VP search team came on June 4th, the 40th anniversary of former NY senator Robert Kennedy’s assassination. (Curious timing, that.)

As fate (or the voters) would have it, the current occupant of that same senate seat – Hillary Clinton – announced her campaign was over on June 4th. (Although in truth, her campaign really ended two weeks earlier, thanks to a tasteless and ill-timed remark she made about the RFK assassination which RFK Jr. defended, incidentally.)

Clinton’s “I’m out of the race” announcement finally came, curiously enough, in perfect synchronicity with Obama’s Veep committee announcement.  Within a matter of hours, in fact. Smell test, anyone?

At the time, of course, everyone whispered “back room deal!” Clinton loyalists scrambled to explain why their candidate, who had famously vowed to stay in the race until the bitter end, ultimately decided otherwise: “Hillary is only giving up her campaign because she’s angling for …the Vice Presidency!”

Well, that didn’t happen, but  the series of events to follow unfolded in a most unexpected and even puzzling way:

The persistent political rumor this year was that RFK Jr. endorsed Hillary because he wanted to reclaim his father’s senate seat.  As many of our readers will recall from past coverage, that endorsement didn’t go over so well with the party’s liberal base. To say the very least.

Meanwhile, Caroline, Teddy, et al…suddenly jumped off the Clintons Good Ship Lollypop and got on board Obama’s Soul Train, Bound For Glory.

By November, another sudden turn…now Obama is the President-elect, Hillary is offered SoS, and Bobby Jr. ….WHAT?…takes his name out of the running for that senate seat he’s always wanted? Days later, RFK issues the stunning statement that he will not accept that rumored cabinet appointment at EPA, either. Really?

The mind boggles.

Then, the plot twist to end all plot twists; out of nowhere comes cousin Caroline, who never expressed the slightest desire in holding elected office…and now she wants Hillary’s senate seat?

Kennedy with Sen. Clinton on the campaign trail in New Hampshire earlier this year

In Happier Days: RFK Jr. with Hillary on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, January, 2008

SOAPDISH

So what’s the real deal, you may ask? What kind of political backslappin’ and palm-greasin’ is REALLY going on behind the scenes? And who writes this stuff? It’s a soap opera, I tell ya: “All My (Kennedy) Children”!

I actually heard a pretty logical theory today from a friend of mine, and I’m not so inclined to disagree with his take on things. Tends to explain a hell of a lot, really. Here’s the logic tree he followed, and his inevitable conclusion:

– Hillary offered to “help” RFK Jr. get  the NY senate seat in return for *his* endorsement if she won.
– Obama offered to “help” Caroline get the same senate seat in return for *her* endorsement, if he won.
– Once it became clear that Hillary had lost the nomination, she made a deal with Obama to just go quietly…in return for consideration as VP or a very high level cabinet position…and for “help” paying off her campaign debts. (Who’s your Sugar Daddy, baby?)
– Once it became clear that Obama had the nomination cinched in early June, he brought Caroline onto his VP search committee to “help” prepare her for bigger things ahead, and….

Six months later – ba-da-bing! – whaddyaknow, Hillary’s leaving the senate for the promised cabinet post, RFK Jr. (who backed the wrong horse in this race) is out in the proverbial cold, and Caroline is a shoo-in for the promised Senate seat.

Whew, ya got all that?

Okay, now just don’t say anything to Blago about this wild conspiracy theory. He might just get some crazy idea in his head about how to sell (cough!)…ahem, excuse me, I mean FILL Obama’s vacant senate seat…;)

What 2009 has in store for the Kennedys, for the Obamas, indeed for us all, is anybody’s guess. But the new season of “All My (Kennedy) Children” starts this week, and it’s not to be missed. (Cue cheesy organ music here…)

PROMO SCRIPT FOR “ALL MY (KENNEDY) CHILDREN” – Week of January 5, 2009

V/O: OVERBEARING ANNOUNCER

Will Caroline easily get the NY Senate appointment?

Or will she be matched against her former in-law Andrew Cuomo (the plot thickens!) Who would Kerry Kennedy be campaigning for?

Will Hillary Clinton pass the test for Secretary of State in her Senate confirmation hearings?

And what of Bobby Jr.? If he’s not serving in President Obama’s cabinet or filling a vacant senate seat, what will he do next?”

Tune in tomorrow for another episode of “All My (Kennedy) Children”…

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So…Um…Like, You Know, Happy New Year, You Know?

A brighter future in 2009? Its like, um, finally possible, you know.

A brighter future in 2009? It's like, um, finally possible, you know.

With the economy plunging, an Illinois political scandal brewing, and the Middle East igniting (again), this seems a rather ridiculous time for the media to be putting so much time, energy and precious column inches into analyzing Caroline Kennedy’s speech patterns. But hey — like, you know…this is supposed to be a slow news week, you know?

You know, it’s that time of year traditionally reserved for “best and worst moments of 2008” fluff stuff and election retrospectives, you know, and we just think that…well, you know, maybe this year the media should be like, paying more attention to what’s going on in the world, you know. Because it’s not like any other year, you know, when We The Media can take a nice long nap between December 23 and January 2, because, you know, there’s like nothing going on, anyway…

No, this year, you know, we’re like, facing the greatest domestic economic crisis since the Great Depression, you know. While we were sleeping, the robber barons of Wall St. made out like bandits and left the American people holding the…you know….the bag, or whatever. Israel and Palestine are teetering on the brink of all-out war; and so are…like, India and Pakistan, you know. While our incoming President-elect is preparing to take the oath of in 21 days, our outgoing lame duck is passing out pardons like party hats in Times Square, and you know, somebody ought to be like, keeping an eye on him.

But you know, the press in this country really can’t be, you know, bothered with those uh, political things, because they’re too….like…you know, uh, political or something.

Besides, it’s a lot more fun to make fun of the way Caroline Kennedy um, talks…you know?

46 “you knows” in 5 minutes, they say. (Or was it 138 “you knows”? Who knows? And who really cares?) You know, like, this is really um, scientific because people actually sit around counting them, you know. And they’re very like, um, accurate and stuff, you know.

Don’t you think that maybe, um….you know, this is all, you know, just a little bit ridiculous?

Well, you know, whatever. Maybe we’ll finally, like, see some real..you know…change in our government next year. We can only hope that Caroline Kennedy will be, you know, a part of that wave of change in Washington because, God knows (like YOU know) we… like, really need it, you know?

All that being said (well, sort of – did anything I just wrote make any kind of, you know, sense?), we just want to like, say THANK YOU for another great year at the RFK Jr. for President website, and um, you know, we hope to see you all back here again, you know, in 2009 to carry forward our mission, because we still, you know, really want Bobby to run for…you know, President in 2012 or 2016. And we’re gonna…like, seriously you know, need your help.

And Caroline, we just want you to know (even if you already DO know) that we’re like, um, totally going to support you if, you know, Governor Paterson gives you that senate seat. Hey, we’re RFK Jr.’s crowd; the guys and gals who are always reminding folks that, you know, how Bobby talks doesn’t matter — what he says does. We’re always asking people to try and overlook his vocal disability and just like, listen to the issues he’s, you know, um, talking about.

Well, the same goes for you, Caroline. We don’t, you know, care how you talk. We’re listening to what you say.

And besides, we always like, found those Boston-ish “ah, ah’s” “um’s” and “you know’s” to be an endearing vocal tic in the family tree; one of those things we, um, you know, really love about the Kennedy clan. Half the fun is just listening to ya’ll talk! (Then again, we’re Texans, so you probably think we like, talk funny too.) Can’t um, take this stuff like, personally, you know.

Hey, it’s like, New Year’s Eve, so cheer up already, world! You know, things aren’t all that glum, you know, even if it kind of um…looks that way right now. The good news is that George W. Bush will be like, GONE in 21 days, so like, um, that’s something to, you know, celebrate. You know?

So go out and have a good time tonight, everybody! Party like it’s the end of an era, because, you know, it is.

Thank God for that!

Wishing you um, all the best in 2009 and like, Happy New Year, you know?

 

 

 

 

 

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Op-Ed: “Nepotism Nation?” So What Else is New?

by JACK MOSEL

Contributing Editor, NYS Resident,Caroline Kennedy supporter

It now appears that the Kennedy legacy will fall squarely into Carolines lap

Ready or Not: It now appears that the Kennedy legacy will fall squarely into Caroline's lap

I find it somewhat interesting that no sooner is Caroline Kennedy’s name seriously mentioned as a contender for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Hillary Clinton, all of a sudden we start hearing words like “nepotism” and “dynasty” being tossed around. As if this is some kind of new phenomenon in American politics. Anyone ever heard of John Adams? How about John Quincy Adams? Yes, we’ve been doing this for awhile…

Of course, I understand that our apparent willingness to bestow power upon certain members of elite political families could be a weakness of the American political system, and that is a worthwhile debate to have. But where was all the righteous outcry about nepotism and dynasties over the past three decades when we were simply passing the torch back and forth between the Clinton and Bush royal families?

So, let me get this straight: if it is a Bush or a Clinton, dynasties are good, but if a Kennedy wants to enter public office, dynasties are bad?

What is so horribly wrong with JFK’s daughter ‘evening up’ the ‘dynasty’? Aside from the obvious “lack of experience” mantra we so often hear nowadays, does the bloodline of JFK and RFK bear any merit and value for us? Nepotism, they say? Thank GOD it’s not Despotism (unless you’d rather have the last 8 years back).

I’m more than okay with a Kennedy representing me as a NY resident. Caroline Kennedy as Senator representing NY State sends a message that there may be real change in the Senate coming, as well as in the Presidency. God knows we need all hands on deck now to turn this mess around…as Caroline herself said the other day in Harlem: “this is a time when no one can afford to sit out.”

Now that’s the spirit, Caroline! That’s why I think you’re gonna do just fine as a Senator. What you don’t know, you will quickly learn. What you haven’t done before, you will do.  Your ability and willingness are the only qualifications you really need for this gig, and don’t let people tell you otherwise.

Remember that before your uncle won that same senate seat in 1964, he served as the most “unqualified” U.S. attorney general in American history. Your father appointed Bobby as A.G. knowing he had no courtroom experience as a lawyer, but JFK trusted that what RFK didn’t know, he would learn. Jack was right — his younger brother (appointed among cries of “blatant Nepotism!” and “Unqualified!”) turned out to be more than just controversial…most historians now agree that Robert Kennedy was also the finest attorney general of the 20th century, if not in the entire history of this nation.

So, on the subject of nepotism and political dynasties, let’s take a look at what Politico had to say about it earlier this week, then I’ll toss in my .02 cents below:

Nepotism Nation: Dems embrace dynasty politics
By CHARLES MAHTESIAN | 12/17/08 9:07 AM EST 

“Americans always say they don’t like royalty and hereditary connections,” he said. “On the other hand, they really like families like the Kennedys.”

Taken from: Politico.com 12/17/2008 

The U.S. Senate could end up looking like an American version of the House of Lords. (Sen. Ted Kennedy with Caroline Kennedy)

Barack Obama’s path to the presidency included beating what had been one of the nation’s most powerful families. But, in an unusual twist, his election last month is helping accelerate the trend toward dynasty politics.

His secretary of state will be Hillary Clinton, the wife of the former president. The Senate seat she’ll vacate is being pursued by Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of a president and the niece of two senators. Joe Biden’s Senate seat may go to his son Beau. Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar, Obama’s pick for interior secretary, could end up being replaced by his brother, Rep. John Salazar.

And Obama’s own seat could go to the son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. – less likely now in light of developments in the Rod Blagojevich scandal – or to the daughter of Illinois’ current House speaker.

The U.S. Senate could end up looking like an American version of the House of Lords – and Republicans have begun to take notice.

“Democrats seem to lack a common man who can just win a good, old-fashioned election,” said Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.), the former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “They’ve got seat-warmers, seat-sellers and the making of pillows for the seats of royalty. No wonder the public wonders what’s going on in Washington.”

While Obama’s election and subsequent Cabinet appointments may have accelerated the trend toward dynasty, he’s hardly responsible for it. There is a rich bipartisan history of dynasty in American politics that dates all the way back to the Founding Fathers; Obama-Biden actually represents the first winning ticket since 1976 without a son or a grandson of a U.S. senator on it.

In 2008, the storied Udall clan, sometimes referred to as the Western Kennedys, saw two members elected to the Senate— Mark from Colorado and Tom from New Mexico. In 2010, they could be joined in the Senate by Florida’s Jeb Bush, the son and brother of presidents and the grandson of a senator.

All told, it’s entirely possible that the Senate will be comprised of nearly a dozen congressional offspring by the end of Obama’s first term as president.

“It’s a very interesting American phenomenon, even though there is a line in the Constitution that says no title of nobility may be granted by the United States,” says Stephen Hess, a senior fellow emeritus at the Brookings Institution and the author of “America’s Political Dynasties.” “Given where we started, it’s interesting that this has developed.”

Almost everyone agrees that the high cost of elections is making the world’s most exclusive club seem even more exclusive. According to some estimates, the cost of winning Clinton’s New York Senate seat in the special election in 2010 and the general election in 2012 will be in the neighborhood of $70 million.

“There are three issues behind this trend,” said Bob Edgar, the president of Common Cause and a former Pennsylvania congressman. “Money is issue number one, money is issue number two and money is issue number three.”

“It’s an enormously expensive process to run for the United States Senate,” added Edgar, who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 1986. “And once someone runs for a Senate seat, there is a sense of ownership.”

At the moment, the Senate includes six sons or daughters of congressmen.

And the House – the “people’s House” – isn’t exactly bereft of hereditary influence, either.

In the 111th Congress next year, there will be 21 House members with a parent who also served in Congress – plus five wives who currently hold their late husbands’ seats.

If Caroline Kennedy is appointed to the New York Senate seat — once held by her uncle, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy — she would be joined in Congress not only by another uncle, Sen. Ted Kennedy, but also by his son, Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy .

Caroline Kennedy picked up support Tuesday from Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), but Kennedy’s relative inexperience has some other New York Democrats feeling wary – even if she does come wrapped in a legendary political name.

Republican New York Rep. Peter King – who is considering his own run for the seat – asked why New Yorkers would feel more comfortable with Kennedy “than with people who have worked in the trenches and worked their way up.”

Then he answered his own question.

President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, with their children John Jr. and Caroline

As dynasties go, here's one I can live with: President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, with their children John Jr. and Caroline

Editorial Comment:

Okay, at some point we who are supportive of politically active Kennedys are going to need to take a position on Caroline’s aspiration to become “D-NY Senator Kennedy”…

That said, and with times of real peril foisted upon us from previous ‘Dy-Nasty’s” ! (Bush 1 & 2)… Cronyism and Nepotism need real alignment and accountablility if / should “it” be permitted to be continued as our best practices management going forward from the hell we are in presently.

A word about Caroline Kennedy, from the humble perspective of a New Yorker: I don’t know much about her, nobody (mainstream) really does.. She is the Daughter of JFK, she has lived in NYS most of her life, has worked in education, has kept her head low politically and in mid-life, is coming out to face a potential continuation of a paternal legacy in her aspiring to serve us in the Federal Government.

Not just any legacy is this public servant seeking to carry on, but the legacy we thought we would never see, ever again…the legacy of Pres. John Fitzgerald Kennedy. I know, I know, right JFK! are you nuts? She hasn’t the slightest idea of what government is! (you might and most likely are saying). Another angle might be ‘great, give Democrats an inch and they’ll take a mile! Oh boy we’re really gonna be taxed and spent out of our minds now! Freeking Liberals!!!…’ Ad Infinitum, to include most easily understood diatribe from the right and all talking points from the Rovianesque era we so need to build escape velocity to break away from.

The Dynasty thing is kinda creepy I’ll admit, but then again this is the Daughter of JFK. “John John,” Caroline’s only brother was ‘killed’ in the prime of his life and was posturing for public office himself, it seemed (this very same Senate seat, as a matter of fact). Caroline’s cousin RFK Jr. is completely active and has his finger on our nation’s pulse in terms of speaking just like his dad and his Uncle did to serve us… and yes, I have to confess that Bobby Jr. was my natural first choice to get the appointment to the senate seat once held by his father. So now comes Caroline.

Caroline, in my book is entitled to at least step up and take a shot at the office of NYS Senator. I don’t have to recant the horrors that Caroline and John Jr. or RFK. Jr. for that matter had to endure for their entire lives… Who else in the “running” for Senate, had their Father and Uncle shot in cold blood (Assassinated) as our sitting U.S. President and NYS Senator, in front of the entire world?

Now in their early 50s, Caroline and RFK Jr. are all grown up and ready to pick up the torches their martyred fathers left behind. With family obligations and enough money and projects to keep them busy for the rest of their lives, they’d dare to take the risk of serving the next generation, their generation of today’s broken America, with the myriad of quagmiristic dilemma and trauma associated with anything political today? Why would they do it if they didn’t truly feel a call towards a life of public service? I would have thought that if public service was sought for someone who just had to merely show interest in running to gain a senate seat, then the present is certainly not the most advantageous or attractive of a time to “fall in” for duty…

“LET US BEGIN ANEW”

We have corruption and despotic foundations laid in the blood soaked brick and mortar of our nations’ highest offices and agancies today (Fact). We have endured a legacy of utter disregard for our most basic principles in this past administration (Fact). We are staring down the barrel of real economic disaster (We are bankrupt?!). Thanks largely to Brain Trusts and lobbyists from this administration which ushered in the likes of unbridled derregulation and real “trickle down my leg” beauties like the Enron loophole (thanks Bush), environmental disaster, infrastructure decay, moral degredation (inside and outside of government), a non-educated / dis-interested youth and a breeding ground for people in the world for people who don’t like “US” very much lately (Fact).

A “super- hero” is not likely to emerge… More likely however, we’ll need all the best and brightest to heal our great country and if ‘Star Power’ is anticipated as that which comes from JFK Himself , represented by his kin is available… So be it.

Not that it is even on the table… I feel our nation owes a debt of gratitude in the least in this case, to take the Daughter of JFK seriously when she say’s SHE WANTS TO SERVE US. What right to any nepotism do any of the current Dynasties serving in government have to authenticate their “right to that priviledge” over that which should be embraced and welcomed from all of us as a nation to offer an open placeholder for JFK’s children, who shared directly and publicly in our nations’ best and worst modern times… 

There is an eternal flame marking JFK’s grave. That flame has been lit for over 40 years… People to this day hold tremendous respect for President Kennedy’s purpose and message, with enduring sentiment and commitment. When was the last time that you can remember(if ever), that a single person moved so many and as much as JFK?… I can’t recall one. Ask not… what a Kennedy can do for us, the irony and tragedy is immense and their service has been obvious… Ask what… we can do for a Kennedy…

If there is one person, one name, one qualified, bonefide name for healing our identity in these days and possibly usher back in respect for us from the world, that name is Caroline Kennedy. Real change is coming to America, with a new president coming to power in less than 30 days… Let that be partly in the presence of the capable, intelligent, adult child of JFK sitting in our Senate, representing the iconic and proud State of NY!

I say “KENNEDY… UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE!”

Let JFK’s LEGACY BEGIN ANEW… and enjoy this moment while it lasts. Don’t worry, the BUSH “NEPOTISM” is ultimately going to rear it’s head again… Right Jeb?! (Boy, another Bush Administration will just about “put the fork in” us altogether… We’ll be DONE!) But right now, we’ve got work to do — serious work — work begun nearly half a century ago by Caroline’s father, President Kennedy. Work that is still unfinished.

After JFK’s Assassination, President Lyndon B. Johnson said, “let us continue…” Now, 45 years later, I say: “Let us begin again!”

“All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days; nor in the life of this Administration; nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.

Now the trumpet summons us again…

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility — I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it. And the glow from that fire can truly light the world.”

— President John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961

 

* The opinions expressed above are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the Kennedy family, or the owners of this website.

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“This Is A Time When No One Can Afford To Sit Out” – Caroline Kennedy

The Rev. Al Sharpton, left, and Caroline Kennedy have lunch ...

NEW YORK – The Rev. Al Sharpton took Caroline Kennedy to lunch Thursday at a famed Harlem soul food restaurant as she continued her quest to join her uncle in the U.S. Senate. Kennedy smiled as she and the civil rights activist made their way through a throng of media and into Sylvia’s, whose walls are lined with photographs of visiting politicians including the Clintons.

“I come at this as a mother, as a lawyer, as an author, as an education advocate and from a family that really has spent generations in public service,” Kennedy told reporters after lunch. “I feel this commitment, and this is a time when nobody can afford to sit out. And I hope that I have something to offer.”

The late President John F. Kennedy’s daughter acknowledged Wednesday she’s seeking to be appointed to the Senate seat held by Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has been nominated by President-elect Barack Obama to be secretary of state.

Kennedy was asked what she would need to do to prepare herself for the post, which has attracted the interest of at least a dozen Democratic officials including her former relative by marriage, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

“I have, you know, quite a lot to learn, but I feel like I bring a lot with me, as well,” Kennedy said.

She was also asked why she was plunging into politics now, after spending most of her life carefully cultivating her privacy.

“These are issues that I care so much about and I understand that, really, I have been trying to work on them as a private citizen and in the position that I have,” she said. “But really, to solve our problems, I think government is the place where people need to come together.”

Kennedy’s emergence as a contender has generated both buzz and controversy. She comes from a Democratic dynasty but has never held public office, and some Republicans and Democrats have criticized her lack of experience.

Democratic Gov. David Paterson has said he won’t make an appointment until Clinton is confirmed. The governor confirmed Kennedy’s interest in the seat on Monday, the same day she reached out to Sharpton in a telephone call.

After speaking to Kennedy, Sharpton released a statement saying he disagreed with those who say she isn’t qualified to be U.S. senator.

He said he had invited her to dine wtih him at Sylvia’s this week, reminding her that he took Obama there during his campaign “so it’s a good luck stop since he did all right.”

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Caroline? Sweet.

CAROLINE KENNEDY TOSSES HER HAT OVER THE WALL

…AND HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO FOLLOW IT

“Frank O’Connor, the Irish writer, tells in one of his books how, as a boy, he and his friends would make their way across the countryside, and when they came to an orchard wall that seemed too high and too doubtful to try and too difficult to permit their voyage to continue, they took off their hats and tossed them over the wall–and then they had no choice but to follow them.”

— President John F. Kennedy

San Antonio, TX. November 21, 1963

Caroline Kennedy is going for it.

Gov. Paterson said Kennedy called him Monday to formally ask to be considered for the U.S. Senate seat that will open up when Hillary Clinton becomes Secretary of State.

Paterson, who will make the two-year pick, said Kennedy wants to “to tell me what she thinks her qualifications are.”

The governor spoke to Kennedy about the seat on Dec. 3, but wasn’t sure if she was serious or just dipping a toe in the water.

Although Paterson has the only say, Kennedy has reached out to some of the state’s top Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan).

Kennedy also was calling many in the state’s congressional delegation and others such as Time Warner Chairman Richard Parsons and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, with whom she has worked.

Klein said Kennedy spent the last week giving serious thought about the position, how it would affect her family and the fact that she would have to run for election in 2010 and reelection in 2012. “She’s clearly ready and sort of making sure people know she’s willing to do the hard work that’s necessary,” he said.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) said Kennedy called her Monday to say “she’s excited about the race and she’s ready to roll up her sleeves.” While saying they won’t publicly back a candidate, Quinn and a host of others cited Kennedy’s credentials as a public education advocate and her life as a lawyer and constitutional scholar.

“She is in,” a top Dem source said. “I don’t see how he [Paterson] says no. He has to do it.”

Kennedy, who has said nothing to the press, has gotten warm praise from President-elect Barack Obama and Mayor Bloomberg, but has also been the subject of criticism from Clinton supporters who say she lacks the experience to be a U.S. senator.

“We don’t know if Caroline has that fire in the belly,” Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Queens, Brooklyn) said outside a Clinton fund-raiser last night. “Being senator of New York is a 2-4/7, 365-day-a-year endeavor.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who spoke yesterday with Kennedy, said he “unequivocally disagrees” with the criticism. “Elected office is not the only area of public service that establishes leadership in this country,” Sharpton said.

Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines said the senator will not be weighing in on the debate.

“This is entirely Gov. Paterson’s decision,” he said.

Kennedy is the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy and niece to the late Robert F. Kennedy, who once held the seat she is seeking. Known for her shyness, she’s spent most of her adult life out of the public spotlight.

One person who worked with her at the city Education Department said, “I never thought this is something she would be interested in.”

Kennedy has hired a political consulting firm tied to Schumer and Bloomberg and The News has learned she may soon embark on a quasi-“listening tour” upstate – just as Clinton once did.

Her family, particularly her uncle Sen. Edward Kennedy, was pushing her to go for the seat. Many say Edward Kennedy wants to ensure that the decades-long tradition of having a Kennedy in the Senate continues.

Her cousin Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was thrilled to hear the news, saying she immediately becomes the favorite to replace Clinton.

“You’d immediately have someone in the Senate who everyone wants to work with and who has a winning personality,” he said.

Citing her work with Obama, who calls Caroline Kennedy “one of my dearest friends,” RFK Jr. noted the value of having a freshman senator “with direct access to the President and to thebiggest political names in the Senate.”

Asked about the criticism, he said, “It’s New York. It’s politics. Nobody is going to waltz in … without being criticized.”

Paterson will make his decision after Clinton is confirmed.

Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.), who has announced he’ll run for the seat in 2010, said he expects Kennedy to be Paterson’s choice.

“It makes me more inclined to run than ever,” he said.

“The senator from New York should be someone with a record of fighting for New York and who understands the problems and issues of middle-income and working people.”

Story from U.S. News and World Report

With Glenn Blain and Kenneth R. Bazinet

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Another New Editor Joins Our Team!

SAY HELLO TO JACK!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to announce the addition of Jack Mosel to our growing editorial team.

Those of you who read this site regularly are likely already familiar with Jack, who has been a regular commentator and guest blogger here for quite some time. He is well known to our readers as a devout environmentalist, a lifelong Kennedy loyalist (true story: his mother even named him after JFK!), and a man with strong opinions about the issues…especially anything to do with getting RFK Jr. elected, or perhaps better yet, putting certain Bushco criminals behind bars (watch out, Mr. Rove…Jack is on your trail!).

Jack will be helping out on this site, as well as our sister blogs, RFKJrNews.com and “Ask Not: The Kennedy Legacy.” We hope you will all give him a warm welcome. Oh, and fasten your seat belts…when Jack is at the wheel, you can surely bet it’s going to be one hell of a wild ride!

So without further ado, I’m going to step away from the podium and let Jack say a few words. Here he is now!

 — New Frontier

ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY

I was asked by this blog’s owner and founding editor, ‘New Frontier’ to help out with the current blog’s running editorial management in support of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. I am not an author, I am not a politician, I am not “in the tank” for any public servant with blinder’s on. I am a converted Republican. I lean heavily Independent and I voted Democratic for Obama this past November… Throw your stones now… Get on the bus or get out of the way!

I am an owner of a small but successful business that restores water bodies from a Hyper-Eutrophic state (supporting plant life over animal life) to a healthy Oligotrophic state (supporting animal life over plant life), through all natural means… www.aquaticrestorationllc.com We use Non-Pathogenic bacteria, Dissolved Oxygen and beneficial food grade enzymes to accomplish this and have been doing so (despite “in the tank” best practices management policies of traditionally “solving” water quality issues with the use of toxic chemicals (posions) as being the solution for “restoring” water bodies from anthropromorphically created conditions globally, which have actually only exascerbated the water quality problems around the world) and have been actually restoring water bodies in this way, globally for the past 40 years. see www.clean-flo.com . (Shameless plug.. yet relevant to my underlying opinions on all things environmental). 

I applaud Mr. Kennedy and The Waterkeepers and the Riverkeepers and also hope to work with them some day as well.

We were asked some ten plus years ago to provide a solution to the Hudson River, when the PCB pollution “Issue” was brought to light from G.E. dumping PCB’s into the Hudson River. We were consulted as to our ability to provide a solution for The Hudson River’s contamination, similarly to the restoration we succesfully did for a 42 mile river (Le Helpe’ River) in Formies France… Robert Laing, Founder of Clean-Flo Labs provided an engineered system to achieve the restoration until huge dredging firms stepped in and shut us out of the “Big boy’s” club loop with the powers to be…

How long can we afford to permit our wholesaling off and plundering of our world? Forget Global Warming (for a minute)… If we continue at the rate we are consuming and puking back onto our planet’s surface and fresh as well as marine water bodies, we will know of a tipping point that will be far more devastating to us as a species within our closed system environment known as Earth period… It is with this in mind that I am firm in my resolve to support the efforts for us to begin to address water quality issues as a very high priority.

I would like to lead off my first topic of discussion with something RFK,Jr. holds near and dear to his heart. In these times of financial turmoil and political un-ease we have been made as a people, here and now, to bear the responsibility of looking at ourselves square in the face and ask some really tough questions today…

Are we going to “stay the course”? More of the same self-serving Politician’s and CEO’s, selfishly and callously throwing our present and future to the wind at the cost of our and their children’s future, for the short term sake of stealing a quick buck by not taking a stand on our environment and “Drill Baby Drill”! (As if that will work)… Or are we going to demand real accountability for energy efficiency, re-newable energy and clean air, water and stellar land management / stewardship standards?

Indulge me for a minute longer about H.A.B.’s (Harmful Algal Blooms), Eutrophication and the pig, chicken, hog and agricultural farmers in our U.S. of A…

The reason why there is a toxic dead zone and black band disease and various Red, Brown and Blue Green tides killing off everthing in the Gulf of Mexico and Coastal U.S. waterways as well as in the Great Lakes in our country is because of a massive oversight of known and unknown “Point Sources” of an over abundance of Phosphorus and Nitrogen from massive runoff’s (largely from these commercial / agricultural concerns and they know it)… I’m not throwing a big stone at them, we need these products… I am saying that NOT treating this issue is why the Chesepeake, The Gulf of Mexico, The Great Lakes, The coastal U.S. Waterways (L.I. Sound Lobster kills), Lakes and Ponds and Reservoirs, Ad Infinitum... are in desperate need of vitally needed dissolved oxygen and to replace the once abundant supply of good bacteria that decomposed these constituents into palletable morsels for animalia in the food chain on the way up the food web… Nature’s balance is so freeking thrown off now we’ll be lucky to beg for a technology like Clean-Flo International to get it all back… I digress only a little… We need real solutions and real fast, real soon…. Who’s driving the damn EPA BUS for real then? Hopefully, Mr. Kennedy in an Obama administration, if there is any justice in this world!

As I ‘qualify myself’ for you to get to know who I am and from what ‘angle’ I may choose to blog about in this forum, I offer my opinions and storyline selections to you from a basis which I believe personally, that will compliment and support that which I foresee as information related to or coming directly from RFK, Jr. I don’t know Mr. Kennedy, I have never met him, I live 20 minutes from his hometown in Westchester, NY and would like to meet him someday.

I am also a NYS Certified Secondary (High School) Earth Science Teacher. I am finishing up my Masters Degree currently and I have some strong opinions about our world, our government, our legacy (which we will be leaving our kids) and our recent past in terms of “Who’s driving the bus?”

Did I say that I have some strong opinions?!!!

I will treat every comment with dignity, absent those comments which may be posted without dignity… In this case (as contributing editor) I will remain open minded and fair to those who have differing opinions than mine, that said and as Rachael Maddow puts it ,”Talk me down”!

Looking forward to being part of the team! Go Bobby!

Let’s Roll,

Jack

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Filed under barack obama, climate change, election 2008, environment, global warming, politics, RFK Jr., robert kennedy jr., senator robert kennedy, the kennedys

Poll: How Can RFK Jr. Serve America?

HOW MAY HE HELP YOU?

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

We want to know your thoughts — how do you think Robert F. Kennedy Jr. can best serve his country in the years ahead?

We’ve posted a poll at our sister site, RFKJrNews.com, on this very question. Please take a moment to vote and share your thoughts here:

http://rfkjrnews.com/2008/12/06/poll-how-can-rfk-jr-best-serve-our-country/

Depite some news reports to the contrary this week, Bobby has not yet made a decision. As of Wednesday, Kennedy told me that he was  “weighing offers now,” and on Thursday he responded to an audience member’s question in Berkeley, California, by saying he still hadn’t made up his mind.

“I have spent a lot of time talking with my family about whether it would be better for me to wait until the second term,” he said to applause and cheers from the audience.

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Filed under barack obama, climate change, election 2008, environment, global warming, hillary clinton, media, politics, robert f. kennedy, robert kennedy jr., senator robert kennedy, the kennedys, Uncategorized