Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Caroline Kennedy – The Socialite and the Senate and Sexism

Caroline Kennedy has announced her intention to actively campaign for Hillary Clinton’s senate seat – based on her qualifications as an Upper East Side (Manhattan), author of children’s books, who spent three years in the White House when she was a child, and has a close friendship with Barack Obama. The UK’s, Guardian’s article title “On the Road to Restoring Camelot” is in itself interesting, although a reasonable biography of Ms. Kennedy, one which highlights her qualifications (some noted above), and her life as a Kennedy (fraught with family tragedy), the concept of “American Royalty”, is clearly the point. Based solely on her relatives, Kennedy is assumed to be capable of performing the duties of a U.S. Senator – from a British Perspective, she is a "Princess".

The American Press appears to be of like-mind – from the LA Times article, speaking on behalf of “dynasties”, to the The New York Times, article outlining her political connections, and most importantly her ability to hire the best men to help her suceed in her quest:
”Ms. Kennedy has also retained Knickerbocker SKD, a well-connected political consulting firm founded by Josh Isay, a former chief of staff to Mr. Schumer. The firm counts among its clients Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Ms. Quinn, and Mr. Brown, and enjoys close ties with some of New York’s powerful labor unions.”

Our neighbors to the north, who have taken a more conservative turn in recent years, has a different take on the process: An article in the National Post, One of Canada’s leading daily’s, is less inclined to be enamored of the Kennedy charade. Kelly McParland, ponders the question: “Is Al Sharpton the best Caroline Kennedy can do?”, in response to Ms. Kennedy’s calls to all major players in the DNC who can help her achieve her “rightful” place in the senate. Another, in the same publication, by Steven Edwards quips” America's aristocracy lines up for senate vacancies “>, where he outlines all the “political dynasties” and closes with: “So it all comes down to this: America fought a revolution for what? “ (Author’s Note: Buy Canadian!)

There reactions from New Yorkers is mixed, according to a YouTube Video, posted below, however, those “interviews” were conducted in Manhattan, which does not represent the majority of the State of New York.

There are those “upstate”, who would see a more competitive bid for this seat, the Elmira Star Gazette article, includes the fact that “Two other women - Reps. Carolyn Maloney of Manhattan and Kirsten Gillibrand of Hudson - still are being mentioned as possible appointees here” and comments below the article are telling – they are in concert with Canadian Press, vis a vis, any so-called American “aristocracy”.

In the final analysis, is it more than likely Kennedy will get what she wants; she may not have the experience, or the qualifications, for that matter, but her connections to the big money and political players, and for no other reason? She is a woman, who is, for all intents and purposes “fluff”. What this appointment does is take away the opportunity for qualified women, to vie for a Senate Seat, while making a mockery of the entire process. (See Elmira Star Gazette). It is that women, in general, are treated as objects by the press, dependent of course, upon political affiliation, or who one might be running against. The blatant sexism that greeted the highly qualified Hillary Clinton (who Kennedy feels entitled to replace), was disgusting, however, what is most galling is the treatment of Gov. Sarah Palin, who, with greater qualifications that Ms. Kennedy, was subject to a never-ending stream of sexist commentary from the American Press, while Caroline Kennedy is treated as “the Princess” (object). (And that beat goes on).

1 comment:

Jimmy Lewis said...

You make a great point in comparison to the Media's treatment of Gov. Palin. Obviously it is o.k., if you're a 'Princess'.

What a slap in the face to all, who are not only thoroughly qualified, but have put in the long hours, the blood, the sweat, and the tears.

If Ms. Kennedy truly cared about this country, she would say 'no thanks' to those in the Democrat party who most definately have been coddling, coaxing, and coaching her all along, with the sole purpose in mind of retaining the seat in the future.

As I've stated before ... I believe we live in the age of an 'Ameridan Idol' Society.


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