WASHINGTON — Now that the sole survivor of President Kennedy's family, Caroline, has made known her interest in being appointed to succeed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, some of Hillary's friends are turning up their noses at the idea.
"Clintonites have made it clear that they remain unhappy that (Caroline) Kennedy endorsed (Barack) Obama during the Democratic primaries and have voiced concern that Clinton's Senate seat would be handed off to a New Yorker who did not support her presidential bid," The Washington Post reported today.
Kennedy has attempted to reach Sen. Clinton, but the incumbent, who will be nominated by Obama to be secretary of state, has not yet spoken with Caroline. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., has spoken with Kennedy but indicated he is not publicly taking sides among Kennedy and the dozen other Democrats who want Gov. David A. Paterson to name one of them.
A Schumer protege, Rep. Anthony D. Weiner, D-Brooklyn, said "if she (Kennedy) has the gift of milking cows, it's been utterly hidden from people of the State of New York."
Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-Queens, commented, "I don't know what Caroline Kennedy's qualifications are, except that she has name recognition, but so does J Lo (actress Jennifer Lopez). I wouldn't make J Lo the senator unless she proved that she had great qualifications, but we haven't seen them yet."
Rep. Louise M.Slaughter, D-Fairport, and the Rev. Al Sharpton both said they welcome Kennedy's interest. Even so, Kennedy will find out early that Democratic politics in New York ain't bean-bag.
The Huffington Post, which reported Kennedy's unreturned phone call to Sen. Clinton, quoted Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines saying, "This is entirely Gov. Paterson's decision, so (she) will not be commenting on it or any individual candidate, nor does any third party speak on her behalf."
But the Clinton forces have an army of current and former aides very experienced in putting out material in the blogosphere, and none of the unattributed statements of Clinton "friends" are supportive of Kennedy.
It is hard to take seriously their claims that they are lukewarm about Kennedy because she supported Obama. After all, didn't Sen. Clinton make peace with Obama and agree to be a leader on his national security team? Couldn't political "oxygen" be the real reason? If Kennedy were appointed and won election in 2010, wouldn't she be the one commanding the front pages and the newscasts, and raising virtually unlimited amounts of campaign money, instead of Hillary and former President Bill Clinton?