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Caroline Kennedy — Celebrity? Or Qualified Senate Candidate?
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Political commentators and legal experts are debating the qualifications of Caroline Bouvier Kennedy to fill the role of US Senator from New York. (Hillary Clinton is vacating her seat to serve as Secretary of State.)

Caroline Kennedy

Kennedy, a graduate of Columbia Law School, is the only surviving daughter of John and Jackie Kennedy. According to Wikipedia:


Kennedy graduated from Radcliffe College and worked at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she met her future husband, exhibit designer Edwin Schlossberg. She went on to receive a law degree from Columbia Law School. Kennedy’s professional life has spanned law and politics as well as education and charitable work. She has also acted as a spokesperson for her family’s legacy and authored several works on civil liberties.

The CQ Politics Blog:

A hot topic of debate in New York and elsewhere in the country is whether Caroline Kennedy, political neophyte and daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, has the chops to be a U.S. senator.

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But it wasn’t so long ago that New Yorkers were questioning the qualifications of another female Senate candidate with powerful connections and a universally recognized last name.

Back in 2000, skeptics dismissed then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton ’s run for retiring Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s seat, calling her a “carpetbagger” and criticizing her lack of legislative experience.

CQ Politics points out the similarities between Kennedy and Clinton, who was also criticized as a celebrity political neophyte when she first ran for the Senate. Both women are well-educated, came from political families, and are devoted to public service.

Kennedy has never been a lawyer, though she applied her legal training to co-authoring books on the Bill of Rights and the right to privacy.

From CBS News:

Speaking on CBS’ “Face The Nation,” Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. (who has said he wants to run for Senate) called Kennedy a “People Magazine celebrity” who, as far as he knew, “has never held a real job. …she’s never taken a stand on any public issue. She’s never even held one news conference. She hasn’t gone to one American Legion hall or Knights of Columbus hall or Masonic temple, or one synagogue to answer questions. When she does go on her so-called listening tour upstate, she’s, like, running from city hall into the car to avoid reporters. “

Some Republicans are crticizing the appointment of a politically inexperienced member of a prominent family to a post that is usually elected. The New York State Constitution calls for the governor to choose a new senator when the seat is vacated.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.


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