Caroline Kennedy Answers Questions But This Is Not Enough

Caroline Kennedy has received criticism for seeking Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat without facing the voters. This is partially a consequence of the seat being decided by appointment, but is is also important for the people of New York to believe that any appointee will be representing them. Kennedy has avoided answering questions and now unfortunately has chosen to limit her answers to questions to written responses.

I remain without a strong opinion either way with regards to her appointment. These responses do not affect my decision. I agree with her on some positions more than others, but any disagreements are no greater than those I might have with other Democrats I feel forced to support by default due to the extremism of the opposing party. Perhaps her most controversial answer will be her support for gay marriage. I’ve long suspected that many Democrats realize that this is the only just position but have been afraid to take this stand out of fear of the political backlash. The question was answered with a simple response that, “Caroline supports full equality and marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.”

If I have any interest in seeing Caroline Kennedy in the Senate it would be because of her choice of topics for some of her books. The positions which a politician chooses to concentrate on are often more important than how they would answer a string of questions submitted by others on a variety of questions. From my perspective, whether there is any great value in having Caroline Kennedy in the Senate would depend largely upon whether her interest in writing books on civil liberties and privacy means she would be a strong civil liberties advocate. I would learn far more about her if she were to present her ideology by making her own case as to why she should be in the Senate as opposed to only answering the questions of others in this manner.

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  1. 1
    Jeremy Pober says:

    Ron, I’m in pretty much full agreement with you about Caroline Kennedy. Actually, I’m a little more positive toward her after reading her answers and seeing there were several quite reasonable liberal positions in there in addition to her support for gay marriage. However, I’m dubious of using her book authorship as serious credentials. Julian Sanchez has a great post this morning discussing the problem with that and he concludes with what I think is the best case against Kennedy:

    “So, it doesn’t bother me especially that Caroline Kennedy lacks “political experience.”  Rah-rah democracy and all that, but on the rare cases where we’re going to appoint someone to Congress, it seems like a grand opportunity to pick precisely the kind of person who wouldn’t normally get elected—someone who’s spent their life acquiring experience and expertise as a scholar or entrepreneur or activist rather than a professional campaigner.”

    It’s not that there’s anything particularly wrong with Kennedy. It’s that Paterson had a chance to appoint someone even better and didn’t.

  2. 2
    Christopher says:

    Caroline Kennedy, who is seeking the soon-to-be-vacated U.S. Senate seat held by Hillary Clinton, is sharing some of her political opinions with the people she’s campaigning to represent.
    Following in the solid liberal tradition of uncle Ted Kennedy and rejecting Barack Obama’s regressive position on the subject, Kennedy says she fully supports same-sex marriage.
    A Kennedy spokesman drafted seven written answers to the eight questions submitted by Politico to the 51-year-old attorney, author and electoral novice.
    QUESTION 2: Same-sex marriage. Do you support the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry?
    ANSWER: “Caroline supports full equality and marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.”
    Psst, don’t tell Obama’s new BFF, Rick Warren!

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