Saturday, November 18, 2017

Caroline Kennedy's Short Run for Office 2008

When Caroline Kennedy announced seeking the senate seat from New York held by Hillary Clinton in 2008, she was less than supported.  I thought mostly for the wrong reasons. I felt this was largely unfair and decided to write an editorial to the New York Times.

New York Times

Here it is below.....

The Peculiar Case of Caroline

As a Midwesterner I have read from afar the many articles appearing in the popular press regarding the interest Ms. Kennedy has expressed in seeking appointment to a US Senate vacancy. Much of the rhetoric is clearly unfair, judgmental and lacks an objective view of her right to express an interest in this position, and then allowing for the state bureaucracy to appoint her or another person of the Governor’s choosing.

On the issue of qualification, have we forgotten the backgrounds of Gov. Schwarzenegger or Gov. Ventura? On the issue of family name, it seems nothing could be more patriotic than another generation continuing the many years of dedicated service this family has provided their country. On the issue of wealth, we should revisit Sen. McCain who had trouble recalling his real estate portfolio. On the issue of visibility, how many of us knew Gov. Palin or any of her accomplishments until she was placed in the national forum.

So the reality of this mean spirited campaign appears to be nothing about Caroline’s qualification, her commitment, her wealth, and her lack of visibility. The data points all suggest it is about something else much more troubling – machine politics.   At a time when Americans have seen some restoration in the America Dream with the rise of President-elect Obama, contrasted at the other end of the spectrum with no shortage of daunting global challenges - this is clearly a time when we need very bright, caring people in our elected positions. We cannot afford to continue allowing the progression and succession of those appointed by party machines and quid pro quo. It is disconcerting that we only look for fault and not for upside in those who want to serve, and certainly do not have to. The prospect of having someone fresh and in touch with the array of challenges we face, should become the norm and not the exception. 

It is a noble thing to serve one’s country in whatever manner we can, whether it is a small county supervisor in a Midwestern town, a private on security detail in Iraq, or occupying a US Senate seat. We should never forget one of the most basic principles our founding fathers designed into the architecture of our democracy, was the opportunity for any citizen to serve in office. It’s time we let Caroline be a citizen and support her right to express her interest in this position. If chosen, I believe the citizens of New York will be served in an extraordinary manner.

David E. Steele

Indianapolis, Indiana