Candidate sees Senate as personal growth opportunity

In her first sit-down interview since she emerged as a Senate hopeful, the 51-year-old daughter of President John F. Kennedy cited her father’s legacy in explaining her decision to seek to serve alongside her uncle Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy.

"Many people remember that spirit that President Kennedy summoned forth," she said. "Many people look to me as somebody who embodies that sense of possibility… She also credited her mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, with giving her the courage to run. "I think my mother … made it clear that you have to live life by your own terms and you have to not worry about what other people think and you have to have the courage to do the unexpected," she said…

She said she realizes she will have to prove herself and "work twice as hard as anybody else." She acknowledged, "I am an unconventional choice," but added: "We’re starting to see there are many ways into public life and public service."

Oh, dear.

Yes, that’s true. There are many ways into public life, and one of them is work. With all due respect to Ms. Kennedy (who I vaguely think well of – I’m not a close follower of clan Kennedy outside of politics), every other candidate for Senator Clinton’s seat has used that path to get where they are, and she has not.* I’m going to work the hardest (just as soon as I start) is not a comforting statement from someone applying to be appointed one of the most powerful people in the country.

I don’t doubt that she is sincerely offering to work hard at the job, insofar as she understands what that means. I’d still like some better reason than her parents’ Q ratings to think that’s going to be enough for a fifty year old woman to become my Senator as her first full-time job, particularly since the job involves voting

Kennedy offered no excuses for why she failed to vote in a number of elections since registering in New York City in 1988, including in 1994 when Daniel Patrick Moynihan was up for re-election for the Senate seat she hopes to take over. She said she was "surprised" and "dismayed" by her voting record, adding: "I’m glad it’s been brought to my attention." 

Where I don’t, I’m afraid, give her the benefit of the doubt at all is here

[S]he said she had turned down interview requests and tried not to appear to be campaigning for the job because she knew that the choice rested solely with the Democratic governor." I was trying to respect the process. It is not a campaign," she said.

I’m sure her (and Senator Lieberman’s) campaign manager will be disappointed to hear it.

*which is why those people know, as Ms. Kennedy apparently does not, that the job of a politician is precisely to care very much "what other people think" when those other people are voters (or at least not to say you’re proud of it if you don’t). 

Julia

Julia

Middle-aged (thank god); married (oddly enough); native New Yorker; one (thoroughly magnificent, thanks) child, She Who Must Be Obeyed, aka HM (Her Majesty). But a mere lowly end-user by profession, and a former [pretty much everything, at least in somewhat limited first-world terms].

Extravagant (mostly organic) cook, slapdash (completely organic) gardener, brain space originally assigned to names and faces piled up with the overflow from the desperately overcrowded Old Movie and Broadway Trivia section, garage space which was originally assigned to a car piled up with boxes of books.

Dreadful housekeeper, indifferent dresser, takeout menu ninja and the proud owner of a major percentage of the partially finished crafts projects on the east coast of the continental United States.

The handsome gentleman in the picture is Hoa Hakananai'a. He joined the collection of the British Museum in 1868. His name, which is thought to mean "stolen or hidden friend," was given to him by his previous owners when he was collected.

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