The Year of the Rookie

Caroline Kennedy is unfit for public office.

The American economy, and the world economy as a whole, are facing the most storm-clouded sky that we have seen in many years.  Stockmarkets around the world have seen record crashes and national economics, if not exactly plummeting, are certainly doing much more poorly than people have come to expect.  Recent years have seen an unprecedented spike in energy prices, relieved only by the drop in demand brought by the staggering economies; petroleum supplies are not being replaced with the speed of projected population growth, to say nothing of the growth caused by the entry of China and India's billions into the world economy.

On the military front, America is involved in at least two hot wars and somewhere around three cold ones, depending on how you count.  Any (or all) of these wars could explode into a wider conflict at any time.  We are hated by hundreds of millions and resented by hundreds of millions more.

At the same time, the United States is experiencing a slow-moving invasion of millions of people who have no intention of becoming Americans nor desire to assimilate.  Not that anyone is asking them to; Western culture is under attack by its elites, from Left Coast professors to the salons of Europe that run roughshod over popular opinion.  That doesn't even mention the full-on assault on the principles of capitalism, that system which has brought greater wealth to more people than any other economic or political system in history.

People are looking to government for guidance and help, but confidence in politicians is at an all-time low.  What's needed is a great leader of vision, intelligence, and most of all experience, if we are to sail the ship of state without crashing headlong into too many more rocks.

Or not.  Instead, we get President-elect Barack Obama, whose main claim to managerial experience is running his own presidential campaign.

Which, truth be told, was pretty darn effective, and goodness knows nothing succeeds like success; but it's not quite the same thing as steering a large organization like a state, large company, or even a small company which existed before you came and hopefully will exist after you leave.  On some level, even the Democrats knew that; they couldn't resist the temptation to attack Sarah Palin for her lack of experience, though Mr. Obama's resume makes Gov. Palin's look like Henry Kissinger's and she has more executive experience than Mr. Obama and Mr Biden put together.

It can be argued that Mr. Obama was a special case.  He had a golden tongue, hired superb political operatives, and had, let us say, other substantively-irrelevant personal characteristics which nevertheless had great appeal to the mainstream media and to an electorally-significant subset of voters.  If Dick Cheney represents experience and gravitas, perhaps the voters were in the mood for the diametrical opposite.

But if a desire for a cathartic venting is the reason Mr. Obama's total lack of relevant experience was of no particular concern, why are we now hearing rumblings about the appointment of a Senator who is, if such a thing is possible, even less experienced than Mr. Obama himself?  At least Mr. Obama had been elected to the U.S. and Illinois state Senates, and done, well, something or other while there although it's hard to say exactly what.  We cannot say the same for Caroline Kennedy, would-be Senator for New York in replacement of Hillary Clinton.

It's interesting in its own right that, just by saying her name - Caroline Kennedy - you know quite a lot about her already.  Your conclusions are indeed correct: yes, she lives in New York; yes, she is beautiful, more or less, and wealthy; yes, she holds a law degree from an Ivy League institution but isn't noted for her actual practice of the law; yes, she knows everyone worth knowing; and yes, she is quite, quite liberal.

Unfortunately, that's all there is to know about her.  Her life has traveled a smooth course unblemished by distinction of any kind.  She has done nothing worthy of national note.

She has participated in the customary charities that occupy the wives of the great and the good; she has dabbled in politics to the extent of putting forward sundry awards that our elite like to award themselves with; and, let us not forget, she has edited a children's book of poetry.

Caroline Kennedy and her star-studded career would be entirely at home across the pond; replace Kennedy with Windsor and our newly-minted Princess would hardly need to change anything about her life.  She is eminently qualified to look pretty christening a battleship, say, or cutting the ribbon for a new suspension bridge.

We fought a war some time back over this very subject.  America has its elites, and always has; but in theory, membership of their ranks is supposed to be earned by distinction in some endeavor. Sometimes, it doesn't take even that much; we've had politicians whose very claim to the office rested in their lack of any other distinction, thus making them "common man" and better able to represent ordinary Joes.

American offices are not supposed to be inherited.  While one's inherited wealth may come in handy for a political campaign, it shouldn't entitle you to a Senate seat by acclamation.  Ms. Kennedy's life is as different from that of Joe the Plumber as it's possible to imagine; who does she imagine she is able to represent?

Aside from questions of experience, what would Sen. Caroline Kennedy bring to that august chamber?  Star power - but at the moment, that slot is already filled at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.  You could say that the last thing Washington needs is one more pontificating blowhard who's full of themselves - but Caroline can't even reach that qualification, as the reaction to her recent disastrous interview attempts illustrates.

If you can't handle a kid-gloved press correspondent who's utterly in awe of your historic name, how can you hope to accomplish anything for the people of New York in less friendly circumstances?  A filibuster consisting of repeating "you know" 142 times in an hour is fit more for the Guinness Book of Records than for the Congressional Record.

No, the last thing New York, or America, needs is another rookie; one is quite enough, thank you very much.  Gov. Paterson should appoint an experienced leader who's legendary for fighting for the people of New York, for their safety, well-being, and success.

Let's hear it for Sen. Rudy Guiliani!

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Politics.
Reader Comments
The day Gov. Paterson appoints Guiliani is the day hell turns into an ice skating ring.

Um, Petrarch.... "yes, she is beautiful, more or less"?

Average at best. (Not that I want to turn this into Access Hollywood or anything)
December 31, 2008 8:20 AM
The Democrats are SERIOUS about appointing inexperienced people:

Panetta Chosen as C.I.A. Chief in Surprise Step
The choice of Leon E. Panetta, a former White House chief of staff, to head the intelligence agency raised questions about his relevant experience.
January 6, 2009 10:58 AM
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