Monday, December 15, 2008

Kennedy, Cuomo or None of the Above

New York's Governor David Patterson, himself a second-generation politician, is faced with a hard dynastic decision now that Caroline Kennedy has made it clear that she wants Hillary Clinton's Senate seat.

In the Empire State, unlike those where money talks and talks, political bloodlines matter in the choice between a former president's daughter and a former governor's son, Andrew Cuomo, to replace a former First Lady.

To complicate it even more, Cuomo is divorced from Caroline Kennedy's cousin Kerry, whose brother, Robert Kennedy Jr. only recently took himself out of contention for the Clinton seat.

In political experience, Cuomo is a quarter of a century ahead, starting in his father Mario's administration in the 1980s and going on to serve as chairman of New York City's Homeless Commission, then in Bill Clinton's cabinet as HUD Secretary and now as New York State Attorney General.

But Caroline Kennedy is a serious, intelligent public figure-by-birth whose close ties to the new President could be an advantage for residents of the state even without experience in the rough-and-tumble.

Gov. Patterson, who inherited the job after Eliot Spitzer's downfall, should, of all people, know that character counts in public life. Making the choice will be a test of his own, and he may just surprise everyone by picking None of the Above.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Paterson. His name is David A. Paterson.