Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Caroline Kennedy Smear

In the aftermath of the Hillary Clinton replacement soap opera, there is a footnote to the misadventure of JFK's daughter in seeking the seat--the price of getting involved with political pygmies in the desire to continue a family tradition of public service.

The New York Times, which played a part in discrediting Caroline Kennedy as not ready for prime time, has gone back (with one of the same reporters) to untangle the final scenes of her withdrawal and the efforts of a governor's minions to smear her on his behalf.

It is not a pretty picture.

"A review of public comments and interviews with more than a dozen people involved in the process," says the Times, "make clear that Gov. David A. Paterson’s administration released confidential information about Ms. Kennedy and misled reporters about its significance as part of an orchestrated effort to discredit her after she withdrew...

"One of the administration’s central claims to reporters was that Ms. Kennedy had, in the words of a person close to the governor, 'a definite tax issue' and 'a nanny problem' that 'she didn’t want to become public.'

"But that story was inaccurate. The governor and his aides now acknowledge that those issues--a tax lien of a few hundred dollars in 1994, and a lapsed visa for a foreign nanny who worked for Ms. Kennedy during the late 1980s-- had been resolved years earlier and were never considered disqualifying during the vetting process."

In the era of Blagojevich et al, the New York governor's attempt to throw an idealistic Kennedy under his reelection campaign bus may be small potatoes, but it only underscores what may have been Caroline Kennedy's real reason for withdrawing--disgust.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mr Stein I have always thought that Caroline Kennedy withdrew from consideration because of disgust with the self-serving games by Paterson, his team, and the surrogates for the other dozen or more contenders who were desperate for the Senate seat.

Kennedy was never desperate for it. That's why I think she was far and away the best choice.