Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Caroline Kennedy's Bid for Senate

When I first read that Caroline Kennedy was seeking the New York Senate seat left vacant by Hillary Clinton's appointment to Secretary of State, I thought it was a nice idea. Although I don't know much about her, as part of the Kennedy clan, one can be assured that she has Democratic cred and I liked that she was a woman. However, I was a bit peeved with her endorsement of Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton during the primary. Remember, I was a Hillary supporter (but fully on the Obama bandwagon now!). As time has gone on, my enthusiasm has faded. I have this vague sensation that she has a sense of entitlement, that she may not be qualified, that her overt campaigning is somehow unseemly, that it isn't fair that she has never run for office but may, by virtue of her name, be appointed to one of the highest offices in the country.

Why has this shift in my opinion taken place? Is it due to media influence, subtle sexism in the reporting and opining on this issue? Even the New York Times and certain Huffington Post bloggers have been less than supportive. For example, there is the story about how she won't disclose her finances. In reality, only media outlets have asked for her to. I can certainly understand her unwillingness to provide this information just because a newspaper asked her to. Now, if she refuses a request from Governor Paterson, that would be a story.

Or is it just further reflection on my part? It's hard to say. As I write this and think about the end result, I am sure she would be a great Senator with positions similar to mine. I suppose politics has always been about who you know and being part of the good old boys network. Why not give a woman this same opportunity? If appointed, she will still have to run in the 2010 election to retain the seat, so she will have to prove herself very quickly.

So, I have now come full circle and would like to see Caroline Kennedy appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's vacant Senate seat.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Catching Up

I am back after recovering from the post-election crash that came after the election night high! I have been keeping up on Obama's transition, but have not been writing. Here are some of the key stories I have been following:
  • Obama's cabinet picks - I am thrilled that Hillary Clinton has been selected as Secretary of State. There have been complaints that Obama has not picked enough women, but I feel that he is truly attempting to pick the right people for each job, while attempting to have diversity. He has focused on diversity of opinion as much as diversity of ethnicity and gender. I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt on this.
  • The Blago scandal - Sigh. What can you say about this? Unbelievably corrupt, but I really cannot stomach the Republican party's attempt to smear Obama with this scandal, when you can hear from the Illinois governor's own mouth how much he resents Obama and his team for not playing his game.
  • The selection of Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the Inauguration - I feel this is very much an unfortunate decision of Obama's. The gay and lesbian community supported Obama in a huge way, even though Obama treaded that fine line of supporting gay rights while stopping short of supporting gay marriage. Given how devastating the passage of Prop 8 was in California for the gay and lesbian community and how it actually tempered the excitement this community (and supporters of gay marriage in general) felt about Obama's victory, I think this now dampens the excitement many people were feeling about this historic Inauguration Day. I am all for being inclusive, but why be inclusive of people who themselves exclude?
  • The auto bailout - It is sad that $700B was so freely given to the financial industry with no oversight but when it came to the automakers, many were willing to allow them to fail by not ponying up small fraction of that amount in a loan (not really a bailout) even though it would have potentially caused over 3,000,000 lost jobs. The Republicans were willing to cause this devastation to the economy just to crush the auto workers union. Here is an interesting article debunking the 6 myths about the Detroit 3 that were commonly bandied about during the national debate, probably leading to the public being mostly against the auto "bailout".

Hopefully, I am back on track and will be writing more often. Only 23 more days of President Bush!