Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Caroline Kennedy Takes Name Out of Senate Bid

Caroline Kennedy, who was spurred to throw her name into the ring to replace Hillary Clinton as Senator from New York because of the service of her uncle Ted and the Obama victory, has had a change of heart.

She's taken her name out of the running.
Ms. Kennedy on Wednesday called Gov. David A. Paterson, who will choose a successor to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, to inform him that she no longer wished to be considered.

The person told of her decision said that Ms. Kennedy’s concerns about the health of her uncle, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who suffers from brain cancer and was hospitalized after suffering a seizure Tuesday, prompted her to withdraw.

Ms. Kennedy believed that the job was hers if she would accept it, the person said, but aides to Mr. Paterson would not comment on whether that was true.

The news jolted the state’s political establishment and appeared to throw the Paterson administration into confusion.

Just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, Errol Cockfield, Mr. Paterson’s press secretary, said the governor had referred to the assertion that Ms. Kennedy was withdrawing as "just the rumor of the day." More than an hour later, Mr. Cockfield asked that that statement not be published, but neither he nor the governor’s communications director, Risa B. Heller, would respond to questions about Ms. Kennedy.

Ms. Kennedy’s decision comes nearly two months after she, along with several members of Congress and leading political officials, began auditioning to replace Mrs. Clinton in the coveted position. She attracted relentless attention and was viewed by many as the most likely choice for Mr. Paterson, given her national stature and ties to the incoming Obama administration.
Hillary Clinton was confirmed by the her former colleagues in the Senate earlier today as Obama's Secretary of State (94-2 - DeMint (R-SC) and Vitter (R-LA) opposing) and sworn in a short time ago. New York Governor David Paterson has to figure out who to give the plum job to.

Will it be New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo? I don't think so. He and Senior Senator Charles Schumer wouldn't mesh particularly well. I wouldn't want to stand in between either of them and a microphone, and neither would particularly care for the other hogging the spotlight. Then again, we could solve the state debt by paying to see who would win. We could make it a best of 730, just to tide us until the next election.

Other names that are far more likely are three current New York Congresswomen, Nydia Velaquez, Nita Lowey, and Carolyn Maloney. All three had Senate ambitions in the past, but were passed over by the Democrat leadership in favor of Hillary running in the first place.

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