Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Princess Brat Diaries

Princess Brat

Uncle Ted wants Caroline Kennedy to be a US Senator from New York and wants the state's governor to appoint her to Hillary Clinton's seat.

And why wouldn't he want that?

It would be like a trust fund for Caroline, one with annual payments. That's due to the rate of re-election for incumbents.

Some say appoint Caroline and, when the term Hillary was elected to is up, Caroline can run for it then (2012). Yes and she'd be the incumbent meaning it would be near impossible to defeat her. Ted knows that. Ted knows get her in the seat and it becomes her seat for life.

He won his Senate seat in 1962. As an incumbent, he's never had to really sweat since. (OpenSecrets addresses the re-election rate for incumbents here.)

Hillary intends to step down to become Secretary of State. When a seat becomes vacant, governors appoint the replacement. The problem in Illinois may lead some to consider altering that.

For any evaluating, we'd suggest that those who receive their party's nomination (or run as an independent) and hold office in Congress should not allow a win to confuse the situation. Stick with us here because we got this notion when we grasped that Ted saw the Senate as a beauty contest. Miss America has a runner up, why can't the Congress? Every four years, a sentator is usually on one -- if not both -- of the major parties' tickets. The excuse for allowing governors to fill vacated positions is that holding special elections would prove to costly.

Fair enough but in 2008, for example, three US Senators were running for the White House. John McCain was running as the head of the GOP ticket, Barack Obama as the head of the Democratic ticket and Joe Biden as his running mate. Arizona, Delaware and Illinois respectively didn't need to hold a special election, they could have included the issue on their ballots in November. "If ____ leaves office due to the election, pick the candidate you'd like to fill the seat."

It would save money. It would prevent the sort of scandal currently dragging down Barack and his Dream Team. And it would allow the will of the voters to be registered.

As for Caroline, she doesn't like to run for office. Appointments are so much more 'noble.' As Froma Harrop observes in "Dems should say no to Senate bid by Kennedy" (Houston Chronicle):

Lest anyone forget the point of the American Revolution, our representatives are not chosen by hereditary succession, which, to quote Thomas Paine, "is an insult and imposition on posterity."

Of course, Caroline can ask for whatever she wants. The astounding part is that the idea of such a request hasn't been laughed out of the news pages.


Illustration is Isaiah's "Princess Brat."
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }