Thursday, December 18, 2008

What Qualifies One For The Senate?

According to WCBS TV , a reporter following Caroline Kennedy on her upstate "listening tour" had this to ask, "But you've never held public office so what experience [do you have]?"

Maybe it's time to take a look at what qualifies an individual to serve in the U.S. Senate! Especially when you consider the bunch that's in there now and those aspiring to be. Consider the stellar character represented by Ted Stevens and Larry Craig for example. Hillary Clinton had never held public office before being elected to the Senate. Were they not all considered adequately "qualified" when elected?

The Senate is a pretty exclusive "club". There are only 100 Senators. Two from every state; not like the gazillion of Representatives from gerrymandered districts! To find two people from each state that have their state's interest, as well as the nation's, at heart should not be that difficult. Is there any reason to assume Caroline Kennedy does not?

Being educated, having character and ability seem far more important to me than whether or not one has previously held elective office. I know. That may actually mean Al Franken, better known as a comedian than a politician, is superbly qualified. After all he is a Harvard man. And that is the crux of the argument. I based my support for Obama on much the same criteria. Intellect, character and education. Caroline is also a Harvard grad plus a J.D. from Columbia Law. The worst thing I can say is, "Not another lawyer!"

Actually, the fact that she is not a career politician is a plus in my book. Yes. She has far different life experiences than many of us, but what we have in common is equally important. A view of the world and life from outside the beltway.

Who would ever have thought the Kennedy name would be a negative? Is that a reason for David Patterson to not appoint her? I should hope not.


Word Tosser said...

While Caroline has many good things about her... and surely she should be in the running, but I would hope the Governor makes a choice with the most qualified. I don't know who else is in the consideration... if she is the most qualified because of the work she has done in other areas.. then so be it... if not and there is someone else..then they should be chosen. Being from the Kennedy area, I am very fond of Caroline, but again, I like to see New York find some one they believe to be the best for them.

Sylvia K said...

I believe Caroline Kennedy has a great deal to bring to the Senate seat, all of which you've made note of in your post. I do hope Paterson appoints her, but guess we'll just have to wait and see.

John Dwyer said...

I am to old to have a pertinent opinion of Caroline. I always remember her standing and holding her Mother's hand as the funeral procession passed and her brother stood saluting the casket as it passed. However, she would probably be the first senator from that state since before her uncle without obvious "higher" aspirations.

Bay Views said...

Depends what state is in question. If Illinois is the choice, big bucks and a promise that you can delever more tombstones than anyone else.

If it is New York, then it's all about pedigree. Need not be a resident, since none of the past few have had to be one.

Margie's Musings said...

Caroline is as qualified as most of those other jokers. And the Kennedy clan all believe they have to "give back" because of their wealth. That would be a welcome relief from those who think they have to "get" something from being in office.

Linda said...

I believe Caroline will be a big help to David Patterson when he seeks re-election. I expect him to appoint her.

I like Caroline and think she will make a good senator. Much better than some of those you mentioned.