The heavy hitters –Michael Kinsley, Kathleen Parker, Jonah Goldberg, to mention a few– are weighing in on Carline Kennedy’s aspiration to be appointed to the Senate. My favorite take on this so far is Charles Krauthammer’s:
My own criticism of her is mitigated by the fact that, as universally acknowledged, she seems to be a nice person and that, as with the case of all royalty (real or imagined), she did not ask to be born into that particular family. I myself have no wish to be a Kennedy.
Also, I wonder if she might be paying a steeper price for her sudden ambition in compensation for the media’s general failure to adequately address Obama’s relative inexperience, especially when measured against the terrible responsibilities of the Presidency.
A point which I haven’t seen discussed is the parallel use by both Obama and Kennedy of their status as authors. Both have written two books and on these they have staked their largest claims to intellectual accomplishment. Kennedy’s books are admittedly co-written; there is probably no way to determine how much of either she actually wrote. The issue of Obama’s books is thornier. He seems content to let everyone believe in his full authorship of both. Certainly he’s happy enough to deposit the royalty checks. False pretenses? Discussion on that in a later post.
Caroline Kennedy may or may not become the Senator from New York or Camelot or People Magazine or anyplace else. For me, she happens to embody, momentarily at least, an interesting conjunction of concerns. Among them: knowledge and the pretense of knowledge, experience and competence, technique and will, illusion and delusion. These issues have cropped up at a lot of points in my own life. For the present they’re right here in my struggles to create this blog.