Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Marcus hurts Kennedy with Post endorsement

Sometimes, an endorsement hurts more than helps.

See Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post, "A Vote for Senator Caroline", endorsing Caroline Kennedy for N.Y. Senate.

"On the question of Caroline Kennedy for Senate, my head says no, on balance. My heart says yes! Yes!"

Okay, so she knows it makes no sense.

"I always find it a bit creepy when children follow the career paths of their parents. It bespeaks a certain undue eagerness to please, not to mention a decided lack of imagination. In particular, even though politics as family business has a lengthy pedigree in American history, I recoil from political dynasties."

Okay, she admits dynasties are bad.

"For one, dynasties tend to illustrate the phenomenon of reversion to the mean: It's rare that the second generation outperforms the first. The Kennedy family itself offers a good illustration of this trend . . ."

Okay, the Kennedys are bad dynasts.

"More unsettling, political dynasties are fundamentally un-American. This is not -- or is not supposed to be -- a country in which political power is an inherited commodity. The notion that Caroline Kennedy could simply ring up the governor and announce, or even politely suggest, her availability grates against the meritocratic ideal."

Okay, the way Caroline handled this "grates against the meritocratic ideal."

Marcus then compares Kennedy's celebrity to Jon Corzine, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura and Sonny Bono.

Okay, let's ignore that these were all self made, up by their own bootstraps individuals who started at the bottom of the barrel and then were elected (not selected) to high office after rising to the highest levels in their chosen fields.

"There are any number of intriguing subplots at work here. Her uncle's illness, and the "dream will never die" emotion of having Caroline in place to carry on his work. The don't-mess-with-my-family payback dynamic of putting in for the job to shove aside Andrew Cuomo, her cousin Kerry's former husband."

Okay, let's make this petty and stupid and turn it into People Magazine / National Enquirer fodder.

"Imagine, by the way, how Hillary Clinton must be feeling. After all that work, after all those years, she not only lost the presidential nomination to Barack Obama, she now may be yielding her Senate seat to a woman who emerged from the political shadows to give Obama the benediction of the Kennedy legacy."

Okay, let's translate this into a dis' of the Clintons (that'll really help the cause, Ruth!)

"What really draws me to the notion of Caroline as senator, though, is the modern-fairy-tale quality of it all. . . . In this fairy tale, Caroline is our tragic national princess. She is not locked away in a tower but chooses, for the most part, to closet herself there. Her mother dies, too young. Her impossibly handsome brother crashes his plane, killing himself, his wife and his sister-in-law. She is the last survivor of her immediate family; she reveals herself only in the measured doses of a person who has always been, will always be, in the public eye."

Okay, let's turn this into a silly Julia Roberts / Sandra Bullock screenplay.

Please protect those I support from the kindness of people like Ruth Marcus!

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