Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Clemons on Maddow Offers This As a Criterion for Caroline Kennedy in the Senate: "Can She Get Grilled By Bloggers"?

I just saw Steve Clemons, publisher of the political blog, The Washington Note, make the following argument on the Rachel Maddow show against Caroline Kennedy being appointed to Hillary Clinton's US Senate seat from New York: "Can she get grilled by bloggers?" Clemons asked Rachel. His apparent and unwarranted assumption that Caroline Kennedy cannot withstand such grilling is some kind of evidence, in Clemons and I guess Rachel Maddow's thinking, that Caroline Kennedy should not be appointed.

Now, I can well understand, as someone who writes a fair number of blogs myself, why someone with a political blog would think that the "grilling" it might give a new Senator is somehow an important indicator of whether she or he would make a good Senator.

But here are a few other factors which seems slightly more important: Can she inspire and lead by her example? Doe she have the intellect to make sage decisions, and the moral courage to stand up for them? Does she understand power, and thereby how to work with it, around it, beyond it, to give the people of New York and the United States the best possible representation in the upper house of our Congress?

Caroline Kennedy's life and work suggest that she is strong in all of those areas.

And, if she is not, there is another group - not bloggers - that will be "grilling" her in just two years, when she must stand for election, and two years after that, when she would need to run for that Senate seat again - the voters of New York.

"Can she get grilled by bloggers?" If they are on the level of analysis you showed on Rachel Maddow's show tonight, Mr. Clemons, I would hope that Caroline Kennedy or anyone in office would ignore you.

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