As president-elect Barack Obama prepares to be sworn in tomorrow as our nation’s 44th president, there’s news out of New York that Caroline Kennedy will be named as New York’s next U.S. Senator. According to Frederic Dicker of the New York Post, New York Governor Paterson is “certain” to pick Caroline Kennedy to replace Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate. If this report is true – and considering it’s the NY Post, it could very well be baloney – then it’s certainly an interesting choice, and by “interesting” I don’t mean it’s a good pick. I don’t presume to be an expert on New York’s political scene, but having heard Caroline Kennedy give speeches and appear in public, I just don’t see her being effective in a reelection bid in 2010.
Additionally, Gov. Paterson’s approval numbers are said to be slipping, and with Caroline Kennedy being a potentially unpopular pick as Sen. Clinton’s replacement, Gov. Paterson could face the ire of New York’s Democratic establishment during his own reelection campaign in 2010. There’s also the risk that choosing Caroline Kennedy will further drive down Gov. Paterson’s approval numbers, as Kennedy’s standing has been sliding with the public, including Democrats. To be honest, Caroline Kennedy seems to be a curious choice. If Gov. Paterson wanted a woman to replace Sen. Clinton, he had several good options to choose from, among them Representative Carolyn Maloney of Manhattan.
I’ll be curious to see if Caroline Kennedy is in fact the choice to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate, and if Kennedy is the choice, I’ll be interested to see the reaction from New Yorkers.