Caroline Kennedy's Support Plummets

A clumsy public introduction apparently has consequences:

Cuomo now leads Kennedy 58%-27% as the one that voters would like to see Gov. David Paterson appoint to the Senate, with a 54%-34% spread among Democrats only. In last month's poll, which tested Democrats only, Kennedy had a 44%-23% lead. So a 21-point Caroline lead among Democrats has turned into a 20-point Cuomo advantage.

I'm sure Kennedy's favorability suffered after the political media in New York pounced on her series of awkward interviews, but I'm still surprised how little Kennedy bothered to communicate her policy positions. Had she inverted her approach - and introduced herself directly to voters first - New Yorkers might be more forgiving of a couple extra "you knows."

As it stands now, Patterson's losing wiggle-room if he doesn't want to appoint someone else.

Tags: NY-SEN (all tags)




I'm still surprised how little Kennedy bothered to communicate her policy positions.

You know what continues to surprise me?  How much people expected her to communicate her policy positions.

In supposedly fighting a dynastic choice, we've actually changed the level of expectations necessary for a mere appointment... but only for people with famous names, it's looking like.

by Dracomicron 2009-01-05 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: What?

I think the difference here is that Kennedy announced her desire for the seat, and hasn't previously campaigned for anything. Once she announced that she wanted it, she opens herself up to questions.

by Josh Orton 2009-01-05 10:09AM | 0 recs

The media vultures that jump on her every word are par for the course, of course.

Nobody outside of New York would've thought twice about any of this had it been a similarly-qualified non-Kennedy party loyalist replacing Hillary Clinton.  This is the media cashing in on the primary wars a half-year after the fact, make no mistake.

by Dracomicron 2009-01-05 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Sure

You know, the Kennedys have been headline news for much longer than I've been alive.  In this case, I think you are the one who is guilty of seeing everything in terms of the primary wars.

Lots of people here in New York have opinions about Caroline Kennedy getting this seat.  In contrast to what we see here on the Intertubes, I have yet to encounter a single person in real life whose opinion has anything to do with who Kennedy endorsed in the primary.

Being a celebrity in this country comes with both pluses and minuses.  I'm sure you're right that if Kennedy were just an anonymous person with her background, there wouldn't be nearly this level of discussion.  But I hope no one kids themselves into believing that in a state like New York, with its deep Democratic bench, an anonymous person with Kennedy's background would have had any shot whatsoever at getting appointed in the first place.

by Steve M 2009-01-05 11:17AM | 0 recs
I will concede to actual New Yorkers

I have no particular stake in the matter; I have my own Senate drama here in Minnesota to look after, after all.

All I know is that Kennedy is reasonably qualified and helped vet Mighty Joe Biden as Vice President, so her loyalty to the Democratic Party cannot be in question, which is usually the only standard by which appointees are judged.

I step back when an actual New Yorker steps in; it's their thing, after all.  Most of the stuff on the internet, and probably in the media, is primary-related, however.  The news networks never got higher ratings than when there was a writer's strike and the primaries were the hottest non-scripted drama around.

by Dracomicron 2009-01-05 11:47AM | 0 recs
This is getting ridiculous

How hard is it to find a qualified candidate to fill a senate seat in NY? There are tons of good candidates out there. Patterson looks weaker each day this post is not filled.

by Mayor McCheese 2009-01-05 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: This is getting ridiculous

Let's clear something up Gov. Patterson at the outset said he would not appoint a replacement until Senator Clinton resigned. She has not so he has not. It has zip to do with weakness or strength.

by jsfox 2009-01-05 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: This is getting ridiculous

Arguably, not putting off the decision until Clinton resigned is in itself a sign of weakness, since he's just waiting. Why not help us hit the ground running?

by Mayor McCheese 2009-01-05 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: This is getting ridiculous

Well for all we know he has made up his mind and is sticking to his word that the announcement will come when Hillary resigns.  One could argue why hasn't Hillary reigned. This process would be over had she. However she is well within her rights not to as Patterson is well within his rights to hold off until there is an actual vacancy.

by jsfox 2009-01-05 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: This is getting ridiculous

I think Clinton should resign now. If she did, it would have arguably forced Patteron's hand to name a replacment. Since its an unexpired term, this hypothetical senator could have been sworn in already and would be ahead of the entire freshman class in terms of seniority.

by Mayor McCheese 2009-01-05 10:27AM | 0 recs
Smart ass response alert

In this economy would you resign from a job you have until the ink was dry on the contract for the job you have been offered? ;)

by jsfox 2009-01-05 10:35AM | 0 recs
We're the ones making it ridiculous

Honestly, this is all bureaucracy at this point.  Clinton has very reasonable reasons for keeping her seat until she's confirmed, and the only thing I'd do different if I were Patterson would be to tell the media to just shut up about it already.

by Dracomicron 2009-01-05 10:40AM | 0 recs
Re: This is getting ridiculous

I have heard people make this sort of comment about seniority before, but it seems like just a myth to me.  No one has been able to identify even a single example of a Senator who got something concrete, like their pick of committee assignments, as a result of getting sworn in a few days before the rest of the freshman class.  All they can ever do is point to some Wikipedia page that tries to make it seem like a difference of a day actually matters.

by Steve M 2009-01-05 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: This is getting ridiculous

Many have tauted seniority as the benefit that New Yorkers would get if Hillary was to resign. However, I remember not too long ago how "that seniority" would have benefited the current junior senator of New York: not too well if I may add.

by Check077 2009-01-05 11:54AM | 0 recs
You know,

seems like New Yorkers have heard Sarah Palin's, I mean Caroline Kennedy's pitch to be senator, and they just haven't heard a good reason.

by Lakrosse 2009-01-05 09:59AM | 0 recs
Re: You know,


Comparing Caroline Kennedy to Sarah Palin is a profound insult. LBJ had a saying, it's like the difference between chicken salad and chicken shit. The incomprehensible ignorance that conservatives cheered on is not what we have in Caroline Kennedy, I find it interesting how dismissive people have become of her Columbia Law and Harvard Undergraduate degrees, her two books on constitutional law, her $65 million dollar fundraising success for the NYC public schools and her steady stewardship of family foundations.

The more you look at her, the more one realizes that this woman has a servants heart and she carries herself that way.  I don't know about you, but I take comfort in the fact that she hasn't pursued power for the last thirty years, but instead been about the business of being a good wife and mother.

The denigration of Caroline Kennedy is sexist. Period. And the disingenuous Hillarycrats that beat everybody down so that they would conform to Hillary's fake-ass corporate feminism should be doing everything they can to help a qualified woman, like Caroline Kennedy, retain this seat.

by skepticalbrotha 2009-01-05 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: You know,

All fair points about her qualifications, but there are some negatives too. For one, her record of voting in NY's election is pretty spotty at best. She didnt' even vote in 94 in the race for the seat that she wants. She also, being a person of wealth, hasn't donated very much to Democratic politicians in the state. There's nothing sexist in pointing out that she has flaws as well as strengths. The voting thing could hurt her badly in an election. While I think any Democrat, including Kennedy would be favored to win the special election, this might give some ammo to the opponent, whoever it may be.

by Mayor McCheese 2009-01-05 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: You know,

Mr. Mayor,

Sir, the voting record issue is pure bullshit. How many times did the Queen of Triangulation vote in New York before pursuing elected office there: 0 TIMES.  

A Lexis-Nexis search of the term Michael Bloomberg and voting turns up nada about his voting record before he plunged into the 2001 Mayor's race.  

Again, this disingenuous effort to discredit Caroline Kennedy because she isn't perfect is sexist. Period.  Nobody gave a shit how many times Bloomberg voted in city elections.  He switched parties and ran as a Republican and got a pass.

Caroline Kennedy, unlike Hillary Clinton, has lived and worked in New York for over three decades and been a contributing member of society.  If the umpteen stories touting her late brother as a potential senate candidate were credible and fair, why not her.  She is just as qualified as he.

This is about Cuomo using the fact that Caroline bailed on Hillary to his advantage to try to knock her ass out of the boss.   I mean I've seen supposedly serious journalists do stories on how many times she says "ya know" in a sentence.  It is sexist bullshit and you know it.

by skepticalbrotha 2009-01-05 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: You know,

It's not, as you put it,  "pure bullshit." These things do hurt candidates. They hurt Lynn Swann when he ran for Governor of PA. They hurt Jack McMullen in VT when he lost the primary to "Fred the Farmer." Clinton's lack of a record in NY did hurt her, ahtough she was obviously able to overcome it. It was  very legitimate issue to use against her as Kennedy's spotty (to be charitable" voting record is against her. Arguably, it could hurt worse since Kennedy's been LIVING her, ostensibly for decades, and has a mediocre record.  

by Mayor McCheese 2009-01-05 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: You know,

Username: Every successful politician (or prominent people in general) are spending their lives running towards something. It is truly an idea that is connected with Obama--some said that he had planned on running for president at the earliest 2012 (which range from 8 or so years itself) and before that to present himself as a viable vice-presiential choice.

I know some people revile Hillary for not going into the gentle night like most first ladies, but Michelle Obama would have had a tougher time breaking the mode of traditional first ladies had it not been a Hillary--and there would be an even more divisive Hillary, had it not been an Eleanor Roosevelt.

I believe some people need to get past their hate for Hillary. I mean, just only today, many are pushing for Caroline Kennedy to be senator when her experience did not even match Hillary Clinton's record (pre-first lady years). Hillary's record is a successful one even if she was a man. I believe this is part of the ingrained hatred toward her.

I mean how dare Robert Kennedy for running for president after he served in his brother's administration! (Of course, for those who may read otherwise, I'm being snarky with the previous sentence.)

People, please relax and take a chill pill...

by Check077 2009-01-05 01:01PM | 0 recs
Re: You know,

The queen of triangulation?  And who is that is re-fighting the primary wars?

by Denny Crane 2009-01-05 02:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy's Support Plummets
Unfortunately, from what has been reported in recent days, Paterson has made the wrong choice.
by RJEvans 2009-01-05 10:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy's Support Plummets

An empty skirt.

by KnoxVow 2009-01-05 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy's Support Plummets

Not really amusing...

by lori 2009-01-05 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy's Support Plummets

Just don't know what Democrats really want. Is this the final refutation of "liberalism" in the party? Here we had a solid Democrat vote for any liberal-social legislation that this Congress or the president to be might push into law.

But no. Being an FDR style liberal-socialist is no longer wanted. My how the wealthy have indoctrinated Democrats into selecting soft Democrats who might just allow them to take more of our wealth off shore.

by MainStreet 2009-01-05 10:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy's Support Plummets

I was surprised by this poll result.  I dunno, people keep telling me it's supposedly a done deal, but we'll see.

Of course, if you support her then this is all just a result of the media's unfair treatment of her, while if you oppose her it's all an understandable negative reaction.  That's the way these things go.

by Steve M 2009-01-05 11:20AM | 0 recs
Hillary outright won the seat...

**I'm not necessarily responding to anyone in particular.**

Some people can not stand the fact that the rest of the party does not agree with Caroline Kennedy being the preferred democratic choice. Well, I believe New Yorkers should decide what is best for them.

I sometimes believe that some Obama supporters have a terrible affliction to crave domination over successful things related to Hillary Clinton and, thereby, a need to withdraw any positive stories/things from Hillary and transfer Obama and through Obama.

It's a shame, but this will only serve to hurt their cause going forward.

by Check077 2009-01-05 12:40PM | 0 recs
I still think she will be appointed

And am in favor of it. the polls just shows that media can damage almost anyone, especially dems who seem to eat their own and not defend it.

by YourConcernsAreNoted 2009-01-06 12:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline

Bennet, Burris and Kennedy. The chances of at least 3 Senate losses in 2010, never looked so scary.

by liberalj 2009-01-06 01:25PM | 0 recs


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