Friday, January 23, 2009

Matthews Slams NY Daily News Political Reporter Liz Benjamin For Citing Blog Rumors About Caroline Kennedy: "Let's Stick To Journalism. I Don't Do That Here"



There is a lot of meaningless nastiness that has been directed at Caroline Kennedy. It is especially disturbing and probably was unnecessary if the goal was to make a stronger case for the choice of of another candidate. While Caroline is a woman from a prominent family, it is also one that has suffered great tragedy. Caroline Kennedy has remained mostly a private citizen and extended her name and relative celebrity to meaningful causes like education, even if some question the extent of her actual record. Truth is, it did not seem that Caroline was much concerned about creating a record as much as she appeared to be lending the Kennedy name to important issues. Obama inspired many people, including Caroline Kennedy, who may have otherwise been content to remain on the sidelines, to get more actively involved. The foregoing being said, going from private citizen to the klieg lights of Broadway which is the rough and tumble New York political scene may have been a bit naive on her part, even with her having some strong allies at City Hall and the White House.

The selection of the relatively unknown, but nevertheless in my estimation, highly qualified Kirsten Gillibrand, a Blue Dog Democrat was a bold stroke by New York Governor Patterson, even if the process left much to be desired. If nothing else is clear is that the Clinton machine wanted one of their own to fill Hillary's seat and Governor Patterson viewed placating Hillary as important to his electoral success in 2010.
Clintonism has affected or infected (depending on your perspective) the New York Democratic political apparatus. One suspects that the jockeying for Hillary's seat went on long before the media began to focus on this in earnest. New York politico's enthusiastically bent over backwards to support their adopted New Yorker. The scorched earth tactics pursed in an effort to lower Caroline Kennedy's standing and to neutralize Andrew Cuomo were curious, if not downright foolish. The case for elevating Gillibrand could have been made without undermining a Kennedy or a Cuomo. Allies close to Hillary and the Clinton's in general ought to be careful leaving their fingerprints all over this selection and the smear job used to attain it. VOTE FRAUD in the New York Democratic Presidential Primary by those loyal to Clinton was largely overlooked by the mainstream media, despite Bloomberg and Citizens Union raising questions about the mystery in Harlem. Spitzer became mirred in his own scandal shortly thereafter and was forced to resign before he could even consider the request to investigate the fraud.

To bully a progressive like Caroline Kennedy with an inquest in to her private life serves no meaningful purpose.
Clinton surrogate, Chuck Schumer let on that Gillibrand's selection was a thinly veiled appeal to upstate voters, as well as Conservative Democrats. Patterson strategy appears to be to hold downstate Democratic voters while hoping that Gillbrand expands his base sufficiently to get him elected in 2010. Having Kennedy's, Cuomo's and Progressive Democrats in New York City aligned against you, however, is definitely a gamble. Does this not illustrate once and for all the “questionable” progressive bona fides of “liberal” icon Hillary Rodham Clinton? Was this her parting shot at those who abandoned her campaign to support Obama in New York and a reminder that the Clinton's still have major juice in New York? Abandoning Hillary seems to carry ramifications indeed. Perhaps it is just a coincidence that Governor Bill Richardson, Caroline Kennedy and Charles Rangel all became mirred in scandal or became the subject of rumor and innuendo in the media after jumping aboard Obama's train. And the timing of the Spitzer scandal, just so curious on so many levels. The Clinton Legacy should be re-examined, lest history keep repeating itself. Now that Hillary is at the State Department, let's see if our local leaders could regrow a set of balls and make decisions without consulting the Clinton Machine.
See also, The Huffington Post

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