To me, if Caroline Kennedy is appointed to the Senate by David Patterson, that represents the “closed” 90% of an agreement that was struck when Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with brain cancer.
First of all, for the Kennedys, it’s extraordinarily important to keep one of their family members in the Senate for the very simple reason that when Ted dies, he’s going to leave a huge vacuum for the people who are beholden to his family (or to whom the Kennedys are beholden to.) Otherwise they will would tend to scatter in the absence of the Liberal Lion, and that can’t happen, at least not chaotically.
I think Blagojevich just happens to be the guy looking for a seat at the end of a game of musical chairs: Clinton is getting SecState, Caroline Kennedy will be in the Senate despite having no aptitude for the job (which is, and was, unimportant to her qualifications to be there), Barack Obama is President, and poor Rod Blagojevich was looking for something enriching that he happened to be caught on tape asking for, so he’s the toad without a stool in this case. And that is because Dick Durbin knew that he was caught on tape allegedly trying to auction off Barack Obama’s seat, which made Rod Blagojevich someone that nobody could help any more — especially not Barack Obama. Nobody in Illinois wants to help him, either. And neither does David Broder. And neither does anyone else.
In my mind, when Kennedy was diagnosed with the kind of brain cancer he has, it became extremely important to move another Kennedy into the Senate, and so an agreement was made: Clinton would vacate for Sec. State and forgive herself the campaign loan and all the worry associated with those millions of dollars (because she and hubby Bill will get them back tenfold with Clinton as SecState), Caroline would take her seat in New York by forcing the legally blind governor of New York to read the writing on the wall, Barack Obama would continue to be Kitten by rising above Blagojevich after Dick Durbin found out that Patrick Fitzgerald was about to publicly disclose how evil he really is. And the rest of the Democrats would just sit back and forgive everyone for all of this because the inauguration hasn’t even happened yet.
Now, obviously this hinges on Ted Kennedy getting brain cancer. My guess is that he knew about it well before the media did.
So Blago is angry and defiant because he’s the jilted one, who gets nothing and loses bigtime, because he happened to be caught on tape by a very resourceful prosecutor, and this last act of his is one of almost unprecedented defiance, and a veiled threat: “What if I blab?”
My guess is that if he does, and pushes it too far, there’s a lot of room at the bottom of Lake Michigan for Rod Blagojevich.
Comments appreciated. I like to think my version of this situation is pretty close to the truth. The subtext is that that Ted Kennedy is probably in worse shape than is being reported. My guess is that Caroline Kennedy “decided” to run for public office right around the time he was diagnosed conclusively, and that set in motion a large chain of events that Blagojevich is now — very angrily — not a part of anymore.
The real question to me is whether anyone from the Cuomo family is going to seriously object to this. And of course, if Patterson appoints Kennedy, the big question is where in the Senate she will wind up. My guess is that she’ll be very close to where Ted is right now, so that she can handle the transition.