A recent poll showed that Caroline Kennedy led with 44 percent, compared to 23 percent for State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo. The poll was conducted Public Policy Polling and asked 957 Democrats in the state who their choice would be. However there are other polls that show things tighter.
With such a high-profile position in a very powerful and wealthy state, many Democrats believe they should decide soon on which candidate to appoint and one that will be able to raise tens of millions of dollars it will take to retain and defend the seat in 2010 and 2012. So far, Kennedy is winning with name recognition and star power and is almost certain to have the luxury of a sitting President to help her when it matters most. This may persuade (D) Governor Paterson to opt for Caroline’s pedigree and connections in choosing her to fill the seat.
It is without a doubt the U.S. Senate seat will bring on very wealthy and connected candidates that will likely make the price tag alone untouchable for most. There is already speculation in both parties that the cost of the upcoming campaign’s in 2010 and 2012 could reach $40 million and for the Republicans could even mean more as it is certain there will be a brutal primary because no clear frontrunner has emerged.
However, the Democrats may be saved from this nightmare. In a country that loves to fall for stories, Caroline’s may bring on a rush of nostalgia that may lift her above the fray. Her obvious interest in the seat would mean the continuation of the Kennedy name in politics. The legacy started almost 60 years ago, 56 to be exact, when her father, John F. Kennedy, was elected as the junior senator from Massachusetts.
And, of course, her uncle Edward has represented Massachusetts in the Senate for more than forty years. Robert Kennedy, her uncle, served as junior senator from New York from 1965 until 1968 when he was assassinated during his presidential campaign.
Those are some very formidable surrogates to draw from in any contest.
Kennedy has very limited political history herself. She has chosen to stay out of the limelight of politics until she decided to endorse and actively support Barack Obama throughout the campaign. Her most prominent public roles and media exposure involved overseeing her father’s presidential library and presenting the annual Profiles in Courage Award.
Oddly, this may play towards her favor. She cannot help the fact that she is a Kennedy and, a president’s daughter, so this will naturally play towards her favor. What is more, she has a conscious history of avoiding the nasty partisan politics and the natural memory of her father may neutralize any attacks from potential challengers for the seat.
The reports are surfacing that it is her seat already. Her friends and family are all encouraging her to accept the appointment and continue the legacy of the family name. It is starting to look like a done deal.
It is expected that Gov. Paterson will name the replacement after Clinton’s is confirmed as Secretary of State next month.