If you haven't heard, Caroline Kennedy has withdrawn her name and interest in serving in the New York Senate seat. The withdrawal came yesterday as she cites "personal reasons," for her decision.
The 51 year old daughter of John F. Kennedy came into recent controversy as she expressed interest in the New York Senate seat after Hillary Clinton rose in the ranks and is now (confirmed) the Secretary of State. As the saying goes, "the personal is political," and now, as Kennedy interjects "personal" reaons for backing off her senate bid, I wonder if the media will finally leave her alone to tend to her ailing uncle, Ted Kennedy, who suffered a seizure during the Inaugural luncheon on Tuesday.
Caroline Kennedy, with her numerous sentence fillers and "you know" comments, came under fire for expressing her desire to enter public life and service when she has not had one day of experience in public office. Many compared her experience and the media's treatment of her bid to Sarah Palin's march to Vice Presidency. Granted, mainstream media has had field days with female political figures, but here's the thing that it seems like a lot of critics forgot.
If both women were elected to their previously sought positions, then Caroline Kennedy would have reached a Senate seat and most likely would have to work her tail off to validate her winning beyond her last name. Fair enough.
But, had Sarah Palin, she would have had to do the same thing: prove herself beyond her name. In Palin's case, her name was the her title as governor of Alaska. Here's the thing, though: all the while she would have to prove herself, she would have been one step away from the presidency of the United States. One step away from deciding war with nations, legislation affecting healthcare, tax breaks, and global warming initiatives.
That's quite enough difference for me.
My rant comes in the form of relief as Kennedy backs off. I think that all public offices should be earned and won on the merit of their dedication, service, and record. While I am a big fan of Camelot myself, I don't believe Kennedy is fully prepared to serve in that capacity. I place my vote that Caroline Kennedy should take care of whatever "personal" issues she needs to tend, build her record for public service, and then dominate her way through the political sphere in the future. We'll need her. As of Jan. 3, 2007, 17 percent of members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 16 percent of U.S. senators were women.
Unfortunately, our numbers continue to remain unacceptably low.