A flurry of reports Wednesday night seemed to confirm Caroline Kennedy has decided to end her bid for the New York Senate seat vacated by new Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The New York Post reported Kennedy was dropping out, but then the Associated Press quoted someone close to Kennedy as saying she was still in contention. Later, a Kennedy press release said she was dropping out for “personal reasons.”
So, the “Return of Camelot” story line goes back into the file cabinet for all the journalists, essayists and pundits who thought it would be neat if JFK’s daughter took the Senate seat once occupied by her uncle, Robert F. Kennedy. Unfortunately, Caroline didn’t seem to have inherited the Kennedy family genes for politics. A recent upstate interview tour was a bust, and Kennedy failed to articulate a compelling reason for her candidacy.
That and the fact a number of other New York Democrats refused to let her have the seat in a walkover. Most of the incoming fire directed at Caroline was from fellow Democrats. They didn’t have anything against Camelot; they just liked the idea of being appointed to the Senate themselves even better. New York Gov. David Paterson will make the call, and reportedly state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is the leading candidate now. Others being talked about include U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Steve Israel and Gary Ackerman.