I have written previously in this space in support of Caroline Kennedy's bid to replace Hillary Clinton as New York's junior United States senator. Apparently, I'm out of touch with my fellow New Yawkahs. A new so-called shock poll shows her running a deadly 20 points behind New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who is also vying for the job and who also comes from a famous Democratic family.
I wrote and still believe that on paper, at least, Kennedy is not qualified to serve as she's never been elected to political office, and the U.S. Senate is hardly the place for on-the-job training. On the other hand, what office had Hillary Clinton ever held before her election? She turned out to be a great advocate for New York and for the country. Clinton also had to run for and win her seat in a very competitive primary and general election. Kennedy may not get the chance to prove whether she's got what it takes to win re-election in 2010.
New York Gov. David Paterson has said the search is ongoing, but on New Year's Day, he cautioned everyone vying for the position by saying that whoever is chosen to replace Clinton will have to earn re-election in 2010 on his or her own merits.