17 December 2008

The Junior Senator from New York

JFK and Caroline, 1958

After a life of famous, fierce privacy Caroline Kennedy is a contender for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. I wondered if her public reticence was swept away by the promise of Obama, or by a mother's rage at the absence of morality- true venality runs amok. Perhaps, though we are undeniably who we are and from whence we sprang, and who we have loved and been loved by, sets us on an implacable path:

Her uncle, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, is struggling with terminal brain cancer, and his illness has forced members of his extended family to contemplate the possibility that the Senate could be left without a Kennedy for the first time in a half century. Mr. Kennedy has encouraged his niece, to whom he talks nearly every day, to pursue Mrs. Clinton’s seat...Associates of the senator say he has made it clear he would not pressure her to do so. Still, they said nothing would make him happier or prouder than having his niece in the Senate, which — far more than the White House — has been the core of the family’s long record of public service. (New York Times, Dec 15 2008)

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