"We don't do birthright in this country," said Kathleen Parker in The Washington Post, "except when we do." So it's no big shocker that Caroline Kennedy is officially interested in filling Hillary Clinton's soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat. "Does she deserve it? Not really. Does that matter? Probably not."
Kennedy's lack of experience in elected office makes many people queasy, said Charles Mahtesian in Politico, but "dynasty politics" is nothing new in this country. She'd replace Clinton, the wife of a former president, in a Senate that already includes six sons or daughters of former members of Congress. So don't discount her chances, "even if she does come wrapped in a legendary political name."
Kennedy has more going for her than her name, said The New York Times in an editorial. She "earned praise" as leader of the team that helped Barack Obama pick his running mate, and "showed expert political instincts" by leading many establishment Democrats into her friend Obama's camp. "But this is tryout time," and the daughter of late president John F. Kennedy still has to make her case alongside all the other worthy candidates for the appointment.
There's a way to deal with the complaints that "Kennedy is trading on her name to get a job others deserve," said Michael Goodwin in the New York Daily News. New York Gov. David Paterson will make the pick, but that doesn't mean the process can't "involve forums and even debates." An open process will help Paterson find the best person for the job, and show the public that the days of "secretive, back-room" deals are over.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- What if The Purge was real?
- Why America is duty bound to help Iraqi Christians
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- Israel has only two choices: Eliminate the Palestinians or make peace
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
Subscribe to the Week