"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
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- Rise of the machines
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why you should absolutely watch this confounding, wonderful World Series
- It's time to kill school picture day
- The uncomfortable truth in The Giving Tree
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Ban PowerPoint!
Subscribe to the Week