Andrew Cuomo or Caroline Kennedy to Replace Hillary Clinton in Senate?

NY Governor David Paterson has a real quandary in choosing an appointed successor to Senator Hillary Clinton, once she is confirmed as Secretary of State in the Obama Administration.

He has two individuals from famous political families to consider, as well as other less well known congressmen and congresswomen and local officials who are interested in the plum appointment.  It is almost a certainty that he will decide between Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, son of former Governor Mario Cuomo, and Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy, who has been involved in promoting the welfare of public education in New York City and was a leader of the committee apppoined by Barack Obama to choose his ultimate running mate for Vice President,  Joe Biden. 

It is very appealing to pick Caroline Kennedy, who could revive the image of Camelot, continuing the Kennedy role in American politics, and insuring a continuation of at least one Senator Kennedy for the foreseeable future.  For 54 of the past 56 years, there has been at least one Senator Kennedy and for the time being, there would be two Senators Kennedy, something that aging Senator Ted Kennedy apparently wants to occur.  Caroline Kennedy has spoken with Governor Paterson about the position, now at a time when her children are grown up and she is starting to become more active in public life after avoiding it for many years.  Her endorsement of Senator Obama was crucial to his campaign, and it would indeed be very appealing to choose her, and would certainly insure an easier race for Governor Paterson as he seeks the Governorship by election in 2010. 

On the other hand, Andrew Cuomo has been outstanding as Attorney General in the past two years and was a cabinet member under President Clinton, and has a proven track record and would also be an outstanding person to add to the Senate.  Besides that, Cuomo, if not chosen to fill the Senate vacancy, is likely to challenge Governor Paterson for the gubernatorial nomination in 2010, so that would make it seem likely that Paterson would, for his own political survival, choose Cuomo.

But if I had to bet on what is more likely to happen, despite rational thoughts, my bet would be on Caroline Kennedy getting the nod for the Senate, because how does someone back away from the idea of another Kennedy in political life, particularly one as popular and non controversial as Caroline Kennedy?

And imagine this:  Caroline Kennedy in the Senate by appointment in 2009, winning the remaining two years of the seat in 2010, and then winning a full term in 2012, meaning she would not face a Senate election in the presidential year of 2016.  And also imagine she makes an outstanding record and becomes considered a possible Presidential candidate in 2016 or 2020.  Is this too much imagination or is it possibly a reality?  🙂

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