Advice For Caroline
Just Be Yourself
You can't be anything else. You can't be one person in private, and another in public. Just be yourself. That is all you can be. You are great as you are. People love you for just the way you are. You got a great last name. Your father was the Barack Obama of his time. All that is good. But it is also about you. It is about your intelligence, your compassion, your work ethic, your caring about the underprivileged, work you have already done. And you did tip the balance in Obama's favor. If Barack had not done as well in North Carolina, if he had done less good on February 5, I mean.
Adopt The Obama Program
You got a pretty face. Can't say the same about Cuomo. But it is more than about a pretty face. Primarily it is about substance. What are your policy positions? That is easy. You say you are in broad alignment with the Obama program. You have already said you are a Kennedy Democrat, a Clinton Democrat, an Obama Democrat. How about FDR? Say you are also a FDR Democrat. Go Social Security.
Say you are for the Obama stimulus package. Say you are for universal health care like Barack Obama and Ted Kennedy. Say you are for a responsible end to the war in Iraq. All the broad Obama positions are at his websites. Get your staffers working.
Give A Few Speeches
This is a mini campaign. This is dress rehearsal for 2010 and 2012. You have got to get out there and give a few policy speeches. You don't have to get too specific. You can speak in broad generalities.
But A Listening Tour Comes First
That is the number one thing to learn from Hillary who both you and I love. When she first ran for the Senate, she did this remarkable thing. She went on a statewide listening tour. Politicians go for speaking tours. She went on a listening tour. It is very important to go on a listening tour into many upstate pockets. I am glad you got an apartment on the Upper East Side. But you got to claim the upstate people. The difference between you and every other top contender for the same job is you are one person who is not going to feel like a downstate person to the upstate people. Highlight that. That just might be the number one reason for Paterson to go for you. That dude is going to be seeking his office all over again in 2010. He will hurt himself if he has too much of a downstate image.
Can't Let The Handlers Handle You
You got to be yourself. You should shoot for a DirectConnect with the people. Al Gore got "handled" in 2000 and look what happened. The staffers are there to take care of the logistics, the technical details, write speeches, give political advice, help with the media. But they are not there to script you. You could fire all your staff and get a new batch and you will still be you. It is about you.
Can't Avoid The Media
There are going to be interviews. There are going to be press conferences. Heck, there might even be an appearance on Letterman. That guy is corny. Have fun while on air with him.
Ted Kennedy: Evergreen
You are the daughter, but that guy is the brother. More New York politicians are in awe of Ted Kennedy than they are in awe of David Paterson. Make use of him, but judiciously. It can't become about him, but don't make the Gore 2000 mistake of not using Bill Clinton. Ted is your Bill. Ted is one for the ages. He could advise you on everything including how best to use him. He could make phone calls. Heck, he could have dinner with Paterson if he wanted.
Leave It To The Ultimate Guy
Ultimately it is David Paterson's call to make. I love the guy. He is just great. Do your best, do meet him a few times to make your case, campaign, go see the state, make your appearances. But don't be seen pressuring. Make your case, but don't pressure. And in case he goes for someone else, compliment him on his choice.
Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, Mike Bloomberg, Me
That is four smart guys behind you. Don't let us down. Go get it.
Also Barack. Make that five. Also Hillary. Make that six. Six smart people.
Caroline Kennedy Is No Sarah Palin, She Is No Airhead
I Like The Caroline Kennedy Name
On The Web
Caroline Kennedy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia She earned a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1988, graduating in the top ten percent of her class, several weeks before giving birth to her first child. ....... serves on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations. ..... From 2002 through 2004, Kennedy worked as director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the the New York City Department of Education. The three-day-a week job paid her a salary of $1 and had the goal of raising private money for the New York City public schools....... records show that Kennedy contributed $2300 to the Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign committee on June 29, 2007. She previously contributed a total of $5000 to Clinton's 2006 senatorial campaign. On September 18, 2007, she contributed $2300 to Barack Obama's presidential campaign committee.
- Radcliffe B.A. 1980
- Columbia Law School J.D. 1988
Op-Ed Contributor - A President Like My Father - NYTimes.com
The Case Against Caroline Kennedy - The Fix the rough and tumble world of New York politics..... the incredibly harsh glare of the New York and national media .... a state known for its cutthroat politics .... her last name is synonymous with public service .... The idea of replacing one high-profile woman with a national (and international) reputation with another high-profile woman with national (and international) reputation makes good sense .... For many Catholics -- particularly in the Northeast -- the Kennedys are held somewhere just short of the Pope in terms of esteem. ..... Obama's message -- politics is broken, we need new faces to fix it -- clearly appealed to Kennedy. She went from a political wall flower to an endorser and a vetter during the campaign and now a candidate in her own right.
Obama's Secretary Of Education: Caroline Kennedy?
N.Y. Republicans Slam Caroline Kennedy, Face The Nation: Potential ... a "celebrity" without the qualifications ..... decried the Senate as becoming "a House of Lords." ..... Those characterizations of Kennedy as an elitist were not accepted by New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, who defended her experience, particularly in public service. ..... "I think people are missing the essence of this woman," Klein ..... she came to work for the kids in New York. Most of those kids grow up in poor families ..... You know, Rembrandt was a great artist. His brother Murray, on the other hand, Murray Rembrandt wouldn't paint a house ........ Dominic Carter of the New York City cable news channel NY1 said that, from what he has heard, "It is basically a done deal - that if Caroline Kennedy wants this seat (and she has expressed interest in it), then it is hers." ...... "When she walked into this restaurant in Harlem, the crowd gave her basically a standing ovation. And then she sat down for a private event. I saw confidence. I saw that she wasn't looking to run away from the media. ..... And what about Hillary? Would she support Kennedy, after Kennedy backed Obama? "She has told her people to back off," Carter said. "She is moving ahead in terms of becoming Secretary of State. And you know, for all the criticism we've heard of Caroline Kennedy, we've been there before in terms of hearing the exact same thing about Hillary Clinton."
In The News
Kennedy Endures Rough Start in Bid for Senate Seat Washington Post, United States "I happen to have worked with her," Bloomberg said ...... She is intelligent, competent, knows as much about the issues, I think, as most people that run for senator or have been our senators in the past ........ "The Bloomberg operation is behind this big ..... "He's the capo di tutti capi" -- boss of bosses. "He's using his influence to perhaps have someone in the U.S. Senate who he supports." ....... Bloomberg and Kennedy are both wealthy residents of Manhattan's Upper East Side ...... Liu was named John after her father, the assassinated president, and Liu's two brothers are named Robert and Edward after two of her uncles. ...... But this is an appointment, so no formal disclosure rules apply. ..... the tough arena of New York politics. ...... "It is so silly what they are doing to her," Koch said. "We all know she's a multimillionaire -- nobody resents that." ...... Kennedy's endorsement was seen by many as a turning point in Obama's tough primary fight against Clinton, and some of Obama's earliest backers in the state now are pushing for Kennedy's appointment. ....... She can energize the base that Obama got motivated in central New York." ....... "The governor is certainly going to listen to what the president-elect wants, or may want . . . because New York is going to be competing for valuable infrastructure funds"
Kennedy, in Senate bid, hasn't shared finances
Backlash builds over Kennedy's Senate quest