Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Caroline Kennedy -- Qualified, or no?

Much has been made about whether Caroline Kennedy is qualified to be a US Senator.

Even Representative/State Senator-Elect Steve Urquhart weighs in:

I don’t like her politics. For many, many reasons, I would not like to see her in the Senate. But, let’s stop asking whether serious devotion to motherhood is a disqualifying activity (which really is the question being asked – without, of course, actually being voiced).

Along with being a mother, Kennedy has accomplished much. Along with being a mother, she is very well educated. Along with being a mother, Kennedy is a serious writer and editor. Along with being a mother, she is a serious player in the public education arena. Along with being a mother, she is a political heavyweight.

Flawed and naive in some areas? Of course.

Unqualified? Give me a break.

If she were a man, the narrative would be much different. If, for example, her brother John were alive and being considered, the question of qualifications would not gain traction in the media (though, in that case, it should).

Everyone should be vetted. That’s fine and necessary. So, vet her. Don’t mock her and dismiss her. Don’t dehumanize her.

I agree. Much has been made about the fact that she hasn't yet held political office.

Which is interesting, given that she would replace Senator Hillary Clinton, who had not held office herself prior to being elected to the Senate.

Last time I checked, the Constitution, which sets forth the qualifications for Senators, has no requirement for prior office.

In fact, both of Utah' Senators have held exactly one elected office -- US Senator.



JM Bell said...

This is one of those times where I read what Rep. Sen-elect Steve Urquhart writes, agree with him, suffer a few intense and panicked moments questioning my sanity, mumble something about "blind nuts finding a squirrel" and ponder the random nature of the human experiment.

Good points from you, Bob and, *gulp* Rep. Sen-elect Steve as well.

Bob said...

I think Sen-Elect Steve gets it right more often than just about any Republican in the Senate. I hope he keeps it up with his move to the Senate.


(You do realize, however, how low a bar the above statement is...)

rmwarnick said...

Considering who's already a senator, qualifications are less of an issue than whether Kennedy can win the next election. Considering her proven fundraising ability and how she's outmaneuvered the competition for this appointment, looks good.