Friday, December 19, 2008

No Camelot in Wayne's World

According to Wayne Barret, we may have Mayor Mike to thank if the governor appoints Caroline Kennedy to the Senate: "It would be an oversimplification to say that Mike Bloomberg is the main man behind the Caroline Kennedy tsunami that's hit in the last two days...As large as these forces are, however, the ground war in New York is being waged out of City Hall. The same bluebloods who brought us Mike Bloomberg's term-limit extension have now joined the campaign for Senator Caroline Kennedy, and not just because they love Sweet Caroline."

So the Prince of Privilege has found his Princess, and as they say in Brooklyn; "Not for nothin'" Because, as Barrett surmises, there is indeed something in it for Mike Bloomberg: "If Paterson bows to the Kennedy surge, he may end whatever chance his Harlem neighbor Bill Thompson has of becoming the city's second black mayor...Imagine it's a few months from now, with the New York mayoral race approaching. Senator Caroline Kennedy endorses Bloomberg and wraps her arm around him at event after event. The endorsement of New York's newest Democratic senator--and the slightly less explicit support of Chuck Schumer (whose wife was a Bloomberg commissioner)--combine to neutralize an attempt by President Obama to campaign for a serious Democratic challenger to Bloomberg, who didn't endorse Obama in the presidential election."

And what would such a fairy tale be without it's Dark Knight? So, with great fanfare, in comes the Reverend Al Sharpton to bless the novice. As the NY Post points out: "Kennedy did have some good news yesterday. The Rev. Al Sharpton all but endorsed her after the two broke bread at Sylvia's restaurant in Harlem, where she described herself as a "Clinton Democrat."

Can anyone say "Master Card moment"? So Sharpton is putting the knife into Bill Thompson for a second time-the first being when he got lock jaw over the Bloomberg term limits override. Another "Not for nothin'" example of the Sharpton cash nexus; and the fact that he is represented by SKD as is Kennedy, just adds to the evidence that the reverend is as available as any item on E-Bay.

But what got our attention was Barret's deconstruction of the Kennedy resume-one that he claims has been reinvented: "The most tawdry part of the Bloomberg cheerleading, however, has been the exaggeration of the Kennedy resume. Aside from Caroline's books--some of which have been collections of her mother's favorite poems and other people's essays--the only significant career accomplishment is the two months she worked part-time at Bloomberg's Department of Education."

As the innkeeper's wife in Les Miz might say; "She thinks she's quite a lover, but there's not much there." Much of her work for education appears to have been overhyped-and she apparently has put in as much time down at the DOE as one of the city's fabled pothole inspectors: "The former Klein aide who would only talk to the Voice anonymously said that he sat near Kennedy's cubicle and that when she came in, she would "only stay a couple of hours or so." He said she was brought into meetings with potential donors and added to the fundraising effort by her quiet presence and charm."

Enough qualifications for her next gig, No? As Juan Gonzales underscores this morning: "The U.S. Senate is not the British House of Lords. Family pedigree and connections are not what counts. The Senate is not for on-the-job training or affirmative action programs for the privileged, no matter how well-intentioned. It is a body that must make enormously important decisions every day of the year."

But the biggest argument against Caroline is the fact that Mike Bloomberg/SKD is her biggest booster. Once again, as we have commented on before, the mayor's concatenation of privileged admirers is gearing up to arrogate to themselves rights that should reside with the folks. We'll give Gonzales the final word on this stealth coronation: "Gov. Paterson should show some backbone. He, more than anyone, should reject this notion of government by entitlement. He should appoint the best qualified person for the job, not a novice with a brand name."