Opinion: Caroline Kennedy Was Kneecapped!

25 Jan

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MUDSLINGIN’

Tongues have been wagging since Wednesday about Caroline Kennedy’s “mysterious” midnight departure from the race to fill Hillary Clinton’s senate seat. Speculation and rumor are rampant as to what was behind the move, and Kennedy’s “personal reasons” for ending her aggressive senate bid.

Some factions of Camp Kennedy and the New York Times initially tried to float the notion that Caroline dropped out due to her concern for Senator Edward Kennedy’s health. That, however, was swiftly refuted by sources close to Ted Kennedy, who himself was reportedly furious at any such reason being given.

Loosely translated, that’s the old lion roaring: “look, I might be sick, but I ain’t dead yet! Now cut out this nonsense and let me get some rest. I just had another seizure, for the love of Christ! Or hadn’t you heard?” (Well, actually, the whole world heard…being that it happened at President Obama’s inaugural luncheon, that one would be pretty hard to miss.)

Not surprisingly, a spokesman for Caroline Kennedy quickly got out there and told reporters that Caroline’s reason for ending her senate bid had absolutely, positively, nothing to do with Ted Kennedy’s cancer battle.

Allrightey, then! Glad we got that one straightened out. But if Ted’s illness isn’t the reason, what is?

Caroline refused to give an answer, but did say that she was getting sick and tired of all the “mudslinging” going on. (Hey, if you’ve ever tried to get mud stains out of a pricey designer dress, you understand why she’s steamed.)

But wait a minute…mudslingin‘? Who’s slinging mud on Caroline, and what for? And what the heck was being said?

They said WHAT about my daughter?

"They said WHAT about my daughter?"

KNEECAPPED!

Less than 24 hours after Kennedy’s sudden about-face, the New York press (particularly the Post, who broke this series of controversial stories) started throwing some curious little tidbits out there. No actual proof being offered, of course. (Like, zero. Got a document you’d care to share, Mr. Dicker? Or are you simply content to cast aspersions without a shred of evidence to back your borderline libelous claims?) Stories began to leak about the so-called “real” reasons for Caroline’s hasty retreat: did she “forget” to pay her taxes? Did she “overlook” the legal status of her nanny? Was she…(gasp!)…having an extramarital affair?

As it turns out, these leaks were flowing from the loose lips of some unnamed, anonymous source “close to Gov. Paterson.”

Mmm-hmm.

Political operatives who have worked with him over the years say that the “source close to the governor” is often Paterson. An aide to the governor says he “seriously doubts” that Paterson was the source of the Post’s story. Regardless, Kennedy’s camp was livid. “We know there’s no vetting issue,” one of her allies told New York Magazine. “I know what’s in the disclosure form, and up through Wednesday at three o’clock, there had been no discussion of a vetting issue, no complaints from the governor’s counsel. And for him to include the idea of a marital issue is beneath contempt. There’s no marital issue!”

Fred Dicker, the reporter who supposedly “has the inside dirt” on Kennedy, made the rounds of every TV news program on planet earth this week. Perhaps his most memorable appearance was on Fox News, where he got knocked around a bit by, of all people, Bill O’Reilly (whose hero, believe it or not, is former NY senator Robert F. Kennedy):

And from the left side of the political spectrum, Chris Matthews also questioned the source of this reporting, which reeks of outright character assassination (would that make the NY media accessories after the fact?):

NOT-SO-SWEET CAROLINE?

SO SEZ `DA GUV

On Thursday, things got even uglier: Gov. Paterson himself took a swing at Caroline Kennedy at a private event the night before he tapped Kirsten Gillibrand for the Senate. (Well, hey, at least this time he had the cajones to say so himself, instead of sending one of his anonymous snarky minions to kneecap her). At the event, Paterson told guests Kennedy had been “nasty” to him and shown “disrespect” with how she bowed out, attendees told The New York Post.

The governor’s attack came just hours after his office issued a statement wishing her well and disavowing quotes from a that mysterious unnamed, anonymous “source close to him” who had told The Post Kennedy had never been in true contention for the seat and was “mired” in personal issues. (The taxes, the nanny, the rumors of infidelity, etc.)

Whew, those New York pols sure can play some dirty pool, can’t they? Blackmail, rumor-mongering and outright slander are the name of this game, folks. If you don’t kneel and kiss the Governor’s ring, you just might wake up to find a decapitated horse’s head in your bed the next morning. You may also find that people you thought were your friends are now acting like another part of the horse’s anatomy.

Although the Post’s reporting often leaves much to be desired, and the Caroline Kennedy drama is no exception, there was one editorial they ran this week which hit the nail right on the head. (And interestingly enough, we noticed it is penned by an anonymous writer, giving no byline.) The real issue here was not Caroline’s tax, nanny, or other rumored problems; it was Gov. Paterson, who clearly seems to have a leadership problem:

“If Gov. Paterson is so inept that he can’t arrange so simple a transaction as appointing someone to fill a vacant senate seat, what hope does New York state have of emerging intact from the fiscal crises now besetting it?

Make no mistake: Paterson’s endless procrastination on the matter of a Clinton succession – compounded by weeks of confusing, often contradictory signals regarding his intentions – created the circus that roiled Albany yesterday.

The governor is said to have told Kennedy last week that she was his choice – but that he was going to “keep the suspense up” by creating “a little misdirection” until he was ready to announce it.

That’s not leadership.

That’s incitement to anarchy. “

(Shazam! Whoever you are, Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous-Editorial-Writer, ya got that right!)

The Post Op-Ed continues:

“This page endorsed the Kennedy candidacy – but we’ll be the first to admit that she is far from blameless in this affair.

She certainly should have given the governor’s staff a heads-up on potential personal problems early on, which she apparently failed to do.

And the way she handled her withdrawal – seesawing back and forth and then staying out of contact for hours – was almost as bizarre as Paterson’s behavior throughout the affair.

Still, that’s where the governor should have exercised leadership and brought the matter to a close.

But he didn’t.

Instead, firing from ambush hours after the candidacy expired, Paterson staffers made matters worse.

They alleged that the “personal” issues that forced her withdrawal were tax liabilities and a nanny problem – as well as growing questions from reporters about the state of her marriage.

No doubt getting that out there felt good. But what purpose did it serve?

The candidacy was dead, while Paterson comes off as petty as well as inept – and who knows how many people the governor is going to need to pass his budget were needlessly offended?

A lot, probably.

Meanwhile, Paterson says he’ll announce Clinton’s successor in Albany this afternoon – fully 55 days after learning of the vacancy. “

TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION IS TYRANNY

Herein lies the real problem. Paterson’s vanity and publicity-seeking left the people of New York State (the people? Remember them, Guv? You know, the ones who will be deciding whether or not you get to keep your job?) without proper representation for 55 frickin’ days during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Not to point out the obvious or anything, but New York City is the economic heart of America, Governor. And it’s having a major coronary. The crooks on Wall Street got away with murder (most of our bailout money, too) and left the people holding the bag (or the mortgage that isn’t even worth the paper it’s written on, as the case may be).

Heck of a time to leave the people of New York State out in the cold without full representation in the U.S. Senate. While you were out getting all the face time on tee-vee, rubbing elbows with celebrities, trying to stage-manage and prolong this soap opera for as long as possible to build up your own political name, Governor, we think you might have forgotten somebody…

The PEOPLE!!!!!!!

Whatever his faults and/or crimes may be, at least the beseiged Blagojevich had the good sense to remember who put him in the governor’s seat in the first place — and that the people of Illinois deserved full representation. He did his legal duty by appointing Roland Burris to Obama’s vacant senate seat before Congress went back in session. When Harry Reid and other Democratic leaders tried to block Burris from taking his seat, they got smacked down and how!

In that case, the people sent a clear message to Congress: take your political catfight out to the parking lot where it belongs. Sit down and shut up, already. We The People have a constitutional right to representation. Furthermore, we demand it!

In New York, where the tax rate is one of the highest, most confiscatory in the land, and the local economy is sinking faster than a US Airways jet engine on the Hudson River, the people have every reason to be pissed off. They’re paying damn good money for the representation they deserve, and instead got pissed on. A steady golden shower for 55 days is what they got for their money, Governor, and they’ll no doubt put your ego in it’s proper place come 2010 when Caroline (or some other Kennedy, perhaps. Hello, RFK Jr.?) runs against you…and wins!

In the meantime, Governor, you might want to steer clear of high-priced hookers and be really, really good to your wife. You know what they say about people in glass houses and stones, don’t you?

David Paterson married Michelle Paige in November 1992. <strong>Click for more photos of Michelle Paterson.</strong>

* DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this editorial are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. or the Kennedy family.

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7 Responses to “Opinion: Caroline Kennedy Was Kneecapped!”

  1. New Frontier January 25, 2009 at 11:43 pm #

    For those who may be unaware, “kneecapped” is a slang term referring to the 1994 Olympic ice-skating competition between rivals Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan.

    In January of that year, Harding paid a couple of thugs to club Kerrigan on the knee in order to sabotage Kerrigan’s Olympic performance. (Despite being attacked, Kerrigan won the silver medal, while Harding placed eighth.) Although Harding initially denied any involvement in the attack on her rival, she later admitted under oath that she was in fact guilty.

    Harding struck a plea deal and managed to avoid jail time, but was stripped of her Olympic title and was banned for life from the games.

    All this starting to sound a bit familiar?

  2. Shelly January 27, 2009 at 2:39 am #

    My, my, my….now that the damage is done to Kennedy’s reputation and the Senate appointment is made, NOW the governor comes forward 3 days later and says “IT WASN’T ME WHO LEAKED THOSE HORRIBLE LIES ABOUT CAROLINE!” yeah RIGHT!!!!

    I read the news today, oh boy:

    Paterson disavows Kennedy remarks
    The governor of New York denies any role in a leak of allegations after she ended bid for Clinton’s Senate seat.
    Associated Press
    January 27, 2009

    Albany, N.Y. — Gov. David Paterson on Monday tried to distance himself from critical remarks about Caroline Kennedy that were leaked to the media after she withdrew from consideration to fill Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Senate seat.

    Paterson denied a role in the leak, which included unproven allegations that Kennedy had problems with taxes, payment of a nanny and in her marriage.

    The Friday morning leak was provided on the condition of anonymity by a person close to the governor.

    The daughter of slain President Kennedy had been considered for appointment to the Senate seat once held by her late uncle, Robert F. Kennedy.

    Instead, Paterson selected Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

    On Monday, Paterson called the leaked information gossip and said there was no proof of the accusations.

    The leak was “cheap, dirty politics,” New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Monday.

    Bloomberg supported Kennedy for the Senate seat appointment and is an important ally for Paterson.

    “I have no idea about her personal life. But that should not have been,” Bloomberg said.

  3. Don January 27, 2009 at 3:45 am #

    Not paying taxes is a problem for a senate wannabe but not for the Treasury Department!!

    Isn’t that interesting?

    Extramarital affairs are a problem for Caroline Kennedy but apparently not for Gov. Patterson! (or many members of the Senate, or even Prez Bill Clinton!)

    Isn’t that interesting?

  4. Habeus Corpus January 27, 2009 at 3:53 am #

    Great piece! Thank you! SOMEBODY had to say it!

    For those who criticized Caroline Kennedy’s desire to become the junior senator from New York on the basis of her lack of prior elected office, what elected office did Hillary Clinton hold before she became senator? At least Kennedy has been a resident of New York for many years, something that Mrs. Clinton was not. Hillary was a carpetbagger.

    This whole notion of “princess Caroline,” “entitled” or “fairy tales” is all the figment of a press who long ago forgot what journalism is and of talk radio windbags. Caroline Kennedy whether you like her or don’t is as qualified to serve in the senate if not more so than 85% of the people who are in there now– Democrat or Republican, Liberal or Democrat. Only a small handful have those special “qualifications” that they really do merit being there. This county has become paralyzed by professional politics and the circus that swarms around it.

    Those who think Sarah Palin looks like a genius compared to Ms. Kennedy should really schedule an appointment with their ophthalmologist. They should refrain from calling people idiots when their hackney diatribes about Mary Jo et al was tiresome 20 years ago.

    As for the alleged remark about “not being ready for prime time,” I wager Governor P. is destined to be a one termer. Caroline should sue his lying ass for slander and defamation of character, sue the NY tabloids for libel, and then run against Paterson in 2010 and cream him!

  5. Editor January 27, 2009 at 10:31 pm #

    Here’s the REAL crux of the story that the media won’t touch with a 10-foot pole becaue they’re all too busy flapping their lips about Blago:

    Senate appointee Kirsten Gillibrand’ s former law firm is Boies, Schiller & Flexner.
    David Boies, the senior partner at the firm, contributed $25,000 to Paterson’s campaign committee on December 23, 2008, while the governor was considering Gillibrand’s candidacy.
    Boies’ son Chris, also a partner in the firm, contributed another $25,000 on the same day.

    OK, go back and read that again. That’s just the $50k we know of that went into the Governor’s re-election fund. There’s probably more we don’t know about from other sources close to Gillibrand.

    The timing of these campaign contributions reeks. Dec. 23, in the heat of the Senate seat competition?

    Not TOO obvious, eh?

    That being the case, wouldn’t this make Paterson guilty of doing the exact same thing that Blago is currently being accused of? And more blatantly than Blago would have ever dared? (which is really sayin’ something, as Blago is anything but subtle!)

    I can hear that phone call now: PATERSON: “This is bleepin’ GOLDEN! I’m not just gonna give that bleepin’ senate seat away!”

    From our initial investigation, we can find no evidence of any campaign contributions given to Paterson by Kennedy or anyone connected with her.

    Caroline is well-known for her avoidance of purchasing influence with financial contributions, and this article from December 25, 2008 (curiously published just two days after friends of Gillibrand gave the Guv $50,000) flat-out states that Kennedy’s unwillingness to “play the game” may cost her the senate seat:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2008/12/25/2008-12-25_lack_of_donations_to_city_state_dems_may.html

    Starting to see what’s really going on here? Gillibrand was willing to pay-to-play, Kennedy was not.
    Gillibrand gets the gig. It ain’t rocket science. Just politics as usual.

    Only difference this time is that the Governor of Illinois is being impeached for suggesting such a transaction, while Paterson is skating away like Tonya Harding. The NY press simply plugs their ears and hums whenever any suggestion of Blago-type graft and corruption happened here.

    Hmmm…wonder if anyone has been tapping Paterson’s phone during this contest? They were certainly listening to Gov. Spitzer’s calls, just to catch him in a sleazy liason with a hooker. Seems to me the authorities might have wanted to keep an eye/ear on him during this selection process, especially in light of the Blago scandal.

    So WHERE ARE THE TAPES? And where’s the investigation? Where’s the outrage?

  6. New Frontier January 29, 2009 at 7:54 am #

    Turns out that initial $50k was just a drop in the bucket. Chump change.

    Try more than a MILLION dollars, most of it raised for Paterson’s campaign coffers by Gillibrand’s “sugar daddy” Al D’Amato.

    Oh yeah, that’s a little bit more in the ballpark for a NY senate seat.

    Here’s a link to the full, unbelievable, sickening, sordid tale:

    http://rfkjrforpresident.com/2009/01/28/pay-to-play-scheme-in-ny-senate-seat-pick/

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Kennedys “Apoplectic” Over Treatment of Caroline « RFK Jr. News - January 27, 2009

    […] awfully interesting to see the NY Post’s Fred Dicker (the guy who was so eager to publish those nasty rumors about Caroline last week without anything more to back it up than one anonymous source “close to Gov. Paterson”) […]

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