From last night’s panel on “Special Report.” On Caroline Kennedy:
It’s not a question of experience. You often get inexperienced candidates who come out of nowhere. You get rich businessmen and the occasional actor or sports star.
It’s a question of entitlement. The only thing she has that makes her somebody to even be considered for this office is pedigree. I mean, I hate to be a good government scold, but I would think that one of the reasons for the American experiment is to abolish the idea of government by pedigree.
Now, of course, we have in history– the Adams and the Harrisons, the Rockefellers, the Kennedys and the Bushes. But it seems a bit of an epidemic these days.
First of all, you have a senate stacked with plutocrats as a result of our campaign finance laws, which give an enormous advantage to anyone who is a rich. They run, and the opponent has to grubbily raise money, and you end up with a sizable number of very rich people coming out of nowhere in the Senate.
And what you also have is what we saw… where John Kennedy had his college roommate, Ben Smith II, sit in his seat until two years later until Teddy was old enough and had reached the age of 30 when he inherited it.
And Biden has done exactly that in Delaware. He has gotten a family retainer appointed now to the Biden seat who will keep it warm and will not run again when in two years the Biden son, who is now in Iraq, will return and take that seat.
Look, Caroline Kennedy is a worthy socialite. But if she wants it, she should run and not accept an appointment. It is OK to run on pedigree, but do it in an election and not in an appointment.
On the state of the auto bailout:
Yes, the labor unions have won. Paulson conceded in the end he would not allow the auto companies to go under, and once he did that, he lost all his leverage….
This is another mistake. It’s the end of the term. What Paulson ought to do is that GM has said it’s burning $2 billion a month. We are a month and a few days away from the inauguration. He ought to give GM $2 billion and change and let the Democrats handle this.
The Democrats are going to have to make a choice. Support a lemon socialist industry that is sustaining an unsupportable wage structure, or they be the ones who negotiate and get hard conditions and concessions out of labor.
Right now the Republicans are the bad guys. The southern senators are being attacked as people who are anti-union. Why should the Republicans have all of that on their back? Let the Democrats, who have UAW and unions as their constituency, negotiate a settlement and agreement in concessions.
For Paulson to attempt it with a month to go is a mistake. It can only lead to concessions on his part and no settlement that is going to last in the future.