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The premise of this NYTimes article on the derailment of Kennedy's bid to succeed Hillary, is that the governor's office did somehting akin to what Eliot Spitzer did to GOP senate leader Joseph L. Bruno at the beginning of his administration- namely, leak information to bring down a political foe:

One of the administration’s central claims to reporters was that Ms. Kennedy had, in the words of a person close to the governor, "a definite tax issue" and "a nanny problem" that "she didn’t want to become public."

But that story was inaccurate. The governor and his aides now acknowledge that those issues — a tax lien of a few hundred dollars in 1994, and a lapsed visa for a foreign nanny who worked for Ms. Kennedy during the late 1980s — had been resolved years earlier and were never considered disqualifying during the vetting process.

Well isn't that interesting?  The issues which supposedly lead to Kennedy withdrawing herself from consideration, were completely bogus.  So who put these canards into circulation?

Well, in a decent bit of investigative journalism, the two reporters who put together this report apparently found the culprit:

According to advisers to the governor who were involved in the process, the leaks against Ms. Kennedy were coordinated by Judith A. Smith, a consultant who has been acting as the governor’s top communications strategist..

and in a late January visit to the governor's Manhattan office:

... she told at least two people to call major media outlets around the state. She instructed them to tell reporters that the governor had been dismayed by Ms. Kennedy’s public auditioning for the job, that he never intended to select her as senator, and that the tax and nanny issues had led her to pull out of consideration.

- In Attack on Kennedy, Echo of a Spitzer Tactic

One can only assume Paterson directed Smith to do this.  But why?  My short answer is that, when it became public knowledge that Bloomberg was behind the Kennedy appointment, the New York state Democratic machine suddenly began gagging on a furball.  How dare Bloomberg meddle in their party?  There was no way the state party would swallow Bloomberg's influence. And, up until shortly before the "tax/nanny gate" story broke, Paterson was acting by all appearances (to many observers including myself), that he would indeed select Kennedy.

So I believe the Bloomberg revelation immediately initiated pushback by Democrats, and Paterson relented.  But who were the Democrats behind this? Cuomo?  Hillary?  Gillibrand?  

I can only guess, but I do not believe Kennedy herself had a change of heart and removed herself voluntarily (although that was the official verison finally reported).  The initial (and it turns out erroneous) reports that she was doing it because of Uncle Teddy's illness prove that the Kennedy staff were not prepared for the backtrack.  I think it's clear that once Paterson's intention to not pick her was recognized, she withdrew simply to save face.   But who pushed her out?

Originally posted to NYFM on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 12:03 PM PST.


Who was the main force behind ending Kennedy's bid?

3%6 votes
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9%15 votes

| 161 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Another Kennedy in the Senate (13+ / 0-)

    I was looking forward to that- if not for the joy it would bring me, but the daily agony it would bring right-wingnuts.

  •  Whoever Drugged Her Before Her Interviews n/t (8+ / 0-)

    If spittle & tooth=vigor & youth Bill-O & Savage won't grow any older If wishes & dreams=bitches & beams We'll all live in skyscrapers bu

    by TooFolkGR on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 12:07:06 PM PST

    •  The bastards. nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TooFolkGR, milkbone
    •  She's not a politician. n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TooFolkGR, LynneK

      One doctor gets bombed in Arkansas is today's headline. Iraq must be laughing it's ass off.

      by JerichoJ8 on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 12:10:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well Obviously (5+ / 0-)

        A seasoned politician would have a food-taster.

        If spittle & tooth=vigor & youth Bill-O & Savage won't grow any older If wishes & dreams=bitches & beams We'll all live in skyscrapers bu

        by TooFolkGR on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 12:11:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  To her credit and disability in campaigning. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LynneK, Fonsia

          One doctor gets bombed in Arkansas is today's headline. Iraq must be laughing it's ass off.

          by JerichoJ8 on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 12:13:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  To her credit (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chigh, JerichoJ8

            she really was trying to serve her country in doing what she did.

            Kos and Adam B and the others who were so opposed to her failed to look at the thing from her perspective.

            They thought that she just wanted to be "handed" a senate seat, as if she wanted to rise in the world.

            Ha. Caroline Kennedy doesn't need a senate seat to rise in the world. For her, getting into the messiness of politics would be more like a step down.

            She has many, many contacts, she knows the Senate from working with Uncle Ted, she knows the Constitution, she has abundant experience in her decades-long, unpaid (therefore, apparently, worthless), work for New York, especially in education. And she had all that star power, which translates to real power (which apparently terrified Chuck Schumer).

            She wanted to use those strengths to serve her state and her country, having been inspired to do it by Obama.

            That's what she said about the reason she wanted the seat, and it's the only thing that really makes sense, from her perspective.

            And let's not forget that her father and uncle were murdered for doing what she did, so there was a measure of personal courage in it as well.

            What an opportunity: to get a true progressive, non-politician, unbeholden to Wall St (probably the real problem), highly intelligent addition to the Senate with the major advantage of huge star power, which we threw away with both hands.

            May your entire existence be one sensuous, frolic-filled experience lived in defiance of care!

            by Fonsia on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 02:24:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Ach. You left the most likely guilty culprit out (15+ / 0-)

    of the choices - KOS!  I'm sure it was Kos.  Or another of the frontpagers here.  Or maybe all of them together.

  •  Paterson's a dirtball. n/t (5+ / 0-)

    One doctor gets bombed in Arkansas is today's headline. Iraq must be laughing it's ass off.

    by JerichoJ8 on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 12:09:46 PM PST

    •  He changed his story again today (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYFM, 3goldens, soms, JerichoJ8

      related on WNYC today so it's not archived. But it was subsequent to the NYT article.
      MAJOR dirtball. Kennedy may not be a politician but I would have thought she would have been savvy enough to avoid having been slimed like this. Or at least to beg off Bloomberg's endorsement.

  •  My guess is (0+ / 0-)

    Paterson was not given a heads-up before Ms Kennedy let it be known she wanted the job.  She just presented herself to him as a fait accompli, and he resented the hell out of it.

    •  But he didn't act like it. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bronte17, LynneK, soms, eXtina

      From day one he seemed very warm to the idea, and in the article, Al Sharpton intimates that at one point- he thought Paterson had all but made up his mind to pick her.

      •  Well, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        there was no rush foe the appointment.  If you are in politics are you confronting overwhelming force, it's best to get out in front of the parade and smile.  Over time, that force ebbed, and he found he could do what he wanted.

        Everybody involved in this was diminished.  Except (maybe) Gillibrand.

  •  Bye Paterson (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paleo, eXtina

    I hope you enjoy being a lame duck. Piece of crap.

    Don't donate to the DSCC in 2010 - they'll give your money to Harry Reid.

    by arcticshadow on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 12:13:42 PM PST

    •  The NYHCA and SEIU are throwing the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYFM, soms

      same bombs at him as they did at Spitzer and Pataki and they were much harder targets than this piece of fluff. I'd be surprised if he makes it thru the term and to the reelection campaign. NY politics is no place for a lightweight such as he.

  •  Tax issues are cover in this case (0+ / 0-)

    same as Richardson and sec commerce position. Most non embarrassing way to drop out of a political race.

    Richardson realized that he had been sold a dud and Kennedy realized that being a politician meant speaking to the great unwashed and voting occaisionally.

    There can be no exceptions to "No Man Is Above The Law."

    by stevej on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 12:18:49 PM PST

    •  There is absolutely NO comparison between the two (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miss Blue, NYFM, 3goldens, LynneK, eXtina

      Richardson was a governor and there are questions about contracts being awarded.

      Caroline absolutely has nothing of the kind.

      You can NOT brush her with corruption or political favoritism and cronyism.

      <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

      by bronte17 on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 12:48:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reread his comment. He'll brush her with (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ChurchofBruce, Miss Blue, 3goldens, LynneK

        anything he can scrounge up, twisting and gutting the truth out of it all.  When the worst they can come up with against someone is that she didn't vote in every primary, so even after she drops out, they're still pulling that one out, you know the hatred was, for some unfathomable reason, so deep, they'll latch onto any allegation made, valid or not.

    •  Furthermore... what a vile comment you've made (7+ / 0-)

      ...Kennedy realized that being a politician meant speaking to the great unwashed and voting occasionally.

      Gillibrand's supporters use the language of "ambitious" to describe her, while they couch Caroline in language of "untested" and "weak."  

      Yet, Gillibrand is a bigot. She brings a ruthlessness and division to the highest echelons of our government.

      Caroline was mocked for being too soft, for having not accomplished anything of relevance in her life.

      Yet, she worked tirelessly, for meager/no pay, in order to bring funding to NYC schools for the children to have better lives. To lift up and improve our communities.

      She was passionate about the arts and the inspiration that hope and vision can bring to our communities.

      But, some people find those activities to be quaint and worthless and of little value. Some argued that Caroline is "quaint" and weak compared to the barracuda Gillibrand.

      But, this is the same tired argument we have about the "dirty fuckin' hippies" and the aspect of the 60's and the "Kennedy" influence upon our culture.

      This is from Randy Pausch's Last Lecture.

      I had a really good childhood... I did a lot of dreaming.

         And it was an easy time to dream.

         I was born in 1960.

         When you’re eight or nine years old and you look at the TV set and men are landing on the moon... anything is possible...  and that’s something we should not lose sight of...  that the inspiration and the permission to dream is huge.

                                --Randy Pausch

      That comment and Pausch's work contain the seeds of the differentiation between a society that rewards and nurtures "barracudas" over the "weak" visionaries who actively bring hope and inspiration to our communities with their public service.

      <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

      by bronte17 on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 01:11:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Look who had motive (10+ / 0-)

    The Clintons had the motive to get even with Caroline for endorsing Obama.  Gillibrand had the motive because she wanted the seat.  So she got her Republican lobbyist father to join forces with the Clintions and promise Paterson a boat load of money for his campaign in return for not picking Kennedy and picking Gillibrand.

    Why would you appoint someone as Commerce Secretary who won't vote for your economic plan

    by Paleo on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 12:24:38 PM PST

  •  This Is My Take (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, Micheline

    Patterson wanted Gillibrand or whatever her name is from the first because that is who Shumer and Hillary wanted.  He pretended to want Caroline because of Obama, but I think that the truth is Obama did not give Caroline enough support, and if Patterson really thought that Obama was pushing hard for Caroline, Patterson would have chosen her right away instead of waiting so long.  This could go back to Rahm and the Clinton connection, and Obama having second thought about Caroline privately and pretending to be for her publicly to not piss the Kennedys off.  I say shame on Obama once again.

  •  I hope Obama considers Kennedy for one (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, polar bear

    of these job openings cropping up in his administration on a daily basis.

  •  Nick Confessore (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bronte17, NYFM, eXtina

    treating this story like some third party thing, like he is remote from it all, like he is an independent journalist and not an agenda-pushing participant, is pretty rich.

    I'm pretty sure this part of the timeline: "an orchestrated effort to discredit her after she withdrew", has got it backwards.

  •  Uh Hilliary did NOT want CK to get the slot (7+ / 0-)

    still smarting from CK's endorsement of Obama during the primaries.  And it appears that Paterson is nothing but a Clinton stooge (hence look at his pick of Gillibrand, an unabashed Clintonista) as his selection.  This smells of Hilliary and crew.

  •  Hmm. (7+ / 0-)

    I think that Kennedy could have made herself irresistible had her public sessions gone better, but it just sounds like Paterson skipped straight passed Regents University to Clown College when it came to staffing his office.

    As for why she pulled out, Ms. Kennedy can answer that whenever she wants.

  •  Do you know who Paterson's consultant is who... (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett, bronte17, NYFM, 3goldens, Fonsia, soms, eXtina

    was the leaker? Judy A. Smith, hired by Paterson as his communications consultant. She was a deputy press spokesperson in the Bush administration!

  •  no. (6+ / 0-)

    it's pretty simple really. caroline was paterson's choice from the get go. she was his choice up until the moment she decided she wasn't. period. that's just a fact.

    he then sent his folks out to trash her so as to distance himself from the whole thing. dumb move on so many levels, but he did it anyway. then he lied about it.

    as for the rest, which ny dem machine are you talking about? brooklyn? queens? buffalo? there is no single ny dem "machine." there's several of them and they mostly hate each other. the notion that a fictional machine had anything to do with paterson screwing the pooch on this one is nonsense.

    cuomo? not involved, but a bebeficiary. clinton? totally on board with the kennedy pick fom the very beginning. gillibrand? are you high? she was not consulted nor would her opinion mattered one whit.

    kennedy wasn't pushed out. she took herself out.

    conspiracy theories can be fun and all, but this story is pretty much exactly what it seems at first glance.

    "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

    It's time: the albany project.

    by lipris on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 12:37:50 PM PST

    •  Shh... (0+ / 0-)

      Don't confuse the grand conspiracy theorists (none of whom seem to live in New York and who certainly don't have any real knowledge of NYS Democratic politics) with facts!

      After all, everyone knows that the almighty Hillary sent her battalions of black helicopters from the Mena airstrip to bombard CK with confuso-rays whenever she spoke to a reporter just to make her look bad!

      Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

      by milkbone on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 01:16:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If Paterson wanted Caroline, he would have (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYFM, Fonsia

      appointed her at the beginning instead of dithering about doing nothing for weeks on end.  Jeebus, Blago appointed Burris more quickly than Paterson appointed Gillibrand. Paterson was being wooed behind the scenes and he went with the best political deal he thought he could make. A few well leaked stories and a few markers called in for a little negative spin and abracadabra: we have a new Blue Dog.
      Schumer and HIllary wanted Gilibrand.
      Paterson wanted to make the most hay he could and CK was used as a feint.

      You are a child of the universe; no less than the trees and the stars... Desiderata

      by byteb on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 01:37:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Other dems who wanted the job.... (4+ / 0-)

    I saw several on various talk shows speaking ill of her.  And the former Hillary supporters who thought that she did not deserve the seat, since she supported the Pres.

  •  Patterson the buck stop there (0+ / 0-)
  •  Anyone just think she was a lousy candidate??? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Well, ya know, I'm ya know a ya know Kennedy ya know...political machinations aside you should not be in a debating society if you can't debate!

    •  The NYT thoughtfully printed the transcript (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChurchofBruce, NYFM, 3goldens, Fonsia

      of their interview with Caroline complete with the 'you knows'. Most of the time, the verbal tics of an interviewee are filtered out with only the 'meat' of the interview but not with Caroline, for some reason.  And then some cable news person got the idea of the endless loop of 'you knows' and it's fun and jeers times for one and all.

      You are a child of the universe; no less than the trees and the stars... Desiderata

      by byteb on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 01:40:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactamundo (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        byteb, NYFM, 3goldens

        And they deliberately violated journalistic standards when they did that.

        They "justified" it by saying they'd also printed their own verbal tics.

        Clearly, they knew what they'd done.

        I've been watching high profile politicians in live interviews. They have just as many verbal ticks as Kennedy unless they're spouting memorized soundbites.

        When they're thinking on their feet, they say "you know" and "Uh," and "Um" constantly.

        May your entire existence be one sensuous, frolic-filled experience lived in defiance of care!

        by Fonsia on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 02:04:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Anyone else suspect (0+ / 0-)

    that Patterson just wanted a fill-in until he could run for the seat?

    Let tyrants fear.-Queen Elizabeth I

    by Virginia mom on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 01:55:57 PM PST

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