-1- She’s rich.
-2- She’s not qualified.
#1, we simply have to ignore. This is the United States Senate where there’s an argument to be made that #1 solves the problem of #2.
So let’s deal with #2.
The New York Times article today — once you get past the shock of the number of New Yorkers who don’t know who Caroline Kennedy is, features several references to her qualifications.
Elmer A. DeLeon, 23, manager of a hip-hop group called Solar, said he was familiar with Ms. Kennedy but dismissed her bid for public office. “I don’t think she’s qualified,” he said, “She’s using her name to get into office. The way this country is going, we need people who are going to do their job.”
As Lyndon Johnson might have said — but didn’t — “if I’ve lost the hip-hop manager vote, I’ve lost America.”
Unfortunately, nobody seems to be asking a fairly pertinent question: What qualifications should one have to be a good U.S. senator?
Albert Hunt takes a stab at it in today’s International Herald Tribune:
She has all the qualities – intellectual curiosity; a friendly, at times pointed, sense of humor; and a deferential manner (she hails her own cabs) – that are the stuff to make a good senator.
Hunt contends her biggest failing is she doesn’t have a big enough ego to be in the Senate.
Let’s take a stab at it here. What qualities should a U.S. senator have?
(Aside: As I wrote this, CBS’ Face the Nation was starting. Ms. Kennedy’s qualifications were today’s topics but one of Kennedy’s cousins couldn’t appear on the show because the TV satellite truck ran off the road on the way to her home in Mt. Kisco, NY. So let us agree that one qualification is: good tire chains.)