Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gossip Girl for Congress

Out of morbid curiosity, I spent a few minutes examining Caroline Kennedy’s much touted qualifications to be a US senator. Here’s her distinguished resume:

• Born in New York City
• Lived in Georgetown (DC)
• Lived in the White House
• Moved back to Georgetown
• Lived in penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue, on Upper Manhattan
• Dedicated the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy
• Did nine-month art course at the Sotheby's auction house in London
• Attended the private Brearley School on Upper Manhattan
• Attended Radcliffe College & Columbia Law School
• Interned with her uncle, Sen. Ted Kennedy
• Worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
• Married exhibit designer
• Lives on Park Avenue in Manhattan's Upper East Side
• Owns 375-acre estate on Martha's Vineyard
• Board member of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
• Fundraiser for NYC public school system
• Honorary chairman of the American Ballet Theatre

As a middle class American, who grew up among middle class Americans, I find her resume unintentionally comical. I might as well be reading the Curriculum Vitae of Marie Antoinette.

The boundaries of her worldview apparently extend from Upper Manhattan to a stretched limo to Harvard Yard to the Concord to Paris and London and back.

In a way, her cultural experience has all the diversity of a cowgirl who lived and died in a one-horse town.

Actually, that’s unfair to the cowgirl who, unlike Caroline, has many practical skills.

I also love the modern redefinition of noblesse oblige. This used to mean you gave your own money to charitable causes, not that you solicited money from others.

BTW, did she have to fill out an application form to intern with Uncle Ted?


  1. Yet, Sarah Palin was somehow seen as vapid and inexperienced ...

  2. Playing devil's advocate here, I think that anything she'd have done, as a famous, rich, daughter of a President (with the security limitations of that as well) would seem dilettante-ish.

    Imagine if you didn't have to work because of a silver spoon being in your mouth at birth. You'd have to sit around and 'calculate' - or at least formulate - what you are going to do. Most people are forced into some kind of road and activity and pattern in life.

    She can't go down in the trenches due to the security issues (I suppose she can't, it's a fair assumption), and she can't pretend she doesn't have a bank account that makes 'getting a real job' superfluous to some real, arguably big, degree.

    How can rich people be 'real'? She's tried the usual routes: patron of the arts (in some sense), contributing to 'letters' (to some degree), philanthropy (I assume)...

    Must we consign her to the political sidelines?

  3. >Yet, Sarah Palin was somehow seen as vapid and inexperienced ...

    Let Caroline Kennedy run Sarah Palin's commercial fishing business for a couple of years, then see what we've got.

  4. I wonder if Caroline Kennedy has ever set foot inside a Southern Baptist church. For her, that would be like a field course in anthropology. An expedition to study the strange and savage ways of the Bible belt. Imagine the culture shock!

    Has she ever had to wait in line at the supermarket? Has she ever been to a supermarket?

    Has she ever had to fill out a pile of forms in a doctor’s office? Has she ever had to wait to see a doctor?

    What if, instead of attending the Ivy Leagues, she attended Bob Jones University for a year or two? From what I can tell, the only working class people she’s encountered on a regular basis are her cooks and maids and chauffeurs.

    There are various people who came from money, but made better use of their inheritance, viz. Buckley, Machen, Warfield, Allis, Frame, Selina Hastings, Jean d’Albret.

  5. It's true the Word of God is the only thing that could make her real. Everybody will be shallow, rich or not, without it. And without the Holy Spirit in you to value and understand it.

    Short of that I guess it is more ideal for a politician to come from the ranks of society where most people live.