2016 election

I, Virginia Bergman, pledge not to vote for a male presidential candidate in 2016 just because he's male.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Caroline Kennedy and Maureen Dowd, "the Undisputed Queen of Political Opinion"

In the Fix (Washington Post) today, Chris Cilizza mentions the endorsements cited by allies of Caroline Kennedy in her quest for Hillary Clinton’s senate seat: “they note, Kennedy continues to wrack up an impressive panoply of endorsements ranging from Vito Lopez, the Democratic boss of Brooklyn, to Upstate billionaire Tom Golisano to the undisputed queen of political opinion -- Maureen Dowd.”

It was that last one that brought me up short: Maureen Dowd, “the undisputed queen of political opinion?!!”

Maureen Dowd is an embarrassment to women in journalism. She continues to pay her dues in the good old boys’ network by trashing any serious female contender for national political office. I won’t even attempt to critique her poisonous style of writing.

Today’s column titled Sweet on Caroline was to be expected. Despite the Kennedy aura, Caroline Kennedy’s persona would be non-threatening to even Dowd. Dowd – the woman who eviscerated Sarah Palin for her meandering speaking style – excuses Kennedy’s “you know” speech tic as a symptom of shyness.

Shyness? The shy Ms. Kennedy wants to begin her political career as a U.S. senator from New York?!!

In defense of Caroline’s running on the Kennedy name, Maureen argues the other kids are doing it, so why shouldn’t Caroline? In the process she brushes off Hillary Clinton’s lengthy career of public service in which she’s won accolades for her expertise on the issues, her hard work, and her proven ability to reach across the aisle by accusing Hillary of getting where she is as a member of the Clinton dynasty through her marriage to Bill.

Back during the primary MediaMatters.Org and irate citizens forced MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to publicly apologize for making a similar sexist comment on the air.

But here’s a news flash for both Maureen and he who is known for the tingle up his leg: dynasties don’t work that way. To be a member of a dynasty requires being the direct descendant of the ruling family. And besides, Maureen, I believe you’re one of those harpies who suggested in the aftermath of the Democratic primary that Hillary got those 18 million votes in spite of Bill. But that comment was most likely due to your unhinged jealousy of Hillary for managing to keep her family together over the years and attain professional success.

Personally I feel neutral about Caroline’s entry into politics. If New Yorkers feel the Kennedy family name and her connection with Obama is what they need more than someone with the demonstrated ability to do the job, so be it. After all, in the most perilous period in contemporary history, the voters just elected as president the most unqualified candidate to run in 2008; the wisdom of that choice is yet to be tested.


  1. "If New Yorkers feel the Kennedy family name and her connection with Obama is what they need more than someone with the demonstrated ability to do the job, so be it." We don't, but nobody's asking, or listening, to us.

  2. Hi G,

    I'm really glad you stopped by to offer a New Yorker's opinion on Caroline Kennedy's "campaign" for the senate.

    Best wishes.

  3. Great post Virginia. You said it loud, and I agree.

  4. Thanks, Becky, I appreciate your comment.

  5. The "you know" tic being attributed to shyness? This shows a disturbing disconnect to popular culture where this tic is epidemic and reveals the inability to THINK. Compare this with the eloquent speech of Hillary or Chelsea for that matter and its dismissal becomes even more disturbing. Kennedy is so totally non threatening the Dowd, as the bully cheerleader that she is, must be doing cartwheels at the thought of Kennedy's fodder for her future columns.

  6. Hello Teacherconfidential,

    It's good to hear from you! And your comment is so spot on. As a teacher, you're probably more aware of the "you know" problem than most of us, and I certainly trust your judgment on that one.