I am not exactly a friend of Caroline Kennedy. But we knew each other when she was at Harvard and she went out with my student, Eric Breindel, who has since died and whom I loved dearly. I understood immediately that she wasn't like "other" Kennedys, although I suppose that some of the others may also no longer be what they were then, more than reckless and reeking privilege that comes with abandon and abandonment. She was serious, a bit shy and intellectually quite curious. (For whatever it's worth, I think she was also more beautiful than her mother and a lot less high strung.
As for her entitlement to the Senate seat in New York, she is not entitled. I have no strong feelings otherwise. Yes, she has made it quite difficult for Governor Patterson to designate anyone other than her. But he could, at least in the abstract. Who would that be? Attorney General Cuomo is a formidable figure but also in the primogeniture mold. The others? Would they be appropriate or just hacks? Anthony Weiner? I think he's a congressman. I'm not equipped to be in this fight.
There is also something unseemly in the chatter about the Ted Kennedy succession. He is alive and God bless him. May he live much longer than the chatterers imagine and continue the practical and idealistic burdens he has chosen as his career. And, of course, he felt entitled in 1962, and the electorate confirmed his entitlement. The rest is history, good history.
Some people say that Ted wants Governor Patrick to choose his wife, Victoria, after he has met the great rabbi in the sky. I doubt this will actually happen.
But here is what might occur. Caroline would be senator from New York. Patrick could be senator from Rhode Island. Joe, then, might seek his uncle's seat from Massachusetts. And win. Three senators out of 100. Wow!
You see how really classy and brainy Caroline is.