Political hypocrisy shifted into overdrive this week when fanatical followers of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton tried to torpedo the attempts of Caroline Kennedy to win appointment to the Senate seat Clinton will vacate when she becomes Secretary of State.
They launched web sites, organized email campaigns and flooded the New York governor’s office with phone calls demanding the governor appoint someone "more qualified" to Clinton’s Senate seat.
They urged Obama to "find an appropriate position" for Kennedy in his new administration so she could "gracefully" withdraw from consideration for the Senate seat.
But their most hilarious action came when they proclaimed Kennedy unqualified because she "has never held elected office."
Hmmmm. Let’s flash back to Hillary Clinton’s first run for the Senate after she and former President Bill Clinton left the White House.
That campaign was — you guessed it — Hillary Clinton’s first run for public office.
True, she had been first lady to the Governor of Arkansas and later the President of the United States but those positions were a result of marriage, not political experience or acumen. She lived in the White House as a member of the President’s family.
So did Caroline Kennedy. As I recall, her father was President from 1961 until his assassination in 1963.
While no one can reasonably claim that living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue prepares one for public office, it does seem ludicrious that supporters of one former resident of the White House is claiming that another former resident is not qualified to serve in the same job as Senator.
As First Lady, Hillary Clinton tried to ram a nationalized health program down America’s throat.
Her only other real role was to look the other way while her husband dorked interns and probably any other willing woman who wandered alone into the Oval Office. Caroline Kennedy’s father had his own fondness for willing women but she was probably too young to wonder what Marilyn Monroe was doing with daddy while mommy was away.
That’s the beauty of politics. Hypocrisy knows no shame. It flies in the face of reason, convention and truth.
Clinton and her supporters slammed Obama during the Democratic Presidential primary for what they called his "lack of experience" even though her experience level was just as lacking. He was serving his first term in the Senate. She started her second term two years earlier. He served in the Illinois statehouse. She hadn’t served in any other elected office.
Neither one was all that qualified when it came to actual experience. Voters picked Obama over Clinton because they felt he offered more hope for the future.
Clinton won her seat because she represents one of the two political dynasties that has occupied the White House nonstop for the last 20 years.
Caroline Kennedy represents another political dynasty, one that once held so much promise but one also felled by assassin’s bullets, wartime tragedies and a plane that crashed on its way to a wedding. She is the daughter of a President, a niece to a current Senator and a relative to both current and formers members of Congress.
In a political culture where experience and qualifications take back seats to charisma and "star power," her right to assume the Senate post once held by her iconic uncle is as great as anyone who has held that position.