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Saturday, January 24, 2009

John and Ted and Caroline 


In the middle of Evan Thomas' insidery campaign book, A Long Time Coming, there is a section on early conflict between John McCain and Barack Obama in the Senate, even before Obama was openly running for president. I thought this bit was interesting for more than one reason:

Obama further aliented McCain on the immigration issue. McCain took great political risks on immigration, defying the GOP faithful who wanted to build a wall across the Mexican border and arrest and detain illegal immigrants. Working with Ted Kennedy and a bipartisan group, McCain came up with compromise legislation to create a guest-worker program. Obama asked to join the group. The senators agreed to hang together to vote against amendments from both the right and the left. Some very conservative senators honored the agreement, voting against conservative amendments -- but Obama did not, voting in favor of a number of liberal amendments. After one meeting, Kennedy chewed Obama out for his fickleness. (Months later, asked by a colleague why he had endorsed Obama for president, Kennedy gave a one-word answer: "Caroline.")

Without reading too much into this anecdote, on immigration, at least, Barack Obama took care of his base and John McCain did not, and his base included Caroline Kennedy. She must indeed be a little bitter about now.

20 Comments:

By Anonymous tyree, at Sat Jan 24, 06:31:00 PM:

That immigration bill had a smell coming out of it worse than a dead skunk, and now we know why. They will be a change in the status of the millions of illegal immigrants during the Obama administration. I just hope it enables me to get free stuff by braking the law, also. To do otherwise would be discriminatory.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sat Jan 24, 07:16:00 PM:

The lies just keep coming to light, don't they?  

By Blogger smitty1e, at Sat Jan 24, 07:49:00 PM:

I'm just so glad that we've evolved beyond those boring old considerations of transparency, the Constitution, and the future of the country.
Hope, Change, and all the Drano you can snort.  

By Blogger davod, at Sun Jan 25, 12:30:00 AM:

Wha does he reference to Caroline mean? Were she and obama an item?  

By Blogger smitty1e, at Sun Jan 25, 08:42:00 AM:

@davod,
The Caroline reference is explained by the preceding phrase: "asked by a colleague why he had endorsed Obama for president"
If this anecdote is true, then there was a back-end deal for Obama to make sure Caroline got "hooked up" somehow in the new administration.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sun Jan 25, 08:55:00 AM:

If this anecdote is true, then there was a back-end deal for Obama to make sure Caroline got "hooked up" somehow in the new administration.

Not necessarily. It might simply have been that Caroline was a passionate supporter of Obama, and that she asked her uncle to step up with an endorsement. In fact, I think that is the highest probability scenario.  

By Blogger smitty1e, at Sun Jan 25, 09:18:00 AM:

@TigerHawk,
I'd be inclined to agree, if the subject was not the Kennedys, and the amount of subsequent hooey about appointing Carloyn to Hillary's seat.
Generally speaking, for a country that was founded with such an anti-aristochratic feeling, we seem to enjoy a super-abundance of political dynasties.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Jan 25, 12:24:00 PM:

Senatorial deals are made all the time. Ted Kennedy was nearing the end of his reign.

Obviously Obama needed Kennedy's support if he was going to run for President. Kennedy needed to assure that there would continue to be a Kennedy in the Senate.

A simple deal was struck: If Kennedy supported "that guy Osama Obama" for president, Obama would work to get Carolyn into the Senate.

Obambi held up his end. That pesky Gov. Patterson screwed Obambi AND Kennedy AND the Clintons.

Gov. Patterson can expect to wake up with a severed horse's head in bed with him....  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Jan 25, 12:51:00 PM:

Obambi held up his end.

I see no evidence of this. sure he cleared Hillary's Senate seat. But that's as far as he went. The Obamessiah made Blago's pick sail through some rough seas. He could have easily done the same for Caroline. Yet he clearly did not.

Duh One probably is still miffed over the spat with Senator Vehicular Manslaughter and knows the cirrhotic wonder is soon to be down for the count anyway and can already be ignored.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Jan 25, 12:53:00 PM:

Where's the difference between Obama and Blago? Oh, I forgot, Blago got taped, and Fitz realized where that investigation was going and put the kibosh on it to keep has head and torso intact.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Jan 25, 02:04:00 PM:

" ..there is a section on early conflict between John McCain and Barack Obama in the Senate, even before Obama was openly running for president. "

Sheesh. That must have been in the first month Brocko was there. It wasn't too long after that he started running for Prez.  

By Blogger RebeccaH, at Sun Jan 25, 02:07:00 PM:

If we must have a Backstabber-in-Chief, at least he isn't averse to stabbing his own. That's some small comfort.  

By Blogger Dave, at Sun Jan 25, 03:20:00 PM:

Smitty1e, it's hard to think of a political dynasty in the US that has persisted longer than 2 generations. A couple of Adams, some Longs, a Byrd or two, Some Daleys, etc, etc.

Look at the second and third generation Kennedys. Hardly a decent politician among them. They may win originally on the family name (and the support of loyal staff), but sooner or later they have to deliver.

Do you have any third generation political dynasty types in mind? I don't know, offhand, of any.

I hope that situation continues. I.e. no more than two generations.  

By Blogger Gahrie, at Sun Jan 25, 03:37:00 PM:

Well The Bushs come to mind.

(1) Prescott Bush was a Senator from Connecticut. His son (2) George H.W. Bush was a Congressman, head of the CIA, Vice -President and President. His grandson (3) George W. Bush was a governor of Texas and President of the United States. Another grandson (3) Jeb Bush was the governor of Florida (mainly believe his political career is not yet over). Mainly people also believe that Jeb's son (4) George P. Bush has a political career ahead of him.  

By Blogger Tom Royce, at Sun Jan 25, 04:00:00 PM:

Here is my hypothesis. Barak agreed to give Hillary state if Caroline was given the Senate seat.

That would explain why Hillary is in the administration and why the liberals are so bent out of shape that Caroline got passed over.

If this is true, then the stink from this deal would be worse than that emanating from Chicago.  

By Blogger mariner, at Sun Jan 25, 05:18:00 PM:

"Smitty1e, it's hard to think of a political dynasty in the US that has persisted longer than 2 generations. A couple of Adams, some Longs, a Byrd or two, Some Daleys, etc, etc."

I can think of several, and I'm not even a political junkie:

Taft
Bush
Udall
Roosevelt

See this Wikipedia list of U.S. political families.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Jan 25, 05:32:00 PM:

PLEASE! Don't you people see what is going on here? Caroline knew Paterson wouldn't appoint her AND SHE DIDN'T/DOESN'T CARE!! Why not? Because she knows that uncle Teddy will die or retire for ill health in the near future and that she will be appointed to fill HIS Senate seat!
The people of Massachusetts are so blind and stupid that NO ONE will use the word carpetbagger and, after all, she'll list Hyannisport as her true home.
For you technicians, check the Mass. residency requirement (I believe it is 6 months). She'll change papers and it will measure when Teddy will quit.
The dem fix is still in!!!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Jan 25, 05:56:00 PM:

Caroline is very smart. you know
Ted should fire up the oldsmoble and give the Govenor a ride, you know, Caroline you know , Caroline is for the little people, You know
yes that is it, you know  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Jan 25, 07:56:00 PM:

JFK Jr, not Caroline, was the true heir apparent. He was Hillary's only real competition for what became her NY senate seat and springboard to running for President.

Unfortunately, Jr met with the favorite Clintonian "accident" in '99 when his plane went down. (That would make 13 people in Clinton's way who died in airplane or helo crashes.)

Had he not died, he'd surely be NY's new Senator or MA's when Sen. Martini croaks.  

By Blogger Chris, at Mon Jan 26, 07:50:00 AM:

Strange that no one has mentioned that this is the modern definition of bipartisanship. The Republican works with the opposition and alienates his base while getting little credit for doing it, while the Democrat works with his base and alienates the opposition and capitalizes on the deal.  

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