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My Dream Ticket: Barack Obama & Caroline Kennedy
Saturday, 07 June 2008 22:40
by Linda Milazzo

For nearly her entire 51 years, Caroline Kennedy has been part of the socio-political fabric of this nation. She first captivated America as the tiny daughter of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. She was the delightful little blonde atop her pony Macaroni, and the adoring older sister to precocious brother, John. Caroline Kennedy, throughout her life, has been unceasingly gracious - taking a willing back seat to brother John and mother Jackie - America's perennial Prince and First Lady.

And while John Jr. and Jackie were attracting the paparazzi, Caroline was quietly achieving. She graduated from Radcliffe College/Harvard University and Columbia Law School and took the New York and DC bars. While John and Jackie's every move was scrutinized, Caroline created a lower-profile, but highly productive life. She married Ed Schlossberg, had three children, and continued to work supporting and promoting social causes, overseeing foundations and editing and writing books. Caroline Kennedy, the Number One daughter of America’s pre-eminent political family, withstood her fishbowl existence without gaffe or misadventure.

Controversy hasn't sullied her. Self-importance hasn’t deluded her. Self-pity hasn’t defeated her. With the whole world watching, no matter the tragedy or the pain, Caroline Kennedy has prevailed. But for all her accomplishments, she’s refreshingly modest. She’s a lawyer, an author, a mother, a wife and the principal custodian, with her Uncle Teddy, of the Kennedy name. And even now, with “Teddy,” her surrogate father battling a malignant glioma, she's still stepped forward to serve Barack Obama in his quest for a VP.

So here's my question.

How about Caroline Kennedy for Vice President?? She's as knowledgeable as the others. Couldn't this be "her time" too? She's worked her entire life on behalf of those less fortunate, as Hillary claims to have done. She's certainly weathered difficulty, as Hillary claims to have done. And she's a woman!! For months I’ve been hearing Hillary call herself a victim. I’ve heard her mantra that bouncing back from adversity is “the story of her life.” Each time I hear it, I wonder just what her misfortunes have been. From my perspective, Hillary's life seems pretty damn good. She grew up in a toney neighborhood in Chicago. She went to excellent schools.

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She attended Ivy League Universities. She married the man of her dreams and “chose” to stay with him. She did lose her father, but thankfully her mother and brothers are alive. She has a wonderful daughter, legions of fans, enormous intelligence and apparent good health. She also has great power - which she has not been wont to use - in any way that suits her. So why is she complaining?? Let's contrast Hillary and Caroline: Unlike Hillary, Caroline lost her father when she was only five. Less than five years later she lost her surrogate father, Bobby Kennedy, too. She grew up in the lens of the camera, which she never sought. And she never misused her celebrity. She had the freedom of wealth - but it never lessened the tragedies Caroline publicly had to endure. Caroline lost her mother to cancer and her brother and sister-in-law in a plane.

It's still extraordinary to recall the strength and dignity Caroline showed when she lost her brother, John. Like millions of Americans, and others around the world, I, too, suffered over the loss of John. And like millions of others, I was buoyed by the Kennedys - especially by Caroline and Ted. While the rest of us wallowed in the loss of our Prince, Caroline rode her bike and showed us the way to move on. We needed her then. We need her again. Some readers may doubt that Caroline Kennedy has the credentials to lead. But I believe she has always led – just more quietly than most. She's learned from the best. Her uncle is the Lion of the Senate.

Her Aunt Eunice began the Special Olympics. Her Uncle Sarge created the Peace Corps. She's steeped in a legacy of public service. She has power and doesn't abuse it. She serves on foundations and boards - all for the public good. She's on the Commission on Presidential Debates and on the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and she's a founder of the Profiles In Courage Award. She's traveled globally and lived abroad. She's an adviser to the Harvard Institute of Politics, and though she doesn't hold political office, she's worked with and for those who have, and for those who still do. She's brilliant and universally respected.

There is little negative to be said about Caroline. As an author, Caroline Kennedy outshines both Clintons, who have written mainly on their own lives. The books Caroline co-authored with Ellen Alderman, bear the titles, “In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights In Action (1990) and “The Right To Privacy” (1995). With the decaying state of our Constitution and the decline of Americans’ rights, the knowledge-base from this authorship give Caroline the skills to guide us along. Finally, there’s THE DREAM. MY dream. I’ve waited my entire life for a black President and for a woman President. I’ve also dreamed that the Kennedy legacy would be fulfilled. Most believed that destiny of high service and high office was in the hands of JFK, II. - but we lost him much too soon. Perhaps that destiny is Caroline's to fulfill. Would she accept the Vice Presidential call?

If Barack Obama asked her, would she serve?
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Comments (2)add comment

Jayne said:

Why doesn't anyone want to accept the fact that there are some, like Caroline Kennedy, whose idea of public service is larger than what she can get out of it -- i.e., political motivations.

Caroline Kennedy has made an invaluable contribution to the world of poetry, has helped the Academy of American Poets, and other literary organizations immensely, and is honoring her father's number one love---writing. Had it not been for his father, Joe Kennedy, Sr., Caroline's dad would have been happy to teach college English, and devote his life to his writing.

That she has chosen to help Barack Obama out in his important campaign for the presidency is not a matter of personal ambition. Yes, Dorothy, there are some things higher, and more important in the overall scheme of things, than holding political office. Caroline's father, and our former president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, would be HUGELY proud of all the good, unselfish, and important work his daughter has done for that much neglected literary form, one that was so close to his own heart, as well as the work she's done with the young people of this country. Her motive for joining the Obama campaign, like that of Tom Hayden and others, was prompted by her own children's interest, and excitement, about that candidate, not because of any unfulfilled dream of her own.
Leave the Kennedys alone, please, and let them follow their dreams like the rest of us.
June 08, 2008
Votes: +0

Jonathan Versen said:

Lincoln Chafee
Even though I'm not so enamored of Obama as many others and doubt that he's really the "change agent" he purports to be, it occurs to me the ideal VP match for Obama would be Republican Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, the only GOP senator to vote against the war resolution in 2002. He lost his reelection bid in 2006 in spite of having a fairly progressive record, and not just with his vote on Iraq.
June 08, 2008
Votes: +0

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