Junkyard Dogs are Nipping at Caroline Kennedy’s Heels

It is impossible to put into words the contempt that I feel for those junkyard dogs who are nipping at Caroline Kennedy’s heels. “Mean spirited” doesn’t do it. “Envious”? “Bitter”? “Jealous”? All of the above. And worse.

kennedyAs for those so-called journalists who insist on describing her as “American royalty,” I throw my shoes at them!  The implication is that Caroline Kennedy has no other claim to distinction than her heritage. That is a grossly unfair and insulting implication.

Caroline Kennedy (photo at right) has conducted her life impeccably, setting an example that aspiring politicians would do well to copy. Robbed of her famous father by an assassin’s bullet, she has dealt with her personal tragedy in a private and dignified manner. And she has refused to take advantage of her parents’ legacy, choosing instead to make it on her own – earning a law degree, authoring books, managing not-for-profit organizations.

During her summers as a Harvard undergraduate, she worked in her uncle Ted Kennedy’s Senate office as an intern. After college, she spent five years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she met her husband, interactive-media designer Edwin Schlossberg. In 1988 she graduated from Columbia Law School and gave birth to their first child. Soon after, she began researching a book on the Bill of Rights, “In Our Defense,” with her friend and law-school classmate Ellen Alderman. In 1995, the two friends co-authored another book – “The Right to Privacy.”

After her mother’s death, she stepped up to fill the void in New York’s cultural scene, becoming an honorary chairwoman of the American Ballet Theatre and joining the board of the Citizens Committee for New York City, which supports local volunteer service groups. And she took over as president of the Kennedy Library Foundation in Boston. She helped found the library’s Profile in Courage Awards, an honor given to public officials for acts of political bravery. In a Time Magazine article published July 26, 1999, writer Romesh Ratnesar commented:

Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg has rarely run willingly into the glare of public attention. Instead she has allowed her cousins to inherit the Kennedy legacy of political ambition and her younger brother to assume the role of family icon. Meanwhile, she has tended to her three children (Rose, 11, Tatiana, 9, and Jack, 6), walked anonymously through New York City’s streets and granted few extended interviews, except during publicity rushes for her two books. “She is first and foremost a wife and mother,” says Paul Kirk Jr., chairman of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and a family confidant. “That’s a key priority for her. She saw how important it was to her as a child.”

And in October 2007, John E. Schlimm wrote in Autograph Magazine:

From practically the moment she was born, in 1957, Caroline Bouvier Kennedy Schlossberg was in the public eye. Once her father, John F. Kennedy, became president, in 1961, her life was never the same. Since then, she has lived a fantastic journey, during which she has endured unspeakable tragedy and grief. However, in every instance, she has held her head high and faced both the glories and the challenges with the same grace, sophistication and Kennedy mystique that her parents embodied.

J.LoNow, at 51, the only surviving child of John F. Kennedy (her brother John Jr. died in a plane crash in 1999) has decided to seek the Senate seat that will be vacated by presumptive Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And the sniping has begun. Critics cite her “lack of political experience.” In one catty remark, attributed to a nonentity named Gary Ackerman (described by the media as “a New York Democrat”) Caroline Kennedy was compared to movie star Jennifer Lopez, commonly known as J.Lo (photo at left). The idiot argued that they both have nothing more than name recognition to qualify them for a Senate seat.

It is this kind of abject ignorance that gives us politicians of the ilk of Rod Blagojevich, the foul-mouthed Illinois governor accused of trying to sell President-elect Obama’s Senate seat. If  Blagojevich is an example of an “experienced” politician, New York voters should be grateful that a politically “inexperienced” but decent person like Caroline Kennedy is willing to represent them.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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