I want to offer Hegemaniacs a short guide to just some of the moving parts of the Paterson/Kennedy/Gillibrand Fiasco. It may provide non-New Yorkers with a more nuanced -- if no less confusing -- guide to just what the hell is going on in the Empire State.
- Governor David Paterson's rumored first choice to fill Hillary Clinton's senate seat, Representative Nita Lowey, withdrew from consideration for the seat. This was a nice bit of irony to set off this clusterfuck.
- Caroline Kennedy was owned by New York mayor Mike Bloomberg, who gave her a gig helping Cancellor, Joel Klein, raise private money for NYC schools. Bloomberg, with his "I'm a Democrat! No, I'm a Republican! No! I'm an Independent" opportunism and his presidential
fantasiesaspirations interferes in everything. His aide, the execrable Kevin Sheekey, pushed Kennedy hard as a fait accompli, pretty much alienating everyone -- citizens and media alike -- in the process.
- Paterson would like Bloomberg's support when he has to run for governor in 2010. Remember Paterson fell into the governor's job after Eliot Spitzer's aforementioned indiscretions vaulted New York into the Governor-as-Punchline™ Club.
- When asked if she would support a Democrat in the 2010 NYC mayor's race, Kennedy would not offer a straight answer. Her friendship with Bloomberg aside, this is Caroline Kennedy. Would she support Paterson in 2010? This question gave more than a few people pause. (See No. 8, supra.)
- Paterson is right to be concerned about a 2010 primary challenge from NY attorney general Andrew Cuomo, so we New Yorkers wondered if he would eliminate that possibility by sending Cuomo to DC, especially seeing that Cuomo was polling well against Kennedy (see No. 7, supra).
- New Yorkers, in turn, fear said gubenatorial primary challenge because they know that Cuomo is dating Sandra "Semi-Homemade" Lee and are terrified of Lee serving one of her concoctions to, say, Barack and Michelle Obama, should these pour souls ever have the misfortune of being stranded in Albany in a blizzard and in need of a place to spend the night. ("You take a box of Ronzoni lasagna noodles and smash them with a hammer. Then you pour a can of Campbell's tomato soup that's been thickened with cornstarch over that. You top it all with three layers of Kraft Singles and a sprinkling of toasted coconut. Bake it in a 350F oven for two hours and serve with over lettuce with fresh lemon wedges and Peeps on the side. Voila! Instant dinner!")
- When local outfits polled Kennedy against Pete Bada Bing! King, the troglodyte congressman from the south shore of Lawn Guyland who has been mouthing off about running for the senate seat in 2010, Kennedy barely beat King. But when King was polled against Cuomo, King got whipped.
- Polls showed that New Yorkers wanted Cuomo, not Kennedy for the senate seat. (Note, however, that Gillibrand was not added to the mix.)
- NY Dems control the governorship and both houses of the NY legislature, but the Dems' hold on the State Senate is fragile. Everyone is worried about 2010.
- Paterson is not winning any popularity contests at this point, although to be fair, this has more to do with the financial crisis than it does with the senate nightmare (although give that time.)
- In my NYC circle, the biggest objection to Kennedy had less to do with Kennedy herself than with the fact that Sheekey's Mark Penn-like "inevitability" campaign came on the heels of the Bloomberg term limits coup. We felt as though we were having choice after choice shoved down our throats as opposed to having any input in what is supposed to be a democratic process.
- No one wants to piss off President Obama, who is pals with Kennedy, and whose presence on the campaign trail could come in handy in 2010.
(a) her position on guns and illegal immigrants evolves (as her position on marriage equality already has); and
(b) she spends quite a bit of 2009 working hard to secure goodies for NYC; and
(c) she learns to stay out of pictures with putrid wingnut trash like Al D'Amato
all of which would be just fine with me.
Best of luck, almost-Senator Gillibrand.