With the news tonight that Caroline Kennedy has withdrawn her name from consideration to fill the Senate term of Hillary Clinton, is state attorney general Andrew Cuomo the choice for Gov. David Patterson.
The New York Times is reporting that Kennedy is withdrawing her name due to concerns about the health of her uncle Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) who suffered a seizure yesterday while at the inaugural lunch. Caroline is extremely close to her uncle, who she said has said was a father figure after the assassination of her father former President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
One can only speculate, but Kennedy is not a politician so it is possible that family concerns were the primary reason for her to withdraw, but the constant criticism of her de facto campaign to be named to the seat must have also factored in. Plus when you consider the Kennedy/Cuomo rivalry, and the fact that Cuomo wants the seat in the worst way, it makes for an intriguing story.
Despite the fact that recent public opinion polls in the state showed Cuomo to the popular choice, it appeared that Gov. Patterson was leaning towards appointing Kennedy. Now it seems that Patterson is likely to turn to Cuomo. The governor had set a Saturday deadline to announce his decision, so one has to wonder what this recent development does to the process. There is the possibility that Kennedy heard that she was not going to be Patterson’s choice, so she withdrew her name to save herself the embarrassment of not being chosen.
Politically, Patterson would have benefitted more from having the experienced and popular Cuomo in the Senate. Caroline Kennedy could also benefit from not being appointed to the seat. She would be better served to avoid the notion of entitlement by running in a campaign, and being elected to a seat, instead of being appointed. It was odd for a private person like Kennedy to seek out this seat, and in this context, it isn’t a surprise that she withdrew her name. Whatever happens, you can be sure that Patterson will make it seem like whoever he chooses was always his number one choice.