If the Kennedy Mystique and Money do not overwhelm New York Governor David Paterson and convince him to appoint Caroline Kennedy to fill out the remaining two years of Hillary’s term, a gay, disgraced, former Catholic priest will…
(Former) Father Charles O’Byrne is the hidden player in this saga who will broker this deal.
O’Byrne is unusually close to both the Kennedy Family and Governor Paterson. In fact, he was the New York Governor’s Chief of Staff (entitled Secretary in New York political parlance) for the past year until it was revealed that he had not filed tax returns for five years. That scandal forced him from the job amid revelations of “chronic depression” and cash payments to gay lovers. But he remains an extraordinarily influential Paterson adviser.
O’Byrne also has served as an “inside spiritual adviser” to the Kennedy Family for years - and conducted several weddings for them.
This behnd-the-scenes two-way connection is the real reason Governor Paterson will appoint Caroline to the Senate.
It is, of course, a total farce that she would even be considered for this Senate seat.
Despite the spin that she has been involved in issues for years, the plain fact of the matter is that she has been a Park Avenue Society Mother and Wife - and has had nada to do with any public issues.
If her name was just Caroline Schlossberg - which it used to be but that married name has suddenly disappeared - with the exact same resume, who would possibly think she could be appointed to this soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat?
Ironically, Hillary Clinton’s ascendancy to this seat in 2000 actually helps Caroline by creating a recent precedent for a liberal female rookie to parachute into New York State - replete with instant entourage and a pre-packaged Listening Tour. Already Caroline has started traveling to foreign lands (for her) - upstate New York - and is surrounded by aides and handlers with one assignment: do not let her suffer the fate of the mouthy Sarah Palin and thus talk herself into trouble.
Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo will see this circus this week.
And all along you can bet that Team Paterson is watching and waiting - for a mistake or a reason not to pick her. Paterson - who has not yet been elected statewide on his own - is acutely aware that in this deteriorating economy he could rapidly be blamed by an angry electorate for the rotten condition of the New York State economy. And, even though today it seems unimaginable, it is possible the New York State GOP could re-appear out of somewhere and field a candidate to take him on in 2008.
So, Paterson has to be seeing that a Kennedy-Paterson ticket in 2010 is almost un-beatable.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has called Paterson and urged him to appoint Caroline. Obviously President-Elect Obama owes Caroline Big Time for her timely endorsement last winter and her Veep Selection work.
Paterson - and New York - need federal money pored into the state as the Wall Street Melt-Down has deprived the State and City of billions in tax revenue. Who better to go to Reid and Obama and plead for it than Caroline Kennedy?
On the other side of the ledger, Paterson is hearing from every other Democratic politician in New York - and they are all aghast at the thought of this dilettante cutting the line and getting this plum job.
State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the son of the former Governor - and a former first cousin by marriage of Caroline’s - is the other most prominent name rumored for this Senate slot.
There are also several female Representatives and up-staters who want the job.
If Paterson picks Caroline - yes, it will help him get re-elected/elected in 2010 - but it will infuriate virtually every elected Democrat in the state.
So Paterson will wait a while for Hillary to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate - sometime in late January or early February. She will then resign the Senate seat. And Paterson will have to make his decision.
Does he deny the Kennedys - and Harry Reid - and Barack Obama?
Or does he tell members of his own party in New York that he is bypassing them all just to pick a Big Name?
When Decision Day comes, Governor Paterson will not be alone in his deliberations; his long-time mentor and aide, Father O’Byrne, will be brokering this deal to help both the Kennedys and the Governor.
Look for Caroline Kennedy to get the appointment - thanks to O’Byrne.