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The Success of Kirsten Gillibrand and the Trashing of Caroline Kennedy

The good news is that a woman, and a young woman, at that, has been appointed to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Senate seat. Kirsten Gillibrand is a good choice on many counts, in addition to her gender. She comes from upper New York State which seems to be a plus for the Governor, and she has proven her electability having recently been elected to her second term. More importantly, she will be a powerful role model for young women with young children, sending the message that; they too, can serve in public office. The bad news is that Caroline Kennedy got trashed in the process. She did not deserve to experience such public embarrassment. Why did an anonymous aid to Governor David Paterson allow himself to be quoted “she was never under serious consideration.” Caroline Kennedy deserved serious consideration. She may have made mistakes in the way she rolled out her candidacy, but the constant refrain that “she wasn’t qualified” does not compute. What are the qualifications for a United States Senator? Do you have to be a traditional politician to make the grade? I cannot help but conclude that a man with her credentials would have been given serious consideration. She would have brought a passion for public service to the United States Senate which can always use an infusion of that rare ingredient in its mix. She has proven herself to be a skilled writer, an intelligent person, and a committed reformer for education. She deserved better treatment than she received from politicians. the pundits and the press. It is my hope that she will find another avenue to express her desire for public service, not only as a volunteer, but also as a significant player. In the meantime, congratulations to Senator Gillibrand. Her appointment allows the Senate to maintain its meager percentage of women—17 percent. In addition, her appointment makes a powerful statement about the ability of young women with young children to serve in public life. We need more.

Tourist Eyes

For two weeks my husband and I traveled to London, Paris, Zurich and Bern—familiar haunts where one can drink water from the tap. Read More..

Gays in the Military

We’ve come a long way in the sixteen years since the policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” was adopted to deal with the question of gay and lesbian members of the military.

This time, advocacy for repeal did not come from any outside group; it came from the apex of the military establishment itself. Read More..

The Supreme Court and Corporate Electioneering

The Supreme Court decision which will allow unfettered campaign contributions from corporations and unions poses a threat to the very workings of our democracy.

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In the Wake of Massachusetts

A political earthquake hit Massachusetts last night. The tectonic plates of the Democratic Party shifted with the election of Republican Scott Brown to the United States Senate and left untold amounts of debris in its wake. Read More..

Greeting the New Year

This time of year we automatically say "Happy New Year" to friends, acquaintances, and even strangers, days after the champagne corks have popped and the fireworks are but a memory. It has become a standard greeting for the first days of January, partly to cheer ourselves up so we can face the rest of the winter. Read More..