Why Caroline Kennedy Needs Obama

07/09/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

If Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg is crazy for Barack Obama, the guy must really be something special, right?

This, clearly, is the line of thinking Team Obama hopes voters will follow as it thrusts the lone surviving child of John F. Kennedy to the fore of its presidential effort. First there was Kennedy Schlossberg's endorsement of the candidate during the primaries, followed by her appearance in a campaign ad and at multiple rallies for him. Then, upon securing the nomination, Obama promptly tapped Kennedy Schlossberg for his vice-presidential selection committee.

Critics may deride Kennedy Schlossberg as an unqualified and twitty political dilettante, but it doesn't take a strategy expert to grasp why Obama has carved out such a prominent role for her. She is a Kennedy. She is a woman. Better still, up to this point she has largely steered clear of the unseemly business of electoral politics. Instead, she has nurtured the family legacy by quietly tending the memories of others: first dad, then mom, and even brother John. In a family full of paparazzi magnets, self-promoters, and aspiring political stars, Kennedy Schlossberg has long glowed softly in the minds of many as the Great Custodian--an eternally gracious, dignified, selfless link to a purer, more buoyant political age.

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