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Is Caroline Kennedy our Sarah Palin?

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I really hate her. I'll think of a reason later. -- Lee Ann Womack

Brent Bozell III, president of numerous organizations he founded himself, is a guy with -- what's the nicest way to say this? -- limited intellectual gifts. That doesn't slow him down, though, and you've got to admire him for that. He makes up for being sort of a slow coach by being irate all the time. He can perform basic conservative TV pundit functions because he knows he's mad about something. He's got a bee in his bonnet, providing the buzzing sound in his head, and having all that empty space to echo off of just makes it louder.

The force that drives the water through the rocks drives the blood to his face. And the blond beard sets it off so unpleasantly, too, like a certain amount of cat hair on a slice of ham.

He's not afraid to stand athwart history and yell "Huh?"

So there's probably not much thought behind his feelings about Caroline Kennedy, but he does get to say them on the TV, and here they are:

"Caroline Kennedy, God love her, has zero public experience, and I'm putting every single one of my liberal friends out there who spent the last four months trashing Sarah Palin, I'm putting them on notice that they better have something to say about this woman."

I like the cruel sarcasm of "my liberal friends." He doesn't have any friends, and he knows you know it.

But what about his challenge? How can we call Caroline qualified after everything we said about Sarah Palin's inability to put her glasses on the front part of her head instead of the back without the aid of a stylist?

Is Caroline Kennedy really better suited for high office than Sarah Palin?

Let's see.

One of them has a law degree from Columbia and has co-written two critically acclaimed books about the Bill of Rights, one specifically about the Fourth Amendment. The other has a journalism degree from college in general and had this conversation with Katie Couric:

Couric: Do you think there's an inherent right to privacy in the Constitution?

Palin: I do. Yeah, I do.

Couric: (That's) the cornerstone of Roe v. Wade.

Palin: I do. And I believe that individual states can best handle what the people within the different constituencies in the 50 states would like to see their will ushered in an issue like that.

I know that was months ago, but my head still hurts. Palin is fanatically anti-abortion, but she obviously knows less about the legal arguments for and against Roe than she knows about life on other planets. She doesn't know that the right to privacy implied -- but not stated -- by the Fourth Amendment is an argument for abortion rights. And beyond that, she doesn't comprehend that a Constitutional right applies to you whether your mayor thinks it does or not. To understand the Constitution less than that you'd have to be a monkey.

I'm gonna have to go with Caroline Kennedy.

--

The other difference -- and I'm trying to think of how to put this in words short enough for Brent Bozell to understand -- is that Caroline Kennedy and Sarah Palin are/were up for different jobs. Senator and Vice President are different jobs. Different. Senator. Vice President. Not same job. Not.

Sarah Palin wanted to be Vice President. If we followed the Constitution, and not just the parts people in different constituencies would like to see ushered in on an issue like that, her place in the line of presidential succession would look like this:

1- President of the United States
2- Miss Wasilla

Caroline Kennedy wants to be the junior Senator from New York State. If we were to chart her place in the line of Presidential succession it would look something like this...

1- President of the United States (dead or incapacitated)
2- Vice President of the United States (dead)
3- Speaker of the House of Representatives (dead)
4- President pro tempore of the Senate (dead, or however you want to describe Robert Byrd)
5- 15 cabinet members (dead or in jail)

Okay, now it gets tricky. Let's say something horrible happened in Washington. Everyone has the mumps, or Keanu Reeves crushes them with a spaceship or something. If the Speaker of the House dies, Congress elects a new one. If that person dies, or whatever, Congress votes again. And again. All they need is a quorum. So they can theoretically keep replacing the Speaker until there are only 217 congresspersons left. So let's put them here...

6- 216 Congresspersons

If we run out of congresspersons, we go to whoever the Senate elects as the new President pro tempore. By ancient tradition, the President pro tempore is always the most senior senator of the majority party. We don't know exactly who will make up the Democratic majority in the next Senate. (Al Franken will never concede in Minnesota, who knows what's going to happen in Illinois and Obama seems to want to put every other sitting Democrat in the cabinet.) But anyone who was there before Caroline would be senior to her. So all off them.

7- Every other Democrat in the Senate
8- Caroline Kennedy and other appointees (tied)

I think that puts Caroline less than 280 heartbeats away from the presidency.

And all she has is a lifetime of public service and a background in constitutional law.

Can we afford to take that risk?

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