Caroline Kennedy is campaigning for the U.S. Senate. She does not have a record of public service. It may be useful to know something about her views. These are a few questions that I would pose.
Financial Markets. What specifically would you do to improve transparency, honesty and soundness of financial markets?
Automobile Industry. What are your views on the auto industry bailout?
Afghanistan.. What are our objectives and interests in Afghanistan? How long will the occupation last, and how much are we willing to spend? How will we define success or failure?
Student Loans. What if anything should be done about the crushing debt from tuition increases and student loans?
Trade Agreements.. What are the U.S. objectives in trade agreements? How do we incorporate democratic accountability and oversight with the creation of durable global agreements that are almost impossible to change? Is "free trade" promoted by signing complex trade agreements of the type recently negotiated by the USTR? How does one protect U.S. workers or the need for health, social and environmental regulation when negotiating such agreements?
Bilateral trade agreements.. Should the U.S. continue to press for bilateral trade agreements with dozens of countries, or is a multilateral approach more appropriate and manageable in the long run?
Global warming. What specific obligations should the US undertake to address global warming? What should we expect from our trading partners?
Transparency. What should the government do to improve transparency? In particular, what measures would improve compliance with the spirit of the FOIA ? How should government contracts be accessible to citizens? Should licenses of patents for government funded medical inventions be secret? Should the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) be negotiated in secret? Should bilateral trade agreements be negotiated in secret?
Intellectual Property Rights. Would you support a global treaty on copyright exceptions for blind and other disabled persons? Are there areas where strong exclusive rights for patents are a mistake? Will the U.S. honor the spirit of the 2001 Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health? Should the U.S. government pressure developing countries when they override exclusive rights in patents to expand access to medicines?
Normally candidates answer questions like these. Of course, I'm not sure what is normal these days.
Follow James Love on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jamie_love