December 17, 2008

"In a carefully controlled strategy reminiscent of the vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, aides to Caroline Kennedy interrupted her..."

"... and whisked her away when she was asked what her qualifications are to be a United States senator."

How to strike at the heart of a Democrat: Invoke Palin. Nice move, NYT.

Caroline was making an appearance in Syracuse -- had she ever been there before? -- and she spoke for a mere 30 seconds to say:
"As some of you may have heard, I told Governor Paterson I’d be honored to be considered for the position of United States senator. There’s a lot of good people in this community that the governor is considering. He’s laid out a process and I’m proud to be part of that process."
I'm waiting to hear what Governor Paterson will do, and I'm proud to be waiting to hear what it will be. By the way, why isn't it "and I'm humbled to be part of that process"? People are always saying they're proud of things and humbled by things. Bizarrely, there doesn't seem to be any difference these days.

Anyway, so the NYT has 2 reporters on the story. Did they both go to Syracuse to hear Caroline speak 30 seconds of nothing?
When one reporter asked what she would tell New Yorkers who question whether she has the qualifications for the job, Ms. Kennedy, 51, started to respond. But then an aide stopped her from saying more, and led her to the waiting vehicle.

“Hopefully I can come back and answer all those questions,” she called out as she got into the S.U.V.

It was the first stop in an orchestrated tour of upstate New York. Ms. Kennedy has plans to visit with officials in Rochester and, possibly, Buffalo, a first stab at getting skeptical upstate voters used to the idea of being represented in Washington by yet another down-stater.

The area has already expressed wariness of her, with some officials and newspapers questioning her abilities.
"The area" -- I love that. Here's a map in case you need help visualizing "the area" Caroline needs to win over as she ventures off Manhattan Island:



"Upstate New York" is everything north of the NYC metropolitan area.

79 comments:

Hazy Dave said...

I'm plowed and mumbled to be part of the the process here in where are we anyway?

Synova said...

If they want to have an election, they should just have an election.

And let Republicans run, too.

Otherwise, just appoint her. Why is this even a big issue? The sorts of people who generally get appointed to fill a vacated seat are the immediate relatives of the old dude who just had a heart attack or personal friends of the governor. They keep the seat warm, vote party line, and then either don't run for election when the time comes or don't win.

Or is that the issue here? Not that Kennedy isn't qualified, but that it gives her an unfair advantage to run and win the next election? Better to keep her out and have someone easier to beat, with a name no one recognizes.

And yeah... the "aids" need to get over themselves.

We didn't "elect" them, either.

Chris said...

I was once strongly notified that people in the Rochester and Buffalo prefer Western New York.

peter hoh said...

Question about that "waiting vehicle" -- was the engine running before she started to speak?

jdeeripper said...

All roads lead to Sarah Palin.

chickenlittle said...

Why is this even a big issue?

Well Synovia, I think it's like this: The Dems are all worried about corruption, entitlement, nepotism, etc., and they don't want to taint Obama. They haven't figured out that it's impossible for men to be tainted or even have taint. :)

Freeman Hunt said...

Wouldn't it be nice if, in situations like this, the governor just looked for some highly competent person? Considering how displeased we all are with our government, why even look at people who are politically connected? Find an outsider. New York has tremendous human capital, so I can't imagine that finding someone great would be difficult.

Ophir said...

The ultimate insult to a Democrat is to throw a Palin at them.

MadisonMan said...

I agree with synova. There's no election, why treat this as one? It is a mistake for Kennedy to look like she is campaigning. After she is appointed she should meet the voters. The voters can just assume that there is something in Kennedy that Patterson sees (sorry) that will be good for NY.

commenter said...

Geography

Illinois laying down.

Illinois' big waist turns a bit top heavy or bottom heavy depending on whether you are a right or left head tilter.

Cedarford said...

Princess Caroline - "I believe I flew over upstate NY once on my way to Montreal for a Kennedy function. I feel for the little people there, since they seem to be hit with the snow best left on the ski slopes."

Princess Caroline - "I mean, I would have visited at least the Adirondacks but my family summers on the Cape."

Princess Caroline - "Do the Hamptons count as Upstate?"

Princess Caroline - "Well, I did go by the name Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg for 20 years..but deep in my heart, I was always a true Kennedy...ready to Lead America at a moments notice. So two years ago I dropped the Schlossberg bit..And though I'm married to a wonderful Jewish man, my children are being raised Kennedy Katholic for their future Senate seats viability.."

Princess Caroline - "I would be overjoyed if Uncle Teddy and his friends get me a gift of a Senate seat. It would be right up there with the pony Daddy got me when he was in the White House."

reader_iam said...

Will Cavett write an article about Caroline's language choices and speech patterns?

Roger J. said...

I think Synova is on it--this is just another soap opera for the cable news people to provide fodder for the info-babes.

Caroline Kennedy can't be any worse that the 97 other buffoons that inhabit that august body. (Feinstein, deMint, and Coburn are OK)

Titushasapartytogoto said...

There are some fabulous areas in upstate New York...I have heard.

I went to West Chester County once, does that count?

Der Hahn said...

"Upstate New York" is everything north of the NYC metropolitan area.

I confess to being often confused by NY geography. To my Long Island raised girlfriend, there is "The City" (basically Manhattan) and everything else outside Long Island is "Upstate". Except for Queens, which she talks about as if it is physically seperated from Long Island. I had to drag out a map before I realized Queens is the western third or so of Long Island.

BJK said...

why isn't it "and I'm humbled to be part of that process"? People are always saying they're proud of things and humbled by things. Bizarrely, there doesn't seem to be any difference these days.

Humility is for those people lacking the status to be a Kennedy.

(If your only qualification for the office is that you grew up in the White House, and you're probably going to get the job....why be humble?)

siyeh pass said...

"the area" - ahhh, the cognetive geography of a Manhattanite.

tim maguire said...

a first stab at getting skeptical upstate voters used to the idea of being represented in Washington by yet another down-stater.


Yeah, that's the problem--she's a down-stater. Another nice job by the New York Times.

The Palin remark, despite being yet another completely unnecessary cheap shot against the successsful and popular Governor, was a nice touch. A sharp signal that Kennedy doesn't have the Sulzberger's blessing yet. Perhaps she should return to the City and kiss his ring a few more times.

Paavo said...

I can just see her saying something like "Can you tell the Governor that Caroline's here to pick up those keys to her new office? Thanks."

Xmas said...

Did someone mention "The Area"?

SteveR said...

Freeman: are you smoking crack or listening to Louie Armstrong?

My dad's family is from an area about an hour west of Albany which is upstate NY. Rochester and Buffalo is Western NY and not upstate, nor is the area including Orange County, just north of the NYC metropolitan area which is also a much different area.

All have in common a complete lack of personal experience with, by Caroline Kennedy and Hillary Rodham Clinton prior to ascending to the throne.

Palladian said...

Princess Caroline does not need your approval, pissants! Two words: DIVINE RIGHT.

MadisonMan said...

Instead of the map you show, you should have one normalized by population, so you can see the population irrelevance of upstate NY. Although I can find such maps for the world, I can't find any for the USA.

Meade said...

When one reporter asked if she would come back to answer New Yorkers' questions about whether or not she has the qualifications for the job, Ms. Kennedy, 51, started to respond by saying, "You betch-"

But her aides cut her off whisked her away.

Ron said...

Freeman: are you smoking crack or listening to Louie Armstrong?

SteveR, that is my Insult of The Day! Good on you sir!

Well, if Palin is the VPILF, Caroline is the ASILF! (Appointed Senator...) Land grab for the URL!

"Oh, Caroline, no!", transcends obviousness, even if the NYT is trying to sing "Wouldn't it be nice?"

JohnAnnArbor said...

Palin is governor of Alaska.

Her Royal Highness's government experience is....what, now?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Unconfirmed sources say that Dick Cavett has endorsed Caroline.

Developing....

siyeh pass said...

Exactly, appointments are a part of the process. You're right, it's not an election, so why treat it as on. To get it though, she's got to sell the 'proud' in terms of confidence, but balance it with the humility that she has a lot to learn, which she does. Obviously, but maybe not such an easy task for a Kennedy.

Caroline Kennedy can't be any worse that the 97 other buffoons that inhabit that august body.

Don't forget my homey, Herb Kohl.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Freeman: are you smoking crack or listening to Louie Armstrong?

Look at her picture! Does that look like someone who smokes crack?

Freeman is old school and snorts lines with a rolled up $20 while listening to The Cure.

SteveR said...

Well I wouldn't actually insult the lovely and intelligent Ms. Hunt, but she's starts off with "wouldn't it be nice" which was hard to let go. (and quite funny too)

garage mahal said...

I'm not addicted to cocaine, I just really love the way it smells.

--Anonymous

JAL said...

There is no "down-state." (Why a hyphen when "upstate" doesn't need one?)

Just because there is upstate (Albany, Adirondacks)and western NY (Rochester, Buffalo) doesn't mean there is a "down-state." It's the City. Or the Island. (Which was the world's largest parking lot before California got carried away with itself.)

But upstate is not Yonkers and beyond. I was going to say it was anything north of Bedford Road in Chappaqua where the present carpet bagging NY Senator occasionally spends a night, but that's not correct.

Upstate begins somewhere between Katonah and Brewster (where the Harmon division of what was NY Central railway dumped its last commuters after a very very long ride.)

On the other side of the river "upstate" starts sooner. But first you have the Catskills which although they are upstate are not. They are the Catskills.

This NY geography is complex, especially since no one in the City, or who grew up minimally north of the City, (including me)even knows the names of the counties past Dutchess, if that one. (The NYC horsey people would know that one.)

And it's Westchester County, not West Chester County. West Chester is a place in PA.

Just FYI.

And why is Caroline Kennedy campaigning? It's an appointment.

Joe said...

I grew up in Schenectady; our understanding was that upstate was everything north of White Plains (Highway 287.) I still pretty much hold to that.

Henry said...

I used to live at the top of the upper arm of the big K.

Joe said...

PS. JAL has a point about commuter distance, which has arguably pushed "The City" further north.

I will say that the definition of "Upstate New York" has always been geographically vague because it's mostly an attitude and outlook on life.

Thomas said...

I grew up partly in Katonah and now live in lower Westchester after many years in Manhattan. Steve R's definitions are the ones I grew up with. I would also add that upstate starts at Albany and in the parts south of it there used to be great differences between people on the western and eastern sides of the Hudson, e.g., blue collar New Paltz versus Millbrook and similar parts of Dutchess County. (An exception to this last rule of thumb is Poughkeepsie: a dump except for Vassar.)

Caroline must be smoking something, to put herself forward like that. Paterson will sign his own political death warrant if he picks her.

David said...

"It is a mistake for Kennedy to look like she is campaigning. "

She's not campaigning. She's doing anthropological research. She will have to learn to call them "indigenous peoples" rather than "natives."

former law student said...

Upstate NY (or outstate, or whatever) starts in Dutchess County. Particularly, in Poughkeepsie.

Buffalo and Rochester are really bad off, RustBelty like Cleveland and Detroit. You don't need to come from there to be empathetic.

At least Caroline is Catholic, like the Buffalonians and Rochestertons.

JAL said...

I was BORN in White Plains. I grew up twelve miles north of WP. The executive life blood of the City back then commuted in from Westchester and LI. So much of the "suburban" culture was connected to the City economy and culture.

Once the commuting time on the RR exceeded 60 minutes you had a direct drop off in commuters and City based community. Also the TV stations, which were completely NYC based, began to fade (pre cable).

North White Plains was the RR station where the leg up to Brewster took off, but the City drove the economy and the culture of that areas until you got north of Katonah (Can't remember now -- is that Putnam County?)

Probably less so now (Mt. Kisco now sounds like Yonkers used to)but I think the dividing line actually was / is economic. Upstate NY was not connected to or influenced much by the City and thus had its own economy and culture not tied to the City.

Now the people in the City who never ventured past the Yonkers Racetrack probably thought anything past that was a foreign country, but those of us slightly north knew we were more City than upstate folks.

The kid next door went to SUNY- Buffalso and it was like he went to Kansas.

JAL said...

Isn't Althouse from Brooklyn originally? Or did I get that wrong?

Some City people think north of 125th Street is upstate ....

tim maguire said...

Beat me to it JAL! I was just going to say anything north of 72nd street.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Look at the bright side, Ms. Kennedy is probably not on the take, it is unlikely she has any ties to the mafia, and she probably has never spent the night with a $4000 hooker.

Therefore.......

She starts from a vastly superior position to most NY candidates.

And to think, the best we can do it Carl Levin, a homely policy wonk. Gee.

The Drill SGT said...

I love the NEWSPEAK that is occuring before our eyes in the NYT and in Wiki. all references to her as Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg are disappearing and she is now just Caroline Kennedy.

Just like the British Royals shed their German family name and became Windsors during WWI

Darcy said...

Ewww. Carl Levin.

I'm OK with Caroline for the appointment, much like Synova appears to be. She isn't qualified, but I think she'll probably work hard to get up to speed, like Hillary.

I'd rather listen to Caroline Kennedy than Schumer. Upside.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Is NYC a net positive for New York State or not?

The Drill SGT said...

Is NYC a net positive for New York State or not?

A wash. roughly a 50/50 pop split upstate/downstate

Dudley Do-right said...

Speaking as a member of the irrelevant population of West-Central NY; our population irrelevance will cease once the cows get the vote.

Support bovine suffrage! End the sorry history of down-state tyranny! We need an electorate that knows BS when it sees it.

It seems Hillary's seat in the Senate is now earmarked as a staging area for politically ambitious dems. Got nothing to do with serving the state or it's citizens. Only a stepping stone for dem hopefuls seeking exposure prior to running for high national office.

If Caroline gets it, will she be running for President in 8 or 12 years?

rhhardin said...

I have a Caroline Kennedy collection of poems somewhere.

Ah, here.

Today is very boring,
it's a very boring day,
there is nothing much to look at,
there is nothing much to say,
there's a peacock on my sneakers,
there's a penguin on my head,
there's a dormouse on my doorstep,
I am going back to bed.

ricpic said...

The Kennedy-schvartze connection continues. Genius. Sheer genius that a tough Mick clan was able to sell itself as compassion personified. God bless them and may their con game continue forever.

sbutler said...

This upstate New York reminds me of downstate Illinois, which is defined as everything south of I-80.

We don't matter much, either.

Titushasapartytogoto said...

I do feel bad for the people that don't matter.

I turn into a pumpkin if I leave the city.

Adirondacks are supposed to be kind of cute.

Deb said...

I feel very humbled yet proud to be commenting here. I am not from New York so PC's appointment technically has naught to do with me. I hate to see yet another Kennedy in government. She will still get to vote and screw up lives, whether appointed or elected. And if she wants to stick around, believe me, she will get to - for as long as Uncle Teddy maybe. And her vote could definitely affect me and lots of other folks. That's why I care about who gets that seat.

MayBee said...

By the way, why isn't it "and I'm humbled to be part of that process"? People are always saying they're proud of things and humbled by things.

I think she is brave to try to be part of the process.
Why do you want to take away her First Amendment Right to ask to be appointed Senator?

JohnAnnArbor said...

Take NYC and Long Island and make them a separate state. Wonder how that would work.

Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thomas said...

JAL:

Close. Brewster--two stops north of Katonah on MetroNorth--is in Putnam. The dividing line between the two might be Purdys/Goldens Bridge. I like Albany as a dividing line between up- and down-state because it's three hours north of the City and Montreal is another three. When I lived in Katonah, there were many who commuted to the City by car. There is too much traffic to try that now. The population explosion north of White Plains started when they electrified the Harlem line, well after the New Haven line.

Ann Althouse said...

"Isn't Althouse from Brooklyn originally? Or did I get that wrong?"

Althouse is from Delaware.

And though I lived in NYC for more than 10 years -- on the Upper East Side, in Greenwich Village, and in Brooklyn -- I don't have that feeling that New York is the important place to be. I did marry someone who felt like that, which is why we moved there, but if I'd been more assertive (and aware of my own feelings), I would have have moved out west. I like the big western landscapes. I don't see why people feel more elite living in the same place as more other people. In NYC, people have to get their elitism out of living in a very particular neighborhood within the city. There's hierarchy to every block. That's interesting, but I don't think it feels that wonderful.

mccullough said...

I think Patterson should appoint P.Diddy Senator. He's successful and black.

He also supports the 2d Amendment

RR Ryan said...

Ann-Please move out west and join Eugene at UCLA. LA really is wonderful, so long as you're willing to accept it on its own terms. Give a jingle when you decide to do it.

warren said...

So far, in this little corner of Western New York, we're still recovering from the one-two punch of the NY "Hey-we're-going-to-tax-everything-but-the-number-of-pubic-hairs-on-your-nether-regions-because-we're-saving-that-for-next-year" State budget and the impending coronation of Caroline "let-them-eat-cake" Kennedy to the Senate.

Given the federal shenanigans, this doesn't qualify as particularly earthshaking. After all, we expect our state representatives to have the testicular fortitude to stand up to the extraordinary pressures of special-interest groups and fairly represent all the citizens of New York.

OK, let me be realistic and take the word "expect" out of the above sentence, and rewrite it to approximate reality: After all, we would be operating in some sort of twisted masturbatory fantasy to think that we might expect our state representatives would have the testicular fortitude to stand up to the extraordinary pressures of special-interest groups and fairly represent all the citizens of New York.

Given New York's experience with Hillary and potential experience with Caroline, maybe we're innovating here: we're represented by one Senior senator and one American Idol senator.

(Not that I'd consider Schumer productive, mind you...)

Quayle said...

What I want to know is what Ms. Kennedy thinks of the Obama doctrine.

Theo Boehm said...

Althouse likes "out West?"

Well, here's a little sing-along from 1961 about all those wide-open landscapes.

DenisEugeneSullivan said...

Greetings:

The way I heard it was everything north of the Bronx is Canada and everything west of the Hudson is Dayton.

DenisEugeneSullivan said...

Greetings:

When I went in the military, you could always tell the guys from upstate. They would say they were from "New York." The guys from the five boroughs would say they were from "the city."

Thomas said...

Warren:

You comments made me laugh my head off. Thanks. I agree with you and my solution is to leave for a while. My wife and I are lucky enough to have opportunities in other places (where our votes may matter). Maybe I won't come back, but in any case I do not want to be around for this metro NY downturn. The pattern of this national downturn is like the one in the early 90's: NY is last in, last out. The end of independent investment banking is the end of easy money for our state and local taxing authorities but they want to pretend otherwise. They are too thick to understand laws of economics that are no less absolute than those of physics. My town is going broke and the response of its leaders is to raise property and school taxes on the former investment bankers who provided most of the income. It makes me a little sad to vote with my feet but life is too short and there are so many nice places.

jacktanner said...

Are there any liberal politicians who don't ride in SUVs?

Peg C. said...

I lived in Ulster County for 6 years and now live in Orange County, and NYC definitely considers us upstate but of course we do not. Many in my neighborhood commute daily to NYC (we have lots of former Westchester County residents who got sick of those taxes) so we are becoming a bedroom community of NYC just like all of NJ is. ( try never, ever to venture into NJ - ugh!!)

When I lived in West L.A. (for 31 years), believe me when I say everything east of La Cienega was "the rest of the country" the way everything north of Harlem in NYC is considered upstate. I was able to go years without crossing La Cienega unless it was on a plane. These are mindsets, folks, not geography. We use these references to separate and elevate ourselves above the rest.

Whoever said New Paltz is blue collar doesn't have it quite right. First, Little Pinch has a home there; I've seen it. Secondly, it is a rabidly lefty college town of business haters. My husband's family comes from there and Orange County and all are very technical (IBM owns the mid-Hudson Valley or did). Lots of farming, too. It's a schizoid population here, some red, some blue, but blue collar doesn't accurately describe it.

The city of Poughkeepsie is a wasteland as all inner cities are, but the surrounding town is full of money and techies. Millbrook is nice but there are seriously inbred communities close to it. And sometimes this feels like West L.A. because a lot of celebrities live here. This is not really upstate. NYC is sprawling to include us the way L.A. now includes San Berdoo and Victorville.

I suspect little princess Caroline has NO knowledge of NY state, its people and its different cultures. Typical senator material. No nothing twit.

Biff said...

Steve R - Don't you know it's not about what people who live in "the area" call their area? The only thing that matters is what the people in Manhattan call it. I don't think I've ever heard the term "Western New York" uttered by a Manhattanite. If you used it downtown, I'm sure that people would think you meant the city of West New York, NJ! For a Manhattanite, there is "The City," there are "The Boroughs," there is "The Island," there is "Albany," there is "Westchester," and then there is "Upstate." "Yonkers" is generally not discussed. Finally, there might be some quibbles about whether or not "the Catskills" are really upstate, since some Manhattanites actually go there once in a while.

Silly Steve. Taking a "Western New York" centric view. Who has ever heard of such a thing!

George said...

I'd bet money that Caroline Kennedy does not have a driver's license/know how to drive a car. Alot of these Manhattan spoonsuckers never learn. I'd like to see a reporter ask the question. Or perhaps someone at the DMV can look this up now that she is a person of public concern ala Joe the Plumber.

Brian Hancock said...

They should give Hillary's seat to Al Franken.

DaveW said...

The article has been altered, and the comparison to Palin has been removed.

Hilarious. How could they have let a comparison of Princess Caroline to Sarah Palin get in that article? Somebody at the NYT is in the doghouse this morning.

SteveR said...

My family emigrated from Ireland before the Civil War and didn't even bother with NYC, settling in Malone coming in from Canada, which is as "upstate" as you can get. So we have a long history of not knowing anything about NY :)

Jeff said...

Maybe they should call it "Mainland New York."

SteveR said...

Its the shoulder of the Thruway.

c3 said...

Having grown up in "the area" If Ms. Kennedy was "in the know" she would have called "the area" around Syracuse as "Central New York".

And as we said growing up, there are 3 parts to New York, "the City", "Longguh Island" and "upstate". (Upstate should always be lower case and spoken in a mumble as if you only just recalled that it exists)

S said...

PALIN PALIN PAL-IN!!!

ahahahah

howzerdo said...

I have lived in New York for my entire life. My mother's ancestors moved across the river from Dutchess County to Ulster County in 1790, and some married indigenous people. My father moved from NYC to my hometown after WWII, married my mother, and never left. I spent my childhood and teenage years in the Catskills (and still weekend there), undergraduate years in Central New York [the most wonderful part of the state, IMO], 2 years in NYC [divided between Manhattan and various 'burbs], and the remainder of my adulthood in the Capital District, where I have worked for state government and for the university.

I think I have probably visited every county in the state. I really do *love" NY, I have always lived here, I am never leaving here, and someday I will be planted here.

People (by this I mean natives) in my hometown in Ulster County consider Rockland / Westchester Counties and south (including Long Island) to be "the city," although distinctions are sometimes made (ie, Manhattan, Long Island, etc.); all else is upstate.

How you describe where you live changes, based on where you are, and who is asking. For those unfamiliar with the state, you simplify your region. In general, there is an upstate / downstate divide, which is acknowledged by most, if not all residents of the state. In the Capital District, people are acutely aware of this division, although occasionally there is more detail offered (say 4 or 5 regions), or the divide between the two regions may be drawn in a slightly different place. (Orange and Putnam Counties can go either way.)

Upstate bands together as an identity when it is useful; for instance, right now, since all the leadership in the state government and both senators are from downstate.

However, the various regions also have separate, specific labels that are commonly used: the North Country, Central New York, Western New York, the Southern Tier, the Finger Lakes, the Hudson Valley, NYC (and within that, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Manhattan), the Catskills, the Adirondacks, Long Island, the NYC metro area or suburbs, or individual county names (there are 62).

On some issues, the NYC suburbs are more closely aligned with "the city;" on others, they have more in common with some other region, or even all of "upstate." Portions of upstate resemble a red state, although there are specific areas where this is not true (just one example, Albany is very blue, practically a political machine, in fact).

jmatt said...

You'll notice the NYT simply could not report on Caroline Kennedy's shortcomings without taking a cheap shot a Sarah Palin. And they wonder how people could possibly perceive them as biased...

Thomas said...

How could I forget those Poughkeepsie suburbs, Peg C? They are surely as well known as towns like Bronxville. To be sure, as the City economy and population have expanded, so have the most remote suburbs and their prosperity. But the estate and horse farm owners have not moved from Millbrook, where they are served by a multi-generation underclass, and IBM still has its headquarters in Armonk.

My family moved to NYC in the 1830's. The political machine, akin to what is known in Chicago as the Combine, will make this downturn much worse than it has to be. But I am confident the City will remain as great as ever. It always has.