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December 29, 2008

WaPo Opinion Piece: Caroline Kennedy, Just Like Me!

Uh huh. The differences in media treatment of Sarah Palin and Caroline Kennedy are getting so obvious the liberal media must be ought to be embarrassed.

This is an opinion piece submitted by a freelancer -- but the WaPo gives its imprimatur by printing it.

Amid all the recent buzz about Caroline Kennedy's bid for a U.S. Senate seat, there has been a great deal of talk about her connections, her power, her wealth. But the way I see it, if you strip away the glamour, the name and the money, then Caroline is . . . me. And many of my friends. Maybe even you. If, that is, you happen to be a midlife woman raising kids and returning -- or thinking of returning, or hoping one day to return -- to the full-time workforce.

A great deal of the criticism around Kennedy's interest in Hillary Rodham Clinton's soon-to-be-vacated Senate seat sounds an alarm for women like me. We've been at home with the kids, sure, but we've also been busy with lots of other things. We've been working part-time, consulting, freelancing. Like Kennedy's, our resumes don't conform to the conventional, one-job-after-the-other sequence that recruiters expect. When I read a sniping post on Gawker.com that "Caroline has been a happy housewife since getting her law degree, published a few ghost-written books and sat on a few boards that used her celebrity to draw donations," I thought, hmm, wait a minute. Couldn't there be a more inventive way to look at her CV?

...

But that's when I caught myself, and my more out-of-the-box side spoke up: Kennedy had young children, and no matter how much child care her money could buy, she clearly wanted to be a very-much-there primary caregiver. Perhaps, like many women in her situation, she found stimulation and satisfaction in whatever tasks most easily fit her schedule and her life, and her kids' lives. You could say her work history was spasmodic; you could say it was scattershot. But you could also say that as her children have grown up, her focus on public life has intensified, culminating in her fundraising for the public schools and her participation in Barack Obama's presidential campaign. You could say that, consciously or unconsciously, she was preparing for this moment.

Rather than a privileged aberration, I prefer to view Kennedy as a bellwether, a case study in how things could be if only the workplace were more accepting of an unconventional CV, one that may brim with great experience and skills and talent but is also peppered with gaps and one-off projects and volunteering. ... Maybe now's the time to change our thinking about what constitutes the ideal CV.

...The reaction seems to be: If she hasn't followed a straight-and-narrow, logical path, we simply can't imagine her in the role under discussion.

Meanwhile, it is believed that Sarah Palin did some light volunteering work herself, raising the profile of Alaska by accepting the figurehead position of "governor."

Avoiding the press? Check.

Giving answers in a sometimes-unpolished vernacular? Check.

Unable at times to clearly answer questions? Check.

But Princess Caroline is just like other women, so she's qualified, unlike Sarah Palin, who's unlike many other women in the sense that she's been the governor of a state and has negotiated multibillion dollar deals with large oil companies and foreign governments.

Also note that with Sarah Palin off the stage (for the moment), it's safe once again for the MSM to begin pedaling the sexism card. Sexism was an important concern when Hillary was running; then not so much when Palin was being attacked; and now that Princess Caroline is running asking her relatives to make phone calls to get her appointed, it's back.

Funny how the timing always works out so joyously to liberals' benefit. Why, if I didn't know any better, I'd suspect some kind of double-standard or something.

In related news, Princess Caroline seems to accuse the New York Times of bias. Or something.

You know, um, it's not, you know, clear what she's objecting, you know, to.

Kennedy appeared to insult women's magazines when she responded to a question by one of the reporters to recall, for the sake of storytelling, the moment she decided that wanted to be the senator from New York.

"Have you guys ever thought about writing for, like, a woman's magazine or something?" she asked, to which the reporter countered by asking what she has against women's magazines?

"Nothing at all, but I thought you were the crack political team here," she answered.

The unscripted response was followed by Kennedy saying she wishes she could draw on a moment and will think about it a little more.

She has no answer because she, you know, thought if it, you know, three weeks ago.

But we are assured by the WaPo's guest opinion columnist that she has been preparing for this moment, consciously or subconsciously, all of her adult life.

Thanks to someone2.

VDH with More: Gettin' kinda embarrassing for the MSM. Not that they'd notice.

But, no, the real embarrassment proves to be the media itself that apparently can't see this weird unfolding self-incriminating morality tale: It is not just that Palin is conservative, Kennedy politically-correct (e.g., pro-abortion, gun control, gay marriage, etc), or Palin a newcomer to public attention, Kennedy a celebrity since childhood. Rather it is the aristocratic value system of most NY-DC journalists themselves who apparently still assume that old money, status, and an Ivy-League pedigree are reliable barometers of talent and sobriety, suggesting that the upper-East Side Kennedy's public ineptness is an aberration, a bad day, a minor distraction, while Palin's charisma and ease are superficial and a natural reflection of her Idaho sports journalism degree.

A few generations ago, Democrats would have opposed Palin but appreciated her blue-collar story, and applauded a working mom who out-politicked entrenched and richer male elites. But now the new aristocratic liberalism has adopted the values of the old silk-stocking Republicans of the 1950sand so zombie-like worship rather than question entitlement.

Indeed, it was about, and continues to be about, social class. Obama's thin resume was greeted warmly by the MSM because (among the other obvious factors) he comforted them by being "of the right sort," as they used to say. He shared their values. Hell, he actually shared their alma mater, at least for a lot of them, and even though most reporters didn't go to Columbia or Harvard Law, they at least applied to those schools.

And Sarah Palin? Garishly blue-collar with her droppin' of -g's at the end of gerunds, believin' in religion and hard work and family and all those values of the workin' class.

Oh, and by the way: As Dennis Miller cracked in another context, Caroline Kennedy earned her admission to Harvard in much the same way that Elvis Presley earned his black-belt.

Dead Horse, Well-Beaten: I am overly fascinated with my own pop-culture insight that liberals, while purporting to be champions of the "common man," reflexively go out of their way to ostentatiously show their distinctions from the tastes and habits of the common man, thus setting themselves apart and (they think) elevating themselves by comparison.

Here is one of the several posts I've written on this.



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posted by Ace at 11:43 AM

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