Archive for David Paterson

Caroline Kennedy refuses to answer reporters’ questions in Syracuse

Posted in Barack Obama, news, Politics, Ranting with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2008 by bloggingmom67
Caroline Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy

This morning I was really on the fence regarding what I thought of Caroline Kennedy’s pitch to become a U.S. senator in New York. She has told New York Gov. David Paterson, who gets to make the appointment, that she’d like the seat Hillary Clinton will vacate when she becomes President-elect Barack Obama‘s secretary of state.

Sure, Caroline Kennedy doesn’t have any elective office experience, but, for me, that wouldn’t necessarily rule her out. Other experience can prepare one to lead, I think.  I really felt I didn’t know enough about her to assess her. She’s been involved with a lot of nonprofits, but I’m not in that world. I don’t know if that is  experience that would prepare her to lead in our troubled state, or if her involvement was little more than lending her celebrity name to an agency’s letterhead.

Earlier today, I read a blog, which I found made compelling arguments to support her. I wasn’t sure if I bought it all, but it did make me think. I guess, though, in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help feeling that Caroline Kennedy was a woman seeking an office that’s she’s not quite ready to seek. Like Sarah Palin, she seems like a woman with an asterisk next to her. I thought: Gosh, there are qualified women; why not pick them. It seems to reinforce negative stereotypes about women’s lack ability when the ones who rise to the top aren’t really the cream of the crop.

Then Caroline Kennedy came to my hometown in Upstate New York, and how she behaved really influenced my opinion of her. She refused to answer reporters’ questions about her experience — or lack thereof — or even about where she was heading next. (She actually told a reporter, she was heading “to the car,” when obviously he was asking what city she might be traveling to.)

After I listened to her ignore the press, I knew I could never support her candidacy.  Admittedly, I’m biased. I believe those who govern us or seek public office should be transparent to the public, and, in our country, that’s still done mainly through the media.

To me, there’s only two reasons why someone who seeks to lead in our state would refuse to answer any questions: She’s so arrogant that questions from Upstatate hicks like us don’t really matter or  she doesn’t know what to say.

Either reason is a deal breaker for me. It reminds me too much of Sarah Palin and her inability to answer even the simplest question (like what newspaper she reads)  without being coached. If Kennedy can’t handle a  handful of reporters from Syracuse, N.Y., asking questions that Kennedy should have anticipated she’d be asked, what could she answer?

To me, I found the answer to the question that I started this day with:  Is Caroline Kennedy ready to be my senator. I think not.

 I realize I have no say in the matter. If Paterson taps her, she’ll serve until Clinton’s term is up, and then she’d have to run. But I hope she won’t be his pick.

bitchy mommy

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Dear New York state: Why spend $21,000 on a rug during a recession?

Posted in 1, economy, news, Politics, Ranting with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2008 by bloggingmom67

Here’s yet another example of stupid governmental decisions that piss me off. Someone in state government made the ill-advised decision to purchase a $21,000 custom-stitched, antique Turkish carpet for the Executive Mansion?

Now, granted, the rug was purchased in July, before all of us fully got that our economy was going down the toilet. But at that point, Gov. David Paterson was already making a round of cuts to the current budget — taking away money that was already promised.

Sure things got worse and worse and worse. (I’d like to hope the purchase wouldn’t be made now, but I can’t say I’m confident of that.)

Also, I’m sure the governor himself knew nothing of the purchase — or at least I hope not. But the thing with being in charge, you get blamed whether it’s your fault or not. (You also get credit for what your underlings do well, so it all evens out.)

Why does this rug thing bug me so much? Because, like the big three automakers swooping in a corporate jets asking for a handout from taxpayers, it belies the message we keep getting from politicians and corporate leaders. Sorry, we can’t fun programs for early education or schools because we don’t have the cash. Hey, we need money to keep our business afloat but we’re not willing to drop our standard of living one bit in the meantime. (Yes, I realize the big three changed their tune eventually but only after being publicly flogged.)

But we can go buy a rug that’s more expensive than me, you or most people we know would ever be able to spend. (And, yes, I get that in the state’s massive budget $21,000 is like a couple hundred bucks in mine.)

Since the economy got bumpy, my husband and I have really cut our spending. (I know that adds to the economic malaise, but we’re worried we might not have secure jobs.) We’ve stopped eating out, except very infrequently. I’ve cut back on buying coffee; I fired the cleaning lady and started dyeing my own hair. These are all small “nickel-and-dime” type of savings.

But the thing is: True savings comes from these nickel-and-dime savings. Sure, I could save lots of money if I stopped paying my biggest bill — my mortgage, but I’d also be out on the street. So the only way most people can really trim their own costs is by doing a lot of little things that add up. Somehow government doesn’t seem to get this, or at least it seems that way. Instead, they try to cut big chunks out of the budget, but that doesn’t work. The state still needs to function even as it trims costs.

Here’s my message for the state (and federal) government: Take a cue from the Kit Kittredge movie, a film based on an American Girl doll character that is set during the Great Depression: Use it up; wear it out; do without. That’s what I’m trying to do.

bitchy mommy

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