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Caroline's One-candidate Race

I spent part of today giving Kennedy grief for her Palin-esque stiffing of the press. But, now that I think about it, I don't think Kennedy should answer questions from the press. Nor do I think she should be embarking on an upstate listening tour. It would be one thing if there were an actual election going on and she were a candidate or a potential candidate. But there's no election here. We're talking about an appointment. It doesn't seem fair that one potential appointee gets to--is encouraged to--campaign for the position, while the other potential appointees are told that campaigning for the job would disqualify them.

If Caroline Kennedy gets to make her case publicly and--crucially--respond to doubts about her ability to do the job, then shouldn't every other potential candidate get the same opportunity? And if, like me, you'd prefer to avoid the circus of having ten or 15 candidates campaign for the appointment, then shouldn't you oppose the idea of Kennedy getting the chance to do it by herself?

Having said that, if neither of these options is available--everybody gets to make their case or nobody does--and Caroline gets to run in a one-candidate race (I guess that's known as a "referendum"), then of course she should have to answer questions. My point is just that the problem isn't the lack of question-answering per se; it's the highly exclusive form of campaign that's unfolding.

--Noam Scheiber

Be sure to check out Scheiber's coverage of the Caroline Kennedy backlash, what's wrong with the Caroline-for-Senate rollout, her shoddy legal scholarship, and her new Palinesque media strategy.