I had a feeling that something like this would happen, considering Paterson's obvious delight in the spotlight and his capacity for game-playing. So bloody inept, the annoying Gov. truly made a mess of this, and lost the prize through his own ineptitude. And this happened in spite of the fact that he was known to prefer Caroline as his choice. Way to go.
A brief summary:
Jan. 22 - Kennedy withdrew her bid for the vacated senate seat of Hillary Clinton, citing "personal reasons".
Jan. 23 - In the morning, various reports had it that Gov. Paterson (D-NY) would appoint Rep. Kirsten E. Gillibrand to fill the vacant seat. Gillibrand is known to be a Blue Dog Democrat, and is a somewhat controversial choice because she is quite conservative. She is however, very friendly with the Clintons', and there is speculation that the Clintons' were maneuvering to have GIllibrand appointed. From NYT:
But if Mr. Paterson is hoping to quiet the tumult by picking Ms. Gillibrand, there are already indications he may not get his wish. Ms. Gillibrand, a centrist Democrat from upstate who has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association, is controversial among some of the party’s more liberal leaders downstate.
Jan. 23 - Gov. Paterson announced his appointment of Gillibrand this afternoon. My personal opinion is that Paterson is a bloody idiot, who botched the whole thing from the beginning, and Gillibrand will not do for NY what Kennedy could have. Stupid, stupid move, Paterson. From WhiteHouse.gov:
This afternoon, New York Governor David Paterson announced his selection of Kirsten Gillibrand to fill Secretary Clinton's seat in the United States Senate.
From the New York Times:
Two months later, some of Mr. Paterson’s own advisers say their worst fears have been realized. A process that they had hoped would elevate the governor, demonstrate his statesmanship and introduce him to the nation instead damaged his credibility and divided his party. Its final days were by turns intensely secretive and astoundingly public, culminating with personal attacks on Caroline Kennedy from the governor’s camp that astonished the state’s political establishment.
In the aftermath, many top Democrats and even friends of Mr. Paterson see his governorship as reeling and troublingly disorganized. They believed that this was to be his defining year, one in which he could move beyond the unusual circumstances of his ascension to high office and prove he could lead the state through a perilous fiscal crisis.
Image source:Nathaniel Brooks/New York Times
Image of Gillibrand courtesy of NYT/Doug Miller.
AP photo of Caroline Kennedy.
:: In Selection Mess, Paterson Dug Hole Deeper - NYT
:: Gillibrand unpopular among peers - POLITICO
:: Gillibrand Is a Centrist With a Tenacious Style - NYT
:: Gillibrand Needs to Change Her Stance on Immigration - HUFFPOST
:: The Zany Adventures of (Senator) Caroline Kennedy - NYT