Hillary Clinton could officially be confirmed secretary of State as early as next Tuesday, which means the time is nigh for Governor Paterson to have to finally appoint her replacement in the Senate. To that end, he’s been holding private meetings with fifteen contenders, including, on Saturday, Caroline Kennedy, who apparently was so persuasive that she had Paterson singing her praises in the Daily News today. “She didn’t eliminate herself in the meeting,” Paterson said. Well … that’s something, at least. He did say Kennedy was well prepared and readily admitted her shortcomings, but he also appears to be holding her to a pretty low standard. Kennedy’s mere coherence seemed to impress him as she discussed her efforts to become familiar with the issues and people of New York, answers Paterson found “to be quite understandable.” Sure, she has been mocked for her lack of eloquence lately, but did Paterson expect her to simply babble nonsensically when she spoke?