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King vs. Princess

The GOP's challenger steps up.

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Governor Paterson hasn’t appointed Caroline Kennedy to the Senate, but Peter King—an eight-term congressman from Nassau County and the son of a cop—is already running against her. King, an adviser to Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign and the ranking member of the House’s Homeland Security Committee, has called for scrutiny of U.S. mosques and ethnic profiling at airports. “I am very definitely intending to run,” he says. “I have been talking to a lot of people around the state. Giuliani is supporting me. The big issue is money. Caroline Kennedy will have access to a lot more money. I have to make sure I can get $30 million to $35 million to make this competitive.” King says he has no personal animus against the Kennedy family, but he’s highly critical of Caroline’s experience. “She has led an almost Greta Garbo–like reclusive life and now wants to be appointed senator from the state which is the No. 1 terrorist target in the world,” says King. “You need someone who can fight and knows what’s going on.” Of course, King may not get a chance to fight Kennedy at all. Regarding the complex, murky play of forces around the decision Paterson has to make, King admits he has no knowledge. But he has some ideas. “If you’re into even semi–conspiracy theories, Ted and Caroline endorsed Obama at a key moment. That was perhaps the most significant factor in defeating Hillary Clinton. And then Obama creates the opening here … ”

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