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‘The New Republic’ Tries to Read Caroline Kennedy’s Mind


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It’s obvious what Caroline Kennedy’s endorsement has done for the Obama campaign, Michelle Cottle writes in the coming issue of The New Republic. But what is the Obama campaign doing for Caroline Kennedy? Cottle thinks she knows:

It’s been 45 years since the fall of Camelot, and the family brand has begun to fade. A growing portion of the electorate was born after the deaths of John and Bobby and has a tough time relating to the Kennedy fixation of its elders. Under such conditions, what’s a committed custodian of the family legacy to do? Hitch her clan’s wagon to the hottest political star in decades. With a little luck, even as that old Camelot magic rubs off on Obama, the candidate’s energy and relevance will help sustain the Kennedy brand for a little longer.

Oh, Michelle, so cynical. The TNR writer says that she doesn’t mean “to suggest that Kennedy Schlossberg has no identity beyond that of Kennedy custodian,” but that’s essentially what she does in her story, “External Flame.” “In a lifetime of looking out for the Kennedy name, attaching herself to Obama could turn out to be her most important endeavor yet — allowing her to bolster the family brand in the minds of young voters and thus secure it a role in the party’s future,” Cottle writes. “Because, if Barack Obama is crazy for the Kennedys, they must really be something special, right?”

Hm. The Camelot political legacy has faded out? Caroline is the only custodian of her family legacy? Guess we’ll have to add Michelle Cottle’s name to the list of journalists who think Ted Kennedy is already dead.

External Flame [New Republic]

‘The New Republic’ Tries to Read Caroline Kennedy’s Mind