December 18th, 2008
04:00 PM ET

Sweet Caroline, Buffalo never seemed so good

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/12/15/kennedy.senate/art.kennedy.gi.jpg]

Jack Gray
AC360 Associate Producer

Well, we’re in the home stretch.  One week from today is Christmas.  The day when little kids wake up early and rush downstairs to find out if Santa brought them that new bike, doll house or Senate seat.

Caroline Kennedy is back in Manhattan after spending a busy Wednesday upstate, meeting with local political leaders, arm wrestling Bills fans, and going door-to-door discussing housing issues:  “Your home is so lovely.  It reminds me of John Kenneth Galbraith’s chalet in Gstaad.”

Ms. Kennedy didn’t answer too many questions from reporters but – in the few remarks she did make – demonstrated a knack for connecting with average citizens:  “I love being here in Southern Canada.  It has the cheerfulness of Martha’s Vineyard and the serenity of Nantucket.”

And despite the circus-like atmosphere I reject the insinuation that the Senate appointment process has turned into some sort of reality show.  By the way, the first debate between Caroline Kennedy, Andrew Cuomo and Fran Drescher will be held next week in Michael Bloomberg’s hot tub.  It will be co-moderated by Bob Schieffer and Sally Struthers.

The only other story that captivates me as much as this New York Senate sitcom is the ongoing national dialogue about the Obamas’ dog.  A CNN poll this week found that most Americans have two criteria for the dog:  That it be able to prevent Fran Drescher from getting into their house to explain how being executive producer of The Nanny qualifies her for the Senate and that it be able to sniff out whether or not Jesse Jackson Jr. is wearing a wire.

Speaking of dogs, did you see the new scene they added to the Charlie Brown Christmas special where Snoopy moves to Chicago and demands Linus pay him $25,000 in order for Peppermint Patty to be named head of the Illinois State Lottery Commission?  Odd.

And is it just me or do Lucy and Rod Blagojevich have the same haircut?

Anyway, like I said, it’s almost Christmas.  A more joyful time of year there could not be.  At least that’s what my therapist tells me.

I’ve not yet finished my shopping.  And by finished I mean started.  I’m not too worried, though.  Santa knows a liquor store that’s open late on Christmas Eve.

My family is actually big on gift cards.  Because, apparently, there’s a feeling that I can’t be trusted with cash.  I don’t know why.  I mean, who among us hasn’t woken up on a craps table clutching a half-empty paper cup of Merlot?

Finally, to those of you who have come to expect a blog post from me on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I apologize for not writing one yesterday.

I was inconsolable after being passed over for Secretary of Agriculture.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Caroline Kennedy • Jack Gray • Raw Politics
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. KSuzanne

    If I were in New York, I would certainly get out and stump for Caroline to garner the nomination. What a great choice, what a great time to get a Kennedy in the senate. Let's hope the governor picks the right candidate, Caroline Kennedy!

    KSuzanne from San Leandro

    December 19, 2008 at 4:46 am |
  2. Jerry Mathes II

    How much experience does any junior member of the senate have when they take office? How much, in comparison, did Hilary Clinton have when she was elected? If the nation was really worried about experience in elected office, then John McCain would be president elect and New York clearly in the Obama column. That not withstanding, I bet that Caroline Kennedy has a lot more experience than the average junior senator in dealing with people and large budgets.

    December 19, 2008 at 3:56 am |
  3. Ilhana, Bosnia

    Oh so funny!!^^ Paper cup of Merlot... how very, very true! I just love your take on daily American politics, keep up with the blogs, Jack!

    December 19, 2008 at 3:32 am |
  4. Dave

    Hilarious. Truly. I guess I can't get over Gergen's comments that this seat is a "figurehead" and "not the president." So I guess only 2/3 of a Senate term counts? Let's just give it to anyone with a name. I'm glad I don't live in NY, but it is disappointing that one of the most powerful postions in the US is given to a person who has a great last name. You all probably wouldn't be thrilled if Jenna Bush was getting an open seat in Texas. I'm not comparing the two, but this should be a big decision. And the Kennedy name should not be the only qualification. Al Franken? Help us all...

    December 19, 2008 at 2:42 am |
  5. George

    i'd like to know where she stands on issues that matter to a great many New Yorkers down state. The great many New Yorkers reside in the city of New York and we'd like to know where she stands on issues such as gay rights, abortion and welfare programs. If she'd address some of these issues that matter most to New York, I feel like New Yorkers would she'd have a much better chance of appealing to the New York electorate. We don't want someone who just has name appeal. We want someone who would represent our opinions in Washington. It should just be a name. We want someone who agrees with our politics and will fully represent us.

    December 19, 2008 at 1:27 am |
  6. Aaron (Syracuse)

    No more Senators that haven't seen an Upstate New York winter please! You can't possibly have New York State's best interest in mind if haven't had the experience of shoveling snow on Mothers' Day.

    All kidding aside: how about Byron Brown? He is from Queens, currently the Mayor of Buffalo and he is a great man that will serve our state with dignity.

    December 19, 2008 at 12:14 am |
  7. Steve Wheeler

    I live in upstate New York. 75 miles south southwest of Buffalo in Jamestown, hometown of Lucille Ball. Our town is hurting. Recent
    budget proposals by Governor Patterson are going to hurt us more. We need someone to represent us that will get the job not because of an assumed birthright or similar. I am sure Caroline Kennedy is a really nice person. But.......I would like to see someone who got the job mjuch beyond a last name. New York State is a varied state. Much beyond the borders of New York City, New York State is indeed the Empire State. She can run in 2010 or whenever it is. But for now? Nope. How about Andrew Cuomo? Yes, he has a famous name but he also has experience, proven experience and a demeanor I personally feel is more suited for the job.

    December 19, 2008 at 12:00 am |
  8. Carol Barchard

    Regarding Caroline Kennedy, you came across to me as "trying to discourage Americans from electing Caroline as a NY Senator. Who better could continue to represent NY or any other state than another Kennedy. She is more thn qualified. Surely she should be chosen due to the fact that she will carry on the numerous contributions her family has already provided to the our political, too many to be noted here, she is well educated and has had much exposure to the political climate which does qualify her for a distinguished polital position in our government.

    December 18, 2008 at 11:49 pm |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    At least we know Caroline Kennedy wasn't a beauty queen like Sarah Palin. Caroline was in college getting her law degree using her brain while Palin was exposing her body to get ahead.

    December 18, 2008 at 11:47 pm |
  10. Edward

    I am from western NY, the other part of NY State.
    It would be good if the "hicks" in there rest of the state had their own senator for once.
    The two primary candidates Patterson is looking at are or were part of the Kennedy clan. Caroline was born a Kennedy and Andrew married one till they divorced. If they choose either than we should change the name from Senate to House of Lords.

    I am up for the post. I am looking for a career change!

    December 18, 2008 at 11:39 pm |
  11. Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    And is it just me or do Lucy and Rod Blagojevich have the same haircut?

    It's not just you, I thought the same thing.....and laughed!

    Unfortunately, this made me think of the Charlie Brown song "Christmas TIme is Here" which is now playing in my head non-stop. Thanks. Isn't this the most somber, sad sounding Christmas song ever? As Charlie would say "AAUGH!"

    December 18, 2008 at 11:32 pm |
  12. Jewel, Or.

    It seems that Caroline Kenndy has found herself in middle age, wealthy, and searching for meaning in her life. I find little about her life experiences that would make her an effective Senator. I would be interested in hearing an honest opinion from Hillary Clinton about Caroline's qualifications. I guess it's hard to take Caroline seriously, I have always thought of Caroline Kennedy as a princess: a nonreigning female member of a royal family.

    December 18, 2008 at 11:25 pm |
  13. Alex (Aliso Viejo)

    You always make my evening right with a smile. Merry Christmas

    December 18, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  14. Rev. D'Adran Bryant

    I'm sorry, but in all fairness, we heard for the past several months about a hick moose hunter playing governor in Alaska as being 'qualified' and ready to be a heart-beat from the President with less qualifications and credentials. Give me a break! She is a Kennedy. I'm sure she earned her stripes and would do a far better job as a Senator, then the hick from Alaska playing Govenor and 'Wanna-be" Vice President. Neither positions require you to an "A" student.

    December 18, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  15. Maureen Mather

    I wonder why Caroline Kennedy doesn't state the obvious? She isn't seeking the New York Senate seat because she feels entitled to it. I think her reasoning harkens back to her father's inaugural address. She has no need for money, and she has demonstrated absolutely no interest in power. I think she is coming out of her treasured privacy to do what she can for her country. She has heard President-Elect Obama's clarion call, and she is attempting to answer it with service. Given the life she has led to accuse her of using privilege is bizarre.

    December 18, 2008 at 10:07 pm |
  16. Stacy

    I’ve had that “Sweet Caroline” song in my head all day… so I feel inclined to thank Jack for that.

    Me too! Thank him. Strangle him. Whichever.

    December 18, 2008 at 7:52 pm |
  17. Lilibeth

    Hi Megan! Hope you're doing well. It's been snowing all day; it's amazing to me that we got so much snow. Stay warm...

    December 18, 2008 at 7:49 pm |
  18. Megan Dresslar (Shoreline, WA)

    Hellooo Jack!!!!
    Welcome back!!!! missed you.......awww! That's okay..... no worry about you did writing your blog....... I love you joke blog, very funny man...... Well, I agree your comment...... but I have been shopping for my family before Christmas........ Yes, I already watch Charlie Brown christmas..... it was so funny! Please tell Anderson hi for me and read my blog! Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2009 to all, Anderson, and you!

    I was inconsolable after being passed over for Secretary of Agriculture.
    Maybe you will be Secretary of press? I guess!

    Well, my work called me at home today to tell me that the office isn’t open due to snow. Yes, it’s snowing here in Seattle! We’re not used to dealing with snow (we get it so rarely; today we got a couple of inches) so some companies elect to declare a “snow day” and tell their employees to stay home. The roads are atrocious right now, a lot of cars spinning out, slipping and sliding. I hope the weather is better in New York.

    Hellooo Lilibeth!!!!
    Yes!, my home town have snow too!!!! I saw blizzard snow all day, yes real bad cars and trucks cause slippery on the roads!! I am so lucky stay home, I didn't go to work today too... Very cold deep freeze in Seattle area!!!! Please be careful driving or walking on the street.....that is my advice to you.

    December 18, 2008 at 7:03 pm |
  19. Tammy, Berwick. LA

    Must have missed that version of "Charlie Brown". And hey, don't insult Lucy like that 🙂 Her style was in style way before Blago ever thought about it.

    I am all for giving gift cards attached to a fun real present, especially for the nieces and nephews (who at ages 4-10 are too young to be drunk over a craps table). And I am definitely about getting gift cards because I really have no clue what I ever want for holidays, unless it's good tickets to "West Side Story" when it opens on Broadway and a free room for a couple of nights at my favorite Hilton.

    Not sure Caroline Kennedy Whatever Her Married Name Is has a clue what it's like to be part of normal America, but then again when has that ever stopped voters before?

    December 18, 2008 at 7:02 pm |
  20. Don, WA

    If it were to come out that Caroline was the one who really purchased Sarah Palin's slaughtered turkey for some 250 bucks, ate the drumsticks one in each hand simutaneously while sucking off of her beer bong cap and pronouncing Gstaad with a heavy "G" in conversations at the thanksgiving dinner table at the vineyard, and then waking up with her face buried in the remaining turkey carcass while clutching a half empty paper cup of merlot – then she might get the six-pack crowd behind her.

    December 18, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  21. Jon - Melbourne, FL

    YAY for Jack blogging today!! I must say that I have come to look forward to hearing from you, Mr. Gray. Whether it is on 'Bangs' Blagojevich, Sammy's drinking or the truth behind Anderson's tyrannical ruling and odd requests, it really makes my day a little brighter. Thanks for the amazingly witty and cynical (my two favorite things!) posts and I hope you and Sammy have a happy, distilled Holiday!

    December 18, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  22. EJ (USA)

    I've had that "Sweet Caroline" song in my head all day... so I feel inclined to thank Jack for that.

    December 18, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  23. Heather,ca

    Is it just me or does anyone find what Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg(hope I spelled it right)is doing to be completely against how she was raised by her mom and how she has lived her life till now. I remember her late brother John being hounded by the media over everything. She cant even answer questions by reporters today. I love her she is beautiful and smart but come one. You cant live a private life and avoid the press and then one day decide you want to run for the senate and avoid questions. Ive never really been into Charlie Brown. Sorry. I like the Muppets. Loved the special last night. Gift cards are great if they have no fees,dont expire and of course the company is not going bankrupt. Im looking forward to eight crazy nights .

    December 18, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  24. Dee from CT

    I don't know about the Merlot, from what I recall, it was usually a half empty cup of Cutty Sark. If you’ve never had it, let me just tell you that its’ own repugnance is generally outshined by its peculiar perfumy bouquet and obnoxious sweetness. Oh, to be 13 again – that was a good year!

    Of course, I must now make a trip to the liquor store … Jack – anything for Sammy?

    December 18, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  25. EJ (USA)

    When's your book coming out Jack?

    December 18, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  26. pati mc., camp hill, pa


    You are entirely too intelligent to hold any office in Washington. Your brain would die within a week of exposure to all of that mess down there. Also think about what it would do to poor Sammy. You cannot subject her to that environment.

    Be happy. And Happy @$%^ing Holidays!!!!!!!!! I have not even begun to shop either.

    Bob Schieffer? Aw. I love Bob!

    December 18, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  27. Joanne, Solvay, NY

    So, the governor may choose Ms. Kennedy. Does that help New York? Does that high exposure beyond the coverage of otherwise highly qualified candidates, justify high priority?

    December 18, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  28. Helen Bullen, Reading, UK

    Hello Jack and fellow bloggers everywhere! I'm getting on early tonight, as I was cruelly snubbed by the moderators in the early hours of this morning when I tried to post my bleary eyed musings onto the AC360 live blog. I'm almost as upset about that as you are, dear Jack, for missing out on the Agriculture portfolio! Don't worry, I'm sure that PE Obama's got something much more prestigious in mind for you. First Dog Walker in Chief, perhaps? Take a leaf out of my book, do all your Xmas shopping on the Internet. That is what God invented it for. I'm a woman, but I hate actually going out to the shops, as I have no patience. I see a queue and I'm out of there! And what's wrong with gift cards? Surely better than socks or smellies? Or better still, why not just ask for a bottle or three of Merlot! Oh well, I'd best be off, got more presents to wrap and deliver..Lots of love to you all from the UK!

    December 18, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  29. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Well Jack, life in the merry old land of Christmas is sometimes a half-empty styrofoam cup of merlot, or a big crystal glass of champagne.
    I guess it all depends if you're lucky at the craps table, and win big enough to buy someone that Lexus with a big, red, Christmas bow..Happy Thursday.

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  30. EJ (USA)

    By the way, the first debate between Caroline Kennedy, Andrew Cuomo and Fran Drescher will be held next week in Michael Bloomberg’s hot tub. It will be co-moderated by Bob Schieffer and Sally Struthers.

    Hey, sounds like a fun show to me. What's the date, time, & channel again?

    December 18, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  31. EJ (USA)

    So sorry you got passed over for Secretary of Agriculture. Perhaps they need to create a new post for you – Secretary of Entertainment perhaps

    That post would be perfect for Jack.

    December 18, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  32. Jennifer - Michigan

    Hi Jack,
    Hope you're having a good day today. Nice to see your post – funny. And hey, I'm glad anytime that you post a blog – whatever day it is. Guess we're going to be in for a major snow storm tonight – 6"-10" inches. We'll see what we really end up with. Get ready for a white Christmas, it's headed your way. And by the way, those alcohol gift packages with the cups are a great idea for last-minute Christmas gifts – the Ciroc vodka one is really nice. Most people enjoy that kind of thing. Anyhow, have a good one.

    December 18, 2008 at 1:19 pm |
  33. Janet Caldwell

    I am watching this impeachment on CLTV about Governor ROD BLAGOJEVICH , is rediculous. The house speakers are truly not giving the governor and his various departments mainly health care (DHFS). The house is very rude to the people who are doing there jobs and has basically made up there minds pertaining to the governor. Rep. Lou Lang is pathetic as well as a few others. I was possibly agreeing with the impeachment, but after watching this I refuse to agree with an impeachment. He truly deserves a fair trial and an impeachment hearing. After watching this I dont feel the governor is corrupt, I feel the house is corrupt. They are literally taking everything out of content and re-wording every person conversation into there own interperations. It is sickening to watch. This is not a fair hoouse at all. I am ashamed to be from Illinois.

    December 18, 2008 at 1:10 pm |
  34. Renee

    Jack, I just emailed the Obama Transition Team and nominated you for White House Sommelier. You should fit right in. I wonder how many people fuss and fuss over the President's whine. I do mean whine!

    December 18, 2008 at 12:43 pm |
  35. Gisselle - Houston TX

    Jack Gray you're a hoot!

    I don't know about the Secretary of Agriculture but you could definitely be in the cabinet...how about Secretary of State um...wait no that's taken...Secretary of defense...um no that's taken too...hmm...we'll think of something for ya Jack...you might want to check your family tree, perhaps you got a Clinton, Dodd, Kennedy or perhaps a Bush in the family lineage. Ya know that could help us expedite the process for ya!

    Christmas shopping eh? One word for ya buddy: Cybershopping – it is actually two but I am making it easy and grammatically incorrect for your convenience – and BTW keep your happy self away from the Merlot, who do you think you are Fran Drescher?

    And one last thing...don't mess with Snoopy 'cause you know that he and Blago go way back. Didn't you know? They went to dog training school together. 🙂

    Have a Merry Broke and we're not bailing you out in this Financial Crisis Christmas Jack Gray! xD

    December 18, 2008 at 12:41 pm |
  36. Michael Odegard

    Obama may not be tied in to the Blagojevich scandal; but it sure looks like he is returning a favor given this Caroline Kennedy bid for US Senate.

    Also, I'm rather disappointed in the Kennedy family for the same reason I was with the Bush family–the really intelligent members of those families know their dynastic champions are unfit for office and effectively oppressing meritocracy in the USA; but they remain silent and dishonest by omission.

    December 18, 2008 at 12:10 pm |
  37. Stacy

    It will be co-moderated by Bob Schieffer and Sally Struthers.

    C'mon, Jack. Sally Struthers could never get that gig.

    Glad to hear I'm not the only one that really hasn't done any Christmas shopping. Procrastinators unite! You better start working on Sammy's gift though. Divas are hard to please.

    December 18, 2008 at 11:58 am |
  38. Maria

    Happy Day Jack,
    We missed your post yesterday,,,,, I told you Jack stop skiing in Gstaad and watch your garden,,, that is why you lost the Secretary of Agriculture position, don’t be upset, other posts are still available, including NY senate seat, call Santa, no don’t do Blago stupid mistake, tell Anderson that you are interested; and I am pretty confident Anderson will pass the message to Santa through AC360…..About the gift card, you know Jack, there is no liquidity in most banks, don’t blame anybody, cards and bills are the same, except, I like to go green, it easy to recycle paper than plastic…… Jack, I have special advice for you, on Jan 1, 2009, change your hair cut, this will bring you good luck, ask your therapist, new year, new look, new president, probably new ……
    Have a lovely one.

    December 18, 2008 at 11:58 am |
  39. jim

    Isn't Caroline's last name supposed to be Schlossberg. She isn't divorced. It goes to show that in politics, it is who you know or are related to.

    December 18, 2008 at 11:39 am |
  40. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    So maybe the race for the New York Senate seat isn't a reality show yet but I must admit that the whole senate appointment would be much more entertaining if the 'candidates' were required to eat scorpions or sing for Simon or Dance for Bruno to prove their interest in the seat!

    I'm not sure you would want to be Secretary of Agriculture...besides if you left CNN what would we do without your blogs to entertain us during the day. I'm pretty sure we love and appreciate you more than anyone in the Obama administration would!

    December 18, 2008 at 11:31 am |
  41. Lilibeth

    Yes, Jack, Christmas is almost here. I'm done with shopping for family and friends. We've scaled back our Christmas this year, although my husband can't resist giving a gag gift or two. Even he has scaled those down quite a bit.

    Well, my work called me at home today to tell me that the office isn't open due to snow. Yes, it's snowing here in Seattle! We're not used to dealing with snow (we get it so rarely; today we got a couple of inches) so some companies elect to declare a "snow day" and tell their employees to stay home. The roads are atrocious right now, a lot of cars spinning out, slipping and sliding. I hope the weather is better in New York.

    Take care and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Jack!

    Edmonds, Washington

    December 18, 2008 at 11:30 am |
  42. Presley

    No apologies, you guys were giddy like school girls that you got to do POLLS!!!
    One about dogs and another about Caroline, ahhhhh, POLLS!
    Hey, i love Gift Cards, my friends and family become temporarily DUH and it's like they are new or something in my life.
    Why does that happen? Who needs Christmas sweaters donned with bells and lights and earrings to match?
    It just makes me a giant cat toy for my wittle furball fwends.

    I believe at some point, we will see Blago licking windows from inside his SUV on his way to the "Home".

    Happy Thursday Jack!
    p.s. Happy Birthday Keef Richards and Brad Pitt!

    December 18, 2008 at 11:23 am |
  43. Annie Kate

    Hey Jack

    So sorry you got passed over for Secretary of Agriculture. Perhaps they need to create a new post for you – Secretary of Entertainment perhaps. What about Sammy though – doesn't she want to be in the cabinet too? I hear they have good drinks in there.

    Aw Christmas, the time of year where you spend more money than you need to on presents for people you really don't like. And not only that but the battle of getting those presents – its dangerous in the malls – you can get assaulted by someone's sharp elbow. Scary too – have you ever seen a deranged shopper trying to tug a Cocoa Beach Barbie out of the hands of a 4 year old screaming "I saw it first" while her eyes roll round in her head like marbles? Its not a sight for the weak and susceptible.

    I don't think Santa will be stopping at our house this year – last year when he came down the chimney he got jumped on by our orange tabby cat who thought he was a big mouse. I have never seen an old fat man run so fast in my life. Santa put some mark on our chimney that would remind him to pass us by – you know one of those circles with a cross through it like on street signs.

    Have a great day Jack and stay as delightful as you always are.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    December 18, 2008 at 11:22 am |
  44. Pamina

    Hi Jack,
    If you have $100, I have a chair for ya! My parents live in Rochester and were thrilled Caroline came to town. Once she sees how much snow we get up there, she may run for the hills- or the nearest beach!

    December 18, 2008 at 11:15 am |
  45. Cindy

    Now you know sweet Caroline is just playing the field just like she was taught by her Uncle Ted! Giving those oh so elusive answers runs in the family! UMM..not to mention the late night liquor store runs! LOL But hey...if she gets the seat she may be the one Kennedy ever that doesn't get arrested or have scandals following her. Now that will be a first and something to look forward too!

    And Jack...you're not the only one that isn't done with their shopping. Heck..from the looks of it I think everyone will be doing the last minute grab and go this year. So Jack...get the Merlot ready cause you're going to need it to deal with these people.

    I hope that you at least get out there and buy Sammy something great for Christmas. Hey..putting up with you she deserves it badly! LOL Just kidding Jack! Or better yet you can send her to smooch off of Coop for a while and she'd really love ya! She'd be living the high life then. LOL

    Have a very merry Christmas Jack!!


    December 18, 2008 at 11:12 am |
  46. Aly

    "Caroline Kennedy, Andrew Cuomo and Fran Drescher will be held next week in Michael Bloomberg’s hot tub. It will be co-moderated by Bob Schieffer and Sally Struthers."

    This is definitely something I did NOT need to hear, Jack. I hope that nobody tapes it.

    December 18, 2008 at 11:11 am |