Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dec. 16: Going Back To Public Servants

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Two states, two Senate seats, two different circumstances that aren't all that different.

In Illinois, the issue is the muddy political arena that may have prompted Gov. Rod Blagojevich to try to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama to the highest bidder. People are asking why the state that gave Abraham Lincoln to government service has not placed the needed reforms on the books to try to overcome questionable politics.

In New York, the issue is whether Caroline Kennedy will take the Senate seat Hillary Clinton will vacate if she is confirmed as secretary of state. Kennedy, an accomplished lawyer, author and children's advocate, seems to have been inspired by her involvement in Obama's presidential campaign. But a lot of Clinton supporters are suddenly back in presidential-primary mode, saying how dare Kennedy consider getting into politics when she has no experience.

Wasn't that what a lot of people were saying about First Lady Hillary Clinton when she was toying with the idea of running for senator almost a decade ago?

Kennedy knows something about politics, given her family legacy. She has the idealism that has marked the best her family has had to offer in public service. The Kennedys are public servants, who have paid a heavy price for what they've given to this country.

And last I checked, those who aspire to political office are not required to have held previous political offices. Given what's going on today, some might actually consider that an advantage

Americans are always saying they want the best of their leaders. They went to the polls Nov. 4 to try to make that happen. Illinois and New York owe their residents no less.

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