Caroline Kennedy: “Let them, you know, eat cake.”

“Let them eat cake!”

Those infamous words were unjustly attributed to Marie Antoinette who died on the guillotine in 1793. The beautiful French queen supposedly uttered that statement after being told the populace had no bread. The phrase was indicative of her out-of-touch attitude and sense of entitlement that made her immensely unpopular with the French people and no doubt led to her demise and that of the monarchy.

This unbecoming attitude resurfaced last month in the unlikely form of Caroline Bouvier Kennedy, the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.

This attitude should not be surprising from someone who was born into fame, gifted with incredible good looks and inherited two enormous fortunes.

It’s just that we’ve seen so little of Caroline since the Camelot days in the White House when she cavorted with her pony, enjoyed speedboat rides off Hyannis Port with her charismatic father or shyly clung to her protective mother’s skirt, we’ve come to think of her as the nation’s little princess, quiet, unassuming, without blemish or guile.

Now that she’s coming forward to demand a coronation, we are shocked and dismayed that she wants to be elevated to one of the 100 most important offices in the United States merely because of her last name and her father’s sacrifice.

Previously, Caroline Kennedy’s public moments were carefully choreographed. Now that she is on her own, her sentences are inarticulate and jarring. Sounding more like a “valley girl” than an educated socialite in her 50s, Kennedy can barely put two words together. When The New York Times asked her to explain why she would be a good senator for the state of New York she floundered:

“So I think in many ways, you know, we want to have all kinds of different voices, you know, representing us, and I think what I bring to it is, you know, my experience as a mother, as a woman, as a lawyer, you know. I’ve been an education activist for the last six years here, and you know, I’ve written seven books – two on the Constitution, two on American politics, so obviously, you know, we have different strengths and weaknesses.”

Let’s cut to the chase. Kennedy has a law degree but never “practiced” law. She coauthored two books on constitutional law, “In our Defense: The Bill of Rights in Action” and “The Right to Privacy” with fellow law grad Ellen Alderman. After hearing Kennedy speak, one wonders just how much she contributed to those books.

Kennedy authored one book on her own, “A Family Christmas,” which is a collection of poems, prose and personal notes from her family history. She is credited with editing others like “The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.” Not exactly rocket science!

Kennedy is the mother of three children and has lived what appears to be a good and quiet life. She has promoted the Kennedy name and has devoted herself to charitable causes which is what is expected of anyone with such wealth and name recognition. (She has declined to release her tax returns so we don’t know how generous she has been with her own money.) She has sat on the boards of organizations anxious to exploit the Kennedy name. In short, she has been at the right events, smiled at the right times and has rubbed elbows with the rich and famous.

In the last six years, she has worked to build her reputation as an “education advocate.” What does that mean? It means she was given a volunteer job calling up rich people to ask them to, you know, give money to New York’s public schools. It’s an opportunity for rich people to identify with a Kennedy and a cheap way for her to identify with the “little people” who are trapped in our failing public schools.

Calling Caroline Kennedy, who was educated in posh private schools and sent her children to private schools, an advocate for education is like saying Rosie O’Donnell is an advocate for the malnourished.

Not surprising, Kennedy is against school vouchers, which would give the “little people” of New York and elsewhere a chance to send their children to a good private school, that can offer a better education at half the price than the union-controlled public schools.

Caroline Kennedy – who has never had a real job or a real career, at least not for very long – who has shunned any opportunity to interact with poor working stiffs, now believes they need her to represent them.

Appoint her, and she will let them, you know, eat cake!

6 thoughts on “Caroline Kennedy: “Let them, you know, eat cake.”

  1. I was conflicted. On the one hand, you know, it is past time to replace the “professional” pols with ones not tainted by years of “belt-ways”. Caroline fits!

    On the other hand, you know, certain words crept into my conflicted brain: dynasty, nepotism (like, you know, the boss’ son/daughter suddenly in charge), entitlement syndrome (the Massachusetts Inter circle), like etc. Caroline fits!

    No more conflicted. Your well written and logically pure article solved my problem. Caroline does not fit! Thanks.


  2. Jane,

    I agree with much of your column about Caroline Kennedy. She is not very qualified to be a U.S. senator, and on every issue she would simply take the same position as her Uncle Ted. I read that she has never voted for a Republican in her entire life, and in half of the elections for over twenty years she has not voted at all.

    My sixth grade teacher told us not to say “you know,” but I guess Caroline never got that that message in school, and she does sound like an airhead for repeatedly saying it.

    At the same time, however, she would be much more interesting in the Senate than simply another hard-core liberal such as Andrew Cuomo. Given a choice between Caroline Kennedy and Andrew Cuomo, I go with Caroline.



  3. Hopefully, we have 1. proven that Hillary is not of the royal family, 2. Daily is not representative of the good people of Illinois and have a chance to 3. kick out the Kennedy clan. If we accomplish all three in 2009 it will be an extraordinarily good year!

    You know.


  4. I just have to, like, agree with Cecil. Caroline Kennedy is also probably suffering from the horrors of empty nest syndrome and wants to, you know, DO something worthwhile. We do not need her in the Senate, but Cuomo would be just another mindless liberal, too.


  5. Caroline Kennedy: A Royal Attitude

    I am just an ordinary person struggling to pay my bills like many Americans. For 14 years I worked in a restaurant on Madison Avenue in New York City. This restaurant is frequented by movie stars, political figures, and the reason why I am writing here, Caroline Kennedy. The opinions that I have about her are not only shared by me but by the staff of the restaurant. Caroline Kennedy has an attitude problem. I can’t quite tell why or pinpoint what it is but she definitely has an air of entitlement. During the many times I personally waited on her, she never said, “please” or “thank you”, and she never left more than a 10% tip on the subtotal of the check. She would never smile or acknowledge my help or anyone else’s. To her credit, she was never outrightly mean and she never complained but it was always clear that we were merely her servants. As far as I am concerned, it doesn’t matter who you are, there are certain social manners that are expected in public. Looking your server in the eye and being decent is one of them. Caroline Kennedy, for 14 years, was just rude.


  6. To DHNYC:I am not surprised with the interaction you had with C.Kennedy. I believe that many of our wealthy (privileged) citizens have been raised to be aloof and to keep their distance from the working man. Yes, I do believe that many do live in a world of their own. Regardless of the worshipful attitude many people of this country have had (and still have) of Jackie O, it is not of a realistic and healthy attitude. Unfortunately many are drawn into the glamour of personality. The good thing is that as of today Caroline has withdrawn her application for the senate seat.


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