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Posted by on Jan 22, 2009 in Politics | 1 comment

Kennedy, Burris and Identity Politics

The withdrawal of JFK’s daughter as a replacement for Hillary Clinton leads to questions about gender and race in national politics in what we all celebrated as the Age of Obama this week.

In Illinois, the future felon Rod Blagojevich appoints Roland Burris amid calls to retain the President’s seat for an African-American and now, with Caroline Kennedy gone, New York’s governor speaks publicly and privately about “the importance of selecting a woman to replace Mrs. Clinton.”

With the critical questions facing the Senate, when and how did substantive qualifications fall behind demographics in making choices for such high office?

Blagojevich was trying to save his skin in the face of impeachment and/or indictment. Now David Paterson, an accidental governor who came to office less than a year ago when Eliot Spitzer resigned in a sexual scandal, seems to be calculating his chances for election in 2010.

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