Susan has summed up my feelings far more eloquently than I ever could have (sorry, Tom). I'm not one of these guys who believes in class warfare (sorry, Tom). When it comes to the rich and public service, I like to exercise what I call the Elsie Hillman Rule: If a Pennsylvania governor were to appoint society standard bearer Elsie Hillman to a congressional seat, would I have any objection to it? Absolutely not. Ms. Hillman is a registered Republican, but she transcends petty political labels. She's in a class by herself and has a track record of philanthropic service going back decades to prove it. Caroline Kennedy has a record as not only a philanthropist, but she's a former journalist and a trained historian who has published several books. As Susan has pointed out, she knew when to get into the primary fight between Obama and Clinton. She timed her endorsement for maximum effect. I don't believe she's in it because she thinks she has a "claim" to the seat once occupied by her Uncle Bobby. We don't believe in the divine right of kings in this country. I believe Caroline Kennedy now feels the call to public service more insistently than she ever has before. Given how politics and tragedy have intersected in her family's history it's no wonder she's been shy about committing to any political office until now. Her name comes with the expectation that she's not going to start at the bottom. Just because she's never been the town dog catcher doesn't mean she doesn't have the heart (or the brains) to serve in the Senate. She knows what politics entails. She knows that it is a contact sport. Her Uncle Ted has been a source of inspiration for her for decades. He was her surrogate father from what I've read. She's watched him operate. She's seen power and she has probably picked up more than a few tips about how to wield it. In other words, she's more than a socialite. She's not the sweet little Caroline crawling under her father's desk at the White House anymore. She's an intelligent and savvy woman who will bring a wealth of real world experience and contacts to the job. Andrew Cuomo can fight her in the primaries in 2010. By then we'll know if she's up to the task. I'm betting that she'll surprise us all with the quality of her service. If anyone can extend the Kennedy franchise and what that means for American politics, Caroline Kennedy can.