So, it doesn’t bother me especially that Caroline Kennedy lacks “political experience.” Rah-rah democracy and all that, but on the rare cases where we’re going to appoint someone to Congress, it seems like a grand opportunity to pick precisely the kind of person who wouldn’t normally get elected—someone who’s spent their life acquiring experience and expertise as a scholar or entrepreneur or activist rather than a professional campaigner.
Rather, it’s that Kennedy doesn’t seem to have done much at all with the massive wealth and privilege she was born into. She’s licensed to practice law, but I haven’t seen reference to any significant legal work she’s done. People cite her work as a fundraiser, which again seems to come down to being a Kennedy and having wealthy friends. That leaves her work as an “author”—which aside from slapping her name on a few edited collection of Kennediania appears to consist of two semi-serious legal books she co-authored. I’ve read one of the two, The Right to Privacy, mostly because I read any book I can get my hands on with “privacy” in the title. It’s been a while, but my recollection is that it was pretty damn mediocre. It’s not bad if you want a quick, readable layman’s intro to privacy jurisprudence, but I don’t think I’ve ever recommended it to anyone. There’s nothing there to make you think she’s an unusually deep thinker on these issues. If that’s what you’re looking for, I hear Nadine Strossen’s free.