Veteran New York politics journalist Andrew Kirtzman, who is currently writing a book on the Bernard Madoff scandal, thinks that Caroline Kennedy’s public roll-out has been a catastrophe, and that she and her handlers are blowing the behind-the-scenes lobbying effort for Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat as well. (Some of her sit-down interviews came out better than others, but her more substantive utterances were partially overshadowed in the secondary coverage by painstaking documentation of a recurring verbal tic.)
Asked for reaction to the Kennedy interviews, Kirtzman emailed the following analysis:
The interviews were catastrophic to her cause. They totally undermined one’s faith in her.
It’s becoming clear why the roll-out has been so tentative and low-key: Her communications skills could take months to improve, and she doesn’t have that kind of time. It poses a huge problem for Josh Isay and company.
The behind-the-scenes problems are just as bad. Josh must be banging his head against the table as he watches this all devolve into a power struggle between the governor and the mayor, with Shelly Silver throwing gasoline on the fire.
I’d ditch Kennedy’s interviews altogether and schedule some policy speeches. They’d be situations she can control, and would go a long way toward restoring the stature that is eroding by the day.
Otherwise, I’d get her working the phones, and have the mayor’s people get off of them.