For several days, prominent members of the New York Democratic establishment complained publicly about Caroline Kennedy. Then, suddenly, it all stopped.
“I think people are about to get scared,” said one aide to a New York official.
The seminal, chilling event, in the end, was simply Ms. Kennedy’s decision to get serious—and go public—with her desire to replace Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate.
Specifically, she hired a well-known New York consulting firm with close ties to Chuck Schumer, and began making calls to prominent Democrats around the state, including the man with the power to name Mrs. Clinton’s successor, David Paterson.
At around the same time, Mrs. Clinton—Barack Obama’s pick for secretary of state and arguably the only other official with the public profile to alter the neatly presented narrative of the nascent Kennedy campaign—gave what one of her former aides described as “explicit instructions” to her supporters not to interfere with the process in her name.
In one swift move—the hiring of consultant and former Schumer aide Josh Isay to run her behind-the-scenes bid for the Clinton seat was announced, naturally, by a leak to The New York Times—Ms. Kennedy signaled that far from being an outside celebrity venturing onto the turf of a host of more deserving state and Congressional Democrats, her mission was sanctioned at the highest levels of the state party.
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