Several would-be Senators have recently journeyed to crazy, frozen places like Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse to find out what the rest of the state wants in a federal representative. But what about constituents right here in the five boroughs? Earlier this week, we hung around Columbus Circle to find out who local voters wanted Gov. David Paterson to appoint, and whether they thought Caroline Kennedy was qualified to be Senator. Responses have been edited for clarity and style.
Victoria Richter, Columbus Circle: It should be someone who has served in a public capacity. I personally like Carolyn Maloney a lot. There are a number of people that Governor Paterson could appoint [who] have run for public office.
While I might even vote for Caroline Kennedy if she were to run for something, I tend not to think that she’s right for an appointed Senator because of her lack of record in public office. I don’t think you start out with an appointment to the U.S. Senate.
Al Leuberg, West 63rd Street and Broadway: Well he’s got several Democrats here in New York City.
There’s Mr. Mark Green. He’s been very good for the city and I think he would be very good for the state.
Sukol Phairoj, Astoria, Queens: I’ve never followed Kennedy’s politics. I don’t think she’s qualified…she needs more experience.
Monet George, “Uptown”: She is part of the Onassis/Kennedy bloodline, which may sway the judgment. I don’t think it’s fair, I think they should choose a person that’s more experienced and is more seasoned in the Senate.
Isaac Bowman, East New York, Brooklyn: It wouldn’t really matter anyway. They’re all the same! Caroline Kennedy [and the other potentials] didn’t come from a poor background. You have to know how the people feel in order to be able to relate to them.
Susan, Upper West Side: I’m a diehard liberal, so Caroline Kennedy! She’s brilliant, she’s survived major traumas and has done so much for New York City.
Robin Bobbé, 28th Street and Sixth Avenue: Kennedy brings something really positive to the table, but then there’s the whole question of whether or not she’s getting in because of her name. What would be very helpful is her fundraising abilities, and we sure need money.
John Quilty, Hell’s Kitchen: We live in a celebrity culture, and I think Caroline Kennedy has the edge. She’s inexperienced as far as political life. My father is a chemist—you wouldn’t want to see me in a lab.
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