In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Caroline: A Taxonomy of Blame

Third, you have to look at the Bloomberg circle -- consultants like Josh Isay, who led Ms. Kennedy's botched campaign and works for the Mayor, too; schools boss Joel Klein who brought Caroline into his excellent effort to reform New York's schools; and others who encouraged this bid. I'm told his wife, Nicole Seligman, was a big booster, too. I'm sure all did so in the honest belief that she'd be great. But they surely gave her bad advice both in seeking the appointment and, to the extent they may have encouraged it, in launching a Hillary-style listening tour to get it.

A listening tour made sense for Clinton because she could immerse herself in the politics and policy of Oneonta and Buffalo and Utica and come out ahead. Caroline was not the right person to do that. Clinton went on to turn her Senate post into a quasi-gubernatorial job because George Pataki was so ineffective. Bring New York's top restaurateurs to upstate Vineyards? Hillary was all over it. Or forming a statewide association of Little Italys. Or helping small businesses. She was suited to that in a way that Caroline, for all her fine qualities, wasn't. One could, of course, have said the same thing about Hillary Clinton in 2000. Why should she jump to the head of the line? It's a fair question but she managed through months of campaigning to dispel the doubters and win handily and be reelected handily. Caroline's supporters tried to turn her into a Senator almost overnight.

As I mentioned this morning, had she stayed quiet, she might have actually gotten it, assuming that the tax woes that are being reported were no worse than the average run-of-the-mill nanny problem. The push for a third term and now this makes you wonder what's going to become of his mayoralty.

Finally, you have to blame David Patterson for letting this thing drag on so long. The list of candidates is not huge and he could have declared early on his intention to nominate someone instead of waiting until Hillary Clinton was confirmed as Secretary of State. Only winners here, it seems to me, are Hillary Clinton who gets quiet revenge over Caroline for endorsing Obama and then trying to take her seat and Chuck Schumer, who may be loquacious, but knew to stay the hell out of this one and who will tower over his now diminished successor.