Today the local papers give Caroline Kennedy a sort of New Year’s reprieve, suspending their recent, almost-probing attention in favor of ambiguously soft stories. The Times, master of the two-way headline, says “For Kennedy, Self-Promotion Is Unfamiliar,” meaning so many of her job offers have come over afternoon tea that she is understandably all at sea in the contentious world of work as experienced by us peons (“She’s never been aggressive,” testifies college friend Maura Moynihan, who is the daughter of the late Senator Pat Moynihan, to whom Kennedy is compared — Pat, not Maura). Nor does she “have the chutzpa of” the Jew Chuck Schumer. “In an age when flamboyant displays of warmth and empathy seem almost like an obligatory feature of campaigning,” says the Times, “Ms. Kennedy simply seems to prefer keeping her feelings to herself.” One almost hates to bother her.
In the Post, Mayor Bloomberg is allowed yet again to come to Kennedy’s defense, this time on the grounds of her speech patterns, which are vernacular. Bloomberg says he himself had trouble with speaking in public until years of practice made him into the rhetorical dynamo he is today. Bloomberg also adds his customary Olympian perspective, saying that “Caroline Kennedy isn’t just your average person, so people may be a little more critical” than they would be if she were just common gutter trash like Nydia Velazquez. But perhaps the Mayor is aware that he’s been laying it on a little thick; the Daily News reports he’s “reigning in” advisor Kevin Sheekey, who has been aggressively promoting Kennedy on the Mayor’s behalf.
(Update: Sheekey, through a third party, tells the Observer “he’s not doing any more or less for her than when her name first surfaced,” which is like saying, “I’m no more employed by this employer than when I first went to work for them.”