Wednesday, June 18, 2008

June 18, 2008

    "I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them.  But for the first time, I believe I found the man who could be that president--not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans."   That was Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg endorsing Barack Obama, a rare step into the spotlight for a woman who has done something amazing--having a private life while bearing the most famous name in American politics.


     Now she is playing another role in the Obama campaign as one of the people who will help him choose his running mate.  She'll be good at it, I expect, as she's been good at most of what she's done with her life.  She'll be good at it in part because she won't be worrying about who might help Obama carry which state.  That electoral stuff usually doesn't make much difference anyway, except for 1960, when John Kennedy needed Lyndon Johnson to carry Texas.  She'll be thinking more of character, I expect, and that's just fine.


     But what I've really always admired about Mrs. Schlossberg is her ability to stay out of the spotlight except for when she wants to be in it.  She got a B.A. from Radcliffe, a law degree from Columbia, interned at the New York Daily News (but you didn't see her name in the paper much) and went to work at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art where she met her husband, exhibit designer Edwin Schlossberg.


     The wedding made news, of course;  Maria Shriver was the maid of honor.  But then the Schlossbergs began a quiet married life.  They've raised three children (the oldest is twenty now)  but we don't see their pictures in the tabloids, we don't know what they eat for breakfast.  That's not because the news media wouldn't print all that stuff if they could;  it's because they can't.  The Schlossbergs are very, very good at privacy.  I think that's admirable and  I'll bet they do, too, every time they see or read about some other poor celebrity squirming as the spotlight glares.   Being a Kennedy isn't easy.  Mrs. Schlossberg does it very well.   

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