Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Thursday, January 22, 2009

HOT TOPIC: Caroline Kennedy's Political Swan Song

Yesterday I learned that Caroline Kennedy has decided to withdraw her bid for the York Senate seat that is currently up for grabs, citing personal reasons that include increased concern for her ailing relative - political powerhouse Ted Kennedy.

I care a lot about this issue, as I explain in an article I published at Psychology Today. Here's the link if you want to take a look: http://blogs.psychologytoday.com/blog/brainstorm/200901/caroline-kennedyand-you.

My article identifies how her name functions like a litmus test in terms of how people react to money and fame, and favoritism in the elitist of professional and social circles. I can't help but think about recent reports that a major poll showed that New Yorkers like her less than they did prior to her recent media roll-out, and wonder, as Larry King suggested on his show last night, whether she is using this personal reason as an excuse. Is she leaving the race to avoid the risk of emerging as a loser?

I hope this is not the case. If she heard from Governor Paterson that she was not going to be chosen, I hope that she would not deceive the public and manipulate the public's emotions (citing the need to take care of Teddy). This could be a wonderful opportunity for Caroline Kennedy to emerge from the race with grace and honesty. As many men and women tend to put the rich and famous on pedestals and wish they could be more like these revered figures, the rich and famous have the opportunity to embody important lessons that can make the world wiser.

It's impossible to know the behind-closed-door events when it comes to this specific situation, but it's a good rule for all of us to remember that the ultimate goal must be to live our lives with honesty and grace - even when it's inconvenient and unpleasant to do so.

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