caroline's a quitter, and i'm quite incensed. not because i thought she was the best choice, but because out of nowhere she threw her hat in the ring and was henceforth treated like a butterfly emerging from her chrysalis. caroline, who never made a show of herself, was going public. people took her seriously enough to invest emotionally in an opinion as to whether or not she should get the senate job, debated it, held press conferences about it, and when it came to her competitors, started swigging mylanta straight from the bottle over it.
now, after all the turmoil she caused, caroline has decided not to run? not only that, but she gets to just walk away and go about her business, while everyone else is left to scramble, regroup and re-strategize. some might even feel the loss of that last taste of camelot. i personally do not believe the rumored "caretaking uncle teddy" story. the man has a wife, a daughter and two sons, plus two stepchildren, yet he needs caroline to take care of him? how? long distance? since he lives in massachusetts and she lives here. then there's the rumor that she "quit" before she could get "fired," if you know what i mean. if that's the case, then i owe gov. paterson an apology for thinking he was going to hand it to her on a silver platter. kennedy's (or will she go back to using schlossberg now?) self-indulgence reminds me of the relative who announces he's coming to christmas dinner. a place is set, gifts are purchased, anticipation abounds and then the hand wringing wait begins. then ding dong. it's him. better late than never. but alas, he can only stay a few minutes because he changed his mind and has somewhere else he'd rather be. and off he does go with his place untouched, gifts left behind and everyone's expectations turned inside out until they resemble disappointment, anger and resentment. this behavior usually leaves me shaking my head and observing, "gee, some people know how to make it all about themselves, don't they?" but caroline didn't make it happen by herself. even those who didn't think caroline should have the job spent more time talking her down than they did talking up their candidates. the other contenders didn't just take a back seat, they got tied to the roof rack-many of us never even knew some of their names, let alone anything about them (e.g. kirsten gillibrand, who?) i'm embarrassed for giving caroline so much credit as a serious contender. i honestly never would have thought she'd be so capricious. my belief was that she would ride the race out (not cop out). if by some slim chance caroline did not get the position, she'd deliver a gracious, poised, you know -free concession speech. something right out of, "what would jackie do?", which is a book that describes awkward situations and uses examples from jackie o.'s life to show you how to handle them with grace and dignity. clearly caroline never read a copy, or else she would have handled this situation a little better. the good thing about her withdrawal is that the race reverted back to being about choosing one of a group of seasoned politicians with accomplishments and street cred for a job they're equipped to do. good-bye caroline. good luck, kristen. -- lorraine duffy merkl has been named humor writer of the month by the erma bombeck writers' workshop. her column appears every other week.