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A Lovely Consolation Prize for Ms. Kennedy?

To heed the call to public service, Caroline Kennedy need look no farther than the city she calls home -- East 44th Street, to be specific.
To heed the call to public service, Caroline Kennedy need look no farther than the city she calls home -- East 44th Street, to be specific. (By Stephen Chernin -- Associated Press)

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By Al Kamen
Friday, January 23, 2009

Caroline Kennedy didn't get that Senate seat from New York, but that doesn't mean there aren't lots of fine government jobs she would be perfect for, jobs right there in Manhattan. Take, for example, some excellent possibilities at the United Nations.

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There's ambassador to the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a job that would require her to promote culture and science and education. This would require a move to Paris, but President Obama has said that everyone's got to make sacrifices for the greater good. And "ask not . . ." Perhaps more to her liking would be representing the United States in the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, which fights world hunger. Can't be much more perfect than that. Sure, lots of travel to some pretty rough places in the developing world, and she'd have to move to Rome, you know, but she can surely handle it. And the food in Rome . . .

Then there's the Court of St. James's in London, where her grandfather served. And the administration could always create a position for her as ambassador-at-large for this or that. Or, if she still wants to come down here -- and those reported nanny and tax matters can be resolved -- she could run the Peace Corps, circling back to the place her dad started.

But the best option may be at the U.N. as ambassador for economic and social issues. It's high-profile, lots of parties, and there's no lifting, heavy or otherwise. Just take the Second Avenue bus down to 44th . . .

It's All About the Pin

Looks as though Obama's mantras are not going to take root very easily. Take his inaugural-address exhortation that "the time has come to set aside childish things."

Just a few minutes later, on the pavement outside the House side of the Capitol, Capitol Police put up a barricade to secure the area while former president George W. Bush's helicopter took off. Only members of Congress were allowed to move within the secure zone. Among those caught outside the barrier was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's chief of staff, John Lawrence.

But while Lawrence waited patiently, Rep. Jim Moran's wife, LuAnn Bennett, did not, we're told. She tried to argue her way in, then called her husband, who came storming out of the Capitol.

"Is this the guy who's not letting you in?" he shouted, beckoning to the cop. "That's not the policy! Spouses get in if they show their pin! So get on the phone!" The cop finally relented and let Mrs. Moran in.

After that, somebody else piped up: "This person is Larry Summers's wife. She's really cold." The cop didn't let her in.

So maybe the time hasn't come quite yet?

Friends With High Numbers

Official Washington is abuzz with word that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is poised to tap a longtime friend and Democratic mega-donor as her undersecretary for public diplomacy. Judith A. McHale, one of the area's most prominent female executives, who stepped down in 2006 as president of Discovery Communications, may take a job that has been especially difficult given Washington's reputation abroad.

Her résumé doesn't reflect an excess of diplomatic experience, but we're reminded that this is a job that involves selling a message.


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