I have supported the candidacy of Caroline Kennedy to replace Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate. Yet, I look with a skeptical eye at claims that her attempt to secure one of the highest offices in the land positions her as a role model for women seeking to re-enter the workforce after raising children.
Yes, her celebrity, authorship, and charitable works are her strongest claims to office. Kennedy raised tens of millions of dollars for the New York City schools and wrote books on civil rights issues.
But it's not as if she started work right out of law school and launched herself on a career path. I haven't spoken with her on this issue (I have interviewed her in the past but only about her books), but she seems to have interspersed work projects in between raising her three children. Most on-ramp moms, as they are called, start working right out of college or graduate school and climb at least a few rungs up the career ladder before transitioning to part-time work or taking themselves out of the workforce entirely. And they attempt to return to work when their children are still young, not grown, as are Caroline Kennedy's three children.
Even though the comparison is, in my humble opinion, inapt, I still think Ms. Kennedy Schlossberg could grow into becoming a hugely influential member of that most elite of clubs. She could use, however, a good speech coach to rid herself of the verbal tic of repeating incessantly "um," "like," and "you know" as she talks.
--Read more by Bonnie Erbe.
--Read more from the Thomas Jefferson Street blog.
--Read more about Caroline Kennedy.
By Bonnie Erbe