Caroline Kennedy has been a celebrity since birth, and has handled the pressure while getting an education, building a family and establishing a career of her own on her own. Consider how difficult that must be in the light of the intrusive media watch she was under.
This indicates she has wisdom enough to see herself as a self actualized private individual and the determination to achieve her vision. Granted she comes from a wealthy family, but most such children lack the self discipline she has demonstrated.
She seems to have the grace and poise of her mother, who was famous for it. She also has a social conscience that she has spent her adult years responding to through a variety of causes. She is informed about issues.
Most importantly she is the child of a great president who was murdered in the service of his country, and grew up without her father as a result. That sacrifice, however unwilling, creates a debt of conscience in this nation that should include helping her to achieve her ambition as though she still had his advice to guide her.
Can she be a great senator, or even a good one? Time will tell. She should have a better than fair chance.
Governor Palin's experience simply pales when compared to that of someone who grew up in the process, and then has a quality education to add. This is not her fault, any more than it is Ms. Kennedy's fault that she has the background.
Further, the senator is one of a hundred. A new member has time to learn and the presumed assistance of her peers. The vice president is one of a kind, and a single heartbeat from sole power. This is a huge difference. I would not want to see either woman thrust too early into that responsibility.
Where they are on the political spectrum is not relevant here. Be fair to both. The argument should be not what they believe politically, it should be whether they are fit for the job. If we are to be fair we must concede that the senate is a better place to gain experience than the White House.
As a social progressive/fiscal conservative I can find things to admire in both women. I would welcome Ms. Palin should she run for the seat made vacant by Senator Stevens' conviction. I certainly hope Ms. Kennedy gets her chance to prove herself as well.
I admit, I would expect Kennedy to do a better job based on her background and experience, which is greater than her detractors care to admit. I also find the conservatives' insistence that the child of a former president should be discriminated against on those grounds to be laughably ridiculous, given the blunderer they have foisted on us themselves.
Fortunately it is not our decision. Let the Governor of New York, who is more able to understand Ms. Kennedy's qualifications, make the decision. Then let us see how she does after a couple of years.
On the whole I would suspect her abilities would exceed those of Ms. Palin. I hope they both end up in the Senate so we can compare them after the fact.