King: Picking Kennedy Is Like Picking Greta Garbo

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said that appointing Democrat Caroline Kennedy to the Senate would be like picking an unqualified movie star to the upper chamber.

King, on Fox News on Thursday, agreed with the suggestion that he and others were a bit "ticked off" at the notion of Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy, in the Senate.

"You know, the real intensity is coming from fellow Democrats like Gary Ackerman and Anthony Weiner, Bob Zimmerman, the National Committee men, who just feel like she's parachuting in from nowhere, other than having a famous name," King said. "It's sort of like you're putting Greta Garbo in the Senate."

Garbo was an Academy Award-nominated actress during the silent movie era of the 1920s and when films first started to use dialogue in the 1930s.

King, who is considering running for the seat himself in 2010, said he's not aware of Kennedy's qualifications.

"She, obviously, is very, you know, fine -- fine woman, but she's never been in the public arena, and I don't mean just being in politics," he said. "She's never really been out there fighting for any issues. She doesn't represent any communities, she's never been in government, she's never been in business, never been in labor. She's just -- any type of labor issues -- she's really, to me, just, again, comes from a famous family, probably an intelligent person, but she doesn't have the experience that's needed to be a fighter for New York.

"You have to fight hard, and we are the number one terrorist target in the world, and I've never heard her say a word about Islamic terrorism or military policy or homeland security policy or Guantanamo, any of these issues -- and even involving the fiscal crisis that we face."

Kennedy has been campaigning for the job and has pointed to the books she has written on constitutional law and public service. Her backers have also noted her work on behalf of charity and non-profit groups, including an academy she helped start to train public school principals in New York City.

King suggested that New York Gov. David Paterson (D), who will decide on the Senate appointment, is feeling pressure from President-elect Obama and the Kennedy family to pick her.

"Let's face it: It was the endorsement of Ted and Caroline Kennedy that probably had more to do with Barack Obama being nominated [for president] by the Democrats than anything else," he said. "So, you know, this could be payback time."

Paterson has said he'll pick a new senator based on merit, especially after Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) was accused last week of trying to sell his state's open U.S. Senate seat.