NYC deputy mayor pushing Caroline for Senate gives up in frustration

Here’s what happens when you try a shock-and-awe PR strategy with a dud of a candidate as its centerpiece. Result: Paterson’s now interviewing other people for the seat and not being shy about publicizing it.

“Everything was backfiring,” said one source of the intense behind-the-scenes effort by Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey.

“He’s not out front any more.”

The source said that Sheekey had hoped to round up overwhelming support for Kennedy very quickly so she would become the inevitable choice when Gov. Paterson selects the successor to Hillary Clinton…

“They tried to take everybody else out,” said the source. “It didn’t work. They were out there way, way too early.”…

“She wasn’t prepped enough,” said the source. “She wasn’t ready to do this.”

Sheekey’s a longtime Bloomberg crony who apparently knows her through his work for Schwarzenegger. How smart is it is to have America’s foremost daughter of privilege being touted by a lackey of one of America’s richest men? This smart:

They worry that the Bloomberg administration’s advocacy for Ms. Kennedy will only reinforce her image as a privileged Upper East Sider whose biggest base of support is from Manhattan’s exclusive social set.

“It appears to be another case of central casting by the city’s cognoscenti,” said a Democratic city councilman, John C. Liu. “It’s amazing how much it’s all about the upper crust.”

Rory I. Lancman, a state assemblyman, said that there was “a growing concern that high public office is being reserved for a better class of people — people who can buy into it like Michael Bloomberg or people who can come into it through their celebrity like Caroline Kennedy.”

She’s still a contender, I assume, but the one thing a celebrity candidate can’t afford to be is ridiculous and that horse, alas for poor Caroline, has already left the barn. Submitted for your approval below, the verbal-tic director’s cut. Exit question: As bad as she is, there are worse appointments Paterson could make, no?