David Paterson rejected Caroline Kennedy as a replacement for Hillary Clinton — and the Kennedys are not amused.   According to the New York Post, they’re seething over Paterson’s “rough treatment” of Sweet Caroline, and they’ve vowed revenge for her humiliation:

An “apoplectic” Kennedy family is seething over the rough treatment that heiress apparent Caroline got from Gov. Paterson’s office and is spoiling for revenge, several sources close to the clan have told The Post.

“The governor’s going to pay for this,” said a well-placed Democrat. “Ted is furious. The family is furious. The Kennedys are now against the governor.”

Among Paterson’s offenses was a request that Caroline lie about her unexpected withdrawal for “personal” reasons, according to NY magazine. …

Then a torrent of ugly rumors spilled from Paterson’s office about Caroline’s taxes, about her nanny, even about the state of her marriage – and Camelot’s seeking payback, confidants said.

One has to wonder if they would have been so “apoplectic” had Paterson appointed a die-hard liberal instead of the upstate Blue Dog, Kirsten Gillibrand.  Paterson didn’t just reject Caroline Kennedy, he rejected Kennedyism in all its phases — as a dynasty, a policy movement, a political force, and as an inevitability.  That hurts a lot more than a few rumors about taxes and marriages, the kinds of rumors that have kept Kennedys in the headlines for decades.  Given the kinds of scandals attached to the family name since JFK, the peccadilloes noted by the Post seem very tame indeed.

The only people the Kennedys have to blame are themselves, for pushing an unprepared Caroline into seeking the appointment.  She didn’t want to talk to the press, and when forced to do it, performed terribly.  They put enormous pressure on Paterson to appoint her even as she stumbled so badly that she became less popular than Andrew Cuomo and couldn’t herself articulate any specific reason why she wanted the job.

In the end, Paterson had two options: come up with some excuse that disqualified Kennedy, or tell the world that she stunk up the joint as a candidate.  I’d argue that Paterson chose the more humane option.