Caroline Kennedy Back in Public, Mum on Gov

Refused to talk about Gov. David Paterson

Caroline Kennedy made her first public appearance last night since her 11th-hour bow out of her New York senate seat bid, but she had nothing to say about the debacle that surrounded her withdrawal.

In short, Gov. David Paterson’s name wasn’t on the table for discussion.

Kennedy appeared with Giorgia Armani at the fashion tycoon’s new Fifth Avenue store, which celebrated its grand opening Tuesday night.

The store’s opening also jived with an event announcing Armani’s $1 million donation to the Fund for Public Schools, where Kennedy is vice chair. But just because she was in public didn’t mean she would indulge the press, which is still hungry for details about her Senate bid fiasco -- a battle that got personal and gained nationwide exposure.   

Kennedy didn’t bite when asked about the skewering she received at the hands of Paterson’s administration. She said simply, “Tonight is really about this,” according to the Daily News, before an assistant snapped her out of the media’s jaws. 

During a tight-lipped Q&A with the mostly fashion-oriented press corps, Kennedy refused to comment on her perceptions of Paterson and her ordeal as a candidate for the New York senate seat.

Kennedy had a photo op with Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein as they arrived on the black carpet. Armani's donation will support arts offerings in schools with many disadvantaged students.

The new initiative is called the Armani Arts Institute. The designer sees it as "giving young kids a chance to dream."

Bloomberg says arts education is "an essential component of a well-rounded curriculum," and Armani's gift will help insure all city students have a chance to experience it.

The contribution is going to the Fund for Public Schools, a nonprofit organization that supports city schools. It has raised more than $240 million since 2003.

Stars Alicia Keys, 50 Cent, Victoria Beckham and others also graced the Armani opening, which is the first store to house all Armani brands under one roof.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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