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.Paterson, meanwhile, is apparently oblivious to rough economic times.
"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.
"You can't withdraw. You've got to stay in this thing, and I'll just not pick you," Paterson reportedly told her over the phone late Wednesday.
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.
"I'm sure the family is going to protect her," one source said. "What did Caroline do to deserve getting dragged through the mud?"
Caroline emerged from her Park Avenue pad yesterday to say, "I have plans, lots of plans," when asked about her political future.
A confidant of hers said Caroline held "conversations with the governor in which he'd indicated she was the pick."
"His office was aware of every step she took," the confidant said. "He even called some upstate leaders to tell them to meet with her."
Gov. Paterson will scurry off to a "junket" in a swank Swiss town this week, escaping from New York just days after his disastrous effort to chose Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate replacement, The Post has learned.
Two sources with knowledge of Paterson's activities confirmed that the governor will be heading to the World Economic Forum in super-rich Davos, the largest resort in the Alps, later this week.
The insiders said that Paterson's attendance at the gathering of important world leaders, was difficult to justify in light of the state's increasingly severe fiscal problems.
"Why is the governor going to Switzerland when the state faces a $15 billion budget deficit and a week after he was partying in Washington?" one source asked.
Last week, Paterson lugged along an entourage of relatives, six aides and what sources said were "at least" a dozen state troopers for a four-day stay in Washington during President Obama's inauguration, at a taxpayer cost of well over $20,000.
The second source called the Swiss trip a "junket" that would likely "reinforce David's reputation among those who know him for liking to party more than he likes to work."