December 5th, 2008
02:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Caroline Kennedy to take Clinton's seat?

Caroline Kennedy's name is being talked about for Clinton's senate seat.

Caroline Kennedy's name is being talked about for Clinton's senate seat.

(CNN) - Could Caroline Kennedy, considered to be among the most private members of the Kennedy clan, be tapped to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat?

Kennedy - who endorsed Barack Obama in February before the Super Tuesday round of primaries - is said to be considering the possibility, according to an ABC News report.

New York Gov. David Paterson, the man tasked with picking Hillary Clinton's successor, is remaining mum on the process, but a spokesman for Barack Obama issued a statement in the wake of rumors the president-elect is quietly lobbying Patterson to choose Kennedy.

"President-elect Obama has a very high regard for Caroline Kennedy," said Obama spokesman Stephanie Cutter. "But he has not spoken with Governor Paterson or Caroline Kennedy about the race, and has no involvement in this process."

Earlier, similar rumors circulated that former President Bill Clinton might be interested in the job, but the former president's office quickly released a statement saying he was not interested.

Caroline Kennedy's cousin, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., was also discussed as a potential successor, but formally took his name out of the running earlier this week.

Paterson still has a strong bench to choose from. There are a number of contenders, including several members of New York's delegation in the House of Representatives, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, and Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi.

Whoever is chosen would have to be ready for virtually non-stop campaigning and fundraising over the next four years. Clinton's successor will face a hotly-contested campaign in 2010 to fill out the remainder of her term, then a re-election bid jut two years later.

soundoff (386 Responses)
  1. JerryD

    I pray so. If she declines ( Ihope she doesn't) Then RFK Jr. how fitting would it be he would inherit his father's old seat.

    December 5, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. Gene

    What's funny is that the same people complaining that this Harvard grad isn't qualified to be a senator are the ones that were trying to push Joe the Plumber to run in 2010 🙂

    December 5, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. Larry

    This is absolutely insane,are the only qualifications for Democrats in political office their last names???Doesn't an important job like Senator require some experience,you just elected a Democratic president that is doing on the job training,what are you thinking????

    December 5, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. John

    Gotta love dynasties, Kennedy, Bush, Clinton, Dole, Rockefeller, throw a real monkey wrench in it and pick a name that no one has heard before. Doesn't the state of NY have any qualified "no-name" State Reps or Senators???

    December 5, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  5. Ravi

    She would be a wonderful senator! Of course, as a Missourian I wouldn't be able to vote her in, but hopefully the people of NY will make it happen. She's absolutely beautiful too.

    December 5, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. GraystoneBeatle

    Caroline Kennedy's resume (from wikipedia):
    B.A. from Harvard University
    J.D. from Columbia Law School

    Wrote two books with Ellen Alderman:
    * In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights In Action (1990)
    * The Right to Privacy (1995)

    She has also edited several books and written one on the Kennedy family.

    She is currently President of the Kennedy Library Foundation, a director of both the Commission on Presidential Debates and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Honorary Chairman of the American Ballet Theatre. She is also an adviser to the Harvard Institute of Politics, a living memorial to her father.

    Does this sound like Paris Hilton or Sarah Palin?

    December 5, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  7. DJ

    CK? Deserves it? Another elitest from an elitest family. How is this change? Why not have Paris Hilton then. We will never get reform in Congress unless we start electing new and common people. Harvard and Columbia educations are not minimum qualifications for office. How about actually running a business for profit, balancing budgets, etc. ?

    December 5, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. sara chichester

    Our country was founded by people believing that it was what you did or what you could do that makes your leadership good for the country.

    Not, who owns you,or; what political party wants you as a poster-child,
    or which wealthy controlling family you are representing.

    To think that we shunned royal families; what will another reign of
    Kennedys bring upon us? Yes, they are smart, rich, and supported by the same. But, can they really say they are in touch with the average
    American. Or can the average American be owned by publicity and

    December 5, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. Dorian

    Couldn't the powers that be in Albany consider someone for upstate NY for a change. There are many qualified individuals who would be honored to serve and maybe the rest of the state would get some consideration not just NYC.

    December 5, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. Chris

    If I lived in NY I would vote for her. She is smart, well spoken and knows when to speak and when to stay slient, politically savy, knows government, has a law degree and knows public policy. She is more than qualified. Would be great if she would.

    December 5, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. ck

    Yeah... give it to her because of her name... LOL

    You Dems crack me up... LOL


    December 5, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  12. Proud American from New England

    Great choice! She is marvelous!


    December 5, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |

    just because shes part of the kennedys ?

    December 5, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  14. Cynthia

    Bet she could name a newspaper she's read....

    December 5, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. Peggy - TX

    It woud be a awsome for Caroline Kennedy to enter politics. Not becasue she deserves it, but becasue she will be good for America.

    December 5, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. Don B

    Larry in texas: Sjhe deservers "WHAT" for "WHAT"??????? Are you suggesting ANYONE THAT FACES A LOSS OF FAMILY MEMBERS SHOULD BE SELECTED TO REPRESENT CITIZENS OF OUR SOCIETY REGARDING DEDCISIONS OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE AND THE LIKE? I'd like to know in what area of your body, your brains are located, if any?

    December 5, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |

    Caroline i guess she's owed something for backing another inexperience candidate why break the streak go for it.

    December 5, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  18. Ugh...

    If Al Franken wins in Minnesota, and Caroline Kennedy is appointed in New York, and Chris Matthews runs in Pennsylvania, I think it sets an incredibly dangerous precedent.

    Just because you are either A) related to a political family, or B) run your mouth every week about politics on cable news, or C) tell political jokes, doesn't mean you are qualified to be a lawmaker in the upper body of the United States Congress.

    Now that Obama has won with the flimsiest resume ever for a U.S. President, it's all style over substance.

    December 5, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. Cher

    How can you compare Caroline Kennedy to Paris Hilton or Sarah Palin? Caroline has an undergraduate degree from Harvard and law degree from Columbia. Paris has a GED after dropping out of high school and Sarah took 6 years to get through several community colleges and finally a state university communications degree. They are intellectually not in the same league.

    December 5, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  20. James

    I am sick of hearing this whole he/she is not qualified. Bush was not qualified (Lacked morals and Intelligence). I would prefer to have an "unqualified" intelligent; moral person, than a "qualified" immoral dunce. It’s not like she has no knowledge of politics. Caroline Kennedy seems to be intelligent, well spoken and moral; someone not looking for power but to serve. Who better to serve.

    December 5, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  21. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    The decision belongs to New York Gov. David Patterson. He may surprise everyone.

    December 5, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. Lana Bushnell

    Caroline's father was a president, so she is qualified to fulfill a senator's role?

    December 5, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. Lucille

    Caroline Kennedy? There's a big difference between signing books and being a Senator. I like her fine, however, I believe it would be a disservice to New York to place her in the Senate in a job she knows nothing about. Truth is, Andrew Cuomo is the logical choice in my opinion.

    December 5, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  24. demwit

    Bozo the Clown could replace Hillary. Big hair, lots of make up and he is a liberal..., right!?

    December 5, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  25. Don from Jersey

    I have been a Democrat all of my life. I have respected and admired the Kennedy family, especially RFK. I have admired the Clintons and I thought that Hillary would have been an excellent president.

    If Caroline were given this seat, it would confirm my suspicion that the Democratic Party is becoming loonier and increasingly fixated on money, cronyism and celebrity.

    December 5, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
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