December 5th, 2008
02:30 PM ET
9 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. Elle from Dallas

    HRC senate seat should be filled by a person that will represent
    the interests of upstate NY residents. Upstate equals all of NY state
    except New York City metro area. As a former 28 year resident of Western New York, I would be greatly disappointed if Caroline Kennedy
    was chosen.

    December 5, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. kay

    Barack is still asking for $ for his bash – how sick! Doesn't anyone get it that most people are going broke............
    He can nominate anyone he wants for the various positions, like C. Kennedy, but the fact remains..........Obama knows NOTHING and heeds people who do have experience and are not just tokens that were voted in on false pretenses.

    December 5, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. williefloyd

    To mention Caroline's name in the same sentence with Sarah Palin is a disgrace to Caroline! A Harvard & Columbia grad compared to one who can't form a simple, coherent sentence is laughable. There are many forms of "experience", IMHO Caroline probably possesses more than most of us are even aware of.

    December 5, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. Kyle Indianapolis, Indiana

    I love this idea! Kennedy for Senate!

    December 5, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. FL for Obama

    Umm...since CNN decided not to post my previous comment...(SURPRISE!)...may I suggest that Caroline is divorced now. But that shouldn't be a consideration for a Senator (like adultery and abuse of power)...I'm just sayin!

    December 5, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Gene

    Larry.. on Obama's "On the Job Training", he's done more to reach out and work together with people before even being sworn in than Bush has done in 8 years.

    What does "On the job training" really mean for a president? All presidents get on the job training.. none of them have experience being a president.. it's new to everyone. So I guess between 14 years of state and US senate.. he's had no experience. That's just a moronic comment coming from a bitter person.

    Carolyn has a quality that transcends experience.. she actually seems like genuine person who actually wants what's best for this country. Everyone has to start somewhere.. and I think a lifetime of being in a family that is entwined in politics gives her more experience than most.

    How can someone in one breath argue that she doesn't have experience, and in the next complain because she's lived her whole life entwined in politics? Those arguments counter each other out.

    December 5, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. TP

    Everyone wanted change .... here you go.

    At least Bush put in qualified people to help run the nation, rather then a popular name with no experience.

    December 5, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  8. Helene

    I love Caroline Kennedy but I really don't see her as Senator. Unless she campaigns and gets elected.

    December 5, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. Mike H.

    If her name were anythng but Kennedy this would be a joke. She has never run for elective office and has no qualifications for the job.

    For those who are raising the issue of Sarah Palin's qualifications, keep in mind that she was elected Governor by the voters of Alaska. That's the democtratic route to public office as opped to getting the job simply because you are a member of a famous family.

    December 5, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. Debi

    Can we focus on something more important than dynasties? Why is there no term limit on congress or senate.
    If term limits we imposed on congress and senate more would get done and there would be no "dynasties".

    Also, Why is Caroline Kennedy "tapped" for the seat? Why do the voters not get to elect whom they want to take this and any other seat being vacated?

    This, and any appointment to an elected position, should be handle by special election so the people do not have to put up with an elected official they do not want.

    December 5, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. Maureen

    EEEWWW! Is she going to ask her kids for legislative advice, too? No thanks!

    Why is NY going to crown this princess? Is it a monarchy, now? Get somebody with some fortitude and REAL LEGISLATIVE EXPERIENCE, instead of treating this position like the ultimate Christmas present for the very rich and iconic.

    At her public zenith, CKS was best at age 3, when she rode horses and said very little. She should return to those activities, and receive the thanks of an grateful Nation.

    December 5, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. Chuck in LA

    Comparing Caroline Kennedy to Sarah Palin is like comparing steak to the ground beef in my Taco Bell value meal.

    December 5, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. conservatve

    Good lord couldn't the democrats come up with someone more original with a teensy bit of leadership ability other than Kennedy money ? this country is lost for leadership !!!

    December 5, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    I think Robert DeNiro would be a great choice. I bet he could play the role as a Senator better than any of the other choices for two years.

    December 5, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. chris

    The last thing NY needs is another inexperienced politician.

    Hillary did nothing in the time she was in office other than collect a hefty paycheck while looking for another job.

    It's time the kennedy's simply go away.

    December 5, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  16. Peggy the Unemployed

    Caroline Kennedy is at least as qualified as many others who run for Senator. Aside from being in the military, what did John McCain do? Or John Kerry or many others. She is educated and knowledgeable. And to compare her to Sarah Palin is a joke. (Although I do think we should give Sarah a break – she is not the anti-Christ.)

    December 5, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. Amber in Orlando

    Whoever it is, it needs to be a woman. We are severely under represented in the Senate. Out of the 100 senators, there are only 16 women. When Hillary leaves, there will be 15 unless NY Gov. Patterson appoints a female to fill her spot. I hope he doesn't let the women of America down by appointing another man.

    December 5, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. Sharonella

    Yuck. No way. Family name is not a sufficient credential to earn this plum position, and it makes Obama look like he's pushing patronage.

    December 5, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. Nice change

    I don't think Caroline really wants it.
    That clinches it for me, Sen. Kennedy.

    December 5, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. jm for sc


    December 5, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  21. ch

    She has done nothing to earn this seat.

    Hillary Clinton is a political superstar who worked her heart out for NY over the past 8 years (which is why she won re-election by 69% of the vote in 2006).

    Caroline Kennedy is NO Hillary Clinton.

    December 5, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  22. H


    December 5, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  23. theresa rossi

    Caroline Kennedy would be the PERFECT choice. She defines dignity and service. I am 100% for her to be nominated! YES!!!!!

    December 5, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  24. Eddie

    Are you TRYING to make me throw up? Cuomo is the logical choice! Sheeezz!

    December 5, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. Rob Finn


    Will probably be helped by Senator Ed Kennedy's staff immediately.
    Experience with public speaking, especially during critical times.
    Well Educated.


    Will not have her around to pitch hit for Senator Ed. if he decides to become a full time Life Guard.

    December 5, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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