(CNN) - Caroline Kennedy, the 51-year-old daughter of President John F. Kennedy, has made it clear to high-level Democrats, including New York Gov. David Paterson, that she wants to be the next senator from New York, a source close to Kennedy has told CNN's John King.
Two other sources confirm her interest in filling the seat now held by Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton. One source is a senior Democratic operative.
Kennedy's interest in the seat could mean the continuation of a family legacy in the Senate that began 56 years ago with the election of her father as the then-junior senator from Massachusetts.
Her uncle Ted has represented Massachusetts in the Senate since 1963. Her uncle Robert served as New York's junior senator from 1965 until he was assassinated in 1968.
"Remember, this (Clinton's) seat in the Senate was once held by Robert Kennedy," CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider said. "Her other uncle, Ted Kennedy, is ill right now. If Paterson appoints Caroline Kennedy to the Senate, it means there could be a Kennedy staying in the Senate for quite a long time."
Before this year, Kennedy generally limited her forays into the public sphere to non-partisan activity, penning books on civil liberties and serving as the de facto guardian of her father's legacy.
But in January, she backed a political candidate for the first time, announcing her endorsement of Obama during the Democratic primary season with an op-ed in the New York Times that drew days of the kind of media attention she has spent her life avoiding.
"I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them," she wrote. "But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president - not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans."
"Apparently she has acquired a taste for politics," Schneider noted. "She wants to be part of this new regime in America, clearly playing a key role in the Senate if she gets that appointment."
– CNN's John King and Kate Bolduan, and Mark Preston contributed
to this report.
To all those bashing Kennedy but who thought Palin was treated unfairly, there is one big difference here. One of them has an IQ larger than their age and it isn't Palin.
What has Caroline Kennedy ever done, except be a Kennedy?
She is intelligent, responsible, well educated, and has the desire to serve in the senate. Think she should be considered just as other prospective appointees will be considered. Those who questions her credentials are uninformed. Frankly she brings more to the table than Mrs. Clinton.
Why don't you people do some research about Caroline Kennedy before you start asking about her experience. I know one thing, she is a heck lot smarter than that Palin chick! Just because she is not in the limelight does not mean she is not qualified.
Nice job James...it couldn't have been said better. Surely there are more qualified people out there whose last name is not Kennedy.
James – here's "change you can beleive in". She's not a career politician, that should be qualification enough. She's been around "long enough to know", she is well versed in constitutional law and she has great connections! She should do well for New York State
This is all the country needs now is another Kennedy lush playing politics with no experience and running on nothing but a name.
Welcome to the rich folks club called the Senate. After all Hillary Clinton's only claim to fame was being married to an ex president. Must be nice to be 'special'
Now that's wonderful news! And, for those of you making ridiculous comparisons between Caroline Kennedy and Sarah Palin, give it up! Silly Sarah's not even in the same league - not even close!
Gee, does anyone else sense Caroline has a sense of entitlement? When are we going to put an end to patronage and idiocy in this country? What ounce of experience does she have? Are the citizens of New York suppose to choose her because she's a Kennedy? So what if she's a Kennedy. I have a McDonald and a Smith on my street, should they be considered as well? Her interest in the Senate seat shouldn't even have made the headlines, but of course it is only fitting that those who are more interested in keeping a "dynasty" going, are pushing the issue. If Caroline wants to do some good, she should join MADD or volunteer in a soup kitchen, not waste everyones time with a run for the senate when she has NO experience representing anyone but her own family.
To ALL OF THOSE QUESTIONING HER QUALIFICATIONS – Caroline has one more qualification than our present Jr. Senator. SHE LIVES HERE and has for most of her life.
Good for you Caroline, Barack Obama has inspired million who never before thought to be involved with Politics.. and ....
(empty vessel)... you named yourself well... now back to Caroline Kennedy... inspired she seems to be, can come up with the money and name to run again... Kennedy's have been raised to be knowledgable about politic and the world and taught to PUT BACK into the world... and most have done so.. I say that not being a Kennedy fan but a citizen of this world who has observe that. ... again Good for you Caroline best of luck to getting the position..
The name sounds great, and I'm sure she will get whatever she wants, but at this time and with everything going on, shouldn't we get someone in ther with some experience? Next thing you know, she'll be running for president.
Haven't we had enough of career politicians and political family dynasties????
Enough of the Kennedys, Bushes, Clintons, Doles, Rockefellers, etc. THEY'RE the ones to blame for the mess we're in!!!!!!!!!!! Wake up!!!
Unbelieveable, yet not surprising. What about earning and working toward the position? How about garnering some votes? Caroline asks for the position, and she gets it? She and her family are trying to pressure Patterson into giving her the position through Media perception and polls. I'm starting to wonder if Obama asked Hillary to be Sec of State for this purpose? The nerve of these people. I hope Patterson stands up aganist the Kennedys. I won't hold my breath.
come on, leave her alone now. over half of america voted for an inexperienced first term empty suit socialist to be potus, what would the difference be for voting another inexperienced person into higher politics
I confess: I like the idea of another attractive woman in that seat.
If I still lived in New York, I would be excited about the possibility of another star representing the state in the United States Senate, because I think that she will accomplish a lot.
I hope that the new Senator Kennedy works closely with the new president.
The country is going to hell in a hand-basket and some idiots out there want to re-visit Camelot.
I think before anyone attacks her for being unqualified, you should actually do some research into her background. Caroline Kennedy has a established track record of public service, raising lots of money for the NYC public school system. She is a lawyer, an author and has been at the helm of several important organizations. Additionally, she is apparently VERY intelligent, which is much more than I think we can say for Mrs. Palin.
I don't think the senate seat should be handed along to just anyone, but Caroline Kennedy seems like a very viable candidate.
You go girl!!!
Her father really wasn't all that as a leader. What makes her think she has any qualifications?
You wrote: "The Kennedy family is the epitomy of not only politics, but more importantly of STATESMANSHIP. Let's remember that this woman was born and raised in a family that asked "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. ".
If you check the Congressional Record, you will see that Ted Kennedy once said that Socialism will work in the US if he ran the country. That is IN THE RECORD.
The Kennedy Family, with all due respect to JFK, has become a joke.
Did korker have experience for the senet?
The ones in there now all started with no experience.
Whats with you Kennedy haters, nothing to watch on TV?.
Thats why the Gov. gets to appoint the sen. person to fill vacancies.
Do eny of you think about the country without mudding the water with