December 15th, 2008
03:01 PM ET
6 years ago

Kennedy to seek Clinton's seat

Kennedy is interested in Kennedy's Senate seat.
Kennedy is interested in Kennedy's Senate seat.

(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."

Full story

– CNN's John King and Kate Bolduan, and Mark Preston contributed
to this report.


Filed under: Caroline Kennedy
soundoff (255 Responses)
  1. Chuck

    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.

    December 15, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. William in Mount Dora FL

    What has Caroline Kennedy ever done, except be a Kennedy?

    December 15, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. California Gold

    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.

    December 15, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. Lorna, NY

    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.

    December 15, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. LIP

    Nice job James...it couldn't have been said better. Surely there are more qualified people out there whose last name is not Kennedy.

    December 15, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. NY republican

    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

    December 15, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  7. Caroline you ignorant sl**

    This is all the country needs now is another Kennedy lush playing politics with no experience and running on nothing but a name.

    December 15, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  8. bill from pa

    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'

    December 15, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. Susan

    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!

    December 15, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  10. Alex

    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.

    December 15, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. Lorna, NY

    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.

    December 15, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. NY republican

    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.

    December 15, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. Neil Diamond

    Sweet Caroline...
    :-)

    December 15, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. Diana Ewing NJ

    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..

    December 15, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. georgie

    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.

    December 15, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. Gerda Edwards

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    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!!!

    December 15, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  17. lonnette33

    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.

    December 15, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. 3strikes

    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

    December 15, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. Alan

    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.

    December 15, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. Steve

    The country is going to hell in a hand-basket and some idiots out there want to re-visit Camelot.

    December 15, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. Lauren the Designer

    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.

    December 15, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. Sherrol in Canada

    You go girl!!!

    December 15, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  23. Looking for Truth

    Her father really wasn't all that as a leader. What makes her think she has any qualifications?

    December 15, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  24. MD

    To Maria:

    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.

    December 15, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. rayster

    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
    partisan politics.

    December 15, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
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