December 15th, 2008
03:01 PM ET
9 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. geecee827

    Caroline Kennedy is an attorney, which means she is well-educated, knows the law, and the Constitution, and she has written several books. She has kept herself out of the gossip columns all these years and is an exemplary individual. She is well aware of what this country needs to make it great again, and keep it on a progressive path to regaining its strength and respect around the world. She can only help in these causes. And since she has so much money as many of you seem to think, then you don't have to worry that she will try to "extort" money from anyone to gain any more wealth. That has to be a plus, wouldn't you say? This may even put her beyond the lobbyists' reach, or at least we can hope so.

    December 15, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. Samuel

    Yes, yes, yes, yes to Caroline Kennedy. She thinks before she write or opens her mouth. There is no better candidate that I know of right now. Politics will probably not be the same when she is appointed to the senate. She is cool. She is nice. She is calm. She is level headed. She is a senator. Go Caroline, go.

    December 15, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. carol

    Good for Caroline, I hope she gets the seat if she really wants it.....she will do a good job I'm sure.

    December 15, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. Alan

    James says: "Looks like Princess Caroline will get what she wants. Please explain to me how Democrats can reject Hillary Clinton because they didn't want anymore "dynasty politics" and ridicule Sarah Palin over her inexperience and still be excited over Caroline KENNEDY, who has ZERO public experience, getting a Senate seat that she doesn't deserve.

    It's yet another slap on Hillary Clinton's face by giving a seat to a person who did not support her in the election."

    Wake up, brainiac - Palin wasn't running for the Senate. That's a place you GET your experience. She was running for VICE FRICKING PRESIDENT behind someone who could drop dead at any moment from age, making her PRESIDENT.

    Whether she has what it takes to handle the job will be decided by the voters after she does.

    Sheeeeesh. Palin is DEMONSTRATABLY STUPID. They kept her AWAY from the press cause she turned into an idiot whenever an INTELLIGENT reporter asked her questions.

    Different issue entirely. Caroline at least seems INTELLIGENT.

    December 15, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. shucks

    Kennedy = Harvard graduate Palin = beauty queen

    December 15, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. Barbara

    Qualifications: law degree, (member of New York and DC bar) fund raiser for worthy causes, director of Kennedy projects, author, citizen of New York state for many years (unlike Hillary the Carpetbagger).
    Those who question her qualifications must be plain old ignorant and incapable of looking up information

    I hope Caroline is in the Senate to continue the work of her "Uncle Teddy" when he is no longer able to be there himself.

    December 15, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. NJVote08

    To: James December 15th, 2008 3:06 pm ET

    I don't live in New York and it does not matter one way or the other to me who they select to replace Hilary, but you need to mind your business and get a life!

    P.S. Sarah Palin is still a brainless, over ambitious wingding. Caroline has a brain and knows how to use it. Thank you very much!

    December 15, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Agnes Fleming

    A fantastic idea! I wish her all the luck in the world.

    December 15, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. Olivia

    If Caroline Kennedy want to be the NY senator, she should campaign and work for it like all the others have.
    Others that are interested have been doing it the hard way. Working in the trenches, waiting patiently and learning to do the job.
    Besides, I don't think she has the personality to go with the job.

    December 15, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. Cathy

    Many people seem to forget, Hillary Clinton had to run for the Senate. She was not anointed. She had to raise money, campaign and participate in debates. She is a senator from New York because she was elected to that position – twice. Both Democrats and Republicans agree that Clinton is a hardworking Senator who diligently advocated on behalf of her state - the whole state. Now, while I like Caroline Kennedy, I just can’t see her in upstate New York, hanging out with the farmers. But maybe she will surprise me.

    December 15, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Jennifer

    Yeah! A smart and sophisticated woman who will help to undo the ridicule that Palin brought to my sex. And who did an excellent job choosing our next vice president. Go Caroline!!!

    December 15, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. diane ca


    December 15, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  13. Stoney S

    I hope that Caroline Kennedy does not get that Senate seat. She is no smarter than a horse.

    December 15, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. Nancy

    Just because he father wasn't all that of a leader (to you) does not mean she wouldn't be good for the job.

    December 15, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Ernie in LA

    She should spend several million dollars and campaign for it. She just wants it handed to her like everything else she has ever had.

    December 15, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. Bruce Parsons

    Is anybody left in New York? It seems they even have to out-source senators.

    December 15, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. Ernie in LA

    All she has to do is be able to vote "present".

    December 15, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. steve

    aside from the fact that she resembles ann coulter, what makes this lady in any way qualified to be in politics?
    her resume is about as long as obama's, which is to say there isn't one.

    kennedys doing what kennedys do best – looking for fame and celebrity and a free paycheck from the public dime. keep fighting to stay relevant kennedys!! eventually the rest of america will get as sick of your dynasty as i am.

    December 15, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  19. rayster

    You bitter poeple are sick. Your comments are absolute crap.
    Base the appointment comments on the ability of the individual not your political prefrence.
    Non of the senators had experience when they got there for the first time.
    Remember thats how the system works

    December 15, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  20. Matt

    N E P O T I S M

    look it up

    December 15, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  21. Give me a break

    Do you really think its going to make a difference what the taxpayers of NY want. Don't think so... Politics as usual..

    I loved Jack and Bobby, but putting that aside, the Kennedy's are a there and this will never change.

    Chicago at its best....

    December 15, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. From NY

    Caroline – you have my support. I voted for Obama who also had no experience, so far my expectations have been met.

    December 15, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. Amber (Dem in FL)

    She makes me ILL!

    No more entitlement positions. Take her last name away, and she would not even be a consideration!!!

    December 15, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. Samantha

    I really think Andrew Cuomo is more qualified, and his family has quite a history of service to New York, but really, it's about Cuomo himself and it should be about Caroline herself.

    December 15, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  25. alexa

    She's not really qualified! She just has a famous last name. Palin was mocked for being unexperience. I respect her but she should run for rep or something similar.

    December 15, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
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