December 16th, 2008
04:20 PM ET
9 years ago

Senate Majority Leader wants Kennedy to replace Clinton

Senate Leader Harry Reid has thrown his support behind Caroline Kennedy in her bid to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate.

Senate Leader Harry Reid has thrown his support behind Caroline Kennedy in her bid to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is backing Caroline Kennedy to replace Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton as the next senator from New York.

Watch: Reid on Kennedy

The majority leader told Nevada Political analyst Jon Ralston Tuesday that he personally called New York Gov. David Paterson urging him to appoint Kennedy to the seat.

“She's 52 years old,” Reid said in an interview on Ralston’s Nevada-based television show ‘Face-to-Face.’ “I've spoken to her. She was part of a vetting process for vice presidential choices for Obama. She's lived in government and politics her whole life. I think it would be a tremendous thing....We have a lot of stars from New York. Bobby Kennedy. Hillary Clinton. I think Caroline Kennedy would be perfect. “

When asked by Ralston if he planned on calling the governor, Reid answered, “I already have.”

A Reid spokesman confirms to CNN that the majority leader called Paterson last week expressing his support for Kennedy.

But even as Reid is supporting Kennedy for Senate, some Clinton supporters aren't so enthusiastic - including Rep. Anthony Weiner and Robert Zimmerman - a CNN contributor, DNC member and Clinton supporter.

But a person familiar with the replacement process says supporters who made anti-Kennedy comments were immediately rebuked by the Clinton team.

Meanwhile, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, who supported Clinton, chided critics who questioned Kennedy's qualifications.

"I say it's boloney. I say she's as qualified as those in the Senate. I think there are a lot of qualified people in the Senate, some are not qualified. She's as qualified as the best," he said.

Filed under: Caroline Kennedy • Harry Reid • Popular Posts
soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. IRISH

    Why should it matter who Harry Reid wants to replace Clinton? He has no knowledge what or who the people of New York want and need. He's just trying to get some points with Teddy.

    December 16, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. lescroc

    Harry Reid, you been sticking your head under a rock so long your brain dead! OBAMA said CHANGE your saying business as usuall
    why dont you retire and give us all a CHANGE.

    December 16, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. obama-mama

    Oh boy....People are going to be ticked that think they have waited long enough for the job. Just sit back and watch it all unfold.....Politics is fun

    December 16, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. Gerda Edwards

    She's 52, Reid talked with her, and she helped select Biden (who is the complete opposite of any message for "Change"). And don't forget that she had the same qualifications that Clinton had – she's actually lived in the White House.

    Now THAT makes her the "perfect" fit!!!

    With Salazar leaving, it looks like Kennedys 2; Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans 0.

    December 16, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. Bridgette-PA


    December 16, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. JG

    Its nice to know that a senator from Nevada wants to tell those of us from NY who should be our senator. How about letting us pick the speaker of the house then, thats an even trade.

    December 16, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. James

    Harry Reid, probably one of the worst Senate Majority Leaders in American history, offering his opinion on who would be a good Senator? The fact that this incompetent leader thinks Mrs. Kennedy would be a good Senator should give anyone pause.

    December 16, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Dennis

    Nothing like starting at the top. At least Andrew Cuomo has a background . People thought Sarah Palin was too inexperienced, Carolyn Kennedy isn't even on the radaar screen.

    December 16, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. Scotty

    I believe she has no interest in the position at all. It all seems like an ego boost for herself because her last name is Kennedy. Put someone in who actually cares.

    December 16, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. JLA

    I'd do her.

    December 16, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. Has DC gone racist and sexist?

    I hear that the NY Governor is under extreme pressure to appoint a female senator to replace Mrs Clinton. I hear many people say that it was time for a black president to be elected. What ever happened to our system of no sexism and no racism. We are going backwards again in our thinking. If Caroline Kennedy's name was Angelina Jolie or Oprah Winfrey or any other non experienced celebrity, they would not even be considered – end of story. Caroline is not right. If Obama had been white, he would still be a senator facing a hard reelection. We do not need affirmative action in Washington DC. And we do not need to appoint Caroline simple because of her name and Camelot story.

    December 16, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. Willy Brown

    Harry just give the gov. of NY some money and he'll buy her that seat. She'll fit right in, A name sake but record just like that obama guy.

    December 16, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Texas Teacher

    Well said, Reid! Just simply well said! 🙂

    December 16, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. Willis, TX

    I support her too!!

    December 16, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. Bill the blogger

    I always thought America had over 300 million people who valued their freedom from the political nepotism that afflicts so much of the world – so why do we feel the need to turn to the same tired faces/families every time a big political slot falls open? Aren't two lots of Clintons and Bushes enough? Now we want more Kennedy's? Come on people, we get the leadership we deserve and we deserve better than this!

    December 16, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  16. Ed

    How stupid, because of her name, no other reason or just to piss Hillary off?

    December 16, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. Joseph Adewole

    It will be the greatest New Year present that has ever been given to anyone – including myself. She is a great daughter of a great Father and the best niece of a great Uncle.
    Please, give her every support; she deserve it.

    December 16, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  18. Garfield

    Why is not a special election called whenever a Senator resigns.

    Seems to me that the people should decide not some official.

    December 16, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. Democrats RULE Caroline Kennedy.

    December 16, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. BJ

    And she would vote lockstep with the rest of the dumbocrats...

    December 16, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. Billy J

    The Kennedy's have some great qualities. But what makes Caroline ready for the senate (other than Reid being star struck by her name). If yer gonna put some body 'famous' in there. I say pick Fran Drescher. She has proven herself to be a much more motivated individual than what I can see of Caroline, and we need more women AND men of iron up there these days. I wish we had someone smarter, stronger and more charismatic than Reid. He doesn't inspire me for squat.

    December 16, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  22. tired of corporate politics

    As I recall the Obama fans were really down on continuing Washington DC dynasties so they certainly wouldn't want a Kennedy, right? I mean we need to change politics as usual.

    Or is this change a part of the changing definition of change, or has that changed?

    December 16, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  23. conservative and veteran

    All you commoners hail and bow down ; another Kennedy is coming to town! Don't you just love this senseless country !

    December 16, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. Pat F

    Well, if the genius Harry Reid wants her, 'nuf said. Who cares about her qualifications?

    He can't lead the Senate out of a wet paper bag with a machete, and he's naming senators?

    December 16, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. Matt

    NO NO NO NO NO!!!! When are the Dems in office going to stop acting in a self-destructive manner? Reid is a total moron on this count. We shouldn't be seen as supporting the same old-boys-network nepotism-based political machine that has ruined this country!!!! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, SAY NO TO NAME-BASED POLITICS.

    December 16, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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