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. Becky, Midwest

    Other than her name, she's stayed away from DC politics. She has no experience. Let's keep it that way. We're all a little sick of the Bushes, Clintons, and yes, Kennedy's. Enough of these clans being in powerful positions.

    December 16, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. Mike

    Why should someone with no political experience be given a senate seat just because her name is Kennedy. This is completely ridiculous.

    December 16, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. Lauren

    Quote,,,, We have a lot of stars from New York

    Is THAT now what the criteria is for running for public office, whether you have star quality?

    Listen, Caroline has spent her enirte life doing good things, I will not deny that. But she has also never held a public office, not even dog catcher. This country slammed Palin for not being qualified, but yet now New York wants star quality with Caroline?
    Why not say Tom Cruise wants the job, or Jennifer Aniston if all it takes is star quality?
    Caroline has no experiance, none, not even a local school board.

    But yet she nows claims to know what she is doing, hires a consulting firm to help her get the job and wants her last name to carry her into public office.
    Whyd id she have to hire the consulting firm? To convince people she knows what to do? Or to buy her way into office?

    I do not feel she should get the job, but will love it if she does. It will set up one hell of a Democratic race for President in 2012.
    Kennedy verses Obama.

    Sort of like a Hollywood movie,,, with star quality.

    December 16, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. V from SC

    If New Yorkers have any commom sense they will back Kennedy. You northerners have enough "celebs" in politics. Voting for the "nanny" would be an insult to America. Let the professionals handle washington. Not actors or actresses who pretend to be professionals. I will miss Hillary in the Senate. But her future now is headed straight to the white house. Paving the way for WOMEN. Lord knows Sarah Palin was just a flop...

    December 16, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. Matt, Chico, CA

    But what does he want in return

    December 16, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  6. R faber

    We need someone in the Senate position that will stand up for we New Yorkers- Someone without other ideas for the future-Hilary did little for us during her time as a NYS Senator as she had her sights focused on the WH- Let's get someone who is seasoned. Cuomo would be a great choice-
    We do not need a celeb in the position

    December 16, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. sweet caroline

    Cheers to Harry Reid!

    Harry Reid never endorsed Obama or Clinton in the primaries, although his son worked on Hillary's campaign.

    Reid is a neutral voice of reason and authority.

    December 16, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. P.J.

    So, if she's appointed is she going to gain 200 pounds and drive off a bridge?

    December 16, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  9. jfs Memhis, Tn

    I think that it is a done deal.........go Caroline. Show the US what a Kennedy is made of and can accomplish for this nation !!!

    December 16, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. Racy

    This is not fair that Caroline is considered better than the way way they considred sara. Americans you should stop judging and hating.

    December 16, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. Democrats

    Not another Carter or Clinton, this is a nation of traditional conservative values of our founding fathers such as George Washington.

    December 16, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    Do New Yorkers really want a carpetbagger from Boston coming in and being given a New York Senate seat?
    So a member of an influential family is getting set to circumvent the electoral process and be given a political powerful position, even given she has never ever served in public office.
    This stinks. Some change, Obama.

    December 16, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. Charm

    Go Caroline! 🙂

    December 16, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. Francisco Cardenas

    Wonderful thing about being a Senator or Congress-person ... no qualifications required ... or so it seems.

    December 16, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  15. Pam Williams

    I really think the people of New York should decide. Maybe the want her or they don't, but they should decide.

    December 16, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. Chris - Denver

    I don't think this is a very good idea. Haven't the last 8 years taught us the perils of selecting public officials based on last name?

    December 16, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  17. No incumbents 2010

    Thats what the Senate needs fresh new names and ideas!

    December 16, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  18. deb in Colo

    What's her age have to do with anything, Harry?

    December 16, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. KLK

    She looks amazing for 52.

    December 16, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. j

    Being the daughter of a famous president doesn't qualify her to be a senator. When are people going to wake up to the fact that our political leaders need to have better qualifications than just being popular or related to someone famous. They need to be intelligent with a wide world view and enough ethics and smarts to lead this country toward a properous future. We end up with too many incompetent and corrupt representatives. There needs to be stricter qualifications for leadership than "my daddy was a famous president".

    December 16, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  21. Don, NY


    December 16, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Reid doesn't get a vote. This is a NY issue. Reid needs to pay attention to his own job and try to get the Congress to actually DO something. For the last 2 years they have been MIA.

    December 16, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  23. sam

    Reid has no credibility. I would opt for a person he didn't support instead of another Kennedy clone. It's pretty hard to picture Caroline stumping in every county of NY state as Hillary did when she ran. Let Schlossberg run for the seat before it gets handed to her because she's a member of the lucky sperm club.

    December 16, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. Matt

    This is a disaster for us Dems. Nepotism of the highest degree. Are we to understand that you' dhave us act no different than the Republicans, Reid? I'd throw my shoes at him right now if I could.

    December 16, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. Denise

    I do not think she is qualified to be Senator based on her name only. Hillary was not qualified either before her initial run. Being married to the President or having a famous name does not make you qualified. Mayor Bloomberg (though it would be a step down) would be qualified, but it would prepare him to run in 2012. I'm sure Caroline could do a good job, but she needs to start out smaller, like being a state represenative or senator. Peopel that are not qualifed are too easily elected just because of the name or ability to speak well.

    December 16, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
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