December 16th, 2008
04:20 PM ET
5 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. MT

    Wonderful thing about being a Kennedy, nothing ever required to get a job...or so it seems.

    December 16, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  2. Republican in Boston

    Hey, we already have a president-elect with no qualification...so having a senator with no qualifications seems like a normal thing these days. Just have a politically correct skin color or last name and you're in.

    December 16, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  3. Republican in Boston

    Hey, we already have a president-elect with no qualifications. Having a senator with no qualifications seems like a normal thing these days. Have a politically correct skin color or last name and you're in.

    December 16, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. CAW in MD

    @Francisco,

    (Full disclosure - I don't care if Caroline Kennedy gets Hillary's seat or not...)

    The bar of "qualifications" for the Senate or House is a lot different than say governor or President. In Congress you can learn the ropes and gain that experience - you're one vote out of 100 or 435. The Constitution envisioned citizen legislators, which leaves room for a lot of different experience to count as "qualifications".

    December 16, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. Soccer Nana

    Exactly what are the "qualifications" for U.S. Congress or U.S. Senate? If a comedian qualifies, why can't an accomplished attorney, author, library executive, education fundraiser, and recent vice president vetting committee member?

    December 16, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. Rick

    Nobody should be appointed to a senate seat without having at least run for some office before. This idea that my name entitles me to move to the front of the line and be handed something of great value that others have spent years working toward is obscene. As nice as she may be, she's never held office, run for office, and never had a full-time job.

    Gov. Paterson should reject all of this public pressure that Kennedy's friends are trying to put on him. There are others more deserving who would be able to hit the ground running.

    December 16, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  7. sunshine

    SHE WILL BE GREAT.

    December 16, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    With the name like Kennedy, Bush or Clinton why would anyone need experience. There names counts for everything.

    December 16, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  9. Ed

    Well, she can't be any worse than her scumbag womanizer uncle Ted.

    December 16, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  10. confused??

    I guess if you have lived,worked ,or ever visited the white house
    that you are qualified to be a Senator. Lets see if the name Bush,
    Clinton or kennedy can get you a job that you couldn't get if your
    name was Smith or Jones and you were overly qualified.

    Ah change at last

    December 16, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  11. Vicki5

    I don't know. It seems like she'd only be getting the seat because of her name. From what I understand there are other qualified and interested candidates. I'm thinking NO. She could just be a little star-struck at the moment too, since it doesn't seem like she has been after the seat for any length of time.

    December 16, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  12. Matt

    Nepotism. Maybe we should throw shoes at Reid too.

    December 16, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  13. Alan

    Francisco - that whole issue was taken care of when the Republicans decided Sarah Palin was qualified to run for Vice-President. Now ANYTHING goes.

    December 16, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  14. J. McKinney

    Caroline Kennedy as a senator, with her complete lack of experience, and the quiet, non-political life she has lived, would be ridiculous.

    December 16, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  15. Teresa, OH

    I think Ms. Kennedy has as much qualifications to be a senator as Mr. Obama has to be president.

    Let the games begin !

    December 16, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  16. ABG

    If Governor Patterson gives the nod to Caroline Kennedy to replace Hillary Clinton, I bet she will be our first female President!

    December 16, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  17. Teresa, OH

    I think Ms. Kennedy has as many qualifications to be a senator as Mr. Obama has to be president.

    Let the games begin !

    December 16, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  18. Rolly

    I think we need more non-professional politicians. She will do just fine.

    December 16, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  19. FreeNLovIt

    Yes, pick her and if you thinnk you got it, bring it on 2010!! See you at the battle grounds, knocking on doors.

    December 16, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  20. Independant/Voter

    Change? Another Kennedy?

    December 16, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  21. Pamela Dupuy

    I feel Caroline Kennedy is very qualified to serve New York in the U.S. Senate. For those who question her credentials I suggest you look no further than the talented and effective Lindy Boggs who represented Louisiana as a replacement after her husband, Hale, was killed in an airplane accident. Granted, Mrs. Boggs served in the House of Representatives, but I feel her credentials (to fill her husbands' post) were equal to Ms Kennedy's and she served Louisiana quite well. Look at the records of Sonny Bono's widow, Mary Bono Mack, as well as Lindy Boggs (D-LA), Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), Lois Capps (D-CA), and Doris Matsui (D-CA) before thinking Caroline Kennedy can't do a fine job in the Senate. Bah and humbug to you naysayers.

    December 16, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  22. Perusing-Through

    You Go, Girl!

    December 16, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  23. BB

    Hey Kennedy, take a hike, this New Yorker does not want your sorry butt representing him. What the heck do you know about NY, especially upstate. Do yourself a favor, take your millions, go away, and live happily ever after.

    December 16, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  24. Walt, Belton,TX

    A sober, I trust, Kennedy in the Senate. What a novel idea!

    December 16, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  25. Conrad

    Yes, it IS a wonderful thing, Mr. Cardenas. Congress represents the people, so, except for a minimum age, minimum length of US citizenship, and residency, no other qualifications are required to be a member of Congress.

    December 16, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
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