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. PS

    Is it Kennedy ploy to begin with?


    A Offer Hillary some cabinet post
    B As a result, NY senate position will be open
    C Place caroline in that position
    D Obama will show big diffrence in opinion in forign policy with Hillary within one year
    E Hillary will resign
    F End of a carrier of a most competent woman senator in US history
    just because of the whimps of one person


    Should Harry Reid Call Governor of NY? It is also insult to the NY voters. David Peterson represents the voters of NY not Harry Ried

    December 16, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  2. dee


    Done Deal

    congrats to her
    Hillary, stop holding a grudge, You are better than that.
    Obama hired you!
    Dems of old like Hillary will unite or fold.

    December 16, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  3. NancY RADIN

    Give it to her and God Bless her. She's had a front row seat at countless major world events for 51 years. If that's not experience, it don't know what experience is..

    December 16, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  4. foxnews

    Funny how experience was important to Democrats when it came to Sarah Palin, but means nothing to them when it comes to Caroline Kennedy.

    December 16, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  5. Soldier 4 OBAMA

    If you are not a New Yorker, you should not talk. She is waaaaaay better than Hillary, Bill, Guilliani, Jeb Bush or any other democrat who want the seat. Patterson would be very bold in choosing her. Her star is rising and she will become our First Female President in 2016. Can you see what OBAMA is cooking!

    December 16, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  6. New Yorker for Kennedy

    The question that needs to be asked is can she get things done for New York? The answer to that is a resounding YES!

    She is a licensed attorney. She has definitely been involved in promoting causes close to average New Yorkers like myself- such as public school reform and, yes because of her name, she can command attention and help bring about great things for this state that a less well-known candidate might not be able to. So I say for New York's sake, please, Governor Paterson, appoint Ms Kennedy as the junior senator.

    December 16, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. Tim

    As much as I like Caroline Kennedy, I would prefer the Kennedy's go away with the Bushes and the Clintons.

    All three clans need to get out of American politics.

    December 16, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  8. Linda

    It is amazing that over 40% of the population believed that Sarah Palin who had only a bachelor's degree from the University of Idaho and had no experience or knowledge of political science, law or foreign affairs was qualified to be the President. Caroline Kennedy has a law degree from Harvard University and was surrounded by and educated by many Kennedy's including her mother who had been the first lady and the Senior Senator Kennedy. As a result, I suspect she has a lot of experience and knowledge which prepares her to be a senator. Her integrity is of the highest calibre and it appears that her motivation to give something back to society is genuine. She's well qualified as noted by both Democrat and Republican senators.

    December 16, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  9. neil

    Change??? We need a wholesale change in the people in politics, no more Bush, Kennedy, Clinton, Daley, etc. This country has been ruled by "royalty" and special interests for to long enough. "Chicago" politics has to stop we need true change to clean the corrupt old boys club and their families out of our government.

    December 16, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  10. Barry

    IIllinois has a case of buying a Senate seat and now New York because she has the Kennedy name they are supposed to give or hand it to her.

    What ever happened to earning something?

    If this election was supposed to be about change, actually mean that and get some new blood into politics and not the same names and families.

    December 16, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  11. Chris

    I don't understand how the Obama supporters are supporting Caroline Kennedy for U.S. Senate.

    Didn't you all vote to "change" the politics of entitlement, the status-quo, and cynicism?

    Seems to me that it still is politics as usual.

    December 16, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  12. Viet Vet

    Here we go again- -Not Experienced
    That's a good thing in my eyes.
    Not corrupted enough- -yet
    Look at some politicians, the longer in office the more corrupt.
    Give her a shot, what have you got to lose?

    December 16, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  13. Jim

    She's lived in government and politics her whole life??? What a joke. She is no more quaified than my golden retriever!

    December 16, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  14. Perusing-Through

    CORRECTION to Francisco Cardenas who said:
    "Wonderful thing about being a Senator or Congress-person … no qualifications required … or so it seems".

    The qualification for Senator & Congressman are required and they are:
    [1.] U.S. citizenship and formal resident for the district you represent.
    [2.] Must be at an adult age.
    [3.] Able to raise enough money to beat the other Party's candidate.
    [4.] Knowledge of the law because it will be your job to legislate law.
    [5.] Familiarity with the Constitution is a big plus because you will run into political officials that will attempt to challenge the Constitution.
    [6.] In possession of Wisdom, Judgment, Discernment and Prudence.
    [7.] Good Common Sense and Intelligence.

    Notice: Sarah Palin as V.P candidate DID NOT possess the final four qualifications, items 4-through-7.

    December 16, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  15. Mike in NYC

    Royalty is soooooo boring.

    December 16, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. JIM...TX

    Now there's a ringing endorsement...Reid:(

    December 16, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  17. Dem from NY

    Though I like Caroline, I think it would be a sad day in American politics if she gets the seat.

    She is not nearly as qualified as the numerous other reps. from NY.

    If she gets it, it is because of political pressure from the uncle, and because of her last name.

    Let her do something actually worthy of the position, and if she runs later (with more qualifications) I'd gladly support her.

    December 16, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  18. California Gold

    As per the Constitution of the United States these are the requirements to become a Senator:

    1. at least 30 years old.

    2. a U.S. citizen for at least nine years at the time of election to the Senate.

    3. a resident of the state one is elected to represent in the Senate.

    Since Mrs. Kennedy satisfies these requirements she is qualified to accept an appointment. If you don't like her, or you reject her family of origin, or you dislike Kennedys, or you don't want another female Senator, or you don't want another Democrat party Senator, or you reject her experience, literary accomplishments, management skills, law background, and the fact she isn't some old fuddy duddy with years of paybacks on her ledger sheet that's fine. But according to the Constutituion she meets the requirements and is fully qualified to serve.

    December 16, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  19. Tom Shell

    I think I will change my name to Kennedy. Then, maybe I can become Senator too.

    December 16, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  20. Steve NY

    The only qualification is that it is someone as liberal as HC.

    December 16, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  21. DeVone

    if we could have moviestars and busness man who
    has no clue of real people why not an fomar presidents daughter
    we need people who live life as people to help recapture

    December 16, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  22. Gays for Obama

    She would be perfect. No scandal and a name respected by most Americans. We need our world image back. A Kennedy is not likely to hurt that prospect at all.

    December 16, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  23. BoBo

    What happened to choosing the best candidate for the job? Is the fact that she's a Kennedy and a woman qualify her? It's really sad,

    December 16, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  24. SMK

    Sweet, Harry Reid thinks she is qualified to be in the Senate. All she has to do is sit there and look pretty, since the Senate hasn't done much of anything for the past 2 years. When do we get to replace all these idiots who think they are doing a good job? Nancy, Harry and the lot of them have helped screw up this Country by their inaction. Why don't they try this...What ever Harry and Nancy want, do the exact opposite and it will fix all the wrongs they have caused.

    December 16, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  25. T

    Stars from New York??? Our Elected official are supposed to be stars???

    December 16, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
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