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. Tom, Cary, NC

    Gee, you would think the Democrats would be no fan of political children getting into office. And, in a democracy, shouldn't the New York Governor get to pick the person who will help New York best, Mr. Reid? (Wait, I forgot – the predecessor was from ARKANSAS!)

    December 16, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  2. Remy

    If retard Bush be a president, Kennedy is FAR better to be a Senater.

    December 16, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  3. imer

    Why not run for President? Challenge Obama in 20112. It should be a great duel for the press. Who'll be the darling in the contest?

    After seeing Obama's success, our self-delcared house-wife might be tasting the White House.

    Is she qualified? You bet she is.

    I have a dog named Kennedy. Is she qualified? You bet she is.

    In 2012, Obama's dog will also have four years experience in the white house, most of which being with the President. Is it qualified? You bet it is.

    This process of nomiation stinks. In the wake of the Illinois debacle, why not have an election in all the states for senators?

    December 16, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  4. Look ALIVE!

    If you ask me...OK,...So, I THINK that Caroline is Americas equivilent of Pricess Di...

    December 16, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  5. NV, NYC

    He (Reid ) will easily manipulate her opinion on any subject. She just needs an inspiration and it is a done deal.

    December 16, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  6. ED Fl

    That would be great if she was taking over Reid or Pelosi's job.Inexperience or incompetence should make no difference at all for an improvement in the former positions

    December 16, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  7. Alex

    Harry Reid has been worthless as Senate Majority Leader, I hope Paterson looks to more competent, principled advisers in making his selection.

    December 16, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  8. Lawnguyland Guy

    I'm all for a Senator with national stature and fundraising abilities, but would we really be appointing her if her name was Caroline Smith? The answer is no. As far as whats best for NY state, I don't think she's the best choice.

    Hillary might not have had elected office then but at least she was rigorously involved in politics, you know being a "co-president", like her critics claimed.

    December 16, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  9. Francisco is clueless

    Sorry kid, but if you're JFK's daughter ... you're qualified.

    She's got a pedigree of success in the private sector and her charity work that rivals any senator that wasn't a public servant prior to becoming elected to the senate. She'd also win a special election in a heartbeat.

    December 16, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  10. tess

    let me get this straight – hillary, married to a president, never lived in new york until it was beneficial to her, never did anything on her own to be proud of, followed her hapless husband from arkansas anywhere he wanted to go and became first lady because she was married to him. now we have caroline, respected lawyer, fund raiser, active in new york arts, charities, active politically for her cousins, uncles ,and actuallly is a resident of new york! how in gods name can the clintonoids try to undercut caroline! their green eyed jealousy is all too obvious . and for their information, you can't compete with the kennedy dynasty clintons – it takes more than one generation to rise from trailor park to dynasty!!!!

    December 16, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  11. Clinton, NV

    I'm a fan of Caroline but waiting till she can be selected by the Gov. to be a Senator rather than running and earning the position is crap. If her name wasn't Kennedy she wouldn't be on anyone's short list nor would she have the gall to actually pursue the position. Run for office, earn your dues and then maybe you'll be qualified and worthy of the U.S. Senate.

    December 16, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  12. Alice

    While I am not a particular fan of a Caroline Kennedy appointment, I DO think she is qualified and suggest those of you who question her qualifications take alook at her Bio.

    Just because you personally have not followed her career, or because she has not sought out the media, doesn't mean she is not equally or more qualified than those who have. She is a super-smart lawyer who has been involved in public works (and quiet politics) all her life. She would be an excellent Senator.

    To me, the big question is whether she would be a good campaigner, since the appointee will have to run for re-election in 2010.

    December 16, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  13. Jim in Fllorida

    Ahhhhh, the elitism of the Democratic Party – and they like to throw stones at the Bush family.

    Change you can believe in.....

    Clinton Administration III with a sprinkling of the Kennedy elitists in the Senate.

    The media, still enamored with some mythical Kennedy Camelot, treats the New York Senate Seat like Kennedy is entitled to it.

    Change you can believe in....

    One Kennedy in the US Senate is enough = that august body of men and women who are elitist to the core and who have no clue – simply no clue – to what it is like to live in America for the average person.

    Change you can believe in.....


    December 16, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  14. Humphrey from Chicago

    Its sorry to see Americans have an appetite for royalty.

    December 16, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  15. S Callahan

    Harry should know most New Yorkers WANT Caroline to be their represenative....Patterson why not just offer it to her...

    December 16, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  16. Sara

    Reid is endorsing Caroline Kennedy because she's a Kennedy. Who knew having a famous last name is all it takes to get a Senate seat?

    December 16, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  17. chuck


    December 16, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  18. San Jose

    Francisco, Most men and women in congress and the senate, are attorney's and business or just plain rich and can afford to run for office. You would be suprised to know most never held state or even local office. Mrs. Kennedy has learned more around the dinner table with family than everyone in office.

    December 16, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  19. Cool Guy MD

    Tom, from Cary, NC

    Hillary isn't from Arkansas, lol! She's from Pennsylvania, but don't worry about it, i don't think you made a fool of yourself or anything like that. That thought never crossed my mind! Honest!

    December 16, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  20. Debby

    I guess this is the year for no experience running for office. LOL

    December 16, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  21. Matt

    What a surprise the incompetant Senator Harry Reid is endorsing a fellow incompetant to join him in the US Country Club for Spoiled Brats and Idiots.

    Do we have any standards for being elected or in this case appointed to office? Shouldn't experience be one of them? Or is a last name and memories of her father and feeling bad for her uncles and her brother is enough?

    This is not a government of the people and by the people if Caroline gets appointed.

    I think Harry's only qualification is that she does not smell bad. This country is looking more and more like a joke.

    December 16, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  22. Tyler

    Hey Remy, you shouldn't be calling Bush a retard, when you can't even speak proper english. FYI, its senator, not senater.

    December 16, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  23. An Independent Hillary

    Yup, she's qualified – NOT!

    A socialite with no experience. Guess you gotta start somewhere.

    Lucky her last name is Kennedy or else no one would care WHAT she wanted...

    December 16, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  24. Marshall

    I hate to say this, but Sarah Palin is more qualified than Kennedy. Give this nepotism a rest. This isn't a monarchy.

    December 16, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  25. DE

    Go ahead and give her the seat, but make her promise not to drive anyone across a river until she has been in the senate at least 10 years.

    December 16, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
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