January 1st, 2009
06:16 PM ET
9 years ago

Kennedy clears political hurdle

A powerful New York Democrat now says he will support Kennedy if she is named Senator.

A powerful New York Democrat now says he will support Kennedy if she is named Senator.

(CNN) - Caroline Kennedy appears to have cleared a big hurdle in her quest to replace outgoing New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.

New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a powerful Democrat who has questioned whether Kennedy is the best choice to fill the likely vacant seat, said Wednesday he will support Kennedy should she ultimately be appointed to the post.

"I have determined there's a good possibility she will be the appointee of the governor," Silver told the New York Post. "If she is the appointee of the governor, I will certainly be supportive of her. I will work for her and will work strenuously for her election."

Silver's comments differ markedly from his statements last week, when he suggested Kennedy is too closely allied with Michael Bloomberg, the Republican-turned-Independent New York City Mayor.

"If I were the governor, I would look and question whether this is the appointment I would want to make: whether her first obligation might be to the mayor of the City of New York, rather than to the governor who would be appointing her," Silver told an Albany radio station then.

Related: Kennedy says she's best for the job

In the interview with the Post, Silver acknowledged he is now more favorable of Kennedy than he was last week, and said she will likely help the governor get elected to a full term in 2010 if she is on the ballot herself.

"The governor, I think, wants to run [in 2010] with a strong candidate, and I'm sureā€¦having a well-known woman on the ticket will be helpful," he said.

Paterson has the sole responsibility of picking Clinton's replacement. His pick would serve for two years before running in a special election in 2010. If the candidate won that contest, he or she would have to run again in 2012, when Clinton's term ends.

Related: Kennedy's public campaign may box in Paterson

Filed under: Caroline Kennedy
soundoff (355 Responses)
  1. Apples for sale

    Shes a great choice.

    January 1, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  2. Artrina

    Gov Paterson should just appoint a 2 year caretaker for the seat – someone who is known to all New Yorkers and promises not to run for the seat in 2010. Then if Mz Kennedy or whatever her legal name is REALLY want the seat she can run for it like everyone else and face the scrutiny of a REAL election.

    I used to like Rep Silver. Now I wonder if anyone has him on tape taking a bribe to support her like Gov Blaggo in IL...

    January 1, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  3. dan

    Why not appoint Kennedy? Like Obama, she is the ideal "Pop Culture" pick.

    January 1, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  4. Paul H

    Do only the stars get in office now. Come on are we looking for leaders anymore, or icons. All she has is her family back ground, there is nothing else in her credentials that says shes ready for any kind of Senate seat. This is happening right in front of our eyes, and our politicians don't seem to care how the people really feel, or they think we are to stupid to know whats going on. People need to speak up or we wont have a voice anymore.

    January 1, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. George Munn

    I am a Canadian , but if I a chose I would pick the one nobody"s is talking about the one who has more qualifications then anybody else I can think of and that is Fran Dresuer "NANNY"

    January 1, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  6. Tully

    For someone who had openly opposed Senator Clinton in favor of Senator Obama, I was surprised to see Caroline Kennedy so eagerly seeking to fill Senator Clinton 's vacant seat. It seems in politics there is no such thing as shame or integrity as long as you get what you want. I would like to see Governor Paterson having the courage to appoint an experienced Hispanic or Asian congresswoman for that seat, someone who has paid her due in public service instead of someone who has plenty of money and a big name.

    January 1, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  7. Al, California

    She is most probably very good and very qualified, but I don't like when power is kept in royal families. Bush, Clinton etc. Much better is when we see examples of upward mobility – like Obama.

    January 1, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  8. Ace

    This is a joke. This lady has NEVER been elected to any public office. There are many more qualified candidates in NY (i.e. Andrew Cuomo) for her to be considered. If she had a different last name, we wouldn't be talking about her. Then again this is the same seat that was given to Hillary when she never lived in NY. The scary part that the seat will be given by a blind governor who was never elected as a Governor of NY.

    January 1, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  9. Gordon Shumway

    It is amazing the way politics works....... A name, exerting of influence, some money gets "donated" or "contributed", a sweetheart deal is made and suddenly you are a senator. Hell, you might eventually even get elected! One might even buy the presidency if they play the money.........., er, cards, right.

    January 1, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  10. Christine D

    Must be nice to be rich and famous, because that is all she is.

    January 1, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  11. Ralph

    Name of Kennedy equals no qualifications to be anything. She thinks last name is all the qualifications she needs. WRONG.

    January 1, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  12. David

    I think Caroline Kennedy will be an excellent addition to the House of Lords.

    January 1, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  13. Denise

    Concerned Democrat, I am with you. As a life long Democrat, I will be switching parties (Green party) if Caroline Kennedy gets the appointment.

    I also think that this will be a huge opportunity for Republicans. McCain tried to run as the candidate of the commom people and failed, but they might not be as unlucky next time. With a Caroline Kennedy senate appointment and Hillary Clinton SoS appointment, Republicans can just talk about Democrats as the party of dynasties while they represent the common man. If the economy doesn't improve by 2010, Republicans just might be able to pull it off.

    January 1, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  14. Rod

    Let's all bow down and annoint her royal highness. America owes it to her! What's wrong with free handouts to overhyped, underqualified, politically unambitious token females with a famous name? I'm all for it, long live nepotism! However why does it have to be her? Does she even have a pulse? Her complete lack of charisma at the Kennedy Center honors the other night definitely made me a believer. I guess with typical politicians today that anybody can be a contender.

    January 1, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  15. andrew

    I dont know why Mr. Silver questioned whether Ms. Kennedy would owe obligations to Mayor Bloomberg or Governor Paterson. Why should a United States Senator owe obligation to anyone but the people of New York??? Politicians should remember they serve the people not each other.

    January 1, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  16. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    Tsk, tsk and shame on those making nasty comments on Ms. Kennedy's personal appearance: I'd ask how shallow people can be but the answer would be scary.

    She's raised her children and is ready to start a new chapter in her life. She's smart, well educated and ready to learn. I can name 10 Senators who are still "not qualified" even after one or two terms... would you rather have someone like Tom DeLay? He may have qualifications but certainly no ethics ...

    As for Senator Clinton, one on her many contributions was keeping the Presidential Helicopter Contract in upstate NY – added over 800 jobs to the local economy there.

    With all the obstructionist meanderings planned by the GOP (always putting party before country) we need someone who knows her own mind... not just another partisan politician.

    January 1, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  17. NV, NYC

    She (Kennedy) said, that she was not interested in politic before her children pointed out about this new candidate for the White House (Barack). She listened one of his speeches and got so inspired! Now she wants to be a Senator. I don't want Senator who needs to be inspired to serve people of my state.

    January 1, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  18. FL Democrat

    Ewww.....her sense of entitlement makes me sick.

    January 1, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  19. Candido

    In loving memory of RFK. I wish you get an opportunity to serve at his old seat. Show them what you have and run again in 2010.
    Good luck.

    January 1, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  20. Rick

    She has no experience, just a name. I have more experience working with people, buinesses and maintaining budgets than she does, but I 'm missing the famous name...

    January 1, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  21. Steve

    I live in OHIO. Who cares?

    Nobody outside of NY and the fawning, toady media.

    January 1, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  22. sb

    Hmmm, I would have thought it better to pick the Teacher of the year in New York? You know, So, I guess this means the You know, Sarah Palin You know, is good to go in 4 years, you know, um, you know, stupid libs...

    January 1, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  23. H


    January 1, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. Tom

    Isn't her first loyalty to the people of New York?

    January 1, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  25. jack

    People quit complaining. New York has always allowed popular, rich, well connected carpetbaggers move to the big Apple and take a Senate seat no matter what their qualifications.

    Bobby (popular,rich) held the seat. This is what made the seat attractive to the unqualified first Lady (well connected) Hillary. It was available if you just moved to NYC.

    At least Caroline lives in New York. She didn't move there to take the job.

    January 1, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
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