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. t

    She is one smart lady, people always saying that she has no qualifications. Yes she was born with the silver spoon but i believe that she can make things happen. She never was in the mixs and she is an outsider, she will be open and get the job done for the people of New York.

    January 1, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  2. Martha

    America - get serious! How can a person be appointed without being qualified. This says very little for those that have worked hard, got an education, qualified for the job and once again, another person is appointed. No wonder, we are in the mess we are in. Take a good look at the Senate and Congress...13% approal rate and going lower. There should be an outrage if she gets appointed when so many are qualified in the State. What does this say..name carries more weight than qualification? We are in the mess right now because of "names" than being qualified. America, we must stop this. This is not right, not fair, and obviously, another unqualified person. Why are we allowing this......well no different from our next President. This County needs an overhaul. We will find in the future that qualifications mean little. So, we will get "little".

    January 1, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  3. Messiah watch

    So who does she have to blow to become Senator from New York ? Bill or Hill ?

    January 1, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  4. Briana the college student

    she doesn't even vote in her local elections. The senate is not a hobby.

    January 1, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  5. stacy

    I don't think Caroline Kennedy deserves this position, period. It's ironic that she wants to takeover Hillary Clinton's slot. When Kennedy was on Obama's VP search committee, she totally blew off Hillary Clinton. Clinton did not even make it to the VP short list. given that she campaigned hard and won a lot popular votes in the Primaries. Clinton sacrificed everything, including going into 30+ million dollars debt in pursuit of her dreams. Caroline Kennedy has never invested herself in any type of public service. So, why should she takeover the slot of the very same person she openly dissed and marginalized?

    January 1, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  6. Maggie

    This is such a farce. They let this stupid girl have a senate seat, but they refuse to let Roland Burris, a man of impeccable integrity and a long distinguished public service record take a seat?

    This is why I'm an Independent – neither party has a lick of sense or any honor.

    CHANGE FOR THE BETTER – where is it?

    January 1, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  7. joanjuneau

    I think Caroline Kennedy is more qualified than most people who decide to run for the senate. She has a law degree, a lifetime of familiarity with Washington politics, and a whole family of supporters and their political networks. She has the public service orientation of the Kennedy group, which I am immensely grateful for. And, last, but not least SHE IS THE DAUGHTER OF JOHN F KENNEDY

    January 1, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  8. civicman

    I want to be Senator of New York. I am a citizen, old enough. I have no political experience to speak of. I do support other candidates and I vote.

    Do I have the same opportunity as a Kennedy? In this great country founded on our most basic civic rights and freedoms, do I have the same opportunity to secure a powerful public office position as Caroline Kenned? We have become the very model of we fought against some 250 years ago.

    I am a serf. I have no name, no real money, no connections, just common sense and a few ideas. Thusly, I have no hope, no chance, no opportunity.

    **** the Kennedy's, **** the Clintons, **** the Bushes.

    Off with their heads..........

    January 1, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  9. Greg Hodges

    I agree Caroline Kennedy does not have enough experiance for this appointment; but what really troubles me is the bitterness in some of these comments. The last time I checked; Caroline has NEVER been involved in any major controversy in her life. Apparently simply utter the name Kennedy to some people is enough to send them frothing at the mouth. Some of these comments are disgusting!

    January 1, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  10. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Those pointing out that Kennedy is as qualified to be Senator as Obama is President are right. Let's learn from that mistake and not repeat it.

    January 1, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  11. Ann

    Carolyn Kennedy is a great choice. She is very bright, well educated, poised, mature, articulate, inspirational, and has a great foundation. We need to select people with potential as much as with experience. She should be given the opportunity. We need to look at the skills a leader possesses, one's character, and abilities.

    i have no doubt she will be a good choice. People were ready to select Sarah Pallin, just because she had 18 months experience as a governor, and a mayor of a tiny town? The problem is that she did not have the potential to be a real leader. She did not have the intelligence, character, education, or certainly was not articulate. She did not have the potential or the skills to really lead in times of crisis.

    January 1, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  12. suswah

    For all those who seem to think that Caroline Kennedy is not "qualified" to be Senator...well, many states would love to have her if New York decides they don't want her. She appears to be a thoughtful and intelligent woman who cares about people. Her educational background and family ties are only pluses as far as I can tell.

    I'm glad so many people have the opportunity to express an opinion. I just wish some of them (here) were more thoughtful and intelligent. I would enjoy reading them if they were.

    January 1, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  13. sd

    Mr. Silver doesn't seem to necessarily be supporting Ms. Kennedy's appointment. What he said (at least the way I read it), is that he will support her if she is fairly appointed.

    It's the same as someone who voted for John McCain now saying they will support Barack Obama as president. They didn't support his election, but once fairly elected, they will support him, since he IS the incoming new president.

    January 1, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  14. joanjuneau

    I think it would be wonderful if she was appointed as Senator of New York. She has a law degree, has written several books that show she has better than superficial understanding of the functioning of the US government. She has the support and connections of politically savy family and SHE IS THE DAUGHTER OF JOHN F KENNEDY. I remember when he was shot dead in front of our faces and I for one, want to see this last standing member of Camelot, come back and TAKE THE PLACE OF HER FATHER!!! Yes!! Run Caroline. Run. Be president if you can.

    January 1, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  15. Jane T, Williamsburg, VA

    Paterson is crazy if he appoints Caroline Kennedy. It will be political suicide if he does. We DO NOT need another Kennedy in Congress.

    January 1, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  16. ray-ray

    Do any of u people think that maybe the problems with the gov't today is that there are too many well-known, experienced politicians that have been around doing nothing? Maybe, just maybe Caroline, although well-known might actually do a great job, and help President-elelct Obama fix what Bush & his Smooth Criminal Party broke.

    January 1, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  17. Jim Jam

    I find her a charming, intelligent and effective woman, and look forward with anticipation to her meaningful contributions to the incredible team PE Obama is building.

    With hard work and grace from above, we shall rebuild this country and put it back on the road to success for all, prosperity for all, equality for all.

    A Russian economist has predicted we will have a civil war and fall apart by 2010... I for one pledge to make this a better nation for all, in any and all that I may do, so this will never happen. All for one, one for all, one nation under God, let us joint together to build.

    January 1, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  18. Sherrol in Canada

    @NV, NYC 6:41 pm..........and I quote..........

    "I don't want Senator who needs to be inspired to serve people of my state".
    You scare me, I don't quite get your statement. You don't want a Senator who needs to be inspired to serve??!!

    How are most people 'called' to public office, aren't most inspired by something or someone and are then motivated into action?

    Most people, including yourself, I should hope, get involved, get a job, go to school, get out of bed everyday because they are motivated to.

    Inspiration usually equates to motivation!!

    January 1, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  19. libs be dopes

    One big name carpetbagger to replace another big name carpetbagger..........

    This is a concern?

    January 1, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  20. IndyVoter

    You know what? This is the same hateful and unfounded rhetoric that we heard about President Elect Obama..."he has zero credentials, he doesn't know this, he doens't know that, he's too young, yadda yadda yadda". Yet time after time he proved the naysayers wrong. He has shown that he is an excellent manager and administrator, he has good ideas, knows how to surround himself with smart/strong people and has the support of the people! Caroline Kennedy is well educated, she is an attorney, as are most Senators, she has been an advocate for the cause of education and other issues all of her life and understands the rough and tumble of politics. AND she has the support of people who actually live in the state. She IS qualified. Period.

    January 1, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  21. Maggie

    People, go to the NY Governor website and email the Governor and express your opinion. You don't have to be a resident of New York – this is the UNITED STATES Senate we are talking about, and it affects all of us. As a native Illinoisan, I am not offended that those outside Illinois have opinions about our most recent political scandal.

    I'm sure Obama is behind this and it is pay back for Kennedy's support during his campaign. But, it is not right, especially since we now know that Caroline kept quiet all these years because she didn't know anything. Any woman who has her kids decide who she should vote for, should not be in the senate. Will her kids tell her how to vote in the senate?

    January 1, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  22. Josh

    This whole thing is appalling. If I were an elected Democrat in New York I would be livid over this whole fiasco. Unreal.

    January 1, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  23. What the hell ?!?

    She is going to be the Sarah Palin of the Democratic Party – without the experience or charisma.

    Sadly she will get the job. What this country needs is an experienced leader able to understand the serious issues.

    Ssad day in america. Perhaps the NY Governor will make a better choice.

    January 1, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  24. Political Annie

    I don't think you folks "get" politics. Politics is the art of getting things done, of shepherding legislation written by office staff, of getting with your buds, and offering mutual backscratches. The woman has a law degree, and despite what folks imply, she's had a job, raised her kids, and gotten a lot accomplished without jumping up and down, at the same time if she isn't immune to the spotlight by now, there is no hope for the rest of us. Politics is the art of trading on who you are to get what you would like done. She's learned more about how politics works from her nursery, upbringing, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners than than many duly elected people from non-political backgrounds know after 30 years on the job.

    Go give 'em heck, Caroline!

    January 1, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  25. Nola

    People the only qualifications that a individiuals MUST have to be a Senator in this country are:

    Be at 35 years old
    Be a borned citizen of the United States

    I think that Caroline meets both of this qualifications – I don't re call their being any additional qualifications. It does not state that one must have held any other political office, does not state that one must have been actively working in the political world. Their are millions of individiuals that work each and every day behind the scene making this country work – in fact, it is really the work of the unsung persons that make things happen – I think I read that she help raise millions of dollars to keep the Public schools afloat in New York City – millions of dollars that the people of New York State did not have to pay extra Taxes to address the problem. Think about it she was helping the common everyday people with education. She did not have to take her time and energy – she could have said let them be without.

    Sometime many people put down someone without taking the time to know them

    January 1, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
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