January 1st, 2009
06:16 PM ET
5 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 sure…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. Pee4Poultice

    Appointing the candidate to fill the vacancy for US Senator from NY is the perrogative of Governor Patterson alone.

    Though levels and types of public service experience in the pool of contenders for the position is diversified, none of them have previous "EXPERIENCE AS A US SENATOR' as was the case with Senator Hillary Clinton a few years ago. Hillary was well-connected and "exposed" to American politics because she is the WIFE of a former US president. She was also highly educated (at one of America's most prestigious institutions of higher learning), an indication of her potential to learn the job of serving effectively and impressively as Junior Senator from her adopted state of New York.

    Caroline Kennedy's education is no less impressive – she just chose to serve in different arena. Her exposure to politics is that she was born into a family that is one of the bastions of politics in America. Though they have had their struggles, scandals, tragedies, and truimphs, the Kennedy name is synomous with American politics and they have served with distinction. She is DAUGHTER of a former POTUS, the niece of Senators Ted and the late Robert Kennedy, cousin of the other Sen. Kennedy, sister to JFK, Jr., late publisher of the political Magazine "George," notwithstanding the political influences of her paternal grandfather, Joseph P. Kennedy in early US politics. Caroline Kennedy's entire life is interwoven into the fabric of the American political scene – she is an intelligent woman who like Hillary Clinton has untapped abilities and potential.

    The tragedy and circumstances of Mary Jo Kapachne's death took place some 40 years ago – Sen. Ted Kennedy would have long been freed had he served prison time for what (when the shoe is on the other partisan foot) a Republican senator refers to as "Youthful indiscretions."

    January 1, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  2. Eve Seals

    An intelligent, educated, decent person wants to serve our country and
    so many of you sound so evil and jealous. Some of you were negative about Hillary when she first ran for the senate. Why don't you just see how you may be able to help the great state of New York?
    I hope Caroline gets the job. No one knows everything. You learn as you go. I believe she will do a wonderful job. I certainly do not believe
    she would have requested it wighout thinking it through. What's the
    matter, you think she may move on and run for president next? We
    are still looking for that first wonam president. I heard some of you
    out there said you would not vote for Hillaary for president because she is a woman. Let's move forward, pleeease.

    January 1, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  3. LM75

    Go Caroline. You're the best.

    January 1, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  4. LM75

    Hey good ole boys. Something about putting a woman in charge just shouldn't be done. Right you Southern Repubs. I still believe the South is racist and that is way the South always votes Republican.

    January 1, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  5. mlw

    Why not give Caroline Kennedy a shot at the Senate? She can't possibly be any worse than the ones that are currently in the Senate. She might actually do something good for the people of NY.

    January 1, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  6. Paul Johnson

    How can Roland Burris be denied a senate seat while Caroline Kennedy is deemed qualified? It's incredible.

    January 1, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  7. glenn

    Why not Caroline Kennedy? So she doesn't have thirty years legislative experience. And look at all those people in Washington who do. They voted for that $700 billion dollar bailout where it seems no one knows where the money has gone really. And no one will get prosecuted for the corruption either. Maybe a whole new Congress with people with little to no experience in corruption is what we need...

    January 1, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  8. Vincent

    Are you kidding me? Has this woman ever worked a single day in the real world in her life? What could she possibly have in common with the silent majority of Americans? Better, what is it she feels she can and will contribute to America in solving the [many] problems even our veteran politicians have placed on the back burner. This candidate for Senate is a perfect example of why we cannot move forfard as a nation. What is in a name?

    January 1, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  9. Betty Murphy

    There are three qualifications for senator mentioned in the Constitution:
    1. over 30 years old
    2. a citizen of the U.S. for the past nine years
    3. a resident of the state to be represented for a minimal amount of time prior to the election (or appointment)

    Caroline Kennedy meets all of those qualifications. She is highly educated. She is a lawyer and co-author of books on the Constitution.
    She has made herself an expert on education by workiing on behalf of the NYC Public Schools for the last several years. She is the daughter of a president. What more can you ask? It is not required that someone have held elective office before becoming a senator.

    Give the woman a break. We need her wisdom.
    The person who mentioned a face lift should be ashamed. How shallow can you get?

    January 1, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  10. Chris in Indiana

    This is ridiculous – the woman would not even get a mention were it not for her name. This is the best candidate that the state of NY can produce?

    January 1, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  11. Honey

    Some of these comments are mean-spirited and share no context to the story line. Shouldn't we think positive thoughts as we embrace a new year? Okay, I agree that Caroline Kennedy has no political experience but based on the Constitution, as paraphrased below, she is indeed "qualified". I can't help but wonder if she were a man, would there be as many men and women questioning her ability. Caroline could turn out to be an outstanding senator, should Patterson appoint her. Just because someone appears to be shy does not mean they cannot be proactive and agressive. I believe she has a strong work ethic and I also believe she is an individual of integrity, and that's more than I can say for many of our elected officials.

    Qualifications
    Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution sets three qualifications for senators: 1) each senator must be at least 30 years old, 2) must have been a citizen of the United States for at least the past nine years, and 3) must be (at the time of the election) an inhabitant of the state they seek to represent.

    January 1, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  12. Leah

    I think Caroline would be a great Senator for New York State. She is highly intelligent, an attorney, and has superior knowledge of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Like it or not, money and powerful connections get things done in politics, and Caroline has those also. Hilary has been an enormously popular and effective Senator and she hadn't ever held office before.

    January 1, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  13. steve

    Let's be honest here. The only reason this woman's name came up is because of her family, and that isn't a good reason to appoint anybody to any position.

    January 1, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  14. No Hillary = No Obama

    What's with Caroline Kennedy anyway? Seems like she never forged her own identity out of the shadows of her family heritage.

    January 1, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  15. Anna, ATL

    The politically inexperienced can be elected, but should NEVER be selected by a government official without public say! This is a joke, right???

    I don't have a problem with Ms. Kennedy RUNNING for a Senate seat.
    I have a problem with her REFUSING to do so, as she has said.

    She is essentially relying on her family name and influence (emphasis on INFLUENCE) to conveniently be appointed a US legislator, blatantly demonstrating a lack of both COURAGE and LEADERSHIP– two QUALITIES I deem essential for anybody being paid tax dollars to serve our Country and I don't care what her educational background is... Bush went to Yale, for petes sake.

    This 'appointment' should never happen. If it has to be a giveaway, good lord, at least give it away to someone who would not be afraid to stick their neck out there and seek the taxpayers' votes.

    She is pathetic!!!! I used to be a Kennedy fan, but, not lately, at all.

    January 1, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  16. Chris in Va.

    Caroline Kennedy is the Democrats version of Sarah Palin, neither has any qualifications for the postions they seek.

    January 1, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  17. janec

    Caroline Kennedy in the greatest speaking and deliberative body in the world????

    Y' know?

    January 1, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  18. The Real GOP

    Politics for sale. That is the summation of the Democratic party today. They sold the nation Barack Hussein Obama and now they are trying to sell Caroline Kennedy. Well, when a party is driven by opinion polls instead of principle, this is the outcome. Obama is the answer to "white guilt" in our society. He is a media creation who neither has the ability nor the intellect to be president. Caroline Kennedy can't get rid of her verbal tick, doesn't vote, and has no political experience whatsoever...so let's make her a senator. You Democrats have the brains of neanderthals.

    January 1, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Go Woman!

    Caroline, you'll make a wonderful Junior Senator from the great State of NY. One who has lived in the State for all of her life with the exception of her time as a youngster in the White House while her Dad served as President and gave his life in service to his country!

    You, my dear, are more than qualified to be Senator and you will do an excellent job representing the State of NY!

    Thank you for your service, Caroline. As your Dad once said: Ask not what your country can do for you? But, what you can do for your country!

    Republicans of the "Grand OLD Party" are simply going nuts at the mention of a Kennedy continuing in the Tradition of Service to their country.

    Best wishes, Caroline!

    January 1, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  20. Dianne

    Go Woman!

    Caroline, you'll make a wonderful Junior Senator from the great State of NY. One who has lived in the State for all of her life with the exception of her time as a youngster in the White House while her Dad served as President and gave his life in service to his country!

    You, my dear, are more than qualified to be Senator and you will do an excellent job representing the State of NY!

    Thank you for your service, Caroline. As your Dad once said: Ask not what your country can do for you? But, what you can do for your country!

    Republicans of the "Grand OLD Party" are simply going nuts at the mention of a Kennedy continuing in the Tradition of Service to their country.

    Best wishes, Caroline!

    January 1, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  21. Anna, ATL

    I get madder every time I think about it.

    The 'appointment' should go to a candidate who at least wouldn't be afraid to go to the voters and seek the privilege...
    Caroline has said she would not do this.

    No way, no how, NO CAROLINE!

    January 1, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  22. Jim Snyder

    Betty Murphy January 1st, 2009 8:17 pm ET

    There are three qualifications for senator mentioned in the Constitution:
    1. over 30 years old
    2. a citizen of the U.S. for the past nine years
    3. a resident of the state to be represented for a minimal amount of time prior to the election (or appointment)
    ________________________________________________

    Betty, I am sorry but this argument is really terrible. According to your argument there are probably 6 million "qualified" candidates. Voters should expect that a person has a record of actual accomplishment in competitive, real-world endeavors that distinguish them from the average. Graduating from college and law school are great but what has she accomplished that many thousands of others have not. Considering the advantages of wealth and position she was born with, I think she is something of an underacheiver. What distinguishes her from the many thousands of people with equal accomplishments who will not be appointed?

    January 1, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  23. Chris in Va.

    When Hillary ran for Senator of New York she had no political experience, only a name. Now we have another individual with no politcal experience, only a name seeking that seat.

    Really doesn't make a difference in a state full of morons anyway-(see Mike,Syracuse NY)

    January 1, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  24. Paul

    think Caroline would be a great Senator for New York State. She is highly intelligent, an attorney, and has superior knowledge of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Like it or not, money and powerful connections get things done in politics, and Caroline has those also. Hilary has been an enormously popular and effective Senator and she hadn't ever held office before.
    ======================================================
    Leah, are you even from New York State? Hillary has not done anything even CLOSE to what she promised in order to get elected to the Senate for upstate New York. From what I saw of Caroline's "tour" to upstate a couple of weeks ago (about 30 minutes each in Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo), it would be more of the same...

    January 1, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  25. Mike in NY

    Yet one more reason for people to believe New york is a joke (It is and I live here)

    January 1, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
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