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. LM

    Come on, people! Please, do us all a favor and read a biography
    of Caroline Kennedy and all that she has accomplished so far.
    Not to mention the political upbringing she has experienced from her hard-working family members before her. This has been a wealthy family, right, but can anyone refute that they could have sat on their millions and been perfectly happy not to risk their lives (and in some cases GAVE their lives) to try to make America a better nation?

    I agree with the person who said we need to bond together to make this nation great again! I respect everyone's opinion, and it's good to discuss it calmly and intelligently, and listen to each other's views. However, let's all be more respectful and be sure to READ and LEARN more about EACH AND EVERY CANDIDATE before we open our mouths and make criticizing comments which just aren't true!

    And, we can't forget–to be thankful that we live in this great nation
    that allows us to do so!!

    January 1, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  2. Jeff

    Is this the best that we have? Surely there is someone more qualified. Look beyond the name people!!! A famous last name coupled with a sense of entitlement still equals zero. At least Clinton was elected. If Princess Caroline wants the appointment, I would suggest that she start voting and taking more of an interest.

    January 1, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  3. Pat Rodriguez

    I can't see why people don't want Caroline for the job.
    She is as smart and as qualified as any of the other people that want it.
    Caroline may not have the gift of speech that others have, but I find that not a bad thing.
    I get tired of people who talk more than they produce.
    New York would be better with her there for many reasons.
    Give her a chance to do the job.
    Don't hold her wealth against her.

    January 1, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  4. conservative

    Might as well give them Kennedys crowns !!

    January 1, 2009 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  5. Rod


    January 1, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  6. inuk of the north

    What a joke!

    This woman is the liberal-democrat version of Sarah Palin!

    And the next star of SNL! Tina Fey is warming up the act right now.

    January 1, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  7. StatesmanshipOverPartisanship

    At a time like this in our country's history, after the neo-cons have destroyed our economy, killed our children in an unjust invasion/occupation of a country that did nothing to us, extinguished our world beacon to peace and freedom, of course we need this visionary to rekindle the spirits of John & Bobbie and restore America;s greatness.

    You go, girl !

    January 1, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  8. Ms. Tsouris

    Ms. Kennedy is part of the new American royalty, which basically consists of moneyed, power hungry carpet-bagging bs artists aka politicians.

    January 1, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  9. jane

    I think it will be a shame if Ms. Kennedy is given this office. Her failure to remain neutral in the democratic primary has tarnished her image to many democrats, as it should. If she wants Sen. Clinton's office, let her run for the office, just as those before her have. If the people of New York elect her, then she's earned it. Otherwise, she has not.

    January 1, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  10. Zaz

    Kennedy will continue Hilliary's legacy of doing NOTHING for New York State.

    This is a joke – another elitist entitlement spoiled brat wants credibility.

    It just shows that this Governor doesn't take the Senator seat seriously.

    January 1, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  11. janet , ohio

    For all of you who think you sound so intelligent by listing the Constitutional requirements for state senate -- DUH! The rest of us, oddly enough, are aware of this. The point is there are literally millions of people (i.e., every American citizen of New York who has reached their thirtieth birthday) who meet those qualifications. The question is, Can Caroline offer more to the people of New York than any of the other applicants? Not, Can she offer more to the DNC or the Mayor or the Governor, etc. Which candidate offers the most to the people? After all, you could pull a drunk off the street in Manhattan to meet Constitutional requirements. Our founding Fathers actually expected their posterity to think a little bit. (That's why those are called MINIMAL requirements)

    January 1, 2009 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  12. Annie, Atlanta

    LM, excellent commentary – I concur.

    January 1, 2009 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  13. Renee

    As a person voted democratic since i've been voting, I do not think its fair that Caroline Kennedy name is the only name floating around. I believe there are many qualified community representives out there in new york who has been visual in the community. I believe she will only be appointed because of her name. If I where a New Yorker I would be more furious about her possibe appointment. What about a person of color? ???????? We are qualified.

    January 1, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  14. Dianne

    AND, where is my comment? CNN is up to its usual CENSORING! Where is the so-called Freedom of Speech in America?


    January 1, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  15. janec

    I think Caroline Kennedy would be the greatest senator we've ever had in the US Senate. Ever. Ever ever. You know?

    January 1, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  16. Palinized

    When you find yourself being measured, not by how good you are, but by how little you screw up. This becomes a problem.
    Palin found herself in this situation, because of the media's effort to take her down. Caroline is doing it on her own.

    January 1, 2009 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  17. Donald in CA

    Women who were so supportive of a unqualified Sarah Palin are
    noticeably quiet when it comes to a qualified Caroline Kennedy.
    What hypocrites.

    January 1, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  18. paul

    Jim Jam January 1st, 2009 10:10 pm ET

    The Democrats don't have a version of Sarah Palin, Thank God for small favors!

    In a way you happen to be right your party does not have any one in it that is as Honest hard working and a true conservative as she is.

    You could only dream of having someone like her in your silly good for nothing party.

    January 1, 2009 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  19. bjm

    If she is appointed by Governor Paterson, Kennedy will bring with her a strong educational background, a rich cultural background, a global perspective, a female perspective, a New York perspective, a mom perspective, and a bit of that "outsider" perspective vs. being simply Washington "insider." I agree with Speaker Sheldon Silver. A great choice.

    January 1, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  20. Katz

    Caroline Kennedy's successes (law degree from a prestigous university, books published/recognized) are a result of the Kennedy name. Many, many folks in NY equal and far exceed her in abilities and real accomplishments. A real shame that it boils down to who can raise more money for upcoming elections.

    January 1, 2009 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  21. Berts Sis

    Caroline Kennedy will make a wonderful senator and is the person for the job........

    January 1, 2009 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  22. me

    I don't think Kennedy deserve the seat.. Palin is more qualified she' a been a mayor and governor.. So please no place for on job training.. Thnks!

    January 1, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  23. PaulMofATL

    The only reason I can see her name still being out there is that the gov of NY doesn't want anyone to know that he was pulling a "Blago".

    I am sure this would have been done by now and money would have changed hands if the Blago thing not happened.

    January 1, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  24. Rob Stumpf

    Facts about Caroline Kennedy-

    1) She went to law school but never represented a client. The constitutional law book she "wrote" was largely written by someone else.

    2) She is a very poor public speaker.

    3) She was too bashful to call Gov. Paterson and ask for the appointment.....she had someone else do it!

    4) She is you know, very unsure of herself in public, you know.

    5) She is a fund raiser, because of the curiosity factor that goes with her. She's JFK's daughter, so people want to see her. Which means she's a celebrity, like Dane Cook or Kathy Griffin.

    It's true that some private citizens would make good Senators without any political experience. But Caroline Kennedy isn't one of those. If she's qualified to do the job because of who her father was, then Jenna Bush should run for Senate someday, right? Her father was President for a lot longer than Caroline's was!

    January 1, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |

    Some on the right have a short memory.

    1. All this talk about "dynasty", you do realize that HRH Bush was annointed by the Supreme Court, now that is truly a dynasty.

    2. Both Kennedy and what's her face are both qualified according to the Constitution and those are the only valid qualifications. Kennedy is much more intelligent than the half-wit, the twit was a journalism major(and if you think that takes a mental giant, check out the misspellings on all these thread from CNN) and Kennedy is a lawyer.
    And last but not least, Gidget was appointed by one man the Geezer.

    So, stop the blanket statements that Kennedy is not qualified, but debate intelligently, say what skills you believe she has that is lacking.
    and give an example, such as Kennedy cannot field dress a moose...

    January 1, 2009 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
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