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 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. USAF MSgt, Ret.

    Apparently anyone can serve in the House or the Senate...oh, that's right, they can.
    In my opinion we should select our representatives to Washington the same way we select jurors: pull their names out of a hat. This should be a civic duty rather than a prize to be fought over. We might not have the level of educated people this way, but we couldn't be any worse off than we are now.

    January 1, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  2. adods

    I am amazed and more than a little frightened that many of the posters who are questioning Kennedy's qualifications find Sarah Palin to be qualified. I can clearly see the fallacy of that argument from the front porch of my house. You betcha!

    January 1, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  3. Change

    What a joke! You know, you know, you know, you know, you know

    January 1, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. Rick

    New York is a big state, and nobody wants to get on the wrong side of a powerful person. Everybody is saying what they think they need to say to cover their rear, but secretly hoping Paterson won't appoint Kennedy.

    Paterson has pressure to appoint a woman. He probably hasn't settled on Kennedy yet. In the end I think he will appoint Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand and be the hero of the regular guy.

    January 1, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. Sara from Arizona

    Her experience is?????

    January 1, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. Michael in MO

    Most unfortunate. As one blogger has posted above, Caroline Kennedy has as much qualifications as Obama. Hmmm, enough said. God help us.

    January 1, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. gatekeeper

    So NY Speaker Silver reversed his position on Caroline. Hmmm, I guess he finally received a call from the Kennedy compound in Hyannis. I wonder what's in it for him now?

    January 1, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. Stop jerking us around....

    The fix has been in on Caroline Kennedy from the day Ted Kennedy agreed to support Obama instead of Hillary. It was evident in her selection to be on Obama's VP selection team. Wake up people-you've been had again.

    January 1, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. susie

    Our whole politicaly system anymore is a joke! No wonder our country is going down hill.

    January 1, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. Allan Hanson

    I think it will be a change. Hillary had very little experience but look at the job she has done, even with the "Right wing nuts " that have tried to bring her down. Even with the same problem I think after the last 8 years a monkey would be qualified. Oh thats right that is what we have had for the last 8 years.
    Give her a chance she has to be relected in 2 years, if she doesn't cut it don't reelect her.

    January 1, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. bettyc, Havre de Grace, MD

    We need more women like Kennedy to work for the people in the political arena. There are too many hard edged, closed minded females who forget that the population is not all female, and also consists of men. Caroline Kennedy is smart, well educated, politically oriented, well connected, and of most importance, she has already shown that her interests are for all of the people. I hope the Governor of New Yo;rk realizes what a favor he would do his state if he appointed someone who does not hail from the closely knit, closed society of politics as usual in his state.

    January 1, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  12. Economics 101

    Caroline.....AL Frankin...Obama...Hot Rod Blog.....Dodd....Barney...Pelosi..amd Reid....setting up nicely for a republican rebound in 2010...you can count on it!!!

    January 1, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. Terry

    There sure is a lot of discussion about qualifications. The two senators from my state – Cornyn (R) and Hutchison (R) – have no qualifications of any kind except for a devotion to the incomes of the wealthiest citizens of Texas. What qualifications does my representative Sylvestre Reyes (D) have? He was a Border Patrol official for 30 years. Now, he has no opinion on and has provided no leadership on immigration, border security, illegal immigration, relationships with Mexico, or anything else. Strangely, though, his entire extended family has acquired terrific, high-paying government jobs – but he has no idea how this has happened.

    Let the governor take this chance to appoint someone better and nobler than the voters would choose. Kennedy at least has a good education, lots of influence due to her name, and enough wealth that she would not be tempted by bribery.

    January 1, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  14. Sherrol in Canada

    Some clarifications:
    – Ms Kennedy will not be elected, she'll be picked by the NY Gov
    – If picked, she'll go through a special election in 2010
    – If elected in 2010 will go through another election in 2012 when
    Hillary's term ends.

    Now the question is will Gov Paterson pick Caroline and why would he choose her?
    – Is she in line for a reward for the work she did on the Obama
    – Does Paterson need her to help him win his own election in 2010?
    – Is she qualified? – irrelevant – truly doesn't matter – don't let them fool
    – Is she the master fundraiser?
    – Does her name carry an indisputable legacy?
    – Does Gov Paterson believe Obama would like her in the Senate?
    – Is Paterson weighting his options – pleasing politcal and monied
    allies OR the people of NY state?

    January 1, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. marianne arbos

    Please she is no more qualified for this job than me...Just because she has the Kennedy name....She has never had to work her way up in this world. What is wrong with this picture??

    January 1, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. JJ in NY

    You know, I just don't think she's qualified, you know ? I mean, you know, what elected position, you know, has she even held, you know ?
    Just because, you know, her name is "Kennedy" doesn't mean she's entitled, you know ?

    January 1, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. Niki Birdsflight

    Well, full speed ahead for Caroline Schlossberg. I wonder what made her go into politics now after 50 years of dodging the public. Most be that legacy thing. No Senate is complete without at least one Kennedy.
    She is definitely better than Fran Dresher. Now, that would have been a joke!

    January 1, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  18. ABrown

    Don't be as quick to judge Caroline as most were to judge Obama – I believe she will be a great senator and Obams will be a GREAT PRESIDENT!

    January 1, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. Daniel Cabrera

    In closer examination, I did find that although all those CROOKS AND THIEVES RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DOWN OF OUR ECONOMY (you know them:Freddie,Fannie,Raines, Johnson,O’neal, etc,…and their helpers and cover-up team: Barney Frank, Pelosi, Reid, Cox, Dood,Soros, and other weeds,…well you know the thing)
    AAAHHH!!,...And do not forget all buddies of Obama(that is why he is going to ‘preserve them, right?)

    Well,turned out,not all of them are COCOZOIDS,…somes are WACKADOOS.
    However slightly different lethal species,all of them are VERY IRRESPONSIBLE ZELOIDS,…HEY!,.. WE DO NOT NEED THEM!

    It is time for the letargic democrats that voted for this guy Obama take a second look at what they did and how they were TAKEN AS FOOL SHEEPS.
    C’mon WAKE-UP! NOW!

    Would you consider that TIME MACHINE now, to go back and change your ridiculous and pathetic vote for Obama? I do hope you do,...because I have to handle it to you ,...YOU REALY MESSED IT-UP!,...BIG TIME!

    And so, because those COCOZOIDS AND WACKADOOS ,......that alone gives a monumental excuse to say': – OK' to Ms Kennedy.HEY!, they wnat Obama for presidency right?,....SO ANY BOZO CAN WORK FOR ALL THEM DEMOCRATS!

    Happy New Year 2009!
    Daniel Cabrera
    Merrillville, IN

    January 1, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. aware

    Caroline K Schlossberg is a presumptuous person who is attempting to buy a Senate seat with the Kennedy name!

    What is the difference between her and Blago? 😦

    January 1, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. Jim Hall

    Another ray of sunshine (Caroline Kennedy) in the change that is about to take place on January 20th, 2009. This country has been under gray clouds since the village idiot that is in the white house now and his cronies were elected or appointed Jim Hall Kansas City Missouri.

    January 1, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. aware

    Presumption is obviously a PEBO and a Kennedy legacy! 😦

    January 1, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. Jeff

    Shouldn't her first obligation be to the people of the state of New York?

    January 1, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. marshall autry

    Wait and see if she get the small back office of other new senators.
    Why she will have man servants and maid servants and a golden coach.

    January 1, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  25. Mikey

    You know...you know...you know....she is a joke. Where is her experience? All, that's right, she's a Kennedy. At least Palin had executive experience.

    January 1, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
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