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. Susan

    If people listened between the ums and you-knows they would've discovered a refreshing, progressive, intelligent individual who's making a commitment to become a devoted public servant.

    Caroline is "out of the box" and has proven ability to elicit issue recognition, great public support, and success to enhance education and humanitarian issues for this country.

    Give me a successful, sincere and dedicated activist for the greater good of this country over a polished politician any day!

    January 1, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. Carol-Illinois

    Why do we even vote? Now New York is starting to look alot like Illinois. Just put in someone that will do what the party wants. Since it is so expensive to run for office that a normal person can't run, maybe we should sell the office to the highest bidder, only instead of the money going to an individual, have it go to the state, county or federal governments. This then could lower our taxes.

    January 1, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  3. MaryanneAZ

    Caroline Kennedy is entirely qualified on the academic and familiarity with government fronts. She has maintained a private persona for years to raise her family and avoid the constant glare of the media. No one can blame her for that. She lost her father and uncle in the Nation's service due to their support of civil rights. She has watched her uncles and cousins run and be d.amned as public servants for years. She became disillusioned with National politics like many of us her age. Then came Obama. He inspired Caroline, as he did so many others, to rethink the difference We the People can make in our Nation's course and success. I applaud her willingness to step up and become part of the solution. She is a bar admitted attorney in the State of New York, an education advocate and author on Constitutional issues. She is no lightweight in this arena. I think she will get the job because she is a good choice for the job. Let's not criticize her awakening - we've complained for years how few people vote or involve themselves in our national politics - and now we disparage people for their awakening. We are a sick, sick society.

    January 1, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. rlkidd

    why appoint an individual with no credentials, other that the kennedy name?
    We are creating our own nobility, thought we had a revolution to do away with that.

    January 1, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. Tom in Delaware

    Maybe after 137 days in office as Senator she could launch her Presidential Campaign...it's been known to happen.

    Hey Libs, remember all the crap you constantly said about Sarah Palin...well here's the poetic justic of the world...it's all actually true about Caroline Kennedy.

    Stings, doesn't it.

    January 1, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. Crazy Stuff

    She will make a good politician ,she has the basic requirement of arrogance " I am the best person for the job".

    January 1, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  7. Hope

    Hey Daniel-you claim all those things got Obama elected?...how 'bout the repubs and George Bush-who was appointed to the presidency? That's ok though right? And all HIllary Clinton had was a name as well! Being first lady for 8 years didn't qualify her to be senator from New York. Didn't seem to matter, did it?

    January 1, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |



    January 1, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. Plato's Republic

    Democracy cannot function properly if it relies on celebrities to fill its' political seats.

    – Discourse has gone the way of Gossip.
    – Thought has gone the way of impulse.
    – American Governance has gone the way of American Idol.

    January 1, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    just because of her name not brains

    January 1, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. Independent for Obama

    Caroline Kennedy is the Sarah Palin of the Democratic Party, umm "y'know" ?
    Janie Springfield MA

    January 1, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. Jana

    I think Caroline Kennedy would be a fine appointee for this position.
    An experienced, highly intelligent, fast-learning breath of fresh air.

    Shame on those nay-sayers.

    January 1, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |

    Silver is an idiot.

    This woman's one and ONLY qualification is that she is a Kennedy. That's IT... Nothing else...

    PLEASE, we do not need her to take such an important job with no experience. It is simply not fair to the people... Read these posts. these are the voices of the people, SHE HAS NO QUALIFICATIONS, NONE...

    January 1, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  14. Charlie in Maine

    Okay, I have to say it. I resisted until now because of the Christmas season but now that it is New Years Day I have to say it: Just when in hell did these republicans start worrying about qualifications?

    What qualified George W Bush to be President? Don't say he won the election cause we all know that didn't happen in 2000.

    January 1, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |

    This is the BIGGEST joke since Palin.

    January 1, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  16. Howard

    Caroline may be the best qualified candidate from a purely political perspective, if no other. Whoever is appointed is going to have to run a statewide election campaign in just two years, and THEN (if they're elected) run in another statewide campaign in ANOTHER two years. In New York. That's going to take one heckuva lot of money. Quite possibly more money than most candidates can muster, but it shouldn't be a big problem for Caroline.

    As for the rest of her qualifications, she has spent the bulk of her adult life taking care of her family and raising her children. And she found time to earn a law degree from Columbia University Law School along the way. Would it be so bad to have a genuine Mother's point of view in the U.S. Senate? Or do you want more of the same old, same old?

    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

    January 1, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  17. flux

    go Caroline Kennedy..never look back ....you are the right choice for the seat.

    January 1, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. janet , ohio

    She's WAY more qualified than Sarah Palin (NOT) When will one single brave reporter ask Caroline one single tough question regarding anything to do with the state of New York? Such as the workings of the state government, current issues, state budget, infrastructure, etc. Anyone? Perhaps you save all the Gotcha questions for Republicans? Hmmm?

    January 1, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  19. usualone

    What about all the spouses who have replaced their deceased Congressional spouses? Did they have "experience?"

    January 1, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  20. TCM

    Why not Caroline? Obama is proof that America will accept total inexperience for a position of high importance...I mean, shouldn't we all just hire surgeons the first day on the job? Or hire mechanics fresh out of tech school to fix our cars? She's only seizing the moment; laid in place by her drunk, womanizing slob of an uncle and his undying support of an even more incompetent selection for president....It's amazingly similar to Obama's appointment; all along the way many issues with substantiation popped up, that would've killed the careers of any white politician...however, Obama's corruption machine marched forward...well, it's the same for the Kennedy machine...for some reason you libs love to look the other way when it comes to inexperience, incompetence and corruption.

    January 1, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. Nuwan Sam

    Family politics must end in this country. Kennedy's, Bush's Reagans or Clinton's should not own any special favors because on in their family showed good leadership in this country. She should only be considered for her merits and for her qualifications. She should not get any special consideration because she is a Kennedy. This is a country where individuals have to prove themselves to become leaders. That is what democracy is. And I think that is what all Americans should want.

    January 1, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. Citizen Carl Mullis Brandon, Florida(born in NYC)

    Lookin at the first 33 comments. What a lot of bu..!
    Lets see now, Carolyn is an attorney, grew up in a rather estute political family that has always gone-for and usually won what they go for(Dare we call that a winners head!!!Hmmmh!). She is rather bright and has worked for years in the NYC city political/professional environs. She is a quiet person(could still water run deep????)
    The only concern that I have is that all the other potential choices
    get an honest-to-God hard look .Politics has always been somwhat
    predictable and not always FAIR. Grow up!!! This is the American mode of operation(No one ever said it would be FAIR..some dribble
    from the Capitalist toybox...which is practiced in the good ole USA>

    January 1, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. phil

    What is the price tag on the NY Senate seat? Check Caroline Kennedy's last month bank statement.

    January 1, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. ImYeti

    Think of Paterson. Caught in rock and a hard place. Appoint Caroline and he is doomed for re-election. Do not appoint her & he is sidelined in the Democratic party. I actually feel really sorry for him.

    January 1, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  25. Carrolton

    A disgrace to anyone who fought for our country -myself included-this lifelong Democrat will never vote the Democratic ticket again-C. Rangel –help us

    January 1, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
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