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. Joel

    Disgusting politics. If Caroline Kennedy is so competent, she should be ELECTED, not appointed. Hillary Clinton, love or hate her, at least she was "elected", not appointed.

    January 1, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. Melissa B ~ California

    Kennedy bashers in America will always have a gripe. The people of New York state will decide if Caroline Kennedy should remain their senator by a special election in 2010. Should she win that contest by the will of the people, one would hope the Kennedy bashers would stop whining and complaining–but they won't. Like a coldsore they'll lie dormant and reappear while the rest of us wait for them to disappear.

    January 1, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. Deborah

    I think that most of the posters here are missing the point.

    If YOU want CHANGE in this process, YOU need to contact YOUR elected officials, and tell them that YOU want YOUR voice heard in the selection process. It is beyond time that the PEOPLE choose the replacement senator. Allowing a governor – ANY governor – to choose a senator is so antiquated.

    Personally, I would be honored to have someone as "tested by fire" serving me in the senate as Carolyn Kennedy. I cannot think of another human being – regardless of status – who has been through as much tumult as she.

    No one better defines dignity and grace as Carolyn Kennedy.

    January 1, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. Willie Earl Aclin

    Just what we need another Kennedy in congress.

    January 1, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. Chipster

    Article 1, Section 3 or the Constitution of the United States defines the qualifications tp become a U.S. Senator. They are as follows:

    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
    3) must be (at the time of the election) an inhabitant of the state they seek to represent

    The only exception is someone who has "engaged in rebellion or aids the enemies of the United States." (14th Amendment)

    Caroline Kennedy is as at least as qualified as any other U.S. citizen and more qualified than many.

    She has an excellent education and a record of public service. She has far more International experience than the Current Occupant of the White House. There are, sadly, many Senators who are less qualified than Kennedy today.

    January 1, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. Independent Steve

    Folks, this really isn't a national isue. This is a local (NY) issue. Let's say she gets the nod, she still will have to run and win in 2010! I In addition, if the folks are not excited about her selection, the Governor will hear about it in 2010 as well! She will not be given a high ranking position in the Senate as she will be the Junior Senator from NY (if selected). Personally, I am sure there a folks who have been ELECTED that are more qualified than Kennedy but, this is an NY issue! Lastly, anyone selected will not be very productive as they will be soon gearing up for the 2010 election cycle.

    January 1, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. Willie Earl Aclin

    Just what we need another Kennedy in Congress

    January 1, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. Willie Earl Aclin

    No more Kennedys

    January 1, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. crackerjack


    January 1, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. Susie

    Maybe if someone would lay out the qualifications to be a Senator, we could stop arguing about her merits. The truth is, there are many different people in the Senate-differing educational levels, different backgrounds, different viewpoints. That's what makes us a democracy and not an aristocracy.
    I do disagree with the posters who believe that Barack Obama is unqualified to be President. Why? Because he was not a governor (GWB has done such a FINE job as President after govering Texas, heh?) Because he's only a first term Senator? The man does have a Harvard Law degree and spent years in the trenches of Chicago helping people. Can you name one thing GWB ever did to help anyone less fortunate than he? Ever? I have faith that Obama understands the common man and has empathy for our fears and struggles. He speaks of inclusion, unlike the Republicans, who are only after the almighty dollar that they believe is their entitlement. And if by some quirk of fate someone is poor, it must be because they didn't work hard enough (or weren't fortunate enough to be born into money!) and they don't deserve any help. So I guess we should just ignore the homeless, the poor, and the hungry. Yup, those sure are great religious ideals: the Bible according to Republicans. Give unto me I deserve it.

    January 1, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. Mike

    America is building with every election a new aristocracy. The same names, generation after generation are warping our politics. When we dig our hole of mediocraty, supplied by pay for politics contributions, what do we have? We are moving to a world where we're driving in the slow lane because of Roe vs Wade and the rest are quickly closing the gap because they are willing to work their way up the ladder. I expect eventually because of George Bush Jr., we'll either have a dictatorship, or annoint a king.

    January 1, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. worriedmom

    This is the big CHANGE we all voted for?????? Come on, Caroline Kennedy may be a nice person but she is not qualified for the position. Hey when I think about it, who is!!!!! Guess she was owed a favor by Obama when she turned Redcoat on Clinton. ya know, ya know

    January 1, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. Nikica

    Appointing someone from a political dynasty, someone with no experience and hardly any, you know, hardly any verbal skills, seems a terrible way to conduct politics.
    It gives an appaling view of democracy...
    I'm against it because my personal beliefs are closer to Democrats than to Republicans and because I'm against elitist monarchies.
    You betcha!

    January 1, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  14. heartlight3

    If her name was not Kennedy and she had the qualifications she has (author, lawyer, fundraiser, Harvard Law graduate, mother, philanthropist) would she be considered unqualified? It sounds to me as though many of these posters are prejudiced against her her solely because of her name. What qualifications did Nancy Pelosi or Barbara Boxer have before they were elected? Were they so much more qualified than Caroline? Don't you think that prejudice against her because she is a Kennedy is pretty much as ridiculous as prejudice for her because she's a Kennedy. Seems pretty spiteful to me, either way.

    January 1, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. honestly

    Go for it, Caroline !!!!

    January 1, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. Dixie

    I have nothing against C Kennedy, but her being appointed to the vacant senate set smacks of priviledge. She speaks of her many washington contacts. Will she rely on those contacts to make major decisions for her? I think she should stick to charity work. You. too, Bill C.

    January 1, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. Bill

    My only concern is will she have the courage that her father and uncles had when it comes to DoD and Military response to those that threaten our national security domestic and abroad.

    Our military is weak, our DoD is outdated and falling apart. The only time our military and DoD are in good shape is when the economy is in good shape. Will she have courage to emphasize to her peers and the White House to stop the power hungry DoD contractors from charging us the ridiculous inflated costs. These companies raise the prices and reduce the quality by laying off Americans and providing an inferior product or are authorized ridiculous add ons by contract modifications after they win a low bid or best buy contract.

    January 1, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. just my opinion

    Xavier.. bridge party, not even funny nor intelligent! Kennedy is qualified under the constitution. Remember that old parchment of paper that a bunch of men wrote a couple of hundrend years ago? Just because she choses the senate instead of running for mayor or govenor doesn't mean she doesn't have the right to want to have a senate seat. As for not being a new yorker??? Ahmmmm... didn't Jackie raise her kids in NY? Hasn't Kenndy worked in NY.. yes she has had jobs...not like most of us but jobs none the less and in NY of all places. Never been to NY.. would like to visit one day but I can see worse people representing NY.. New Yorkers.. be happy you are Illnoise for crying out loud. I personally don't care who represents NY. I didn't vote for Obama.. but have a feeling that Sen. Kennedy or the Kennedy's have been ploting the return of the Kennedy dynasty for some time especially with Teddy's current health problems. I think it is good that an intelligent woman steps up to the plate and takes on huge challenges at this time in our history. NY is a rough place. It's given us other people a chance to see NY fans, baseball owners at their worst and their best. New Yorkers expect much of their leaders and they offer no slack. So if you want to go play for NY you had better be able to take the punches. I wouldn't want to be in any of the candidates shoes... NY is a rough house to play in much less visit. Good luck to NY and I hope you get the leadership you need to succeed. I personnally think Clinton did and does a good job for you.. Just think.. you could have Arnold like we do here in CA.. oh yeah.. he's kind of a kennedy too...

    January 1, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. mimi

    Caroline K. Schlossberg is not so interested in New York as she is in eventually being the first female President of the U.S. Hey, money can buy that too (according to Uncle Ted) but the world knows she is not really enthusiastic for any of this so why go through it? That is such a good question - can someone answer it for me?

    January 1, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. shelby

    Caroline cites her experience as a mother and raising a family. The dems slammed Palin for being a mom but want to give Caroline sainthood because she has 3 children. Oh, and I'm SURE she raised them without any household help or nannies. Give me a break.

    January 1, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. Tony

    As a New Yorker, I certainly don't want a dilettante and political lightweight representing my state. This woman has never stood for election so I can't fathom how she should be handed the seat. Andrew Cuomo has stood for election many times (and won) and deserves the seat far more than the reclusive Kennedy. If Paterson appoints her, I will be voting for whoever runs against him in 2010.

    January 1, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Valerie

    Michael in MO, God has helped us. He gave us Barack Obama and now Caroline Kennedy. Its time to know your blessings.

    January 1, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. Check the facts

    Why don't you read what Caroline has been doing for years ,her education but Oh thats right you never learned to read.
    Phailling Paling's Bridge to no where must be the same looser as "Bridge Party"

    January 1, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Gene

    She sucks one more example of aristcrats in office to maintain their hold on the country cant we learn from history 2000 years ago a governor had a tin ear and mush for braines killed a man known as jesus eight years ago an ariscrat started a war an killed over a a half million people again a tin ear and mush for braines she wrote six or seven books my explitive delited without a staff of ghost writers I have engineering liccenes my education is through hard knocks and hard work even I would know her sentance was repetive. fracmented and conseder revising and that without the help of spell check.
    Maybe she should get a real job better yet join the job corp or be a missionary and for once in her miseroble life be productive.
    Thats what happens when your loaded with money nothing to do your mind turns to mush.

    January 1, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. What a joke

    She doesn't even vote in the local and state elections, why should she get this other than the fact her name is Kennedy? Her lack of experience makes Sarah Palin look like Winston Churchill

    January 1, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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