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. crackerjack


    January 1, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. Curtis


    January 1, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. evilwman

    It's a Democrat way of life now.

    No Experience Needed!!!!

    (it would be nice if the salary was "commensurate with experience".)

    January 1, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. WIlly Brown

    Bend over, here come the double standard democrats!

    January 1, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. mike

    After Palin, anything is possible!

    January 1, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. Sorensen


    You better stop this nonsense about "making" Caroline Kennedy
    a senator. She is a lovely, intelligent lady, who has done a lot of
    good things for "little people".
    However, to put her in a senators seat, and indeed Hillary's seat,
    is a gross insult to all the "normal" people and other senators.
    Fame and fortune. Get it!
    I am sure she probably has a higher IQ than 50% of the senators.
    This could be one of the 3 biggest mistakes on Obama's resume.
    Don't take that chance. There is zero upside.

    January 1, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. demolition Dave

    Hopefully we can work towards New York City becoming it's own independent state...then the folks upstate can spend our hard earned money on something besides that out of control money pit.

    January 1, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. missv

    Caroline Kennedy IS qualified according to the Constitution. For all of you that claim she isn't, you haven't yet said upon what grounds, nor have you said what those "qualifications" are.

    January 1, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. NevaforLeadership

    That's great!

    Someone (Why?) on this board asked what qualifications Caroline Kennedy has for the job. I suggest that he/she start researching to find out about all that she has done.

    Most of us haven't even accomplished a quarter of what Caroline Kennedy has accomplished.

    What is more, the current senator for New York was once fired for being a dishonest, unethical lawyer and a liar. Since then, during the Clinton Arkansas and Washington years, she continued to wrap herself in scandal and lie right up to the end of her presidential campaign.

    Do you consider those qualifications - those of the current senator - suitable? Do you take pride in knowing Americans do not demand the highest of integrity from their leaders?

    With Caroline Kennedy that can change. A new beginning. A new senator with the highest of integrity.

    January 1, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. james

    She is more qualified than any of the Bushes (Bushes correct?)

    January 1, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. fj from atlanta

    I smell some back office dealing........

    January 1, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. karela

    There are many ways to serve. Caroline Kennedy has been very involved in serving the people of the state of New York for many years. She comes from a long tradition of service and she has always taken it seriously. She is second only to Obama in her fund raising ability and raised $65 million for New York education in two years. One of the qualifications for any appointee is that they be able to hold the seat in coming elections and that means having the ability to raise enough funds for back to back elections in 2010 and 2012. Caroline Kennedy is incorruptible. No one will ever have to wonder if her vote is for sale to special interests because it never will be. That is no small thing as we have learned to our sorrow in the past. It takes connections to get things done and Caroline has them. She also has the best mentor any junior Senator ever had in her Uncle, the Lion of the Senate. She has become one of Obama's "dearest friends" and it is likely that her calls will be taken when she calls the White House. She is young enough to serve in the Senate long enough to attain leadership on powerful committees. These things are all important to the state a Senator serves. New York state couldn't do any better, but it could do a lot worse. And it would be nice for the rest of the country to know that one more Senator was honest. I'm not jealous of her wealth. I'm grateful that she's willing to help and to serve. She'll serve with grace and without having to be ego driven and angry to get the job done. I sincerely hope that Governor Patterson appoints her. Certainly none of the lesser known names on his list has as good a chance of raising the funds and holding the seat.

    January 1, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. alberta treadway

    Caroline has the presidents ear. She has a good teacher in her Uncle who is a senator/She involved in fundraisers and running organized groups! She's Hightly educated and intelligent!And she can do a lot for the state, and bring in the funds they need! She has a lot more to give than most senators seated now.

    January 1, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. S Callahan

    What do you mean she has no experience? Do you not know what it's like to be raised in a 'political' family? This is her life, each and every day in her family. She is much more influential in political circles than people are acknowledging. Just by the fact she was able to work in cooperation with NYC Board of Education gave have war credentials! (smile) As well, this nominations is a New York concern...she has helped New Yorkers..specifically the most disenfrancised of our state...and that counts for something. In addition, she grew up in New York..she is a fabric to the state, she knows it's needs and desires. I support her, and I have that right as a NYS citizen!

    Of course, The ideal would be a speical election.

    January 1, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. ken

    caroline Campaigned for Obama throughout the country with his family and is worth to note how much trouble Obama got into and she sticked thoughout the campaign. She is not naive to face any hardship in my opinion. They had quite a few in the family to my opinion!!

    January 1, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. bobo

    a blind man can see kennedy isn't qualified...you know?

    January 1, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. Liz

    For all you Palin haters – she was at least a mayor and a governor and that is a lot. What have you done lately? As far as Caroline Kennedy goes – she has what experience? There should be a formal investigation on what has happened behind the scenes getting her the position. This is practically the same thing Blagojevich was doing except his name isn't Kennedy. Why does she feel she is owed anything – it was 1963. I don't get it. And the Chappaquiddick thing with Uncle Ted ....we all know what happened there. If it was one of us we would have been in a jail cell that night so fast it would make our head spin.. Kennedy "dynasty" and "Camelot" is just a lot of garbage reporters and news have created for their boring shows. Anyone who believes their crap needs to have their head examined.

    January 1, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Cindy, California

    Frankly, it seems that Ms. Kennedy is by far more qualified than Gov. Palin will ever be. Growing up in a family centered & focused in poliitics has afforded her insights and education that few experience. She may end up being one of the best Senators in a long time. At a minimum, she deserves a chance.

    And by the way, her 'maiden name' does carry weight and influence. If we can elect pro wrestlers, action stars, movie stars, comedians, cowboys, beauty queens, convicted felons, and egomaniacal anti-intellectual warmongering dimwits.... well.....

    January 1, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. Betty in NY

    I do not want Gov Paterson back. I would not vote for him at this point in time. With the new taxes he wants to impose instead of cutting spending not a chance. If he proves that he is gambling that the others will revisit their spending maybe. In regards to Caroline Kennedy whats the difference? Hillary never did much for us. I don't want Caroline now because she will back Paterson just to get her way, I say NO WAY!

    January 1, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  20. Sean the thinker

    To Stop jerking us around....,

    What fix are you talking about and who are you talking about? President elect Obama has not endorsed or publicly shown support for Caroline Kennedy. If her support for Barack Obama was politically motivated, it only helped in getting her more exposure. Nothing more.

    January 1, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  21. Stanley in NJ

    She should get it, she is famous. Isn't that the criteria for being a NY senator?

    January 1, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  22. FORMER NY'er

    I don't believe that Caroline Kennedy can do any worse than Hillary Clinton! What did she ever do for NY. She only moved there because she was going to make a bid for the White House and had to win the state for her to even consider running. You can't afford to live there because as upstate hemorrhages jobs the taxes keep going higher and higher for the average person. We moved out to the mid-west where you can still eat and pay the bills out of the same paycheck.

    Give the Dems. a chance they can't do any worse than the GOP did or doesn't anyone remember 2008!!!!!

    January 1, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  23. NancyD

    Some of thesse comments here really shock and surprise me!
    Caroline Kennedy has a long list of qualifications – all these years the woman has been going about her business quietly...and going about things quietly does not mean she has no qualifications! Do a little research, people! If you do, you will find out that she is indeed one of the BEST people for the job! An added plus is that she is not tied to the sub-prime debaucle as Cuomo is!

    January 1, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  24. Boston Irish

    Most people under 40 don't even know who the whole Kennedy family is anyway

    The ones over 40 remember Ted and Mary Jo Kopechne and wish they would all go away. The Kennedy name is no longer a name to be admired. You can thank Teddy for that at his no-good nephews.

    January 1, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. Laura, Boston

    Idea!!! Why doesn't Gov. Patterson appoint Mr. Burris and Blog appoint Kennedy then Sen. Reid can save face and not seat Kennedy because she was appointed by Blog.

    This is such a farse! She is qualified to host the Kennedy Honors Award show and that is about it.

    She has her law degree but did she even ever take the bar exam? Has she ever represented anyone? Has she ever held an outside job? Don't get me wrong, I am a wife and mom myself and I'm not putting stay at home mom's down. I just know that if a stay at home mom wanted to be a senator, and there maiden name wasn't Kennedy, they would be laughed to death. Why is Caroline Kennedy any different?

    January 1, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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