Ambassador Caroline Kennedy? Maybe
April 1st, 2013
09:04 AM ET
1 year ago

Ambassador Caroline Kennedy? Maybe

(CNN) – Caroline Kennedy has been asked to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Japan and is being vetted for the post, a Democrat familiar with the discussions told CNN on Monday.

Kennedy, the daughter of former President John F. Kennedy, was a top backer of President Barack Obama during both of his presidential campaigns and served as the co-chair of his vice presidential search committee in 2008.

She’s the only surviving member of JFK's family and has largely shunned the limelight and scrutiny associated with her famous last name. After publicly expressing interest in running for the U.S. Senate seat in New York vacated when Hillary Clinton became secretary of state in 2009, she ultimately decided against making a bid, citing “personal reasons.”

She made speeches at the 2008 and 2012 Democratic National Conventions, both times recalling her famous relatives – in 2008, her speech served as a tribute to her uncle, Sen. Ted Kennedy, and in 2012 she noted that “like my father’s election in 1960, this is one of those elections where the future of our country is at stake.”

At Monday's White House press briefing, Obama's press secretary Jay Carney said he had no personnel announcements when asked about Kennedy.

After receiving degrees at Harvard and Columbia, Kennedy served in a variety of roles at New York non-profits, including the John F. Kennedy Library and the American Ballet Theatre.

The current U.S. ambassador to Japan is John Roos, who assumed the role in 2009. He was the first American ambassador to attend commemoration ceremonies for the American atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He also led America's embassy through the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the ensuing nuclear aftermath.

The United States is Japan's largest economic partner as well as a military ally. The U.S. military presence on Japan's Okinawa island has remained a point of diplomatic tension between the two nations. Some of the island's residents have complained about noise from the base, in an urban area. Many others were incensed by the misconduct of U.S. troops stationed there, including the 1995 rape of 12-year-old Japanese girl by three U.S. military personnel.

Opposition to the presence of U.S. troops in Okinawa runs so deep that it contributed to the resignation of former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in 2010. He had promised to move the base but later announced that the base would stay, a decision he called "heartbreaking."


Filed under: Caroline Kennedy • Japan
soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. jo an

    I have the greatest respect and admiration for Caroline...She has contributed in many ways. She is a great writer and speaker! You go Caroline!! We are lucky to have you!!!!

    April 1, 2013 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  2. blackhawkmom

    Slap on the back, good ole "boy" jobs at taxpayer expense.

    April 1, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  3. theINDEPENDENTone

    And why? What has she done? Ohh she's a Kennedy. Same reason Robert Kennedy Jr. and the Kennedy family got $1.4 BILLION in tax payer money to fund their "Green" Energy company that is $1.8 Billion in debt. Money laundering to the Democrat elites and Obama???? Well they are the smart ones and you the voters.. fools.

    April 1, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  4. Economystic Extraordinaire

    I like Caroline but she is not really suited for this job.

    April 1, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  5. Chuck

    I lost all respect for her when she backed Barack Obama for president

    Her father was against just about everything Obama is for.

    April 1, 2013 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  6. Jerry

    Probably not a bad choice, but if she didn't seek Hillary's Senate seat, why would she want to leave the US–I don't think she will accept the Post.

    April 1, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  7. David B

    JFritz: it was actor John Gavin (not John Saxon) who became Ambassador to Mexico in the Reagan administration.

    April 2, 2013 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  8. lily

    Caroline Kennedy? She won't do any work, she'll have others do it. She'll glad hand and be at fancy events with her father's last name.

    April 2, 2013 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  9. ANNIER

    Caroline is a well-qualified, sophisticated young woman who will represent this country well. There has never been one iota of scandal or wrong-doing connected to her, her husband or her children. She is not her uncle; she is not her father. For all the haters posting on this board – shame on you!

    April 2, 2013 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  10. Connie B

    Remember when she was contemplating running for the Senate and completely botched an interview where she couldn't rely on a teleprompter? Horrible speaking skills. Has no ability to answer questions put to her or speak off the cuff. It was pretty embarrassing. She must have used the work 'like' a hundred times.

    April 2, 2013 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  11. Tom

    It seemed that Jackie raised her and John to stay away from politics and find their own way... I think she will do fine and I think that John would have been fine.

    April 2, 2013 04:21 am at 4:21 am |
  12. Mary

    From what I have seen and heard from her on TV, she does not display any of the people skills required an ambassador.,

    April 2, 2013 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
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