WASHINGTON (CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is backing Caroline Kennedy to replace Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton as the next senator from New York.
Watch: Reid on Kennedy
The majority leader told Nevada Political analyst Jon Ralston Tuesday that he personally called New York Gov. David Paterson urging him to appoint Kennedy to the seat.
“She's 52 years old,” Reid said in an interview on Ralston’s Nevada-based television show ‘Face-to-Face.’ “I've spoken to her. She was part of a vetting process for vice presidential choices for Obama. She's lived in government and politics her whole life. I think it would be a tremendous thing....We have a lot of stars from New York. Bobby Kennedy. Hillary Clinton. I think Caroline Kennedy would be perfect. “
When asked by Ralston if he planned on calling the governor, Reid answered, “I already have.”
A Reid spokesman confirms to CNN that the majority leader called Paterson last week expressing his support for Kennedy.
But even as Reid is supporting Kennedy for Senate, some Clinton supporters aren't so enthusiastic - including Rep. Anthony Weiner and Robert Zimmerman - a CNN contributor, DNC member and Clinton supporter.
(CNN) - Caroline Kennedy, the 51-year-old daughter of President John F. Kennedy, has made it clear to high-level Democrats, including New York Gov. David Paterson, that she wants to be the next senator from New York, a source close to Kennedy has told CNN's John King.
Two other sources confirm her interest in filling the seat now held by Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton. One source is a senior Democratic operative.
Kennedy's interest in the seat could mean the continuation of a family legacy in the Senate that began 56 years ago with the election of her father as the then-junior senator from Massachusetts.
Her uncle Ted has represented Massachusetts in the Senate since 1963. Her uncle Robert served as New York's junior senator from 1965 until he was assassinated in 1968.
"Remember, this (Clinton's) seat in the Senate was once held by Robert Kennedy," CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider said. "Her other uncle, Ted Kennedy, is ill right now. If Paterson appoints Caroline Kennedy to the Senate, it means there could be a Kennedy staying in the Senate for quite a long time."
Before this year, Kennedy generally limited her forays into the public sphere to non-partisan activity, penning books on civil liberties and serving as the de facto guardian of her father's legacy.
But in January, she backed a political candidate for the first time, announcing her endorsement of Obama during the Democratic primary season with an op-ed in the New York Times that drew days of the kind of media attention she has spent her life avoiding.
"I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them," she wrote. "But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president - not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans."
"Apparently she has acquired a taste for politics," Schneider noted. "She wants to be part of this new regime in America, clearly playing a key role in the Senate if she gets that appointment."
– CNN's John King and Kate Bolduan, and Mark Preston contributed
to this report.
(CNN) - Caroline Kennedy, who spent most of her life looking to steer clear of the spotlight, is capping off a year of unusually public - and political - activity with interest in the Senate seat that would be vacated by Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton.
And her interest in that seat could mean the continuation of a Kennedy legacy in the Senate that began 56 years ago with the election of her father, John F. Kennedy, as the junior senator from Massachusetts.
Her uncle Edward has represented Massachusetts in the Senate for more than four decades. Her uncle Robert served as junior senator from New York from 1965 until he was assassinated in 1968.
"Remember, [Clinton's] seat in the Senate was once held by Robert Kennedy," CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider said Saturday. "Her other uncle, Ted Kennedy, is ill right now. If [New York Gov. David] Paterson appoints Caroline Kennedy to the Senate, it means there could be a Kennedy staying in the Senate for quite a long time."
NEW YORK (CNN) – Caroline Kennedy has called New York Gov. David Paterson to ask about the Senate seat to be vacated by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton if she is confirmed as secretary of state in the new Barack Obama administration, Democratic sources tell CNN.
One Democratic source close to the Kennedy family confirmed that Kennedy has had conversations with Paterson and "is interested to say the least" about discussing the Senate vacancy. This source says Kennedy has asked a tight circle of other family friends and political advisers for advice.
A second source, who has knowledge of Kennedy's conversation with Paterson, tells CNN that Kennedy reached out to inquire about the responsibilities and impact such a move would have if she were selected by the governor to fill the position.
(CNN) - Could Caroline Kennedy, considered to be among the most private members of the Kennedy clan, be tapped to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat?
Kennedy - who endorsed Barack Obama in February before the Super Tuesday round of primaries - is said to be considering the possibility, according to an ABC News report.
New York Gov. David Paterson, the man tasked with picking Hillary Clinton's successor, is remaining mum on the process, but a spokesman for Barack Obama issued a statement in the wake of rumors the president-elect is quietly lobbying Patterson to choose Kennedy.
"President-elect Obama has a very high regard for Caroline Kennedy," said Obama spokesman Stephanie Cutter. "But he has not spoken with Governor Paterson or Caroline Kennedy about the race, and has no involvement in this process."
Earlier, similar rumors circulated that former President Bill Clinton might be interested in the job, but the former president's office quickly released a statement saying he was not interested.
Caroline Kennedy's cousin, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., was also discussed as a potential successor, but formally took his name out of the running earlier this week.
Paterson still has a strong bench to choose from. There are a number of contenders, including several members of New York's delegation in the House of Representatives, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, and Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi.
Whoever is chosen would have to be ready for virtually non-stop campaigning and fundraising over the next four years. Clinton's successor will face a hotly-contested campaign in 2010 to fill out the remainder of her term, then a re-election bid jut two years later.
(CNN) – After years of decline in the U.S. image abroad, one of President-elect Barack Obama’s many tasks will be reaching out to the global community. Obama’s choice for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations will play a key role in rehabilitating the country’s image and relationships around the world.
Here’s CNN’s list of possible contenders for the post of U.N. ambassador:
LEE HAMILTON: Hamilton was a member of the House of Representatives for decades, and chaired the House Committee on Foreign Affairs during his tenure in Congress. Hamilton also was vice-chair of the 9/11 Commission and co-chair of the Iraq Study Group.
CAROLINE KENNEDY: The daughter of former President John F. Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama during the Democratic primaries and also served on Obama’s vice presidential search committee.
DR. SUSAN RICE: This veteran of the Clinton administration previously worked for the National Security Council and the State Department. Rice was also a senior adviser to Obama’s presidential campaign.
Click here for additional CNN short lists for Obama’s potential cabinet.
DENVER (CNN) - Tonight marks the Kennedy moment of the convention. And what’s important is, the Kennedy legacy has a very specific meaning. Democrats for years have talked about finding another Kennedy. In the 80s, it was supposed to be Mario Cuomo. Now, Barack Obama is being called the “black Kennedy.”
The Kennedy image is that of the tough liberal. Liberals in the 70s and 80s were not tough guys; the stereotype was that of the wimpy liberal. Democrats long for another tough guy in the Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson mold.
Ted Kennedy has, of course, become the last bearer of that legacy of his generation - and Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Barack Obama is certainly the most important endorsement of the campaign, because it signified the anointment of Obama as a Democrat in the Kennedy tradition.
(CNN) – It's already happened once before: the person tapped to search for a vice presidential candidate assumes the position instead. Now, liberal filmmaker Michael Moore is pushing for it to happen again - this time with Caroline Kennedy assuming the role of Dick Cheney.
In an open letter to the famous political scion Wednesday tapped by Obama to find his No. 2, Moore expresses deep reserve with leading VP candidates Joe Biden and Evan Bayh because of their votes to authorize the Iraq war, and urges Kennedy to float her own name for the position.
Watch: Malveaux on the VP hunt
"What Obama needs is a vice presidential candidate who is not a professional politician, but someone who is well-known and beloved by people across the political spectrum; someone who, like Obama, spoke out against the war; someone who has a good and generous heart, who will be cheered by the rest of the world; someone whom we've known and loved and admired all our lives and who has dedicated her life to public service and to the greater good for all," Moore writes in the letter published on his Web site.
"That person, Caroline, is you."
Watch: Caroline Kennedy backs Obama
Moore, who's 2004 movie Fahrenheit 911 hit theaters only months before that year's presidential election and led to John McCain's public rebuke of the film at the Republican convention, also makes a direct appeal for Obama to "step up and surprise us again."
"Step up and be different than every politician we have witnessed in our lifetime," he writes. "Make Caroline Kennedy your VP. "Obama-Kennedy." Wow, does that sound so cool.
The daughter of former President John F. Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy formally backed Obama's White House bid only days before the Super Tuesday round of primaries on February 5. In an Op-Ed in the New York Times, Kennedy hailed the Illinois senator as a man who man who could be a "president like my father."
In June, Obama formally asked her to help steer his vice presidential search, along with Washington power-players Eric Holder and Jim Johnson. Johnson later resigned that post after issues were raised over favorable mortgages from Countrywide Financial.