December 5th, 2008
09:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Sources: Caroline Kennedy asks about Clinton Senate seat

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Caroline Kennedy headed up Obama's VP search."] 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.

In an interview Friday with CNN affiliate NY1 News, Paterson added his own confirmation, saying, "I took a call from her Wednesday night but, I'm not going to talk about the conversation, that just adds more speculation and I don't think it's particularly relevant."

Asked if Kennedy expressed interest in the seat, Paterson replied, "We talked about a number of things, the seat did come up in the conversation."

Paterson added that he was not going to discuss anyone specifically that he might consider to fill the seat if Clinton vacates it to become secretary of state.

"I'm not talking about lists, individuals or anything like that. That just, in my opinion, obfuscates the process," Paterson said.

–CNN's John King contributed to this report.

Filed under: Caroline Kennedy • New York
soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Matt

    Is she a current resident of New York? or is she another carpet bagger like Clinton herself looking to take a position that should be held by an actual New Yorker. Does she have any qualifications? Granted Hillary set the bar pretty low by having none herself. Or is this another of the constant favors between democrats and their cronies.

    After putting up with Hillary's do nothing approach to being a senator doesn't New York deserve to be represented by a real New Yorker? I could accept it if there was not already hard working New Yorkers in New York government that deserve the job and earned the position.

    Enough is enough with all the favors.

    December 5, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    She's a winner!

    December 5, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    I hope she gets it!

    December 5, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  4. carol

    Caroline Kennedy would make a good replacement for Hillary Clinton....she's intelligent and young.
    Hope she gets the chance to get the senate seat, good to have another woman to replace Hillary.

    December 5, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  5. Independent voter

    I hope to God she gets the NY senate seat, I'd love to see Caroline keep the Kennedy politics going. She would make a great first female President one day. She has my vote!

    December 5, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  6. Camereon Data

    Caroline, Go for it, You deserve it. However, please plan to run a compaign with Hillary because she will not be confirmed as S0S. Your will become senator if you are elected.

    December 5, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  7. 2Nurselady

    What?! I don't think so. Caroline Kennedy? She has NO experience in politics, whatsoever, that would even come close to qualifying her for a senate position. The ONLY thing she's ever done related to politics is to support Barack Obama for President.

    Robert Kennedy, Jr., on the other hand, would be excellent in this position. He has done a lot of work on important issues for our country – and, for the world, for that matter. I would definitely support him for the senate seat his own father once held.

    Go Bobby, Jr.!!!

    December 5, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  8. Chris from Cali

    I think Caroline Kennedy wants to quell her boredom since her reported split with her husband by using our country's platform in the senate as a HOBBY. She is NOT qualified. Let her start off like others have and EARN her way into the senate. We don't even know what she stands for.

    I agree about Bobby Kennedy, Jr.. He would have my support.

    December 5, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  9. NoKennedy

    I hope she doesn't get it. What did she ever do that she hadn't
    gotten with the Kennedy name? What does she do? Nothing!
    I wouldn't vote for her as a New Yorker and don't think she is
    qualified for the position. This is not a popularity contest. Obama
    put her on the committees as a likely favor to Ted Kennedy. She
    went out of her way to make sure Hillary wasn't the VP candidate
    and now to walk off with her senate seat seems outrageous.

    December 5, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  10. California Voter 1

    Bobby Kennedy, Jr. should have this seat on the senate! It was his father's seat and he has done much more that Caroline has ever done politically. He has earned it. She has not.

    December 5, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  11. scotty

    I believe she would be the right choice for the seat. It's in her blood.

    December 5, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  12. tigerpilot

    Caroline Kennedy would be a great choice. She is smart, and knows what the feelings of the people are. she will be a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stuffy group of old white men.

    December 5, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  13. Barrey

    I echo your point, Matt

    December 5, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  14. Alex

    Another Kennedy in the Senate. I think that would be great. Let's keep the name alive. Because, first of all, it just REALLY ticks the conservative rePUBs off, and secondly, she might have some ideas that CAN help us.

    December 5, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  15. Calaban

    It would be nice if, for once, NY got a Senator who actually earned the position vice a half-wit trading on a famous name.

    December 5, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  16. gonneyeats

    Caroline is a brilliant choice! Goodness gracious, she's the stealth Sarah Palin!!!

    If Caroline becomes senator of New York State, she is on her way to becoming the first female president of the United States (in 2016).

    Who would have thunk it.

    December 5, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  17. irish

    Caroline Kennedy is probably a very nice person, but simply because she is a Kennedy doesn't really qualify her for anything. Oh, wait. Maybe she can be as qualified as her Kennedy cousins. The one charged with rape, the one that had the affair with the nanny, the one that paralized his friend when he wrecked his jeep. OH_______ let's not forget about Uncle Teddy. Now that's a fine upstanding man to look up to. Teddy hopes with time, that people will forget about Mary Jo. Not gonna happen. I think there are way too many Kennedy's in government now. We don't need another one.

    December 5, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  18. Brian

    As a resident of Western NY, I think it is absurd that a local ELECTED official might be looked over to satisfy a request of the Kennedy family. In my opinion the seat that is being vacated is meant to represent upstate NY, and should be replaced by someone who understands the issues of our area. A lot of people work very hard to represent this area and I think that there are many well qualified and more appropriate elected officials from Western NY that deserve the appointment.

    December 5, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  19. independent now

    Other than the Name Kennedy, What are her qualifications? Can I apply for the job, since I work in automotive and am starving to death!

    December 5, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  20. Matt

    @ Camereon Data

    1. Hillary will be confirmed unless the Repubilcans commit political suicide by trying to filibuster the vote to reduce the SoS salary accordingly as has been done in the past several times.

    2. Why does Caroline Kennedy "deserve" it? Because she's a Kennedy? Because she has been privileged to attend the political ball all her life as a result of her surname?

    She has no real qualifications and no experience in the political realm other than her genes. Heading the Kennedy library and writing a book or two does not a good legislator make.

    December 5, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  21. ABG

    It seems like Caroline possibly getting Hillary's Senate seat was all pre-arranged.

    It would be nice to see Caroline Kennedy be involved in politics.

    The return of Camelot!

    December 5, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  22. Matt

    Read it and weep: I'm a leftist liberal who voted for Obama. Putting her in a Senator's seat sets us back on what we achieved and the message we sent on Nov. 4th.

    December 5, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  23. Alex

    And what makes her qualified for this? I just knew she had an ulterior motive when she hitched herself to Obama's wagon. Not that she could've foreseen the Senate vacancy, but if you wanted to get into politics isn't your ridiculous last name enough? Just run for office on name recognition and sympathy and be done with it.

    December 5, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  24. Matthew from Los Angeles, CA

    I hope Caroline Kennedy does not get Hillary's seat! She did nothing to help Hillary and does not deserve it. A proud Clinton supporter should get the nod if Hillary does indeed become Secretary of State.

    December 5, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  25. Beth, Tucson

    A seat in the Senate is a pretty impressive plum for someone who has never been elected to any prior office! Surely there are other party loyalists who have actually proven themselves in elections.

    December 5, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
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