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. Ray from CA

    I like her and I support her

    December 5, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  2. wanbligi

    Caroline Kennedy would make a fine replacement for Hillary if Hillary gets confirmed for Secretary of State. We need a bright, articulate and sensible Senator from New York and a woman.

    December 5, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  3. President Kennedy

    Kennedy 2016!!!

    December 5, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  4. 60 yr old white woman

    She is as well qualified for that position as Hillary was when she ran. (I don't count First Lady as too much 'experience'.) But they are both attorneys licensed in NY and DC, both well educated and hard-working. The difference, as I see it, is that Caroline has done all of her work without garnering (or requiring) much publicity. But her children are grown now and if she feels she is ready to step up to the plate, she is definitely qualified.

    December 5, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  5. Matt, Canoga Park

    What is this "she deserves it"? How so? Her last name? Supporting Obama? Her Daddy? Her Mom? Her Brother? How about having only qualified currently working in state government as a State Senator for New York, Pick the best one and make them the new Senator. Thats what was intended by giving Govenors the right to appoint Senators in case of death or move to other office. Not cronie-ism.

    Having a famous last name does not make you qualified to anything more so than any other person. Look at Clinton for example. What did she do for New York? As a former resident I know she did nothing for us in New York. She did for herself and used New York to do it.

    There are people currently dedicated to the state and working hard for it as a senator or represenative. They are not there because of their last name, they are there because they believe in serving their state. You move the best one up and then get a new state senator.

    That is what our founders wanted, that was their intent. Not some "just because they have name recoginition celebrity so they should get the job approach".

    Stop letting the media advertised news decide your government. I have no problem with Caroline Kennedy. She is probably a decent person and qualified for the job. But is she more qualified than a current New York state reperesenative? If she wants to represent New York then she should have done so already and not wait for a vacancy and slide into a position she does not deserve because she thinks she is entitled.

    The Govenor of New York only has his job because the previous person could not do the job. He moved up to that position by being next in line. That is how it is done.

    December 5, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  6. Mrs. Y

    Hillary Clinton was elected twice to the Senate by the will of the people of New York.

    If Caroline Kennedy thought that she would be just as qualifed (if not more) as Hillary, Caroline should run for the New York Senate seat in 2010 to see if she would be elected. And I don't mind if she won, really!

    But to fill Hillary's Senate seat this way, Caroline just tries to ride the coattail of Obama and use the Kennedy name to get what she wants like a lazy spoiled rich brat without shame.

    December 5, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  7. Joel Miller

    Go for it Caroline. Gov Paterson she's a great choice.

    December 5, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  8. Zach K

    A Daughter and Uncle in the Senate. A first prehaps?

    Go for it Caroline. America needed Obama, now New York and America needs another Kennedy to help us through these troubled times.

    December 5, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  9. Dobbs Beleo

    Well, I guess if a scatter brained ditz like Mooseburger Palin can run for Vice President then Caroline Kennedy can sure as hell be a senator. At least Kennedy can buy her own clothes and talk in complete sentences.

    December 5, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  10. Subservient to Royalty

    All those people who have toiled in the vineyards – we don't need them. When a royal family member expresses interest, royalty must always come first. Royalty must always be allowed to cut directly to the front of the line. That's why we fought the revolution – to install our own royalty American style.

    December 6, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  11. Gin

    "A real life princess" ...please save us from the thought of developing an American royalty.

    December 6, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  12. Chris

    I disagree with most of the comments. Why do we like Caroline is it because she is a Kennedy or supported Obama. Is Obama now rallying for her quid pro quo. Andrew Cuomo obviously has the most experience and has been elected for state office. If Caroline gets it with absolute zero political experience I give up on Americans actually showing any sort of intelligence in voting for a political candidate. The rest of the world usually votes for their candidates based on experience, voting record, and issues they have taken up over the years. Ms. Kennedy has none...period.

    December 6, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  13. EAGAN

    SENATOR Caroline Kennedy –

    The American logo, Icon, symbol. . . .
    Caroline Kennedy is the American Spirit.

    December 6, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  14. Go Carolyn !! Yeah !

    Fantastic. It's great to see Carolyn take a public roll in politcal matters in the last few years. I never thought she would want to be in office but I think she takes the legacy of her Uncle Teddy very seriously as well as the legacy of her father. Carolyn doesn't get by on her name. She is a very intelligent woman who has studied law, written books about privacy, contributed to picking Joe Biden. etc. etc. She's much more than just another Kennedy. She has real substance, a great heart, courage, a brilliant and well-versed mind and a great work ethic. GO CAROLYN !!

    December 6, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  15. gregg

    oprah for senator,, she has billions ,, is aa so ,, why not america ,,, i want my free health care, and my rent paid,, and all of his promises,its my money and i want it now,,, jan 21 2009..

    December 6, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  16. grahame

    Good. The Kennedy name should go forward if for no other reason than to curdle the pee of the Republicans

    December 6, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  17. Be Serious

    Are we becoming republicans now? Do we know anything about where she stands on most issues? She is going to become my senator just like that? All I know about her is she is JFK's daughter. If she runs for it I might support her. But if this is how she tries to get in I will never vote for her because that will tell me all I need to know about her. Around the time Ted was taken to the hospital MSM was reporting that he wanted his wife to his place in the senate if anything happened to him. Come on people! I like the Kennedy's in general but this is becoming too much.

    Some people are listing her 'qualifications.' Going to Harvard is somehow supposed to show how smart she is? Did you think she was going to go to the local community college? Being JFK's daughter I am surprised that she didn't sit on more boards.

    We set an example by electing Obama. Lets not do something extremely stupid now

    December 6, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  18. gregg

    oh well................ at least i did vote ,,, maybe the trilogy might occur again,,, hope you all who voted for the messiah and noah get what you deserve,,, if not dont blame me.........

    December 6, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  19. Sue

    @ Matt in Chico, CA
    that was a pathetic comparison of Caroline to her uncle and something she holds no accountability for

    December 6, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  20. Caroline, Yes

    The thought of voting for Caroline Kennedy is very interesting. She would be a great example of living her father's legacy. She talks all the time about public service and how it is an honor to serve, and I think she would be great for New York.

    If John had lived, she probably would not feel the necessity to run for an office. The legacy continues and I think she would make an excellent choice.

    December 6, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  21. Travis Johns

    Yeah, seems like she wants a seat where she doesn't have to be elected into.
    Hillary 2016.

    December 6, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |

    Carolyn, Remember your grandmother's wish for you? She knew you have your dad's genes! you are the best Kennedy right now. Margie

    December 6, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  23. Susie

    I agree with you, ladies and gentelmens.
    NOT THEM. sigh....

    December 6, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  24. Suzanne

    Caroline would be an excellent choice, and I hope she gets to represent us in New York as our Senator. Andrew Cuomo would do a great job as well, but he has been an outstanding Attorney General in New York State and I think we need to keep him there.

    December 6, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  25. Susie


    December 6, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
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