December 15th, 2008
03:01 PM ET
13 years ago

Kennedy to seek Clinton's seat

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Kennedy is interested in Kennedy's Senate seat."]

(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."

Full story

- CNN's John King and Kate Bolduan, and Mark Preston contributed
to this report.

Filed under: Caroline Kennedy
soundoff (255 Responses)
  1. FreeNLovIt

    I hope she gets picked for the Senate seat. All of you who wants it, COME and GET IT!! See U in 2010!!!!

    December 15, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |

    More power to her. Anyone who wants to dedicate her life to the betterment of the country gets my "hat off". Anyone who is sane and good intentions should be give the chance to serve.

    December 15, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  3. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    What a load of crap!

    Because she has the Kennedy name, and supported Obama in the primaries she suddenly becomes qualified to be a United Statea Senator? There is no family entitlement to this Senate seat, or any other. In fact, there is no family entitlement to any political office. This is not a Monarchy it is a Republican Democracy.

    I am a Democrat to my bone marrow, but think the idea that Caroline Kennedy deserves to be a Senator because she is Caroline Kenndy is lunacy!

    Hillary Clinton wasn't appointed to this seat, she won it in an election, and was re-elected based on her performance.

    Andrew Cuomo is extremely more qualified than Caroline Kennedy. If she is appointed then I pray the voters of New York demonstrate more sense than their governor and turn her out of office in two years.

    December 15, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  4. DC

    Sure she is "qualified" if you count education as the only qualifier. The idea that she should become the senator just because she is a kennedy and heaven forbid we don't have one in the senate is just pathetic. The world will not fall apart without one in the senate. What a joke. I am sick to death of the so called kennedy "mystique". If this is what America has become, a culture fixated on superficial popularity distinctions to choose their leaders, we are truly a joke.

    December 15, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  5. Leonard

    Caroline who???

    Don't get me wrong, why is she a candidate? Is she being recommended as an experinced political promotion or a woman with a political name?

    If she wants to run for the office, no issue. Nominated to a Senate seat because of her name. What the hell.

    We have enough problems without nominating an inexperienced candidate to an influential position without the input of the people she will have to represent.

    Let's have a special election. That way we can blame the folks that put her in office if she doesn't handle the job well.

    December 15, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
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