January 1st, 2009
06:16 PM ET
14 years ago

Kennedy clears political hurdle

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/17/art.kennedy.gi.jpg caption="A powerful New York Democrat now says he will support Kennedy if she is named Senator."](CNN) - Caroline Kennedy appears to have cleared a big hurdle in her quest to replace outgoing New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.

New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a powerful Democrat who has questioned whether Kennedy is the best choice to fill the likely vacant seat, said Wednesday he will support Kennedy should she ultimately be appointed to the post.

"I have determined there's a good possibility she will be the appointee of the governor," Silver told the New York Post. "If she is the appointee of the governor, I will certainly be supportive of her. I will work for her and will work strenuously for her election."

Silver's comments differ markedly from his statements last week, when he suggested Kennedy is too closely allied with Michael Bloomberg, the Republican-turned-Independent New York City Mayor.

"If I were the governor, I would look and question whether this is the appointment I would want to make: whether her first obligation might be to the mayor of the City of New York, rather than to the governor who would be appointing her," Silver told an Albany radio station then.

Related: Kennedy says she's best for the job

In the interview with the Post, Silver acknowledged he is now more favorable of Kennedy than he was last week, and said she will likely help the governor get elected to a full term in 2010 if she is on the ballot herself.

"The governor, I think, wants to run [in 2010] with a strong candidate, and I'm sureā€¦having a well-known woman on the ticket will be helpful," he said.

Paterson has the sole responsibility of picking Clinton's replacement. His pick would serve for two years before running in a special election in 2010. If the candidate won that contest, he or she would have to run again in 2012, when Clinton's term ends.

Related: Kennedy's public campaign may box in Paterson

Filed under: Caroline Kennedy
soundoff (355 Responses)
  1. c s

    She hasn't earned the position. What about Andrew Cuomo who has paid his dues–she hasn't done anything but been born a Kennedy!

    January 1, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  2. fishtxo

    Silver finally saw the light!! If he doesn't want to be kneecapped and lose his political status and maybe lose his reelection, he has now decided that Caroline Kennedy is the right selection after all. Smart move on his part.

    January 1, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  3. Julie

    I find it completely pathetic that she is being considered for Senator Clinton's seat. She has absolutely no qualifications for being a Senator except her name and money raising ability. It seems to me that none of this is change but more of the same. She is getting compensation for coming out in the primary to endorse Barack. I voted for Barack and am excited to see what he will do but this is ridiculous. Caroline wasn't qualified to be on the Vice President vetting team let alone in the Senate. I hope Andrew Cuomo will be given the opportunity since he is the one who has earned the appointment and is a good democrat. I really don't think the good people of New York will vote her in in 2010. It really seems a little slimy.

    January 1, 2009 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  4. sasha

    Interesting that Caroline Kennedy's uneducated comments are being overlooked-while Sarah Palin, who is much more capable, was blasted all over the place by the media.

    January 1, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  5. Barbara in PA

    Caroline Kennedy is no less qualified than Sonny Bono's widow, Gopher from Love Boat, the guy from Law & Order, or Hillary Clinton herself when she ran. She has better understanding of the Constitution than most sitting Senators. If this were her brother or her cousin Bobby Jr, both of whom were interested in the seat at one time, nobody would be making any stink about it. Its a sad commentary that raising children and charitable works hold so little value.

    She would make a good Senator. She would have to run for election in 2010 and part of the decision is can she raise campaign funds for the elections – which she certainly can.

    January 1, 2009 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
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