Ambassador Caroline Kennedy? Maybe
April 1st, 2013
09:04 AM ET
10 years ago

Ambassador Caroline Kennedy? Maybe

(CNN) – Caroline Kennedy has been asked to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Japan and is being vetted for the post, a Democrat familiar with the discussions told CNN on Monday.

Kennedy, the daughter of former President John F. Kennedy, was a top backer of President Barack Obama during both of his presidential campaigns and served as the co-chair of his vice presidential search committee in 2008.

She’s the only surviving member of JFK's family and has largely shunned the limelight and scrutiny associated with her famous last name. After publicly expressing interest in running for the U.S. Senate seat in New York vacated when Hillary Clinton became secretary of state in 2009, she ultimately decided against making a bid, citing “personal reasons.”

She made speeches at the 2008 and 2012 Democratic National Conventions, both times recalling her famous relatives – in 2008, her speech served as a tribute to her uncle, Sen. Ted Kennedy, and in 2012 she noted that “like my father’s election in 1960, this is one of those elections where the future of our country is at stake.”

At Monday's White House press briefing, Obama's press secretary Jay Carney said he had no personnel announcements when asked about Kennedy.

After receiving degrees at Harvard and Columbia, Kennedy served in a variety of roles at New York non-profits, including the John F. Kennedy Library and the American Ballet Theatre.

The current U.S. ambassador to Japan is John Roos, who assumed the role in 2009. He was the first American ambassador to attend commemoration ceremonies for the American atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He also led America's embassy through the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the ensuing nuclear aftermath.

The United States is Japan's largest economic partner as well as a military ally. The U.S. military presence on Japan's Okinawa island has remained a point of diplomatic tension between the two nations. Some of the island's residents have complained about noise from the base, in an urban area. Many others were incensed by the misconduct of U.S. troops stationed there, including the 1995 rape of 12-year-old Japanese girl by three U.S. military personnel.

Opposition to the presence of U.S. troops in Okinawa runs so deep that it contributed to the resignation of former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in 2010. He had promised to move the base but later announced that the base would stay, a decision he called "heartbreaking."

Filed under: Caroline Kennedy • Japan
soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. Name:kimutai rotich

    I think she deserve to be Us ambassador to japan,she has not commite any unlawful practices.I wish her the best.

    April 1, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. James Bond

    Another kennedy is much better than another bush, since obama has announced her financial backing, (this is no different than the repubs), i think it looks bad. nothing new, but still a little tasteless considering she does not have the credentials to make her an obvious choice, getting harder to find a politician anyone wants anymore

    April 1, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  3. Name

    It will be nice to see Caroline representing the USA. President Kennedy's time was unfinished, John Jr. died too early, as did his, and Caroline's, mother. This will be a magical appointment reminding us older folks of another kind of "Washington D.C." where things actually happened-sometimes some good things!

    April 1, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. Karen

    Caroline Kennedy would make an excellent Ambassador. She is bright, caring and has integrity. To those haters who would demean her, grow up! I agree with Georgia, get rid of the no talent, no brains group (you know who they are), and replace them with people who use their brains & have Integrity and compassion.

    April 1, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  5. laxattack33

    To 'theDude': The Japanses were NOT responsible for Joseph Kennedy Jr's death. He was a Naval aviator on special assignment in England. The best information is that he was involved in the top secret project to outfit bombers with remote controls and closed circuit TV that would allow an explosive's laden bomber to be remotely flown into the entrances to U-boat pens in Northern France. The story is that there was some kind of glitch in the arming circuitry of his plane and when they armed the device, the explosives were prematurely detonated. Please ensure your facts before spouting. Thanks.

    April 1, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  6. VEW2012

    Why not, she has a law degree from Columbia Law School, is a Havard graduate,serves as the chair of the Senior Advisory Committee for the Institute of Politics at Harvard University, has written and published several books, most notably: "In Our Defense, The Bill of Rights in Action" and "The Right to Privacy". Plus, she has served on the board of many non-profit organizations. I'm sure if anyone is up to the minute on current world and political events, it would definitely be Caroline Kennedy.

    All I can say is look at the GOP whiners posting here...Fact is: four out of every ten of George W. Bush's appointments to ambassador ( a 36% rate) were Bush fund raisers labeled "Pioneers" who contributed or who raised over $100,000 each for the Bush campaign, one was even partly responsible for funding the "Swift Boat" video. Nineteen of Bush's Pioneers became ambassadors in 2001 the first year of his presidency.That was the highest percentage ever.

    April 1, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  7. bcrunner

    Julie Finley gave over a milllion bucks to Bush of her own money... did not raise the money... gave it.. and, guess what? She became an ambassador... What qualifications did she have besides being a rich socialite???

    April 1, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. laxattack33

    An earlier commenter said something about Ms. Kennedy's uncle being killed by the Japanes in WWII. In fact, Joseph Kennedy Jr was a Naval aviator in the Atlantic battleground. He was involved in a top secret project to remotely fly heavily loaded bombers directly into the entrances of U-boat pens in Northern France. The story is that there was a glitch in the arming system that resulted in a detonation of the plane before he and the co-pilot bailed out. Had he survived WWII, you can bet that his father would have bought the 1960 election for HIM, not his younger brother, John.

    April 1, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  9. Peace

    You republicans get over it. Ambassadors are asked to serve and are NEVER elected. If they don't like the job, they also ask to leave as Jon Huntsman did when he was Ambassador to China. No qualifications needed though not everyone suits the job like Sarah Palin.

    April 1, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  10. LWJR

    Why does this CORRUPTION continue in american politics? The DEMS keep worshiping the Kennedy's as if they have some sort of magic dust. We are sick of this, sick of Clintons, sick of Bush's, sick of only 2 political parties. VOTE INDEPENDENT, fresh blood in US politics.

    April 1, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. tv22

    More pandering to the liberal elite. I bet she even evolved her thinking on gay marriage this week.

    April 1, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  12. B Henderson

    Excellent choice for an ambassador. However, CNN article claims Japan as USA's largest economic partner. I thought Canada was.

    April 1, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  13. Al-NY,NY

    Dude Love

    GREAT. I was hoping this family would just disappear after Drunken Ted died.

    funny...I was thinking the same thing about "Jeb" aka Jethro Bodine as a possible POTUS candidate in 2016 "after Midland village idiot Duh Duh Duh-bya left office"

    April 1, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  14. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Caroline Kennedy is going to be a wonderful spokesperson and ambassador to Japan. What a difference between woman like her and the dumb idiotic brainless 10th wonder of the world, Sarah Palin.

    April 1, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  15. Lord Toronaga

    I think she would best serve the people of the United States by being the ambassador to the moon or maybe the Jack Daniels distillery.

    April 1, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. Randy, San Francisco

    Great choice. Kennedy name still has some magic. Smart talented lady who will do a great job.

    April 1, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. Loki

    saw an interview with her a few years ago–mostly she kept repeating "you know"–hope she has learned a few more words–you know

    April 1, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  18. Joe

    If it was Caroline Schlossberg being nominated for an ambassadorship to Japan this story wouldn't even make headlines. Oh wait Schlossberg is Ms. Kennedy's married name. Doesn't she use it anymore?

    April 1, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  19. us_1776

    As much as Japan does not like the base, they need it.

    Especially with Kim Jong Un and his possible nuclear missiles.


    April 1, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    So what exactly is Caroline Kennedy's unique skill or skills that make her the perfect fit for Japan, a major ally? Sure, an ambassadorship is often thrown out as political payback... but to Japan???

    This whole "hater" label you folks throw at people who voice an opposing opinion to this administration really needs to stop.
    I don't know. You don't know. More importantly, the haters don't know. Try reading their posts before you defend them. By defending them, you are condoning their remarks.
    What "hateful" remarks am I defending, Rudy? NONE, that's what. Know what's ironic, though? The people who throw out the term "hater" on these blogs are almost always those who have NO tolerance for a dissenting opinion. Grow up.

    April 1, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  21. Greg In Toronto

    Check your facts CNN.....

    Canada is the largest trading partner to the USA.

    April 1, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  22. Jules

    Degrees from Harvard and Columbia and the books she has written certainly don't disqualify her from any ambassador post. She is an accomplished women and more accomplished than many ambassadors who only write a check – and that would be for both parties.

    April 1, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. northerstar

    When she attempted to run for the Senate seat in New York she proved to be a terrible speaker and was quickly asked to pull out of the campaign. She does not have any qualifications for the post other than being a Kennedy. Japan should be annoyed that the position of Ambassador to Japan does require better qualifications.

    April 1, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  24. Crow T Robot

    I suppose sending any liberal to the other side of the globe is a positive. Go quickly Caroline Kennady-Sloshedberg.

    April 1, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    "This whole "hater" label you folks throw at people who voice an opposing opinion to this administration really needs to stop."

    What "hateful" remarks am I defending, Rudy? NONE, that's what. Know what's ironic, though? The people who throw out the term "hater" on these blogs are almost always those who have NO tolerance for a dissenting opinion. Grow up.
    You' defended all of them. Try reading some of the hateful, denigrating remarks. Dissenting opinion is one thing. Casting personal insults is quite another. And, you're still defending the hateful remarks, uh no, excuse me, the "dissenting opinions."

    April 1, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
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