Ambassador Caroline Kennedy? Maybe
April 1st, 2013
09:04 AM ET
9 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. Jules

    Caroline would make a great ambassador. She won't be interested in running for president, she is much too private for that and also would not put her family through that.

    April 1, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. Tim W.

    When you look at the list of Presidential Candidates .....She should run for President........I'd vote for her !

    April 1, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. jim

    wow...another useless Kennedy getting another useless plum assignment and this is news to CNN....

    April 1, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Christopher

    Is Biden stoned in that photo or just hung over?

    April 1, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. jj

    Go, Caroline!

    April 1, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. Bob1god

    It's amazing what a famous last name get's u !

    April 1, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. BeverlyNC

    Caroline would be fabulous. She has spent her adult life in service to others, to running charitable organizations, working for many humanitarian causes. She is smart, dedicated to public service, and very aware of both domestic and foreign affairs.

    April 1, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. Michigan patriot

    Just because she is a Kennedy they are going to give her something to make her happy. Where is her experience? We need to gain some respect in the world. Let's send someone that is able to do that.

    April 1, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Christopher wrote:

    Is Biden stoned in that photo or just hung over?
    He looks like he's tahrd.

    April 1, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  10. Big Al

    Nobody said a word when Obama appointed Matt Brzezinski ambassador to Sweden. Never even heard a word about it on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." Probably because his sister is co-host of the show.

    April 1, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I'm with El Tejano and Luis Noriega on this one. Why are there so many comments on this non-story, besides the fact that she is a Kennedy? I don't even understand the usual RWNJs commenting on this.
    These are the folks that usually end up being offered an ambassador's post: affluent, high-end contributors, socially connected jet-setters who also tend to be well-educated facilitators.
    What is the big deal here besides the fact that it is President Obama doing the offering?
    Rudy I hope you have a snack, a blanket, and a comfortable place to crash while you wait in vain for an answer from the Reich wing peanut gallery.

    April 1, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. TTBALA

    Jim why don't you say another useless Bush trying to run again and ruin this country I think this warrants more interest than your useless brain concerning the Kennedy's unlike the bushes distructions they have done great service to this country, I suggest you take the blinders and educate yourself it not a shame to not know something but is is a great shame to stay as ignotant as yourself.

    April 1, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. LR

    OK; we get it. If you don't/didn't like anything Kennedy, you just 'hate' Caroline and think she's not qualified, etc. If you do/did like the Kennedy family, you think she'd be great in the job. Good thing that people who post here don't actually have the responsibility of making important decisions. Whew!

    April 1, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. Big Al

    Some day, before 2016, I hope, a black man or black woman will grace the stage as being appointed by President Obama.

    April 1, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. JPM

    Why? Is she qualified and how?

    April 1, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. Fiona

    Oh, PLEASE! She has no qualifications, no experience with or education in Japanese culture or politics. She has nothing going for her but her name and parentage. What a way to insult Japan!

    April 1, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. Natalie

    like, um, like, I guess, doesn't anyone um remember like when she tried to, maybe um, run for Senate? It was a disaster.

    April 1, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. Willie12345

    Bow, you stand before a member of a Royal, commoner !!

    April 1, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Nothing against Kennedys. Its just that political posts are becoming hereditary. This is not confined to the US sadly, I know India has had internal discussions on the growth of HMP – hereditary members of parliment. Its a shame and it covers both parties: Cuomo, Biden, Pelosi, Bush. Very sad.

    April 1, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. nell ryan

    Big Al -

    When he tries it, the right wing nut cases start a slander campaign against the possible appointee. Have you not heard of Susan Rice?

    April 1, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Kevin H

    Many argue for experience, yet so many Presidents have given Ambassadorial posts away as prizes to people far less bright and far less able than Caroline Schlossberg. Her children are grown, she's independently wealthy, she can't be bought and would cause us little embarrassment. I think she's a great choice. Given some of the choices made by other Presidents for far more significant posts I'd say she's just fine.

    April 1, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. Brian

    I hope she runs for Senate after her stint as ambassador. We need a Kennedy back in the Senate.

    April 1, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. Norman

    ...and while we're at it, how about Rachel Maddow for Ambassador to Antarctica?

    April 1, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. Kevin H

    One more thing – typically our State Department people who are posted to specific countries don't have language background in the language of the country nor cultural affiliation because there is always the fear of "going native". Thus most Ambassadors aren't even conversant in the language of the country to which they're appointed. Caroline speaks French I believe, she's well traveled, she actually has headed up or been part of some sophisticated NGO's – which is more than many appointees can claim. Clinton appointed Pamela Churchill Harriman as our Ambassador to France. She had no State Department experience – her sole claim to fame: Averill Harriman, her long since dead husband, a Mormon leader and son of the founder of Brown Brothers Harriman, had given quite a bit to the Clinton campaign. She served a short time and died in the swimming pool of the Ritz Hotel in Paris – allegedly doing laps, her son Mark said. She wasn't even really American – she'd spent most of her time abroad. She probably was ex-MI6 or CIA – but that's a whole other discussion.

    April 1, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  25. n carrozza

    I agree with Jim...another useless Kennedy..everybody thinks the Kennedy's are the greatest thing since sliced bread, they are nothing but a bunch of crooked politicians. JFK couldn't keep it in his pants, Ted Kennedy was an alcoholic, and his drunken behavior caused the death of a women.

    April 1, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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