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. DorisV

    She is a very well educated intelligent woman. I think she would be a good ambassador.

    April 1, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. JFritz

    Ambassadors have often been political appointees. Remember Reagan appointing Shirley Temple Black as Ambassador to Switzerland? Her contribution was marrying a rich man who gave loads of dough to the Republican party. Still, she probably made a nice guest at those fancy dinners, representing our nation with dignity. I think the actor John Saxon was another political appointee–to Mexico, if I remember correctly. They are often figureheads, and as a figurehead, Harvard and Columbia educated Caroline Kennedy is as good as it gets. The grunt work is done by the career folks; the gladhanding and inside info from the President from the Ambassador. She's perfect for the job–smart and well-connected. She will do our country proud. What do you haters want? A country-western singer?

    April 1, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. Arcfontis

    Caroline Kennedy is a highly intelligent woman, attorney, author, level headed – I think that makes her more the qualified than most of those bozos from Washington......

    April 1, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  4. Kris

    A lot of people on this board obviously have not read her credentials. She is highly qualified to do just about anything she wants to, despite having the Kenedy name. She is well educated and experienced and would be a great representative of the United States.

    April 1, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  5. B

    @ Big Al who wrote:

    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 |

    Haven't you heard of Vice Admiral Regina M. Benjamin M.D., M.B.A. who is African- American and now serving as the 18th Surgeon General of the United States of America who was appointed by President Obama?

    What about Eric Holder who was also nominated by President Obama and confirmed as the first African- American to hold the position of Attorney General of the United States?

    April 1, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. Gordon

    What does her Dad's affairs and the amount her Uncle drank have to do with her ability to be an Ambassador? She should stand on her own.

    April 1, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. Lori Lee

    Her children are a part of JFK....

    April 1, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  8. darth vader's daughter

    As long as she can keep her hands flat on the table and and stay away from the back door of banks, I say congratulations.

    April 1, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  9. trh

    Hard to believe all the people arguing about what a wonderful ambassador she would be!! It is a worthless political position in return for working for the party. She can obviously do it as well as anybody; no talent required. Just go to parties and shake hands. Embassys are a total waste of money; ought to close them all. Teleconferencing is just as convenient. Other than a problem for the CIA ( no place to put their token "diplomat" ), I can't see why the closures would matter to us.

    April 1, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  10. TruthandConsequence

    it does not matter the political and influence buy university admissions, credentials and ambassadorships. The rest of us hope for the first two and forget the last.

    April 1, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  11. J Robinson

    I don't think she is very bright, articulate or experienced in world affairs. Seems like the perfect candidate.

    April 1, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  12. HomeBoy

    Good for her! Let's see if she can keep the 'umm's out of her speech for more than 30 seconds. Remember how she embarrassed herself when she ran for office.

    April 1, 2013 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  13. esu589

    The press has always pushed the Kennedys on our society. We dont adore them, we dont care about their "charities ( since their fortune was made just like Al Capone They consider themselves to be above that law and they arrogant. .

    April 1, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  14. rainydaygirl

    It was actor, John Gavin, who was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Mexico by Ronald Reagan.

    April 1, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  15. Meki60

    Another no experience person, I can't believe it.

    April 1, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  16. esu589

    Her grandfather was an ambassador..........look what that turned into. Read the history. And their are other women just as qualified. Condi Rice for example. Their is a highly qualified, classy woman. Condi for president.

    April 1, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  17. yogi

    It is amazing to see so many negative reactions from the right here, they just cannot accept that here is a very intelligent, caring, and dignified woman who would be great as an ambassador. She represent all the qualities that are so hard to find in the GOP.

    April 1, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  18. Maynard

    So, she barely was able to pass the bar exam, after multiple tries. Yep, she's qualified. What about her screaming that she had to wait in line for an ice cream. Yes, she was an adult when that episode happened. Caroline Kennedy has never worked nor earned anything in her life.

    April 1, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  19. Angie


    A lot of people on this board obviously have not read her credentials. She is highly qualified to do just about anything she wants to, despite having the Kennedy name. She is well educated and experienced and would be a great representative of the United States.

    April 1, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm

    April 1, 2013 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  20. Angie


    A lot of people on this board obviously have not read her credentials. She is highly qualified to do just about anything she wants to, despite having the Kenedy name. She is well educated and experienced and would be a great representative of the United States.

    April 1, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm



    April 1, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  21. Steve

    For those who keep arguing that she is intelligent (Her degrees mean nothing. The wealthy can purchase anything they want- Just see Bush/Yale), I suggest you listen to a number of her press conferences and speeches when she considered running for Senator back in 2009. She was an embarrassment.....

    April 1, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  22. Forrest Gums

    Jeepers, such vitriol about an ambassador appointment? Take it easy, there are worse things to be said about many of the goof balls currently sitting on their hands in Congress. How about some appreciation for those that serve without personal gain? And while we're at it, Please Make a contribution today to the Wounded Warrior project. Never forget those that put their lives on the line to protect our great nation. Thank you, Peace, Love and Understanding.

    April 1, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  23. Lynndel

    Steven Anthony "Steve" Ballmer would be a better candidate.

    April 1, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  24. lw42603

    I continue to be flabber gasted on people's hatefulness, rudeness and ignorance. Since the internet and twitter have beome so popular there seem to be so many more "experts" on what qualifications people have or don't have. This is what it now means to be an American Patriot????????. Trash anyone with opposing views???????? It's SHAMEFUL.

    April 1, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  25. Jewels

    I like Caroline Kennedy. When I first saw her interviewed, she seemed dry. But, I can tell she's pretty serious in nature and intelligent. Definitely someone that I think would do well in representing our country. Haters need to stop hating....

    April 1, 2013 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
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