NY-Sen: Caroline Kennedy To Pursue Clinton's Senate Seat

Up until now, Caroline Kennedy's interest in Hillary Clinton's Senate seat has only been hearsay. Not anymore, according to The New York Times:

Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of an American political dynasty, has decided she will pursue the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, a person told of her decision said Monday.

The decision came after a series of deeply personal and political conversations, in which Ms. Kennedy, who friends describe as unflashy but determined, wrestled with whether to give up what has been a lifetime of avoiding the spotlight.

Ms. Kennedy will ask that Gov. David A. Paterson consider her for the appointment. The governor was traveling to Utica today could not immediately be reached for comment.

If appointed, Ms. Kennedy would fill the seat once held by her uncle, the late Robert F. Kennedy.

Ms. Kennedy has been making calls this morning to alert political figures to her interest.

As I wrote ten days ago, from Gov. David Patterson's perspective there are some distinct advantages to appointing Ms. Kennedy to the seat: she's a woman, she's a candidate with 100% name recognition, she's tight with the President-elect and, really, if you're a Republican, how do you run against Caroline Kennedy? On the other hand, she's a pretty bad campaigner from what I saw of her on the trail for Barack and I'm not a big fan of the precedent this would set -- have a famous name, the Senate seat is yours! But I suspect if she is appointed, she will work extremely hard to prove she is deserving of it in her own right.

Tags: Caroline Kennedy, david patterson, Hillary Clinton, NY-SEN (all tags)



dont like it

If she got elected in her own right thats one thing. Not a fan of her getting appointed to the position. If she wasn't a Kennedy, would she even be considered?

by falcon4e 2008-12-15 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: dont like it

Asking if she would be considered if she wasn't a Kennedy is completely pointless. She wouldn't be who she is at all if she wasn't a Kennedy.

The way I see it is this. She is clearly smart enough to do the job and do it well. She will be tough to beat in an election for many many reasons and the fact that she fought so hard to avoid the spotlight for so long leads me to believe she would not be doing this out of vanity or to feed her ego.

One thing that strikes me about the people, here and elsewhere, who don't want to see her get it is that they are largely against it because of her name. I do understand the arguments against nepotism, but having a famous name or being part of a family such as the Kennedy family should, at the very least, not be an argument against her appointment.

I personally am strongly in favor of this appointment. She has the right ties, the right ability to get re-elected, and will probably prove to be at least as capable of filling the seat as anyone else who could be chosen.

by JDF 2008-12-15 09:57AM | 0 recs

This appointment would be "pay to play" -- just like Blagojevich minus the corruption.  

The sole difference is that the consideration for winning the appointment would be one's lineage, rather than cash.

by He Who Must Not Be Named 2008-12-15 12:13PM | 0 recs
Is chelsea running in 2010?

Is that where we're headed?

by falcon4e 2008-12-15 09:43AM | 0 recs
Caroline Kennedy To Pursue Clinton's Senate Seat

Apologies for nitpicking but it's still hearsay.   In fact, it's almost the dictionary definition of hearsay.  

by Mitch Guthman 2008-12-15 09:50AM | 0 recs
NY precedent??

What do you mean "the precedent this would set"?  New York is famous for handing out their Senate seats to famous people.  How the hell do you think Hillary Clinton got it in the first place?  Sure she ran for it, like RFK, but like him she came in as a carpetbagger -- she never would have entered the election if she didn't think the voters would hand it to her.

Yes, it is disgusting. But for New York it certainly is nothing new.

by alvernon 2008-12-15 09:58AM | 0 recs
HilLary was ELECTED not SELECTED - -

Big difference when you want to leapfrog over the first Puerto Rican female in congress, the first African American upstate major city mayor, the senior woman in the congressional delegation, the leading downstate progressive (female), a former cabinet member, etc.  Big difference.

by kosnomore 2008-12-15 10:05AM | 0 recs
Re: HilLary was ELECTED not SELECTED - -

All of which was true when Hillary ran.  Except for the guy in Buffalo.

by Jess81 2008-12-15 08:44PM | 0 recs
Re: NY precedent??

This is a silly argument.  Of course she ran because she thought she would win.  Isn't that the way it usually works? Most people don't decide to run for Senate because they expect to lose.

The point is, Hillary Clinton did run for the seat, and in the process she faced off with Rudy Guiliani, who was then still very popular in NY. What we're talking about here is being appointed to the seat, which is a completely different thing.  I'm not entirely opposed to the idea, but I'm definitely skeptical. But either way, your analogy to Hillary Clinton just doesn't work.

by Denny Crane 2008-12-15 09:27PM | 0 recs
I need a list of good dynasties and
bad dynasties, so I can tell which ones we hand the keys to (Caroline?  Beau?  Jesse?) and which we denigrate as legacies.
P.S. - What are the odds that Caroline has less homes than McCain?  I know of NY, Utah, the Cape and Florida, for starters.  Or, again, does that stuff only matter of we don't like you.
by kosnomore 2008-12-15 10:01AM | 0 recs
Like Unique the Precedent has already been set.

Literally and unique are two commonly misused words. Here you misuse the word precedent. The precedent here has already been set in the 60s if not before and has already been copied by Hillary.

This precedent is long out the door.

by Jeff Wegerson 2008-12-15 10:10AM | 0 recs
Yes i hate it too.

Actually Hillary didnt set precedent for this (the way you misuse it) since she ran for election and got elected by voters, not appointed by the then Governor of the state.

by sepulvedaj3 2008-12-15 11:55AM | 0 recs
Meh, dynasties...

I'm sure Caroline would pursue a good agenda and all, but I'm downright irritated with her presumptuousness.  Being from upstate, I would really like to see a figure from Central or Western NY get the job.  NYC/Long Island/Westchester has held a monopoly on the gov and senate seats for decades while the rest of state has been neglected and left to rot.  If Caroline gets the appointment, her coffers will probably fill to the millions with Wall Street money and she'll become senator for life just like Uncle Teddy.  Yay democracy!

by T Law 2008-12-15 11:53AM | 0 recs

Brought it tons of money for upstate New York, which was evident by the repayment by voters shown through her increases in every single county in terms of percentage of the vote from 2000 to 2006.

by sepulvedaj3 2008-12-15 11:56AM | 0 recs
Except in 2006...

...the NY GOP was unable to recruit any sort of credible challenger to face Clinton.  The GOP primary was a drama-filled joke between two nobodies, and the bruised winner and the state GOP pretty much conceded the race as a lost cause way before election day.  Not bashing Hillary, but really, there wasn't much competition to speak of.  New York State as a whole is a much more democratic place than it was when she was elected in 2000, and we have Dubya and a tired state GOP to thank for that.

And in terms of Hillary and upstate, she brought some bacon home like any decent senator would, but in terms of her pledge to help 'create jobs' for the region failed as miserably as every similar promise made by our state's other politicians.

by T Law 2008-12-15 04:10PM | 0 recs

I'm sure she's a great person and all, but I really dislike continuing our downward spiral into oligarchy.

Appoint the best Democrat in NY's House delegation or in state government, maybe someone serving in government in an unelected capacity, but I don't think passing on a seat in the United States Senate to someone with a famous name who seems to have suddenly thought "hey, that might be fun" is a good idea.  

If New Yorkers want to elect a Kennedy, then that's their business.  Let her run and win.  But considering incumbent advantage and name recognition, this is essentially a life appointment based in very little merit.  

I do agree that it would be good to consider candidates who fall outside of the white-male group, though it shouldn't be a "litmus test", in the parlance of our times (and to quote The Big Lebowski!).  

by freedom78 2008-12-15 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Ugh.

There's even more -- now Congressman Salazar can take his brother's seat!

by He Who Must Not Be Named 2008-12-15 12:14PM | 0 recs
Dynasties Galore

If it wasn't Caroline Kennedy, then it would probably be Andrew Cuomo, another politcal heir that I care little about.  The only difference is that Cuomo would have been a little more discreet about his intentions.

by T Law 2008-12-15 04:14PM | 0 recs
This explains American admiration for British

Monarchy. I guess if they can not have the royalty they could at least settle for the Serfdom of Kennedy's.

by Joshuagen 2008-12-15 12:08PM | 0 recs
Caroline Kennedy To Pursue Clinton's Senate Seat

Woah, All the hate from puma's in this thread is revealing. The fact is she is as qualified as Barack was for president and we saw how the experience argument works in general or in the primaries.. it doesn't work. The facts are that Obama wants her there, she is qualified, good money raiser and wants it. she will probably get it based on those facts alone and then it is up to voters to decide in 2 years as it works everywhere else.The fact that her last name is being used as an argument against her is ridiculous, it is a plus if anything else.

by YourConcernsAreNoted 2008-12-15 02:11PM | 0 recs
Don't compare Obama to Caroline!

They have nothing in common except that Caroline endorsed Obama. Obama won the primaries and the GE due to his merit, grit and determination not because his uncle is Kennedy and spouse is Bill. Questioning Caroline Kennedy's nomination make me a Puma???

by Joshuagen 2008-12-15 03:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't compare Obama to Caroline!

No it doesn't make you a puma, but most of the opposition i have seen to her is from people who supported Hillary and even opposed obama after the nomination was over. I just see a pattern developing.

The reason I compare Obama's situation to Caroline is because lots of arguments against Obama (experience, is he a fighter etc) are being used against Caroline. She is a constitutional writer, a lawyer, Worked on and raised major money for education, close obama adviser and helped him run his VP operation.. basically helping him make his biggest political decision in GE. by all account she did a fine job in that. Plus she is well known and great fundraiser. Has the ear of the next president on NY issues since they are so close. More than good enough for me IMO.

by YourConcernsAreNoted 2008-12-15 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't compare Obama to Caroline!

dude - stop pushing this meme.  let the primaries go - they are over.  

if anyone has objections to kennedy in this role, they have every reason (and some good ones) to be against it.  and FWIW most (or at least half) of the people in this thread were obama primary supporters.  feh.

by canadian gal 2008-12-15 05:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't compare Obama to Caroline!

 On the contrary, I find the analysis compelling. She's capable, qualified, and deserving. At the root of the vehement opposition to her consideration is her early, fervent, moving, and compelling endorsement of Barrack Obama. Plain as the nose on your face.

by QTG 2008-12-19 07:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Don't compare Obama to Caroline!

i personally am indifferent to kennedy.  however many are opposed to this and have valid reasons for it.  was her endorsement moving?  who the feck cares?  certainly not the people of NY who's best interests are served by her stirring endorsement of obama?  get a grip.

however - the commenter - and possibly you - are refighting primary wars by trying to frame criticism of this - just that you dont have a fancy name like PUMA behind you.

by canadian gal 2008-12-19 03:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't compare Obama to Caroline!

 You judge me too harshly. I'm proud of my early backing of the winner, and resent it when sore losers attack those who did likewise. I hope the tactics now in use against Caroline Kennedy fail just as they did when earnestly employed against our new President.

by QTG 2008-12-19 05:28PM | 0 recs
One thing no one seems to mention...

...is what are the pluses for Paterson.  Remember, before Caroline threw her hat in the ring, this choice would be based on his own (skillful) political calculations.  Paterson has a good amount of good will from the public following the Spitzer debacle, but he is still an accidental governor looking towards reelection, so the choice that he makes will not necessarily be solely guided by the desires of this aristocrat.  Hell, people liked accidental President Ford, but the country was in rough shape and people wanted a switch in leadership.

by T Law 2008-12-15 04:23PM | 0 recs
Re: One thing no one seems to mention...

Good point. I think it's more likely that Paterson will pick someone who will either generate a lot of good will from a constituency he needs (upstate voters? Latino voters?) or remove a possible rival for the next gubernatorial race (Cuomo? Suozzi?). I'm not opposed to the idea of Caroline Kennedy in public office but I strongly feel that whoever Paterson appoints should be someone who has already been elected to public office.

by bryannyc 2008-12-15 07:56PM | 0 recs
For the people who were against Clinton using the

argument that they wanted an end to the Bush & Clinton dynasties, smell of hypocrasy when they are now pushing for another member of a dynasty!

by suzieg 2008-12-15 06:00PM | 0 recs
If she ran..

If she ran and won, I wouldn't be opposed to it. She would have won by the will of the people. She's only being considered because she's a Kennedy. If she won a primary and defeated a Republican, I'd take it more seriously.

by falcon4e 2008-12-15 08:40PM | 0 recs
To Pursue Clinton's Senate Seat

I'd be opposed to it were it not for the fact that one of her chief rivals (Andrew Cuomo) is so odious.

by Jess81 2008-12-15 08:49PM | 0 recs
Re: To Pursue Clinton's Senate Seat

What's so odious about him?

by Denny Crane 2008-12-15 09:21PM | 0 recs
Re: NY-Sen: Caroline Kennedy

I have no feelings about Caroline kennedy one way or the other, although I'm a huge fan of Teddy.  That said, I'm extremely skeptical about this idea.  I'd be much more comfortable if she were currently in the House or some other elected office. If this were a special election, I'd certainly have no problem with her running.  But I think being appointed to the Senate as one's first public office is a little much.

Of course, I'm also not thrilled at the prospect of one Salazar being appointed to fill the slot of the other (possibly).

by Denny Crane 2008-12-15 09:20PM | 0 recs
Get Real People

This is how democrats shoot themselves in the foot and snatch defeat out of the mouths of victory.

What's wrong with Cuomo? He's a dullard of a politician  - couldn't get himself elected Gov. Has some name recognition - but totally uninspiring. Is not a real threat to Paterson, at all.

Assume Gulliani will "leap" at the chance to take the seat from some no name appointed congressional woman - who we think is "qualified" to have the seat appointed to them because they have been "elected" in upstate.  Geesh! - how unimaginative can you be - this is how you lose a seat people.

Don't like the rich having so much political power? Well let's just all agree as Democrats that they shouldn't run - and just give the seats away to the Republicans.

by CB Todd 2008-12-16 07:05AM | 0 recs


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