Kennedy Says He Would Serve in Obama’s Cabinet If Asked

RFK to Head the EPA?

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — reportedly under consideration by Barack Obama to head the Environmental Protection Agency — said that if asked, he would serve.

Expressing deep satisfaction — almost relief — with the election of Barack Obama yesterday, Robert Kennedy Jr., the longtime environmental activist and member of the Democratic Party’s most cherished family, said he would serve the next president if asked.
“You know what, I would be of service in any way that the administration asked me to be,” Kennedy told the Huffington Post. “But I am also very happy and I believe I am being effective doing the stuff I am doing currently.”

 

More from Politico:

President-elect Barack Obama is strongly considering Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to head the Environmental Protection Agency, a Cabinet post, Democratic officials told Politico.

The selection of Kennedy would be a shrewd early move for the new presidential team. Obama advisers said the nomination would please both Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.).

It also would raise the profile of the EPA, which would help endear Obama to liberals who may be disappointed on other issues important to the Democratic left because of budget restrictions.

The EPA enforces clean air and clear water laws. Kennedy, an environmental lawyer and son of the late senator and attorney general Robert F. Kennedy, has long championed a cleaner water supply for New York City.

As an officer and attorney for the environmental watch group Riverkeeper, Kennedy has taken on governments and companies for polluting the Hudson River and Long Island Sound.

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15 Comments

Filed under barack obama, climate change, election 2008, environment, global warming, hillary clinton, media, politics, RFK Jr., robert kennedy jr., the kennedys, Uncategorized

15 responses to “Kennedy Says He Would Serve in Obama’s Cabinet If Asked

  1. crystalwolf a.k.a. caligrl

    I am reading RFK’s book…Bush, crimes against nature, and I think he is THE pick for EPA or I heard also Department of the Interior. We need people who CARE about this country and the environment.
    I am horrified at what I am reading in RFK book about Bush & Co!
    YES WE CAN!!!

  2. Don’t get too excited just yet, folks. I think this is little more than a trial balloon being floated at this stage.

    Based on the comments flying around the blogosphere today and opinions posted on MSM news coverage as well, the trial balloon seems to be floating about as well as the Hindenburg — and surprisingly, much of the opposition seems to be coming from fellow Dems and especially environmentalists.

    Even if the rumor is true, I sense that RFK Jr. could face an uphill battle in Senate confirmation hearings. There are many Repubs and even some Dems who may bring up his past drug use and other issues (such as his stance on mercury in vaccines/autism and Cape Wind) as reasons not to confirm him.

    On the other hand, Obama does owe the Kennedys for their support in this election, and cabinet appointments are a nice way to take care of that. Also, with Sen. Kennedy being so ill, it’s entirely possible that a few phone calls from Uncle Teddy could speed RFK Jr.’s confirmation process along in the Senate and squash any opposition.

    After all, if Sen. Ted Kennedy (who has loyal friends in the Senate on both sides of the aisle) asks his buddies to help his nephew out, who is really going to oppose him, especially when it is one of a dying man’s final wishes?

    Then, just sit back and prepare yourself for the inevitable charges of cronyism that will surely come…handing out appointments to campaign supporters and family members is nothing new in Washington, but when it’s the Kennedys, expect the critique’ to be much harsher than it would be if the last name was Smith or Jones.

    Food for thought…

    I’d love to see Kennedy as EPA head or Sec’y of the Interior. I just have my doubts as to whether or not that can realistically happen.

    I would rather see him win an elected office ON HIS OWN MERITS in an election, FAIR AND SQUARE. That way, no one can accuse him of only getting the post because he’s “Ted Kennedy’s nephew.”…and you KNOW that’s what people will say.

    He will be accused of being unqualified to run EPA, of having no experience, and of taking the easy road into national politics via appointment rather than by being elected by the people who want to put him in a position of power.

    If he is chosen by Obama, the attacks upon him will be brutal, so get ready.

  3. chrisy58

    When I first heard that Bobby was being considered for the EPA position I was very happy. I think he would do a great job. Things might finally start changing for the better in this country.

    I hadn’t realize that people were attacking him already and the job hasn’t even been offered to him yet. I really don’t understand why people are so mean and hateful to others. That is the pollyanna in me I guess always thinking and seeing the best in others and thinking that in the end that truth, justice, honor, and what is morally right always comes out and in the end everything works out ok. I know I am stupid.

    Well, if he is chosen and the attacks come upon him, I am sure he will have the courage and strength to fight back. Hopefully he will be encouraged and inspired by those close to him who will fight just as hard for him to overcome those who would want to deny him the job that he could be of service to America. I hope he has a good wing man to support him in the fight if he is appointed, lol.The support of those who believe in him and believe that he should have the job I think will also add encouragment to him in the fight, if there is in fact one.

    The truth is that he would be wonderful at that post and that the country needs him to be involved in our government at a high level. If Obama were to pick him my respect of Obama would be earned and I would feel very good about doing my part in being active to support and work toward making his Presidency a success. I might even start believing in government again.

    I may not be explaining what is in my heart very well, but I will keep my fingers crossed that he gets offered the EPA post.

  4. moseljack

    Bring on “THE BRUTAL!”…

    “He will be accused of being unqualified to run EPA, of having no experience, and of taking the easy road into national politics via appointment rather than by being elected by the people who want to put him in a position of power.”

    Yeah… and ‘Drug use’ too? Huh… no more than our current Commander in Chief then aye?… How about addressing our current insider and lobbyist head of the EPA?… I’d rather see someone who ‘inhaled’ long ago, who has a viable track record and world wide admiration in his base for support (as in RFK,Jr.) than any one else who will be a crony-esque insider that will have far less grassroots experience and real change to offer our country in the EPA.

    Cape Wind?!!! What about it actually? it’s a pale prpogandistic, Rovian buzzword arguement that doesn’t have the greater good in mind for all(including fish), to even dignify… I’m sure it’ll get a mention from Republicans that want to keep Corporate lobbyists at the helm of the EPA right?… Cape Wind is easily argued, for the effects it would have on local fisheries and aquatic habitat, as offered by RFK,Jr. already.

    The big point here in my personal opinion, is for what… almost 140,000 blog viewers here to back up with their voices that they believe the massive ball we’ve been trying to push is actually moving for Mr. Kennedy now. We have been conjecturing here for almost two years on nothing short of dreams and aspirations from us to offer RFK,Jr our support for his voluntary public service at the political level… Now we have the MSM and the Obama Administration casting well vetted rumors of this, our aspirations, actually coming to fruition…

    Bring on the Melee’ !!! Bring on the SCHMERE! Bring on the best damn arguements you got “Toadies”! Get RFK,Jr out in the light… He’s fully capable of handling himself from there… We should be backing this to the hilt! and right NOW!!! The Cabinet is forming… The opinions are test firing… We should be blogging like our hair is on fire now that we have daylight and an opening for OUR MAN!

    The metal is red hot… Let’s strike and forge OUR IMPRINT before it cools…. Or we could spend the next 4-8 years blogging for apples and waiting for our next shot… So it ain’t the Presidency.. So it ain’t a Senate seat. So it ain’t Atty. Gen. SO WHAT.

    Let’s Roll for what we came here for!

    and a hearty……. Arrest Rove & Where the hell is Osama?!

  5. We posted an article today on our sister site, RFKJrNews.com, about the opposition Kennedy will likely face in Senate confirmation hearings, as reported by Politico:

    http://rfkjrnews.com/2008/11/08/kennedys-possible-epa-appointment-stirs-controversy/

    Reaction from the Washington Post blogs:
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/11/06/robert_f_kennedy_eyed_to_head.html

    Agoravox France says:
    “RFK Jr. at EPA? Thumbs Down”
    http://www.agoravox.com/article.php3?id_article=8870

    Even in Boston, the news doesn’t seem to be going over so well…some of these blog comments are just downright hateful:
    http://news.bostonherald.com/news/politics/general/view.bg?articleid=1130595

    And today’s Worst Headline Award goes to Forbes magazine:
    “Dangerous Kook at the EPA?”
    http://www.forbes.com/opinions/2008/11/07/kennedy-obama-epa-oped-cx_wo_1107olson.html

    Just posting these links here so you know what the other side is saying…in the interest of “know thy enemy.” These are the issues they will raise, the tough questions they are going to ask, the slimy insults they will surely use.

    It’s surprising to me how hotly contested this potential appointment already is…and the job hasn’t even been officially offered to Bobby yet!

  6. chrisy58

    Thanks for posting the links. Reading the comments was making me physically ill. One person even brought Joe into the comment and Joe isn’t even being considered and is busy living a private life. Why do people have to be so mean?

    My first response was I wanted to fight back, but I didn’t. Over the years I have learned that sometimes it is best to sit back and say and do nothing but don’t forget who the people are.

  7. Andrea

    If you search Google news for “RFK Jr” more than half of it is science bloggers screaming “HELL NO!”. If it was ever a live consideration I suspect there’s enough controversy to kill it off.

  8. After a few days of checking out the various news stories, blogs, and reader comments, all I can say is YIKES!!!!!

    The opposition has already started firing torpedos at this potential nominee long before the job was even offered. So now it’s hard to tell whether or not it will be.

    The opposition has already begun a “Stop RFK Jr.” letter-writing campaign to the Obama Transition Team.

    http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/2008/11/stop_the_rfk_jr_appointment_no.php

    We encourage our readers who support RFK Jr.’s possible appointment to counter the opposition’s efforts. Contact President-elect Obama and let him know you want Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to serve in his administration.

    Do it here:
    http://www.change.gov/page/s/contact

    Let your voices be heard — because the other side is screaming “NO” at the top of their lungs.

    * btw, Chrissy, know what you mean about the inane, ridiculous, and cruel comments posted on other websites. What galls me most is the level of stupidity out there around the Kennedys; the bomb-throwers can’t even aim their insults at the correct Kennedy! How many times have we read someone confusing RFK Jr. with his brothers Joe or Michael, or William Kennedy Smith or Patrick Kennedy, his cousin JFK Jr., or even his own father!?!. I mean….helloooo?

    If they’re going to bring up the babysitter thing, or the rape trial thing, or the annulment thing, or the drunk driving thing, or the Chavez/Citizens Energy thing, or the Chappaquiddick thing, or the Michael Skakel thing, or the plane crash thing, then it seems to me they should at least do enough research to know which freaking Kennedy they’re talking about BEFORE posting solid proof on the internet of their own idiocy for the whole world to observe.

    For the record, if anyone reading this is still unclear, RFK Jr. had nothing to do with any of the above incidents. Thank you for your time and attention!

  9. Autumn

    His biggest mistake was not backing off on the anti-vaccine platform when it became apparent after many studies that there is no link to autism. That’s what did him in. I used to think his drug use would be a factor against him, but as time goes on it appears more and more elected officials have had issues with drugs at one time or another in their lives. The fact that he was arrested for it might make a difference, not sure, but I don’t think it’s as serious of an issue as it once was.

  10. Simon

    I really hope that Obama will look past the right-wing opposition to RFK jr. And if he offers the job as Secretary of Energy to the GOP part of the family, Arnold Schwarzenegger, it might be seen as less controversial to appoint RFK jr. to head EPA. I wouldn’t have anything against John McCain in the cabinet either, maybe as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. That might give Obama the goodwill needed, to make some other and more controversial appointments. And RFK jr. could maybe tone the “vaccines causes autism” down a bit. He must reassure people that he will base his decisions on science. Otherwise it could be hard to get his appointment through the Senate.

  11. I think Simon made some very good points. There will have to be some “horse-trading” to get a controversial appointment like Bobby’s through. By appointing Rham Emanuel (another very charismatic man who is NOT afraid to be hated); Obama is already demonstrating that he is no wussy when it comes to appointments (I hope this continues). Bobby, Jr. & Rham seem very similar in lots of respects. People tend to love or hate them.

    I think McCain would be great in VA appointment, but I kind of doubt that he would accept anything less than a high profile position. One of the smartest people in Republican party is Newt Gingrich. Lots of you may be moaning at the mention of his name, but I suggest you take a look at his writing since he left congress. He is very interesting as a person, very outside the box. I would love to see Newt on the “good team”. He is so talented let him shine his brilliance in “right” direction for a change!

    I am all for Obama putting some real talented Conservatives/Republicans in appropriate positions. We as a nation are in lots of trouble, let’s get the best solutions, the brightest minds we have and start solving problems after 8 yrs of deterioration. I have personally heard Gingrich plead with Republicans for more bi-partisonship. I pray Obama gets the best people and I pray twice as hard he puts Bobb in EPA or Energy.

  12. Interestingly enough, I’ve noticed RFK Jr.’s name has suddenly vanished from MSM news reports on Obama’s cabinet picks over the past week.

    Apparently, the opposition has managed to scare the Obama transition team pretty well. Now most recent articles on our next EPA Head focus on other candidates, with scarcely a mention of Kennedy.

    It’s still not too late (we hope) for RFK’s supporters to contact the Obama team and ask him to consider Kennedy.

    Please do it NOW, if you haven’t already!

  13. Autumn

    If his name has vanished from the MSM, it might be because it was not a credible piece of info to begin with?

    After all, the report did not come from the Obama folks but from “democratic officials” whatever that means.

  14. Stacey Bridges

    It would be a Crime Against Nature if Obama didn’t choose RFK Jr. to head the EPA! If Obama had any question about his abilities just read his book “Crimes Against Nature”, it a meticulous account on how the Bush Administration and his corporate pals poisoned our air, water and land for profit!

    Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the only person qualified to head the EPA!

    If Obama is afraid of right wing, shame on him! You can’t lead by FEAR!

    Remember if we poison our air, water and land we will only poison our seleves!

    We need air to breathe, water to drink, and food to eat without it mankind will die out!!!

    We only have one planet and we need a man who has the BALLS to go after these Corporate Polluters and Make Them Pay To Clean Up The Mess They Created!

    If they Right Wing is screaming NO, I’m yelling HELL Yea! They Know Bobby is the man for the job and They Can’t Profit If He Heads The EPA!

    Robert would do the RIGHT THING! He Is Honest, Educated and Passionate about the environment and we need some one in office who can’t be bought!

  15. Pingback: RFK Jr. Out — Caroline Kennedy In? « Ask Not: The Kennedy Legacy

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