RFK Jr. Says Cousin Caroline is “Interested” in NY Senate Seat


Caroline with Obama on the campaign trail

Caroline with Obama on the campaign trail

WASHINGTON (AP) – Caroline Kennedy is interested in the Senate seat that would open once Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes secretary of state, according to a close relative who says the powerful Kennedy clan is fully behind her rising to the office previously held by her uncle.

“I know she’s interested,” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Friday. “She spent a lot of her life balancing public service with obligations to her family. Now her children are grown, and she is ready to move onto a bigger stage.”

Once Clinton is confirmed to President-elect Barack Obama’s cabinet, New York Gov. David Paterson will appoint someone to fill the seat for two years.

The Kennedy family’s connections and history cannot force Paterson to choose Caroline, but the family’s strong support could make it difficult for him not to.

Robert Kennedy said the family would come out en masse for her if she does get the appointment and has to run for election in 2010.

“If she runs, you will see more Kennedys than you have ever seen in your life,” he said.

An environmental lawyer who took himself out of consideration for the Senate seat earlier this week, Robert Kennedy said he has spoken to his cousin about the position and is one of “many, many people” urging her to seek it.

He also offered a policy rationale for her in the role: education.

“She’s probably one of the leading advocates in the nation on public education. She feels a lot of the issues she’s worked on are in danger of being shunted aside because of the economic crisis,” he said.

Democrats said Caroline Kennedy and Paterson have already spoken about the Senate seat, and she is interested.

After two New York Democrats said Kennedy and the governor are expected to meet privately to discuss the matter Saturday, the governor’s spokesman said they do not have a meeting planned.

Many hoped that one of these little guys might one day occupy their father's U.S. Senate seat

Many hoped that one of these little guys might one day occupy their father's U.S. Senate seat, but RFK Jr. (L) withdrew his name from consideration earlier this week.

Caroline Kennedy is the daughter of President John F. Kennedy and a niece of brothers Edward and Robert. Robert Kennedy held the New York seat from 1965 until his assassination in 1968. Edward Kennedy has been a senator from Massachusetts since 1963.

As a prominent member of the Kennedy clan, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg is the kind of high-profile, historic figure who could overshadow many other New York politicians hoping to be Paterson’s choice.

The governor has said he is in no rush to make a decision, and Clinton is not giving up the seat before she is confirmed as President-elect Barack Obama’s secretary of state.

“The governor has not yet reached out to any potential candidates,” said Paterson’s spokesman, Errol Cockfield. “He has been approached by several candidates. Any discussions related to that selection are private and the governor will not comment about speculation before a decision is made.”

Whoever Paterson appoints would serve for two years and then have to run in a special election in 2010, along with Paterson and New York’s senior senator, Charles Schumer. The candidate would then have to run again in 2012.

Kennedy has strong connections to incoming Obama administration officials – though Obama transition spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter insisted they were not involved in any way with the search for the next U.S. senator from New York.

As a prominent booster of Barack Obama’s presidential bid, Kennedy spent much of 2008 taking bigger steps onto the public stage.

As famous as she is, she always has been viewed as almost painfully shy. She does not like talking about herself, nor does she appreciate those who do.

She met her husband, Edwin Schlossberg, while working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They married in 1986 and have three children.

She made a splash in early 2008 by writing an op-ed column for The New York Times declaring her support for Obama, saying he had the potential to be as inspirational to Americans as her father was in the 1960s. She also spoke at the Democratic National Convention.

She then hit the campaign trail with Obama, and worked on the vice-presidential search that eventually settled on Joe Biden.

Caroline Kennedy is easily the most famous contender for Clinton’s Senate seat, but there are plenty of others. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is widely known in the state. Paterson could also pick Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown or Tom Suozzi, a Long Island elected official.

RFK Jr. may have taken himself out of the running for his father’s old senate seat, and earlier this week stated that he most likely would not serve as Director of the EPA if asked. But that doesn’t mean he’s ruled out working in an Obama administration altogether. Kennedy told a crowd in Berkeley, California Thursday that he still hadn’t made up his mind. In response to an audience question, he said: 

“I have spent a lot of time talking with my family about whether it would be better for me to wait until the second term,” he said to applause and cheers from the audience.




Filed under barack obama, hillary clinton, jackie kennedy, JFK, JFK Jr., John F. Kennedy, john f. kennedy jr., media, politics, president kennedy, RFK, RFK Jr., robert f. kennedy, robert kennedy jr., senator robert kennedy, the kennedys

3 responses to “RFK Jr. Says Cousin Caroline is “Interested” in NY Senate Seat

  1. Andrew

    Oh, this is great, GREAT news!

    Go Caroline!!!!!!!!!

  2. Susan Brown

    I doubt Caroline really wants to do this. She has stayed out of politics all of her life for a reason.

    Probably a damn good reason, too.

  3. You go Caroline! What would your Dad or Uncle do?… These are make or break times… Either your in or you’re out… No middle ground wiggle room… We need strong committed public servant patriots to lift us out of the veil of horrors which short of a few good moments… started immediately after you lost your father and uncle.

    How would you respond to something like this Caroline?

    Another day, another non-denial denial that Bush is planning midnight
    preemptive blanket pardons for his entire gang, including himself. In
    an article in the New York Times the other day, current attorney
    general Mukasey is quoted as asserting it would not be “necessary”.
    Please take careful note he did not say it wouldn’t happen, because
    unless we speak out now it WILL.

    The best shot we have is H.Res. 1531 which puts the administration on
    clear notice that there will be strong push back from Congress if
    they attempt such a scurrilous stunt. Please submit this action page
    to ask your House member to sign on as a co-sponsor of this measure.

    Support H.Res. 1531 Action Page: http://www.usalone.com/hres1531.php

    We all know that George Bush as someone without even the guts to face
    his own music, he who sent more that four thousand brave Americans to
    their senseless graves, for a premeditated and knowing lie in Iraq,
    tens of thousands of American crippled and mutilated for life,
    trillions looted from our economy, and he doesn’t even have the
    simple courage to risk the accountability of having to defend his
    numberless crimes in a fair trial.

    It is now known that Nixon seriously considered pardoning himself,
    but even he was not THAT despicable. George Bush most certainly is.
    And remember that his administration has been infested with Nixon era
    cronies like Cheney and Rumsfeld, so it is no surprise that the
    malfeasance of the Nixon era has been magnified in the last eight

    Nixon infamously said, “If the president does it that means it is not
    illegal”, conveniently after his own blanket pardon by the way. That
    has been their creed. The entire Bush administration has been one
    ongoing criminal enterprise since day one, a wrecking ball to the
    Constitution and rule of law, with torture, illegal surveillance,
    obstruction and perversion of justice in the firing of U.S.
    attorneys, not to mention national level election fraud, the naked
    treason of outing Valerie Plame, and on and on.

    And the only way we can make sure nothing like this EVER happens
    again is to demand full accountability, so that all America truly
    understands what a miserable, lying, cowardly creep we were so
    foolish as to allow get away with stealing two successive
    presidential elections.

    Please call on your members of Congress to immediately sign on to
    H.Res. 1531, and let’s have a real national debate on the coming
    greatest outrage of all, before they get away with that too.

    Support H.Res. 1531 Action Page: http://www.usalone.com/hres1531.php

    Well Caroline… How would you react to this? I’m embarrassed that this is the way my President ran our country. We need some reckoning in place that this kind of bullshit can never happen again… Be part of the audacity and the answer to this disgrace. Tell Paterson you want the job! and tell us too… (hint) make it loud and proud Caroline, we’re New Yorkers’ we like it like that… As President Kennedy’s daughter, we’d be proud to have you represent us in our time of need.

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