Caroline? Sweet.

CAROLINE KENNEDY TOSSES HER HAT OVER THE WALL

…AND HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO FOLLOW IT

“Frank O’Connor, the Irish writer, tells in one of his books how, as a boy, he and his friends would make their way across the countryside, and when they came to an orchard wall that seemed too high and too doubtful to try and too difficult to permit their voyage to continue, they took off their hats and tossed them over the wall–and then they had no choice but to follow them.”

— President John F. Kennedy

San Antonio, TX. November 21, 1963

Caroline Kennedy is going for it.

Gov. Paterson said Kennedy called him Monday to formally ask to be considered for the U.S. Senate seat that will open up when Hillary Clinton becomes Secretary of State.

Paterson, who will make the two-year pick, said Kennedy wants to “to tell me what she thinks her qualifications are.”

The governor spoke to Kennedy about the seat on Dec. 3, but wasn’t sure if she was serious or just dipping a toe in the water.

Although Paterson has the only say, Kennedy has reached out to some of the state’s top Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan).

Kennedy also was calling many in the state’s congressional delegation and others such as Time Warner Chairman Richard Parsons and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, with whom she has worked.

Klein said Kennedy spent the last week giving serious thought about the position, how it would affect her family and the fact that she would have to run for election in 2010 and reelection in 2012. “She’s clearly ready and sort of making sure people know she’s willing to do the hard work that’s necessary,” he said.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) said Kennedy called her Monday to say “she’s excited about the race and she’s ready to roll up her sleeves.” While saying they won’t publicly back a candidate, Quinn and a host of others cited Kennedy’s credentials as a public education advocate and her life as a lawyer and constitutional scholar.

“She is in,” a top Dem source said. “I don’t see how he [Paterson] says no. He has to do it.”

Kennedy, who has said nothing to the press, has gotten warm praise from President-elect Barack Obama and Mayor Bloomberg, but has also been the subject of criticism from Clinton supporters who say she lacks the experience to be a U.S. senator.

“We don’t know if Caroline has that fire in the belly,” Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Queens, Brooklyn) said outside a Clinton fund-raiser last night. “Being senator of New York is a 2-4/7, 365-day-a-year endeavor.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who spoke yesterday with Kennedy, said he “unequivocally disagrees” with the criticism. “Elected office is not the only area of public service that establishes leadership in this country,” Sharpton said.

Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines said the senator will not be weighing in on the debate.

“This is entirely Gov. Paterson’s decision,” he said.

Kennedy is the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy and niece to the late Robert F. Kennedy, who once held the seat she is seeking. Known for her shyness, she’s spent most of her adult life out of the public spotlight.

One person who worked with her at the city Education Department said, “I never thought this is something she would be interested in.”

Kennedy has hired a political consulting firm tied to Schumer and Bloomberg and The News has learned she may soon embark on a quasi-“listening tour” upstate – just as Clinton once did.

Her family, particularly her uncle Sen. Edward Kennedy, was pushing her to go for the seat. Many say Edward Kennedy wants to ensure that the decades-long tradition of having a Kennedy in the Senate continues.

Her cousin Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was thrilled to hear the news, saying she immediately becomes the favorite to replace Clinton.

“You’d immediately have someone in the Senate who everyone wants to work with and who has a winning personality,” he said.

Citing her work with Obama, who calls Caroline Kennedy “one of my dearest friends,” RFK Jr. noted the value of having a freshman senator “with direct access to the President and to thebiggest political names in the Senate.”

Asked about the criticism, he said, “It’s New York. It’s politics. Nobody is going to waltz in … without being criticized.”

Paterson will make his decision after Clinton is confirmed.

Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.), who has announced he’ll run for the seat in 2010, said he expects Kennedy to be Paterson’s choice.

“It makes me more inclined to run than ever,” he said.

“The senator from New York should be someone with a record of fighting for New York and who understands the problems and issues of middle-income and working people.”

Story from U.S. News and World Report

With Glenn Blain and Kenneth R. Bazinet

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under barack obama, election 2008, 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, texas, the kennedys, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Caroline? Sweet.

  1. Pingback: Caroline? Sweet. at Hillary Clinton On Best Political Blogs

  2. Pingback: Caroline? Sweet. « Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for President at Hillary Clinton On Best Political Blogs

  3. I like your blog. Would you consider exchanging links?

    I don’t care whether links and comments agree or disagree as long as they are witty or intelligent, as your blog is. The important thing is that we have intelligent discussions to improve America.

    Our future is what we make it. Idiot Congress and elected officials have proven by example that if we do nothing, we have no future. The first step is never to vote for the person currently in office.

    It helps to have some entertainment, satire and laughs along the journey.

    My blog address is http://franklynchusa.wordpress.com

    My 2008 Presidential campaign website that changed the issues for all the Presidential candidates, including Obama, and still has additional issues needed to lift up our future, is

    www franklynch.org

    Thanks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s