Kennedy may fill Clinton’s seat

Associated Press

Caroline Kennedy is interested in the Senate seat that would open if 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.”

If 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.


Robert Kennedy Jr. said that 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.

Robert Kennedy Jr. also offered a policy rationale for giving her 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.

Kennedy is the daughter of President John F. Kennedy and a niece of Robert and Edward. 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 booster of Barack Obama’s presidential bid, Caroline Kennedy spent much of the year taking bigger steps onto the public stage. She spoke at the Democratic National Convention.