AC360 Associate Producer
Well, we’re in the home stretch. One week from today is Christmas. The day when little kids wake up early and rush downstairs to find out if Santa brought them that new bike, doll house or Senate seat.
Caroline Kennedy is back in Manhattan after spending a busy Wednesday upstate, meeting with local political leaders, arm wrestling Bills fans, and going door-to-door discussing housing issues: “Your home is so lovely. It reminds me of John Kenneth Galbraith’s chalet in Gstaad.”
Ms. Kennedy didn’t answer too many questions from reporters but – in the few remarks she did make – demonstrated a knack for connecting with average citizens: “I love being here in Southern Canada. It has the cheerfulness of Martha’s Vineyard and the serenity of Nantucket.”
And despite the circus-like atmosphere I reject the insinuation that the Senate appointment process has turned into some sort of reality show. By the way, the first debate between Caroline Kennedy, Andrew Cuomo and Fran Drescher will be held next week in Michael Bloomberg’s hot tub. It will be co-moderated by Bob Schieffer and Sally Struthers.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/12/15/kennedy.senate/art.kennedy.gi.jpg caption="Caroline Kennedy would like to be considered for the New York Senate seat."]
The New York Times
Caroline Kennedy wants Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat. And New York is taking her seriously. We are talking about this matter a lot when we aren’t otherwise engaged in attempting to string up rogue investment advisers.
A free United States Senate seat is a very fine thing, especially since Gov. David Paterson does not seem to be expecting a holiday envelope from the lucky winner, unlike some governors we could mention. However, Paterson does want someone who could come up with around $50 million for a statewide campaign in 2010, and Kennedy has been supersuccessful at raising money for New York City’s public schools and other good causes. Although it’s important to note that asking for money to buy books for poor children is not quite the same thing as asking for money to buy 60-second TV commercials about how great you are.
It is a tribute to the raging mediocrity of New York politics that while many people have expressed reservations about giving the Senate job to an untested, hitherto publicity-shy political novice, their protests often wind up with: “Why pick Caroline Kennedy when we could have — um ...”
Citizen Jane Politics
Beyond the Senate, modern American politics is full of the children and relatives of famous people with famous names- Roosevelt, Bush, Udall and Romney to name just a few.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/15/art.kennedy.gi.jpg caption="Kennedy is interested in Clinton's Senate seat."]
Caroline Kennedy, the 51-year-old daughter of President John F. Kennedy, has a "definite interest" in filling the New York Senate seat being vacated by Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton, three sources confirm to CNN.
Two of the sources are close to Kennedy and the third is a senior Democratic operative. Kennedy's interest in the seat could mean the continuation of a family legacy in the Senate that began 56 years ago with the election of her father as the then-junior senator from Massachusetts.
Her uncle Ted has represented Massachusetts in the Senate since 1963. Her uncle Robert served as New York's junior senator from 1965 until he was assassinated in 1968.
"Remember, this (Clinton's) seat in the Senate was once held by Robert Kennedy," CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider said. "Her other uncle, Ted Kennedy, is ill right now. If (New York Gov. David) Paterson appoints Caroline Kennedy to the Senate, it means there could be a Kennedy staying in the Senate for quite a long time."
Before this year, Kennedy generally limit her forays into the public sphere to non-partisan activity, penning books on civil liberties and serving as the de facto guardian of her father's legacy.
But in January, she backed a political candidate for the first time, announcing her endorsement of Obama during the Democratic primary season with an op-ed in the New York Times that drew days of the kind of media attention she has spent her life avoiding.
"I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them," she wrote. "But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president - not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans."
"Apparently she has acquired a taste for politics," Schneider noted. "She wants to be part of this new regime in America, clearly playing a key role in the Senate if she gets that appointment."
- CNN's John King and Kate Bolduan, and Mark Preston contributed
to this report.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/20/art.kennedyobama.jpg caption="Caroline Kennedy, head of the Obama VP search team, waves to supporters of Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama."]
Editor's note: This open letter to Caroline Kennedy from Michael Moore appears on his website. What do you make of Moore's suggestions?
We've never met, so I hope you don't find this letter too presumptuous or inappropriate. As its contents involve the public's business, I am sending this to you via the public on the Internet. I knew your brother John. He was a great guy, and I know he would've had a ball during this thrilling and historic election year. We all miss him dearly.
Barack Obama selected you to head up his search for a vice presidential candidate. It appears we may be just days (hours?) away from learning who that choice will be.
The media is reporting that Senator Obama has narrowed his alternatives to three men: Joe Biden, Evan Bayh and Tim Kaine. They're all decent fellows, but they are far from the core of what the Obama campaign has been about: Change. Real change. Out with the old. And don't invade countries that pose no threat to us.