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December 18th, 2008
12:39 PM ET

Dem. Backlash if Caroline Kennedy Appointed to Senate?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Caroline Kennedy is positioning herself to be appointed to fill the Senate seat that will be vacated if and when Hillary Clinton is confirmed as the Secretary of State.

The daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy called New York Governor David Paterson, who will be appointing someone to the seat, to express her interest. Yesterday she traveled around upstate New York for closed door meetings with Mayors, Union leaders and other officials. Along the way she touted her devotion to public service, her books on the Constitution and raising her family. And today she had lunch in Harlem with the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Although it seems like a campaign, it's not. There's no election, at least not until 2010 when whoever is appointed can run for the seat.

According to the New York Times, Kennedy is winning hearts but some Democrats worry about her sense of entitlement and the message that politics is reserved for the upper class. That's leading to some grumbling among some Democrats.

According to a poll by Siena College, Kennedy is not a clear favorite - 26% favor New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo compared to 23% favoring Kennedy. However, 31% believe Governor Paterson will give the seat to Kennedy.

Here’s my question to you: Could appointing Caroline Kennedy to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat cause a backlash within the Democratic Party?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Ryan writes:
There shouldn't be any backlash. She's just as qualified as Hillary was when she took the office. I think the Clinton camp, and friends, are afraid that she will try to run for President in eight years!

Mark from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma writes:
Are you kidding? It would be wonderful to have a Kennedy in the Senate to take RFK's old seat. By the way, what exactly were Mrs. Clinton's "qualifications" to be a U.S. Senator? In fact, Obama is a little "short" on qualifications to be a U.S. President, but that didn't stop millions of people from standing in line for hours to vote for him. Democrats can just get over themselves!

Chet from New Jersey writes:
It's a shame she is putting this kind of pressure on the Governor. It's supposed to be his choice. Typical Kennedy ego. There are so many more qualified people.

JD from New Hampshire writes:
I should hope not. What's with the Caroline hatred anyway? There is a long, long list of individuals who have been appointed to fill Senate seats over the years and I'm unaware there is a special clause in the rule that excludes Kennedys.

David writes:
There will be backlash no matter who the Governor appoints. He can minimize this by consulting widely among Democrats before making his decision, listening especially closely to Senator Schumer.


Filed under: Democrats • Senate and Congress
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. karen-phoenix

    No!!! She has two years to prove herself!!! She is highly intellegent, spent most of her life in a political environment and has done an awful lot of good and written books on the Bill of Rights. She is more than qualified!!! After all she has lost her father and her uncle for this country!!! Give her a chance and we all may be better off!!!

    December 18, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  2. Ron K

    Hi Jack:

    Why should it? The republicans were ready to make Sarah Palin VP. I think Caroline Kennedy is better prepared. I think Caroline Kennedy would be an excellent choice to replace Senator Clinton.

    Ron San Diego

    December 18, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  3. Randy from Salt Lake City

    Yeah, probably, Jack. Since she's seen as not corrupted she's a threat to the criminals in Congress. Can't have a NON-criminal in Congress, you know.

    December 18, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  4. Joe in DE

    No. Maybe some discontent but not a backlash. A lot of appointments go to people with little direct experience in the area. It has been pointed out, that Caroline has qualifications similar to Hillary. You never know if it is a good appointment until there is a record.

    December 18, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  5. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    It definitely will cause a backlash. The Second Coming is already taking friendly fire, and he's not even officially in office yet.

    December 18, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  6. Ted O. (Canada)

    No, why should it cause a backlash? Caroline Kennedy is just as qualified as Hilary Clinton was when she ran for the job. If Sarah Palin can run for Vice President with her lack of perceptible intelligence, I certainly think that Caroline can perform admirably as a senator!

    December 18, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  7. D. Texas

    Yes Ibelieve it would. I don.t believe she has enough experience .

    December 18, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  8. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    Within the inner circles of New York state's Democratic Party each of the candidates has their "supporters" and that is where a "backlash" will be the loudest. The rest of the country will be more supportive of a Caroline Kennedy appointment. If just for the "name recoginion".

    December 18, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  9. susan from Idaho

    Everything that happens causes a backlash or a whiplash of some kind, enough already.

    December 18, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  10. Denis Duffy

    Only if she refuses to become a crooked politician, like the rest of them. But, lets face it, she'll take graft, oops, contributions, just like them. Why don't we ask congressman to not vote on any law that may benefit their contributors? In all honesty, they should recuse themselves. Why should she associate herself with the current batch of incompetent idiots elected by us, the other incompetent batch of idiots. Why sully the name of her family.

    Denis
    Pittsburgh, Pa

    December 18, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  11. jOAN - NC

    Why should it? Caroline is an intelligent, well-informed, politically savvy individual. I trust her to be fair, pursue the rights and needs of her constituents and act in accordance with our Constitution. She is better qualified than many other Senators. More power to her!

    December 18, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  12. JD in NH

    I should hope not. What's with the Caroline hatred anyway? There is a long, long list of individuals who have been appointed to fill Senate seats over the years and I'm unaware there is a special clause in the rule that excludes Kennedys.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  13. Don (Ottawa)

    No, why should it. It is a decision made by the Governor of NY and concerns NY, not the Democratic Party.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  14. William F. Browne

    No! Some backlash in NY among Repubs, but Dem's know that Caroline K. would be a plus in any office!

    December 18, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  15. Al in IA

    I don't think backlash is likely, but, it is amazing that the Democrats' best argument for putting Caroline Kennedy in this Senate seat is that she could easily raise the 20 million bucks needed for re-election in 2012. Now that's a qualification!

    December 18, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  16. Ryan Harrison

    There should't be any backlash. She's just as qualified as Hillary was when she took the office. I think the Clinton camp, and friends, are afraid that she will try to run for President in 8 years!

    December 18, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  17. don in naples, florida

    results are all that matters. It seems the mold for what should make a senator has been a failure thus far. Maybe we should look outside the "mold" to fix what's wrong with washington. What could it hurt if she gets the seat? More debt?, or more inaction?

    December 18, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  18. Chris

    I don't get why. Caroline Kennedy is smart, has a law degree and powerful allies. She has raised her children and is looking to expand her public service role. She is at least as qualified as Jeb Bush when he started his polirtical career, or Arnold Schwarzenegger. And then there's Sarah Palin – my terrier is more qualified and smarter than she.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  19. David, Tampa, Fl

    I'm sure that would depend on the qualifications of the other people being considered for Clinton's seat. There is going to be a howl from some camp or another irregardless of Patterson's choice. People should respect his honest pick and let it go at that.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  20. Randy from Mystic

    I don't think there would be. Hillary Clinton had as much experience when she moved to New York and was instantly voted into the Senate. At least Caroline is a New Yorker. I think she would be a great improvement.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  21. Tony Richards

    While Caroline Kennedy has an admirable record as a philanthropist, author and attorney, she has spent the majority of her adulthood avoiding the public eye and is, by most accounts, a shy and reclusive person. She has also never subjected herself to the rigors of an election. If not for her famous last name, she would never be considered a serious prospect.

    Whlie there is an argument to be made that a political "outsider" could bring new ideas to the Senate, the people of the state of New York deserve a Senator who has at least once run for major office and won the people's vote and confidence. Ms. Kennedy has never seen fit to take that step and that, I think, makes her a poor choice for Mrs. Clinton's seat.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  22. Andrew - San Diego, CA

    Anytime Democrats find themselves on opposite sides of the same issue, the RNC is ready to pounce. So, yes, Jack, this thing could really blow up. When Democrats (like Robert Zimmerman) insist on playing "measure the resume," they only risk awakening an otherwise slumbering RNC pundit who starts pulling out Mr. Obama's for a looksy. If the Democrats don't want to be without a chair when the music stops, they should unite, and by unite I mean unite in silence and quit throwing favor or criticism behind any one candidate and let Governor Patterson do his job.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  23. Carole in Ottawa

    I don't think it will cause a backlash, it shouldn't. Caroline has had lots of experience that she will be able to apply to the position of senator, more experience than p.elect Obama had when he entered as a senator to the Chicago Legislature. I don't even think republicans will mind, other than Bay, and she moans about everything, I have yet to hear her compliment anyone, oh wait, she was behind S.Palin, well there you go. What Ms. Kennedy will bring to the senate is intelligent, coherent and honest opinion, she will fight for the right and help President Obama enormously, she is not motivated by greed or the need for limelight, she wants to help the American people, similar to the aspirations of her father, it is not an american fairy tale, it is a competent woman who aspires to public service for all the right reasons. I hope she is appointed to the senate, and watch out America, because with the right people now holding the reigns, you will become the nation you have always heralded yourselves to be.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  24. Silas, Cameron, NC

    The Voters should be able to elect someone to replace Clinton, Obama, Biden, etc. Hold a special campaign and election and let the voters decide. Why should anyone get special treatment by being appointed, not having to campaign and do all the hard work thats required to get elected, and having the American people voice their choice in the matter? To answer your question, the backlash has already begun! Our government is in shambles as it is, and this kind of stuff just puts it out in the open.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  25. V.K. Raman

    Caroline should not be excluded because she is from Kennedy family. She avoided politics as a way of her life and now she has a calling to serve the community. She did a good job of being chair for Vice Presidential pick. She has done a lot of charity work. She knows the pulse of the people in in New York.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  26. Venia

    Carolyn Kennedy is a lawyer and has dozens of years of political and public experience. If they allowed Palin to run for the second most important job in the country than there should be absolutely no objection to Carolyn becoming Senator.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  27. Rosie

    I think it could. All these years, she didn't get involved, now she wants that senate seat. I thought all the senate seats and house seats belong to the people. Shouldn't we decide who gets elected to represent us in Congress. Is this no longer a Democracy?

    December 18, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  28. Joanne Buck

    Who cares, it 6 of one or half dozen of another – they are all the same. However, this "get the job because of your name" should not be – but we live in a almost sick society these days.
    J Buck
    Minnesota

    December 18, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  29. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    Who cares?

    December 18, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  30. Judie from St. Augustine, Fl

    Jack,
    Why should it cause a backlash within the democratic party. She is after all a democrat and she has name recognition. She also does not have any negative baggage tied to herself, she is well spoken and educated. So what is the problem? Was the seat promised to someone else? Kinda makes one think that if the democrats do something inappropriate that she spoiled their plans by throwing her hat in the ring.I think she would be a good choice for NY, but alas I am not Gov. Patterson.
    Judie
    St. Augustine, Fl

    December 18, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  31. Jeff in Glen Carbon IL

    She doesn't have any less experience than Hillary did when she became a US Senator from New York. At least she is a true resident of New York. Let the Governor appoint whoever he wants for as much money as he can get..... oh, never mind, wrong state.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  32. Simpliticus

    If Kennedy is selected, it would only be for political reasons and therefore NOT cause political backlash. Cuomo is probably the better suited individual and I look to see his selection first!

    December 18, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  33. perry jones

    yes and it should
    perry jones council Bulffs iowa

    December 18, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  34. Charlie from NJ

    I doubt it but maybe it should. There are more quilified choices out there. Sad to rely on the family name.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  35. Mickie

    I don't see why. It's not like she isn't politically savvy and just because she has not held an office before, neither had Hillary before she was Senator. Just because someone has campaigned for an office, doesn't mean they are more qualified than someone who is appointed and whoever is appointed will have to run again in 2 years. Hillary had spent less time in NY than Caroline before she moved there so that she could run for the Senate. Is this another "purchase" that others are trying to make? Why the big stink?

    December 18, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  36. Charlie from NJ

    I doubt it but maybe it should. There are more quilified choices out there. Sad to rely on the family name.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  37. JoycesVoice-Marshall, TX

    I would hope not. Traditionally, the parties head is the President. Obama has said the buck stops with him. Why not Caroline, a fresh new face without the old established politics would represent change we can believe in. Caroline is no dummy, her mother had the good sense to raise her as human, even if there was money. This Kennedy would be reflective of our future and the hopes of Americas prosperity. Caroline is as qualified as Hillary Clinton. It doesn't require you to pay your dues, its a thing of serving your country and constituents.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  38. james

    I do not think so. Caroline is known as being involved with human rights and for supporting the working middle class of America. the only people that would be upset is the people that might lose a handout for the rich like what has been going on for the past 20 years.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  39. carson

    absolutely not !

    December 18, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  40. Rob

    I don't think so. She is a Kennedy and she has her cousins and her uncle to help her along. I think the Republicans are the ones who need to get their stuff together. Maybe old Newt should run for the senator of NY but then he would become stupid again.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  41. Michael, Pensacola, FL

    I don't think there will be a backlash, my biggest complaint against Palin was she WAS NOT smarter than a 5th grader! Caroline Kennedy attended Columbia Law School and has a Juris Doctor with a public service record to go with it just like Obama, Hilliary, Biden and every one else not named McCain and Palin!

    December 18, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  42. Don in Fort Gratiot MI

    She should not jump to the front of the line, but there will not be a backlash if she does. She will always be coddled by Dems.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  43. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    I do not think so I think it could be a healing. After all once appointed she will have to prove herself which she will be able to do.
    To much is focused on negative factors. Anyone should be able to become a Senator. That is how our country was founded was it not.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  44. BRUCE, ST PAUL, MN

    There will be a backlash. Some people are never happy. But please, look around at the company she will be keeping in the Senate, the greatest deliberative body in the world. Not exactly a bunch of rocket surgeons.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  45. Gloria Steinberg

    Who cares?

    December 18, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  46. M From Florida

    Perhaps because the view will be that anyone named Kennedy can just walk into politics. You can even get a job at a fast food joint with at least a resume' and an interview. Conversly, on her worst day she will never be able do cause as much damage as Sarah Palin caused the Republican Party. She more than likely knows her geography and politics and at the very least articulate the english language well enough to explain her qualifications. She's a quick study and if she's anything like her uncle, the Dems have very little to worry about.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  47. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    There might be a little "spouting off" about it initially, but once she settles into the position and shows what she can do, she won't have any problems with the Democratic side of the aisle. Actually, darned few Republicans would dare to attack JFK's daughter. If anyone could be considered "untouchable" in the political arena, it would be her.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  48. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    Who knows with all the egos that exist naturally in politics! The fact that she made her intention known publicaly should be looked at positively at not doing backroom deals! She is capable of defending her qualifications and stand on her own!

    December 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  49. Rod from Chicago

    Jack, there is a lot of fiendishly mined people in this Country. Our last two elections proved that it’s time to start having someone in office who exactly cares about this Country welfare dammit? So why not appoint Caroline Kennedy instead of the other jokers that have devastated this Country. Simply unbelievable!

    December 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  50. Russ in Johnston, IA

    Not sure, but why not appoint someone with some experience, and if Caroline really wants the Senate position let her campaign to be elected when the time comes.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  51. M From Florida

    Perhaps because the view will be that anyone named Kennedy can just walk into politics. You can't even get a job at a burger joint with at least a resume' and an interview showing some sort of skill. But even on her worst day she will never be able to cause as much damage as has a certain Alaskan Govenor to the Republican Party. She more than likely knows her geography and politics and at the very least articulate the english language well enough to explain her qualifications. She's a quick study and if she's anything like her uncle, the Dems have very little to worry about.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  52. Dean in Macungie,PA

    Jack,

    This is the back to the future change us Dems are waiting for.

    Dean

    December 18, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  53. Bill from Medford, NJ

    Who said she feels entitled? It sounds like she's doing all the things she would do if she didn't feel entitled.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  54. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    This really isn't a problem. Democrats are much more worried about the family from Crawford than the one from Camelot, any day.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  55. kristina Dudley, Boston

    No. I think the democrates see a need for more women in the Senate.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  56. Jim, Hanover, Kansas

    There won't be any backlash from us older Democrats who remember that that senate seat could have been occupied by Caroline's little brother–the late JFK, Jr.–if he would have wanted it.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  57. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Jack, I don’t think it would cause a backlash within the Democratic Party as the Kennedy name is as close to royalty in the party as it comes here in the US. She had better prove herself worthy of the appointment quickly; however, as there are New York Republicans like Peter King and numerous Democrats that are ready to pounce in 2010.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  58. David of Alexandria VA

    I think it could cause a backlash from Democrats and Republicans. No one can question that Kennedy is technically qualified for the job. But, the question will be: "Is she the most qualified to represent the people of New York State?" If this question cannot be put to rest, Kennedy's appointment will appear to be some combination of patronage and favoritism. I would not strictlky compare this to the Illinois Senate issue, but there are clear parallels in terms of making a Senate seat available as a sign of appreciation for "support," whether through political endorsement or through bribes.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  59. Joe in WV

    Jack – it will all depend on Gov. Patterson. I think he will give the seat to her, right after Hillary is sworn in.
    Joe –

    December 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  60. David

    There will be backlash no matter who the Governor appoints. He can minimize this by consulting widely among Democrats before making his decision – listening especially closely to Senator Schumer.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  61. Dan in NY

    This is a no-win for Governor Paterson, but I do not think Caroline Kennedy is the right choice. There are many other people who have represented New York in Congress or at a more local level within the state who have proven their legislative ability. Caroline Kennedy is an honorable person, and will no doubt work hard. But she has not earned the appointment, and name recognition alone should not be what guides this appointment. As a New Yorker, I feel our Senate seat is too valuable, and belongs to a proven leader and legislator.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  62. Willow, Iowa

    I am sure that CK with her resume is as qualified or more qualified that the EBAY lady that everybody thought could be VP. It would be for 2 years and if she's then elected, fine. If not, that's what the elections are for. She is as qualified as the Governor of California, the past Governor of Minnesota, etc. then in 2010, she can run for the seat. I like her, I hope she gets it.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  63. Lynn

    No, it won't cause any kind of backlash from the dems because she will do a good job, although I'm sure the republicans will throw if fit like little children and be fake-outraged. By the way, Cuomo us the son of a politician, too.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  64. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Anything is possible, but I don't think so. Governor David Patterson has come to see Ms. Kennedy as a strong potential candidate whose appointment would keep a woman in the seat and whose personal connections would allow her to raise the roughly $70 million required to hold the seat in the coming years. Governor Patterson craves national attention and money--and if you connect the dots, it leads to her."

    December 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  65. KarenB, Florida

    Democratic backlash? no. 1 – who cares? They have plenty
    of time/opportunity to "backlash" over all their other mistakes.

    no. 2, the founding fathers didn't say "make a lifetime job" in
    Washington – it was more of a "do your duty and go home", I don't believe they made a list of "qualifications", so she is "just as
    qualified as anyone else" theoretically.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  66. Jeff in Massachusetts

    There should be no backlash, as it's obvious that Governor Patterson's appointment would be based on her merits, not on her striking good looks. Caroline Kennedy does not, in my opinion, project a sense of entitlement. If the Democrats have a problem with her ascension to the senate, there's always 2010. How much damage could she do in two years?
    Jeff,
    Ashburnham, Massachusetts

    December 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  67. AllenH in Raleigh, NC

    Probably but it shouldn't. She's a very capable person, who despite (and like) her uncle, is intelligent, thoughtful and is experienced in the world.

    For all the noise we make about cleaning house in congress and throwing out the professional politicians, we tend to keep putting them back in.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  68. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Let's hope so Jack. It's not just a sense of entitlement, it's like the Kennedy's expect it's their manifest destiny. They've never felt bound by the same rules as the rest of us. If they were Teddy would have spent a few of those years in prison instead of the Senate.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  69. annie from Mi

    we think she is perfect for the job..we were born & raised in upstate NY...they will love her in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse when she campaigns there..A Cuomo can remain attorney general ...love u Larry !....

    December 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  70. odessa

    nope!..the only crowds that are making noise about this senate seat are andrew cuomo (ex-husband to kerry kennedy and some hillraisers)..caroline deserve the same shot just like hillary was running for the senate in 2000...remember now, hillary got the seat due to bill clinton's presidency..if the democrats ruining this opportunity for kennedy, they better watch out for voters who can kick them to the curb!!

    December 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  71. Bob from Pittsburgh

    Where has she been all these years? Should we all just step aside because of her name? She really got a taste of the limelight recently and thought that she might like the attention of it all. Why don't we use the criteria of ability for once.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  72. Jane (Minnesota)

    In politics – no one can please everyone - There will be some resentment if she gets the seat. The only problem with it is basically she's not going to work very much in the Senate right away because of the way-too-long elecion seasons that have emerged - She'll start campaigning for 2010 soon & the people of New York won't get much of a chance to see what she can do for them as well as the country as a whole.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  73. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Yes, indeed Jack. With all due respect to Caroline Kennedy, appointing her to the senate would be wrong. Part of the problem with Congress is exactly this very thing! If you are a Bush, Clinton, Kennedy etc., you have a better chance on being in power than a regular person!

    We need regular NEW people in power, not the same old!

    December 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  74. Tommy Pullman

    You mean to tell me Caroline Kennedy isn't Hillary Clinton? Sorry, I thought it was the same woman utilizing a different moniker.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  75. Irv Lilley

    Jack , Caroline Keennedy is probably more intelligent than our current pres. If she wants to get involved with politics, let .
    She probably could do as good of a job as anyother.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  76. Jessie Col, Ga

    No, there would be no backlash. The more the better. My question is who in the media know the qualifications to be appointed to fulfill a unexpired senators term in congress? If they don't then they should shut up. Let the governor handle this and not a comentator or so call News pundant.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  77. Mike S.,New Orleans

    Americans are tired of the 'Lucky Birth Club.' After twelve years of lackluster leadership by the Bush dynasty, I don't think any Americans, neither Democrats nor Republicans, are willing to go down that same old last name road again.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  78. John, Fort Collins, CO

    I don't understand all the fuss over Caroline Kennedy being appointed to the senate. Hillary Clinton went from being a resident of Arkansas to the junior Senator form New York with nary a Democratic whimper. A much larger stretch than placing an actual New Yorker in the seat.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  79. Steve

    I think it will definitely backfire. Who wants more royal blood in politics? We have the Bush, Clinton, Kennedy, Daley, Jackson families trying to take over this country. Come on already enough is enough.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  80. Maurice - Two Rivers, WI

    How could appointing Caroline Kennedy to the senate create a backlash? She is a lot better looking than Hillary.

    Maurice
    Two Rivers Wisconsin

    December 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  81. David Pickett Janesville WI

    Democrats will always find a way to scream "not fair" like spoiled school children but that doesn't mean it's not a good fit. I for one think she deserves this position and she will do an outstanding job.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  82. Billy G in Las Vegas

    I'm somewhat torn on this question. on one hand, Caroline Kennedy is the type of "not a professional politician" social advocate that would probably be good for the country to have in the Senate BUT the other side of the argument is "can she put up with the nasty side of politics?" because she has absolutely NO record running for office.

    I'm willing to give her a chance because that Senate seat is up for election in 2010 so we have a short time to see how she does. if she was to fail, she can be voted out then.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  83. Mark in OKC

    Are you kidding? It would be wonderful to have a Kennedy in the Senate to take RFK's old seat. By the way, what exactly were Mrs. Clinton's "qualifications" to be a U.S. Senator? In fact, Obama is a little "short" on qualifications to be a U.S. President, but that didn't stop millions of people from standing in line for hours to vote for him!
    Democrats can just get over themselves!

    December 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  84. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Here is a woman who never expressed any interest in holding office and now she wants to be appointed Senator. It seems she feels somehow entitled to the job just because she is a Kennedy. We have just endured the Bush dynasty. We need to stop the family entitlement and get on with reforming Washington. I,for one,will be very angry and disappointed if she is appointed to the Senate.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  85. Tom Hntington, Ny

    I am a New Yorker and a Democrat. I have no problem with Caroline Kennedy being appointed my senator for two years. From what I know of her she is not in this for the money, power of fame. I think she has a good deal of personal integrity. She can get Obama's ear if need be and I think she can help the state.

    What more do you want in a senator ?

    December 18, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  86. Mark in OKC

    Are you kidding? It would be wonderful to have a Kennedy in the Senate to take RFK's old seat. By the way, what exactly were Mrs. Clinton's "qualifications" to be a U.S. Senator? In fact, Obama is a little "short" on qualifications to be a U.S. President, but that didn't stop millions of people from standing in line for hours to vote for him!
    Democrats can just get over themselves!

    December 18, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  87. Raoul New Orleans, La.

    From where? We are united.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  88. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    This is all about money and the large contributions Kennedy will bring to the table if she is selected to fill the senate seat vacated by Clinton, I cant imagine any backlash from the democrats.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  89. Gordon from Roanoke, Virginia

    No! I don't know how appointing Caroline Kennedy to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat could cause a backlash within the Democratic Party. They didn't think Hillary Clinton was qualified for the job. Caroline Kennedy is just as qualified as anyone else. I think it's an issue that Democrats should come together on, and support whoever is appointed.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  90. Jay in Texas

    Who cares whether or not appointing Kennedy causes a backlash within the Democratic Party? The Democratic Party should have embraced Al Sharpton in 2004 when he was one of their presidential candidates. It is refreshing to see Carolyn Kennedy coming forward to take on the old Democratic bosses with her beliefs like equal rights for gays and for her defense of Americans' right to privacy and other important constitutional issues. Remember, this Democratic Party is the same one who elected the do-nothing Congress of the past two years who have gotten the lowest public approval rating of all time.
    Brownwood, Texas

    December 18, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  91. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Caroline Kennedy would make a good senator. She has intelligence, good judgement and compassion for the American people. She has been around politics enough to know how the system works, but
    is not part of the good ole boy network, which are the kind of
    people we need.
    Jack, look at what so called political experience has done to our
    country. Look at the irresponsible actions of so many "learned"politicians
    that are supposed to represent us. I believe she would.
    Not having political experience is an asset.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  92. David Pickett Janesville WI

    As a democrat myself, I know that some of us will always find a way to yell "no fair" like spoiled school children, but that does not mean that Caroline Kennedy will do not be a great fit and do an even greater job in the New York Senate.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  93. Jim

    Jack,
    We are approaching close to 10% of the members of Congress with direct family ties. and with the Bush and Clinton, and Kennedy Families the entrenchment of family dynasties. Only one member of a family or extended family should serve at a time and 2 or 6 years should separate terms. Democracies thrive on diversity and change.
    Jim Los Angeles

    December 18, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  94. OP George

    Maybe she should run for uncle lTed's seat. We all criticized Palin for her lack of experience, how much more less does Caroline have. If you want nepotism in Congress keep it in the same state at least.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  95. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    I don't believe in dynasties, or appointment or election based on an individuals name, but that is the way of American politics and most other things today. That's why HRC was elected to that seat, name recognition.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  96. Michael watching from Canada

    Yes, Jack, of course there will be some backlash as many will not agree to any entitlement because she is a Kennedy. But, the key question is whether she is the best candidate to serve the people as Senator of New York State?

    December 18, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  97. paul in haddam

    no, i think not only democrats but all average americans will find it to be exciting to see a person with the same moral convictions as hillary take this seat over. ir's refreshing to see a literate and unwanting person with no past political ties to be a senator.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  98. Karen - Nashville

    Probably. The Kennedys have become symbols, but that doesn't mean Caroline Kennedy shouldn't have to do unpleasant things like exposing her personal life and campaigning to attain office. However, I respect Governor Paterson and believe he will make a choice based on merit.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  99. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    Hope not. I can't speak for New York, but I sure would like to see her get it. Republicans have dynasties also with Bushes and Doles. I think she would be committed and earn our respect. Cuomo would be ok too. Too bad we can't have both.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  100. Lisa- Grayling Michigan

    Credential should mean something in the politicial arena. A Senator should have knowledge of various problems in the country. Whether she should get the job or not I dont know but I would hope that whom ever does has credential, knowledge, and moral because their vote not only affect the state that there from but all other states also.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  101. Eileen Peabody MA

    Jack,

    I don't know why there would or should be a backlash in the Democratic Party.

    When Hillary Clinton took this seat, she possessed a comparable level of experience. Of course she began as a campaigning candidate. The argument for Kennedy, with this in mind, is she will have to campaign in two years. In those two years she will have a chance to show her stuff.

    If the backlash is based on her sense of entitlement, doesn’t that mean those with this argument are thinking, “It’s my turn”? UHHHHH....isn't that rational entitlement?

    So my opinion is GO FOR IT GIRL!!!!!

    December 18, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  102. garrick

    hi jack
    its up to the govenor and everyone need to respect his choice,if she dosent get the job she will run in 2010 and get it anyway.Obama and the Kennedy clan will she to that,no one can raise money like the Kennedys and Obama teams clearwater,fl

    December 18, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  103. Nancy, Tennessee

    A new Kennedy in the Senate will probably be praised all over the United States. Americans who watched the news after her father's assascination felt an affinity with this survivor of the beloved President. I think that the love for her and the attachment to her will quell any doubts about her being appointed to the Senate. She will be a great Senator for the state of New York and fighter for the good of a nation still healing from many wounds in our recent past.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  104. don Calgary,Alberta

    the people should hope so!

    December 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  105. angel from san ysidro california

    jack thats a stupid part of the democrats to get mad if caroline were to get the seat, i love the kennedys and she will be make a great senator in my opinion as her uncles have and as her father once did

    December 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  106. Michael Odegard

    There will be no backlash if Kennedy is appointed because both Democrats and Republicans are alike in their half-blind celebration of party idols. Besides, "Its not what you know, its who you know," is an American proverb. All hopes for an American meritocracy went out the window in the 60s and vast majority don't really care who is appointed.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  107. Jerry from Monroe Co., WV

    Paterson can appoint anyone he wants, as long as it's not a republican, Democrats will get over it. They got over Hillary losing the nomination and the Vice-presidency didn't they.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  108. Jay-San Antonio

    It should not!!! But of course those jealous people who think that only those people who currently serve in office should be given the position might get upset. But not because of her name as much as her understanding of issues, and her desire to raise her family first, put her family first, before service, I like that and think it more than qualifies her. She will have the time to deveote and not be concern with raising her family.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  109. Ron K

    Hi Jack:

    Why should it? The republicans were ready to make Sarah Palin VP. I think Caroline Kennedy is better prepared. I think Caroline Kennedy would be an excellent choice to replace Senator Clinton.

    Ron San Diego

    December 18, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  110. David-Pittsburgh

    No. Being the offspring of a president is a great qualification for an important political office. Didn't "W" already prove that?

    December 18, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  111. Simon in Syracuse, NY

    Absolutely. These vacancy appointments just stink to high Heaven of corruption. And this Caroline Kennedy person Jack...remind me again, who is she? I think that if you vacate your elected post before the end of its term, the seat should go to whomever came in second in the election. That would solve that problem in a hurry.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  112. Annie Naples FL

    who cares...she is intelligent, honest, hard working and NOT A Washington politician. She lives in New York has her family there and will work to better education and other things. She will be in a good position to obtain aid for New York as she supported OBama early on.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  113. Annie, Atlanta

    Why would it? The Kennedys have public service in their genes. Besides she’s way more qualified than most of those fools on the Hill. Guaranteed she’s a lot smarter. They should give her Harry Reid’s job. He’s not doing it.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  114. Jer

    Jack, She is more than qualified not because she is a Kennedy, but for her involvment in public service. Governor Paterson should appoint her and in 2010 if the electorate in New York does not think she is representing the state, then they can vote someone else in.

    Jere – Michigan

    December 18, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  115. chet-NJ

    It's a shame she is putting this kind of pressure on the governor. It's supposed to be his choice. Typical Kennedy ego. There are so many more qualified people to choice from.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  116. Jerry Alpharetta, GA

    Yes, there could be a backlash in the party if Caroline is NOT appointed. There is a big difference between lack of experience and lack of competence. We have a congress full of incompetence, I hope Governor Paterson chooses competence.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  117. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Maybe in the beginning, but if she proves herself to be a good appointment, all will be forgiven.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  118. Cheryl

    I think Caroline Kennedy is a great choice. I hope we see the work she has accomplished. I would love to see a elected official stay as true to their cause as Caroline Kennedy. The idea that she is not qualified is stupid.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  119. Molita in Austin, TX

    Backlash? I'm not so sure yet is she even qualified? Just because she is a Kennedy she becomes a Senator? Seems like the upper class can have whatever they want, even a Senator's seat.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  120. Marjorie Lominy

    What is the fuss?
    Didn't she say that if she does not get appointed, she will run in 2010?
    In the meantime I do think she would be perfect as Under secretary of Education....then she can run.
    Marjorie
    NY

    December 18, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  121. MUIN

    There is no campaign. People of New York would still want to do what she will do for them in next two years if she is elected by the Governor of New York.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  122. Barbara from Hollywood, CA

    I can't imagine why it should. Some families are born with political savvy and service to others in the genes; I believe the Kennedys are one of those rare families.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  123. Dan, Starkville, MS

    Jack, there shouldn't be any backlash. If Caroline Kennedy's bonafides aren't good enough for us Democrats, I don't know whose are.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  124. Jerry from Jacksonville

    At least she won't be scaming the people, she has a family name to uphold and no doubt she would do a good job, it may cause some democrats to grumble a little but they are the ones that expect something without having to give anything.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  125. Peter

    Caroline Kennedy can do one thing that the democratic party needs in 2010 – she can raise money! plain and simple. This is why she will end up appointed to the vacant senate seat. And all of this internal 'grumbling', in my opinion, is for show... the entire party will benefit from the exposure she can bring.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  126. Jack Harris

    It definately should create a backlash. It is high time Americans stopped looking up to people just because they have a famous name and money. What other qualifications does Caroline Kennedy really have to become a Senator?
    She was born into a family name and money and I don't believe she can identify with working people, which is very much needed in this economic environment.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  127. Cathy P

    Hi Jack,

    No I don't think it should cause backlash in the Democratic Party... I am surprised at all the anti-Caroline stuff in the press and on TV...

    She is incredibly intelligent, is well connected, and has done an enormous amount already for the public school system in NYC...

    She definitely has my vote....

    December 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  128. Carrie S.

    No, I think the democratic party will embrace her.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  129. don

    If she gets it I'll vote for the GOP orchard park ny

    December 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  130. Chuck in Saint Petersburg FL

    We need new folks in Congress!

    December 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  131. Lee

    Yes, but with everything going on right now, what wouldn't?

    Missoula, Montana

    December 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  132. Marcella, TN

    As a Democrat, I am quite pleased by the possible selection of Caroline Kennedy to fill the seat once held by her uncle. She is smart, accomplished and dedicated to public service. I look forward to hearing her public positions on education and other areas of concern.

    Frankly I am puzzled that anyone who supported HIllary would have an issue with Caroline. She is no more or less qualified and neither of them served in elected office until they decided to run for the senate. At least Caroline is a life long New Yorker.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  133. ameriska

    It seams like the auto industry is holding its employees hostage and is threting to financily assonate them if the government don’t pay-up.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  134. Anne Kellogs

    I am from New York and I will vote for Caroline Kennedy if she runs for the senate in 2010. By the way, Andrew Cuomo is the son of a Governor of New York. What about the Bush boys who traded on their father's power to get to the White House and governor's offices?
    I would not vote for Cuomo after he called our next president a drug user.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  135. Bodo, Ann Arbor

    Will NY governor Paterson select Caroline? Will Hillary resent Caroline for taking her senate seat? Will that hurt Paterson's chances to get re-appointed as governor? And where does that leave Cuomo? Tune in tonight for the latest installment of the Clinton-Kennedy saga !

    December 18, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  136. Dennis, Los Angeles, CA

    Americans like to think that everyone has a chance at making it in this country. These kinds of dynastial politics undermine democracy. Caroline Kennedy should be ashamed of even seeking the seat. The decision is up to Governor Patterson and this is not an election it is an appointment.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  137. Paul West

    No!
    Isn't it time we come to grips with the fact that the government will work better if we let smart people run it?

    December 18, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  138. Mr Dean n Seattle

    Abslutely not.
    I was hoping Obama would pick her for VP
    Maybe she should run for president in 2016

    December 18, 2008 at 4:14 pm |