Saturday, December 20, 2008

Caroline Kennedy for U.S. Senate?

By: Phillip Arroyo

As a result of Senator Hillary Clinton's appointment as Secretary of State by President Elect Barack Obama, an array of rumors and potential candidates have risen to fill the New York senate seat left vacant by Clinton. The loudest name being mentioned is Caroline Kennedy, daughter of former President John F. Kennedy, who apparently is the frontrunner among all possible candidates to occupy one of New York's senate seats. If appointed by New York Governor Patterson, she will still have to campaign in 2010 in order to be elected. Caroline has lived a great deal of her adult life out of the political and public spotlight but has now taken center stage after revealing her intention of running for the same senate seat that her uncle, Robert Kennedy, held during the mid sixties.

Caroline Kennedy is an American author and attorney. She is the daughter and only surviving child of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. was born in New York City and is named after her maternal aunt Caroline Lee Radziwill and a maternal great-grandmother. An older sister was stillborn in 1956.

Her brother John Jr. was born in November 1960 and died in a plane crash along with his wife and sister-in-law in July 1999. Another brother, Patrick, died of a lung ailment two days after his birth in August of 1963. She lived in the Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Georgetown until a few months after her third birthday, when her family moved into the White House after her father's inauguration as President of the United States in 1961.

At the White House, she attended kindergarten in classes organized by her mother and was often photographed riding her pony Macaroni around the grounds of the White House. Vice President Lyndon Johnson also gave her a Yucatan pony named Tex. A photo of a young Caroline with Macaroni in a news article inspired singer-songwriter Neil Diamond to write his hit song "Sweet Caroline," a fact he revealed only when performing it for her 50th birthday in November 2007.

Historians described Caroline's young personality as "a trifle remote and a bit shy at times" yet "remarkably unspoiled. "She's too young to realize all these luxuries," Rose Kennedy said of Caroline. "She probably thinks it's natural for children to go off in their own airplanes. But she is with her cousins, and some of them dance and swim better than she. They do not allow her to take special precedence. Little children accept things."

The day of her father's death, nanny Maude Shaw took Caroline and John Jr. from the White House (who at the time, had not been told of the incident) to the house of their maternal grandmother, Janet Lee Bouvier. Bouvier insisted that Shaw be the one to tell Caroline. That evening, the children were brought back to the White House, and with Caroline in bed, Shaw broke the news to her.

In late November 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy moved her family out of the White House, back to Georgetown. However, their home soon became a popular tourist attraction in Washington, and they moved to New York City in mid-1964 where they lived in a penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where Caroline attended the Brearley School and Convent of the Sacred Heart.

In May 1967, she and her mother christened the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy in a widely publicized ceremony in Newport News, Virginia. In 1975, she was visiting London to complete a nine-month art course at the Sotheby's auction house.

On Sunday, January 27, 2008, Kennedy announced in a New York Times op-ed piece entitled, "A President Like My Father," that she would endorse Barack Obama in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Her concluding lines were: "I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. 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." This was the first time she had endorsed a presidential candidate other than when she endorsed her uncle, Ted Kennedy, in 1980.

Kennedy spoke during the first night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, on August 25, 2008, introducing her uncle, Senator Ted Kennedy.

On June 4, 2008, Obama named Caroline Kennedy, along with Jim Johnson and Eric Holder, to co-chair his Vice Presidential Search Committee. On August 19, 2008, filmmaker Michael Moore called on Caroline Kennedy to "Pull a Cheney" (as in Dick Cheney who headed President George W. Bush's vice presidential vetting committee in 2000), and name herself as Barack Obama's vice presidential running mate. On August 23, 2008, Obama announced that Senator Joe Biden of Delaware would be his running mate. Kennedy addressed the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, introducing a tribute film about her uncle, Senator Ted Kennedy.

She received her A.B. from Radcliffe College at Harvard University in 1979 and her J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1988, after graduating from Concord Academy in Massachusetts in 1975.

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