Kennedy Treated Unroyally in Campaign to Succeed Clinton

Caroline Kennedy is opening up -- cautiously -- in a series of interviews, but while she offers details about what's on her iPod, she remains guarded about her politics.

Kennedy, or "shy Caroline," as the reclusive daughter of President John F. Kennedy was known for so many years, is shy no longer as she campaigns to convince New York Gov. David Paterson to appoint her as Sen. Hillary Clinton's successor in the United States Senate.

In recent days, the daughter of Camelot told the New York Post that she is a Yankees fan, the last movie she saw was "Slumdog Millionaire" and her iPod is loaded with '70s tunes from Al Green, the Grateful Dead and Bob Marley.

She even hinted at drug use in her distant past. When asked by the Post if she ever did illegal drugs, she answered, "I grew up in the '70s, so I'd say I was a typical member of that generation."

Kennedy, 51, told NY1 she misses her brother, John, who died in a plane crash in 1999. Her mother, who was such a public figure she was known simply as Jackie, would "roll her eyes about the whole [Senate] thing" right now, Kennedy said. She added, however, "I think she would be really proud that I'm doing this."

She also gushed to NY1 about her marriage to Edwin Schlossberg, although the two have yet to be seen together on the campaign.

"Falling in love with my husband was by far the best thing that's ever happened to me," Kennedy said.

The daughter of JFK, however, has been alternately tongued-tied and sharp-tongued when pressed on her politics. And despite her pedigree, she has not been treated royally.

The New York Daily News highlighted a constant stream of "you knows" throughout a recent interview. "I'm really coming into this as somebody who isn't, you know, part of the system, who obviously, you know, stands for the values of, you know, the Democratic Party," Kennedy told the newspaper in a weekend interview.

And when asked by a pair of New York Times reporters about the moment she decided she wanted to be a senator, she sarcastically suggested they should be writing for a woman's magazine rather than posing as "crack" political reporters.

The New York Daily News also dug through New York City Board of Elections files and found that Kennedy had failed to vote in about half of the elections in New York, and that she had been stingy in her financial contributions to the Democratic Party, making only occasional donations to individual candidates.

It's Cuomo vs. Kennedy in Succession Fight

Among the handful of candidates Kennedy did give money to was Clinton, but she got much of that donation back. Clinton accepted $2,300 of Kennedy's money intended for the presidential primary, but Clinton returned another $2,300 in Kennedy cash that was designated for the general election. The money was returned after Obama had locked up the Democratic nomination.

The New York Democratic establishment isn't swooning before her either. Powerful Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has publicly complained that she is more loyal to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a registered independent, than to the Democrats. One of Bloomberg's top political aides has been advising Kennedy.

There are indications that Paterson has bristled over reports that the appointment of Kennedy is a "done deal." When a reporter referred to Kennedy as "the front-runner" last week, Paterson shot back tartly, "How is she the front-runner?"

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