In an interview with NY1, aspiring New York Senator Caroline Kennedy states her case.
"I think that I have relationships in Washington that I would like to put to work," Kennedy told NY1 political anchor Dominic Carter. "I helped run the vice presidential search for Barack Obama. I have a good working relationship with him. I want to be able to be a part of the team that uses all my relationships."
Of reports that she had missed voting in several elections, Kennedy said she was “dismayed” to learn that. "There isn’t a good excuse," she said.
The oldest daughter of the late President John F. and first lady Jackie Kennedy said, "most people don’t realize that my mother loved campaigning. … Because you just get to meet people and it is such an education." What would her mother make of Caroline trying to be picked by Gov. David Paterson to replace Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., in the Senate should Clinton be confirmed as secretary of state? "She would roll her eyes about the whole thing — she was an incredible patriot herself and I think she would be really proud, you know, that I was doing this."
Of her brother, John F. Kennedy Jr., Kennedy said, "He would be laughing his head off" about her seeking office. "There is no doubt about that. Because that was the kind of relationship that we had, you know, he would be 100% behind me. He always was. And, you know, it would be great if he was here."
But she isn’t trying to capitalize on her name, Kennedy said. She is eager to do the work necessary to be a senator — and presumably to be re-elected in 2010 for the special election to fill Clinton’s seat, and 2012, when the term officially ends.
“I could race Chuck Schumer around all 62 counties and, you know, we’ll see who wins," she joked, referring to New York’s senior senator.
Kennedy responded to recent comments by Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., that, "I don’t know what Caroline Kennedy’s qualifications are. Except that she has name recognition, but so does J.Lo. I wouldn’t make J.Lo the senator unless she proved she had great qualifications, but we haven’t seen them yet."
“I admire the journey J. Lo has traveled," said Kennedy. "I’ve been to a school in the Bronx pretty near the house she grew up in and so I actually have a lot of admiration for her, and she looks pretty good. But in terms of public policy and how we spent our adult lives, I don’t think there is really much we have in common.”
Kennedy added, "I know a lot of people have opinions about our family, people in our family — good opinions, bad opinions — that is something that we have grown up with. But, you know, I can tell you that, in my family in particular, there was a sense that we have to work twice as hard. It is a question of what do you do with that opportunity?"