Caroline Kennedy has spoken to New York Gov. David Paterson about the Senate seat that will come open when Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes secretary of state, according to a person familiar with the conversation.
Kennedy reached out to the governor to discuss the Senate seat, according to the Democratic source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the conversation was private. The source would not disclose the details of the conversation.
Kennedy is the daughter of President John F. Kennedy and a niece of brothers Edward and Robert. Robert Kennedy held the New York seat from 1965 until his assassination in 1968.
As a prominent member of the Kennedy clan, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg is the kind of high-profile, historic figure who could overshadow many other New York politicians hoping to be Paterson's choice.
The governor has said he is in no rush to make a decision, and Clinton is not giving up the seat before she is confirmed as President-elect Barack Obama's secretary of state.
"The governor has not yet reached out to any potential candidates," said Paterson's spokesman, Errol Cockfield. "He has been approached by several candidates. Any discussions related to that selection are private and the governor will not comment about speculation before a decision is made."
Word of the conversation comes days after Kennedy's cousin, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., announced he was not interested in the job — a move that sidesteps any messy interfamily competition.
Whoever Paterson appoints would serve for two years and then have to run in a special election in 2010, along with Paterson and New York's senior senator, Charles Schumer. The candidate would then have to run again in 2012.
Washington legacies just keep going and going and going...