ABC on Caroline Kennedy in the Senate: 'Exciting,' 'Tantalizing'

On Saturday's "Good Morning America," various hosts and reporters gushed over the "exciting," "tantalizing" prospect that Caroline Kennedy could replace Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate, should the former first lady be confirmed as Barack Obama's secretary of state. ABC News political director David Chalian enthused that "on top of the new Obama administration that she was a huge proponent and supporter of, it [the appointment] would just rise to this moment of, sort of, a return to that age of Camelot."

Weekend GMA co-host Bill Weir began the segment by wondering, "And who could upstage a Clinton but a Kennedy?" Later, fellow co-host Kate Snow cooed, "So, tantalizing. Kennedys and Obamas and Clintons, all the talk." Clearly agreeing, Weir enthused, "Exciting to talk about."

Reporter Rachel Martin instructed viewers, "Public service is part of the expectation of being a Kennedy."

A transcript of the December 6 segment, which aired at 7:18am, follows:

BILL WEIR: Well, there is big buzz this morning about a possible replacement for New York Senator Hillary Clinton when she moves to Foggy Bottom. One big political name could replace by an even bigger one. And who could upstage a Clinton but a Kennedy? ABC's Rachel Martin has the story from Washington, live. Good morning, Rachel.

ABC GRAPHIC: Return of Camelot: Caroline Kennedy to Senate?

RACHEL MARTIN: Good morning, Bill. For most of her life, Caroline Kennedy stayed far away from the family business. But her work with the Obama presidential campaign put this quiet Kennedy front and center on the political stage. Public service is part of the expectation of being a Kennedy.

CAROLINE KENNEDY (at Democratic National Convention): We are all in this together, and that we each have something to contribute to this country.

MARTIN: Now, JFK's daughter is considering a new kind of contribution. Democratic sources tell ABC News that New York Governor David Paterson has approached Kennedy about taking over Hillary Clinton's Senate seat if she's confirmed as secretary of state. It's the same seat once held by Caroline's uncle, Robert F. Kennedy. The road was cleared for such a conversation after Caroline's cousin, RFK, Jr., reportedly turned the job down. Yesterday, the governor tried to keep a lid on details.

DAVID PATERSON (New York Governor): We talked about a number of things. The seat did come up in the conversation.

MARTIN: Kennedy is said to be considering the job. But there are some major disincentives. Whomever the governor chooses will serve two years, run in a special election in 2010, and run again in 2012. And people close to Caroline Kennedy say that may be too expensive and hard on her family. But Democratic sources say she's got the cache to fill the campaign coffers and discourage any real Republican competition.

DAVID CHALIAN (ABC News political director): For Caroline Kennedy to enter the body that her father, her uncle, her other uncle have all served, on top of the new Obama administration that she was a huge proponent and supporter of, it would just rise to this moment of, sort of, a return to that age of Camelot.

MARTIN: It's a heavy legacy. But it's one that many Democrats would like to see Kennedy carry on. Caroline's is not the only Kennedy name swirling in the political ether. Her cousin, RFK, Jr., is now thought to be a lead contender to head up the Environmental Protection Agency under an Obama administration. So, potentially, a new generation of very high-profile Kennedy leadership on the horizon. Bill and Kate.

WEIR: Okay, Rachel. Thanks very much.

KATE SNOW: So, tantalizing. Kennedys and Obamas and Clintons, all the talk.

BILL WEIR: Exciting to talk about.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org