Caroline Kennedy, daughter of John F. Kennedy, is the frontrunner to become President Obama's next ambassador to Japan, Bloomberg is reporting. Kennedy, 55, was one of Obama's early big-name backers when he ran for president in 2008, and a co-chair of his reelection campaign in 2012. If the nomination goes through, she would replace another Obama campaign supporter, John Roos. Bloomberg's sources say that Kennedy's almost ready to start packing her bags: Obama has signed off on the decision, and only the standard vetting is left to be done.
The partnership with Obama certainly seems like a good fit, according to Amy Silverstein at GlobalPost. Kennedy "has not been shy about heaping praise on Obama." In January 2008, she gave him a huge boost in his fight for the Democratic nomination by endorsing him in a New York Times op-ed column. Before Obama, Kennedy wrote, "I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them." No wonder she's Obama's top choice for the job.
And now is certainly an opportune time for Camelot to be "coming to Obamaland," says Emily Heil at The Washington Post. As an ambassador, Kennedy would ultimately report to the secretary of State. That was Hillary Clinton a few weeks ago, and, thanks to that 2008 endorsement, Kennedy's "relationship with Clinton is just a touch strained." Now, though, Kennedy would be dealing with Secretary of State John Kerry. Kennedy's rapport with him is much stronger, partly because "Kerry was the junior partner in the Senate to Kennedy’s Uncle Teddy for decades." And he's not the only one who might like the idea.
The Japanese — who are so enamored of the 'big name' ambassador, like legendary Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield, Vice President Walter Mondale, former House Speaker Tom Foley, and former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker — are delighted at the possibility. [Washington Post]
The one drawback? Kennedy has no diplomatic experience. In early February, the word was that she was in the running for another plum job — ambassador to Canada. Back then, Ed Morrissey wrote at Hot Air that the idea was a bit "curious," given Kennedy's lack of a diplomatic resume. On the other hand, it wasn't "all that curious," as Democrats have been trying "to get the daughter of America's Camelot involved in politics for a number of years," like the time influential politicians pushed to get her appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's then-freshly vacated Senate seat in 2009.
Ambassadorships are the fairy dust of domestic goodwill for every President, and usually go to either big donors or prominent political supporters. While some go to professional diplomats, a significant percentage usually go to cronies for loyalty, both present and future. [Hot Air]
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