NEW YORK – Caroline Kennedy denied Monday that she ended her quest for the U.S. Senate because her kids and husband complained she was becoming an angry, intense person.
Kennedy, the daughter of slain president John F. Kennedy and niece of Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, said on NBC’s “Today” show that reports she dropped out of the race because her family no longer recognized her as a cool, composed mother and wife were “absolute nonsense.”
A new book, “Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Dies,” by Edward Klein quotes a lawyer saying Kennedy became “loud, harsh and grating” in pursuing the appointment.
Asked why she pulled out, Kennedy replied, “That was the right decision. There are many ways to serve.”
Asked what she thought of Gov. David Paterson’s handling of the selection process to fill the seat vacated when Hillary Clinton ascended to U.S. Secretary of State, Kennedy answered, “I’ve moved on.”
The book depicts jockeying inside the family to carry on the tradition of public service through politics after Sen. Kennedy was diagnosed with brain cancer. Kennedy felt the appointment “would automatically be hers,” the book states, citing an unidentified family adviser.
When Paterson didn’t immediately name her to succeed Clinton, the book says, she became angry.
It was her children who “jerked Caroline back to reality,” the book said. “What would her mother (Jackie) think of all this tabloid attention she was getting? … That’s when Caroline called Paterson and told him she was withdrawing her name.”
The book also says, “Caroline’s decision came as a crushing blow to Ted.”
Paterson ended up choosing Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to succeed Clinton.