ALBANY, N.Y. - A new book paints a picture of an intense, angry Caroline Kennedy bent on extending her family's legacy in the U.S. Senate only to end her quest when her kids no longer recognized their cool, composed mother.
The book is by Edward Klein, a bestseller who's been accused of using hearsay in other biographies.
"Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Dies," is excerpted in the June issue of Vanity Fair. The excerpt says Caroline Kennedy told New York Gov. David Paterson she was withdrawing from consideration for the Senate seat because her kids and husband felt she was becoming a different person.
The book shows jockeying inside the family to carry on the tradition of public service through politics after Senator Edward M. Kennedy was diagnosed with brain cancer. Caroline stepped up with the strongly implied backing of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and president-elect Barack Obama. She felt the appointment "would automatically be hers," the book states, citing an unidentified family adviser.
In pursuing the appointment, she became "loud, harsh and grating," the book said, quoting a veteran attorney who spoke with her.
The book also says she was angry when Paterson didn't immediately name her to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Senate.
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 states, "Caroline's decision came as a crushing blow to Ted."
Kennedy spokesmen declined to comment Tuesday.