Caroline Kennedy withdraws US Senate bid
Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of slain President John F. Kennedy, on Thursday withdrew her bid to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton.
Kennedy, a member of the United States' storied political dynasty, cited personal reasons in a brief statement issued just after midnight.
The decision came after her uncle, U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, with whom she is said to be close, suffered a seizure on Tuesday during a luncheon in Washington honoring newly sworn-in U.S. President Barack Obama.
The 76-year-old senator from Massachusetts, who is fighting brain cancer, was released from the hospital Wednesday.
Clinton left her U.S. Senate seat to become Secretary of State, putting the decision on filling the vacancy in the hands of New York Gov. David Paterson.
Kennedy had been considered a front-runner for the job.
"I informed Governor Paterson today that for personal reasons I am withdrawing my name from consideration for the United States Senate," Kennedy said in a one-sentence statement issued by her spokesman.
Kennedy, 51, who has long guarded her privacy and never held public office, launched an unusual campaign for Clinton's seat after Obama tapped the senator from New York and former first lady to be secretary of state.
Kennedy's move leaves New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo as the top candidate to succeed Clinton. Cuomo, the son of longtime New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development under former President Bill Clinton.
Clinton won Senate approval on Wednesday and resigned from the Senate immediately after her confirmation.
Another possible successor, Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York City, was named to lead the Joint Economic Committee, possibly signaling she was out of the running.
Kennedy spent part of her childhood in the White House before her father was assassinated in 1963. She spent much of her life trying to avoid the limelight until she endorsed Obama for president last year.
In an editorial published in The New York Times in January 2008, Kennedy wrote that Obama inspired her the way people had been inspired by her late father. She campaigned for Obama in his Democratic primary battle against Clinton.
Her mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, died of cancer in 1994. Her brother John F. Kennedy Jr. died, along with his wife and sister-in-law, as he piloted a small plane to a family wedding at the Kennedy compound in Massachusetts in 1999.
Reuters Last Mod: 22 Ocak 2009, 12:49