Caroline Kennedy‘s days as a diplomat may be drawing to a close. After a mind-reeling summer that brought harsh personal attacks on her by Donald Trump as well as the stunning revelation that a long-time flunky of Hillary Clinton had secretly sabotaged her bid to become a U.S. Senator, the last surviving child of John and Jacqueline Kennedy may have had enough.
Sources close to her say she is being urged by family and friends to resign as U.S. Ambassador to Japan, return to New York and endorse Joe Biden’s prospective bid for president. In 2008, she co-chaired the search committee that advised Barack Obama to select Biden as his running-mate.
“Caroline is an exemplary public servant who did nothing to provoke these diatribes from Mr. Trump,” a Kennedy intimate told Orbmagazine on the condition of non-attribution. “Rather than stay in Tokyo and let the politicians continue to use her as a punching bag, it would be a profile in courage for her to come home and help elect the person she believes is best qualified to lead the nation.”
Republican front runner Trump first targeted the Kennedy scion on July 11 in Phoenix during one of his extemporaneous stream-of-consciousness rants. “I know people who are totally overrated,” he speechified. “They’re not good like they think and like the press think. I know people that you’ve never heard of who are better than all of them. I would take one and put it in charge of Japan. You know who’s our primary representative there now? Caroline Kennedy. You know how she got the job? She went to the White House, she said, ‘I’d love to have a job. I have nothing to do.’ They said, ‘How would you like to be the ambassador to Japan?’ She goes, ‘Really?’ And [Prime Minister Shinzo] Abe, who’s a killer, I watch him all the time wining and dining her. Just doing a number on her.”
A month later at his Alabama stadium event, broadcast nationally, Trump ridiculed her again, saying she only got the ambassadorship because she is a wealthy and connected woman. He said people like himself stay up worrying and “toss and turn and toss and turn and we’re thinking through the night”, unlike Kennedy “who simply asked for the job.” The GOP candidate said she is “outclassed in negotiations.” A third whack comes in the latest issue of The Economist, where Trump, in response to a question about economic policy with China, volunteers that “Caroline Kennedy doesn’t even know she’s alive.”
It is unclear why Trump is singling out Ambassador Kennedy for these denunciations. It may just be part of his strategy to machine-gun members of the Establishment, particularly one whose diplomatic status precludes her from responding. Or he may be mining resentment toward an American political dynasty. The fact is, Trump wouldn’t be taking these potshots at Caroline if Jackie were still alive.
We know of course why the Clintons detest Caroline—her timely endorsement of the little-known Obama over Hillary in 2008 was significantly helpful in his attaining the nomination. Still, it was rather shocking in June when the Guccifer email hacks revealed that Hillary’s besotted henchman Sidney Blumenthal had secretly orchestrated magazine articles undermining Caroline in December 2008 while she was being championed by Michael Bloomberg and Ed Koch for appointment to the unexpired Senate term being vacated by Hillary Clinton. A seat, you will recall, once held by her uncle Bobby.
Blumenthal, who made his bones with Hillary by sliming Bill’s intern Monica Lewinsky after it became public knowledge she had been performing her services under the desk in the Oval Office, really outdid himself smearing Caroline. According to an eye-opening article in Buzzfeed, Blumenthal had an arrangement with Tina Brown where he could, as a freelance consultant, commission stories to be written for the Daily Beast. He generated stories kneecapping Caroline because the Clintons feared that if she secured the Senate seat she could become a rival for power. (It is unclear to what extent Tina Brown, a longstanding Clinton ally, facilitated the smears. She now says she was unaware Blumenthal may simultaneously have been on the Clinton Foundation payroll.)
One hit piece Blumenthal masterminded was titled “Camelot, The Puppet Show” and declared “New Yorkers don’t believe Caroline Kennedy is up to the job of Senator.” Another, also deliciously diabolical, was called “Unknown Caroline” and advanced the thesis that “her refusal to answer policy questions is an insult to New Yorkers.” It worked. The campaign to discredit Caroline, both aboveboard and belowboard, persuaded Gov. David Patterson to appoint Kirsten Gillibrand, whose obeisance to the Clintons has never been in doubt.
By the by, you have to hand it to Hillary—when she sends her ‘black ops’ agents on a mission, they don’t hold back. Who can forget the time Clinton operative Sandy Berger was dispatched to the National Archives to surreptitiously remove some documents unflattering to the 42d president and he got caught stuffing them into his underwear? Compared to that, the articles belittling Caroline were child’s play. And the thread back to the Clintons had been unprovable until the Guccifer hacking disclosed incriminating emails.
Getting back to Caroline’s present situation, her three children, husband, friends and associates are telling her she has had a successful tour as ambassador and the best way to stop being an issue in the Republican campaign is to just come home. It is believed her father’s sister, Jean Smith, who also caught some flak when she was U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, shares this view.
They all want to see Biden become the next president. After he was elected Senator from Delaware in 1972 at age 29 and then his wife and daughter were killed in an auto accident, Senator Ted Kennedy took him under his wing. They were close as brothers until Teddy’s death in 2009. As Hillary continues to plummet in the polls, they see an opening for Biden to run and win, and believe Caroline’s support could be valuable in achieving that. After all, as co-chairman (with Eric Holder) of Obama’s search committee in 2008, she helped make him vice-president.
So don’t be surprised if there is an announcement that Ambassador Kennedy will be withdrawing from the post in Tokyo “for personal reasons” and returning to be with her family in New York. And remember you read it here first.
Talk in Kennedy circles is that Caroline Kennedy is furious over the revelation that a longtime confidant of Hillary Clinton’s secretly sabotaged her bid to become a US senator — and Kennedy may seek her revenge by backing veep Joe Biden if he runs for president.
In June, leaked e-mails revealed that Hillary henchman Sidney Blumenthal had orchestrated news stories undermining Caroline while she was vying to be appointed to Hillary’s Senate seat in 2008.
Buzzfeed reported that Blumenthal had an arrangement with Tina Brown in which he could commission stories to be written for Brown’s Daily Beast, including two pieces critical of Kennedy, one referring to her as a “puppet” and the other describing her candidacy as an “insult.” Now, orbmagazine.com’s Richard Turley reports Kennedy is being urged by family to resign as US ambassador to Japan and endorse a Biden presidential bid.
Pointing out that Caroline has also had to endure attacks from Donald Trump, the magazine quotes a source: “Rather than stay in Tokyo and let the politicians continue to use her as a punching bag, it would be a profile in courage for her to come home and help elect the person she believes is best qualified to lead the nation.”
Another Kennedy source tells Page Six, “Caroline may not be ready to give up a plum ambassadorship, but she will likely endorse Joe Biden if he runs. But the Kennedys always play it smart, and other members of the family will surely donate to and support Hillary.”