Caroline Kennedy will reportedly serve as the next U.S. ambassador to Japan
, and her critics are accusing President Barack Obama of appointing her based on her last name and not her qualifications.
Kennedy, 55, the only living child of former President John F. Kennedy
, has been asked to serve as the Japan ambassador and is now being vetted for the position, a Democrat familiar with the discussions told CNN on Monday.
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Kennedy earned degrees at Harvard and Columbia, and went on to serve in a variety of roles at New York non-profits, including the John F. Kennedy Library and the American Ballet Theatre.
Politically, she has been a top backer of Obama since his first presidential campaign and served as co-chair of his vice presidential search committee in 2008. She spoke at both the 2008 and 2012 Democratic National Conventions.
Kennedy was openly pushed for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat in 2008 when Clinton became secretary of state, but observers ranging from liberal Democrats to conservative Republicans raised questions about the qualifications of a well-bred, notably underemployed socialite who’s never run for any public office
. After two months, she withdrew her bid amid serious doubts about whether she would have been selected.
Now Kennedy opponents are saying the same thing.
"So much for giving positions based on ability," "GeorgeJetson" commented on the CNN article detailing Kennedy's new appointment.
"JFK Library and the American Ballet Theatre make her the perfect candidate to be an ambassador to Japan. Get real," "airforce317" wrote. "She is a Kennedy and she supported the mad Hawaiian in both elections. She is a mere hanger-on in the celebrity sphere. Some qualifications."
"Another case of a rich connected 1 percenter getting special treatment despite having absolutely no credentials or qualifications," "Captainqueue" wrote. "This WH administration is all show, no accomplishments that mean anything. How can anyone defend this despicable administration?"
Others defended Kennedy.
"Most ambassador appointments are given out to supporters and the friends of the candidate that help get them elected," one person argued. "It has zero to do with competency or even ability to speak the native language. It's all ceremonial."
Former U.S. ambassadors to Japan include the legendary Senate majority leader Mike Mansfield, former vice president Walter Mondale, former House speaker Tom Foley, and former Senate majority leader Howard Baker.
Kennedy would replace John Roos, who has served as U.S. ambassador to Japan since August 2009.
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