NYT: Caroline Kennedy withdrawing Senate bid
Gov. David Paterson has said he is considering AG Andrew Cuomo for seat
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 4:17 p.m. PT, Wed., Jan. 21, 2009
ALBANY, New York - Caroline Kennedy planned to withdraw from consideration for the Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Clinton, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
Earlier this week, Gov. David Paterson acknowledged he was considering Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for appointment to the seat.
On Wednesday, the Times reported that she called Paterson to express concerns about the health of her uncle, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who was hospitalized Tuesday after a seizure during the inaugural luncheon. She said his health concerns were her top priority. A statement from Kennedy could come as early as Wednesday evening, the Times reported.
Recent polls showed New Yorkers narrowly favor Cuomo over Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy. Cuomo is the son of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.
"He has outstanding qualities and is someone I am considering," Paterson told CBS News at an interview during the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
He also noted that he was considering lesser known candidates as well. Obama nominated Clinton to be his secretary of state, and she was confirmed Wednesday.
Paterson has been criticized by good-government groups for a secretive selection process that he defends as essential to making the best choice without regard to traditional campaigning. Paterson and Cuomo were also criticized for refusing to say whether Cuomo was interested in the Senate seat.
Paterson has said their conversations were confidential under attorney-client privilege, a legal view questioned by experts in recent interviews with The Associated Press. Cuomo said he would allow only Paterson to divulge those discussions because it was the governor's process.
Kennedy was an early front-runner when she took a short public tour upstate and sat for press interviews in December. But she faltered while answering some questions and was mocked nationwide for her frequent use of "you know" and "um."
"I was very impressed by her in our conversation. I found her to be very hardworking, very forthright. And she had some faux pas with the media when she first started, as have a number of people who have gone on to be outstanding in their service," Paterson said. "So I am weighing her ability and her acumen and what she might be able to do in New York, more than that, and also, in comparison with some rather stiff competition in New York."
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