Is Caroline Kennedy qualified to be a U.S. senator?
Slightly more than half of Americans say Caroline Kennedy has what it takes to serve in the U.S. Senate, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Poll.
Kennedy, 51, is campaigning to fill the New York senate seat held by Hillary Clinton, who has been nominated for Secretary of State.
Kennedy, a lawyer, has been involved in education issues but has never held office. She has name recognition and membership in an American political dynasty. Her uncle, Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, is one of the most powerful members of the Senate.
But is Caroline Kennedy qualified to a senator?
Fifty-two percent of Americans say “yes” and 42 percent say “not” qualified, according to the poll of 1,013 adults published on Monday.
Which raises the question, what exactly qualifies anyone to be a senator?
The U.S. Constitution lists only three qualifications:
-you must be at least 30
-you have to be a U.S. citizen for nine years
-you have live in the state from which you are elected
For the record there have been 180 senators appointed since 1913 to seats vacated by death, expulsion or resignation.
Some have had family connections — like Muriel Humphrey of Minnesota and Jean Carnahan of Missouri, widows appointed to fill seats to which their husbands were elected.
Photo credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder (Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg at John F. Kennedy Awards ceremony at Harvard in November)