Kennedy, 51, has approached New York Gov. David Paterson about the vacancy, state Democratic sources told NBC. In the case where a Senate seat is left open mid-term, the governor has the power to fill it. Caroline Kennedy would be the second member of the family to represent New York in the Senate. Her uncle Robert Kennedy held the seat in the 1960s.
President-elect Barack Obama received a lot of help from Kennedy during his campaign for president and her direct access to the White House could instantly make her a very influential member of the Senate. And her name alone could make her a powerful fund raiser and a virtual shoe-in for re-election when Clinton's current term expires in 2012, following a special election in 2010.
Kennedy is the child of President John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy and is the surviving member of that immediate family. Her brother John F. Kennedy Jr. was killed in 1999 while piloting a small aircraft. The possible Senator earned her bachelor's degree from Harvard and a law degree from Columbia University.