Caroline Kennedy To Take Center Stage At DNC

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There could be echoes of Camelot at the Democratic National Convention on Monday night. President John F. Kennedy's sole surviving child, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, will recall her father's service to the country and lead a tribute to her ailing uncle, Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts.

The usually private Caroline Kennedy has emerged as a key political player this year. Most recently, as a top adviser to Barack Obama, she helped select Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware as the Democratic presidential candidate's running mate.

She appears to be enjoying her new role.

"I can't think of anything more important that I could be doing," she said Sunday on Meet the Press. "So I'm happy to be part of this campaign. I think [Obama will] make a tremendous president and tremendous leader. I saw that during the vice presidential process."

As she introduces a Ken Burns-produced tribute to her uncle Monday, she'll be making yet another step into the political spotlight — a somewhat unfamiliar place for her. A lawyer and author, she has long been active in public policy issues, but it's only recently that she began to more formally take up politics.

Kennedy became visibly active in the campaign in January when she joined Sen. Kennedy to announce their support for Obama. The younger Kennedy declared that "there is one candidate who offers that same sense of hope and inspiration" that her father once had.

This "passing of the torch" was an important moment in political history, says Greg Craig, a senior adviser to the Obama campaign and a longtime friend and confidant of the Kennedy family.

"She made it clear with Ted Kennedy that she thought that Sen. Obama was the heir to [her father's] legacy," Craig says.

Kennedy, a 50-year-old mother of three, credits her children for first getting her interested Obama's candidacy.

She told Good Morning America that his appeal to young people reminded her of her father.

"My eldest daughter will vote for the first time," Kennedy said. "And out of my book tour recently, so many people came up to me and told me that they cast their first vote for my father. And they described to me what that felt like. And it just sounded so much like what I'm hearing from my own children, that I thought this is really something special."

Though her kids may have been the spark, Craig says he thinks that it was simply "the right moment for her."

As she helped vet potential vice presidential candidates, some, including filmmaker Michael Moore, called on her to join the ticket. London papers are filled with rumors that she would be Obama's ambassador to Britain should the Democrats prevail in November.

The one thing that's clear, says Craig, is that from here on out she'll be playing an important role in the presidential campaign.



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