Photograph of Caroline Kennedy, with Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown at left, by Don Heupel/AP

Caroline Kennedy, currently angling for Hillary Clinton's soon-to-be vacated Senate seat, has answered questions from Politico, the New York Times and the Buffalo News about her political views. Kennedy expressed her support for gay marriage, the Roe Vs. Wade ruling ("which prohibits third-trimester abortions except when the life or health of the mother is at risk") and allowing undocumented workers to legalize their status in the U.S. She also voiced opposition to the Iraq War (and support of President-elect Obama's plans to withdraw from the region) and noted that Nafta "had unintended, negative consequences in some regions of New York."

Some highlights are after the jump, but the Times notes that her "answers described views similar to those of other New York Democrats, including New York’s senior senator, Charles E. Schumer, and Mrs. Clinton," though her apparently support of gay marriage is different from Clinton and Obama. The Buffalo News found her stance on immigration vague (she mentioned the "need to do more to control our northern border"). And Politico writes, "her answers also demonstrated her precarious political position as a Democrat who's also a protégé of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who left the Democratic Party to chart a smoother path to City Hall and for years generously funded the local Republican Party in exchange for their ballot line."

The NY Times also has an article about how some young voters might not know who she is. A twenty-something Borders clerk said, "I’m like, ‘Is she a Kennedy Kennedy, or is this one of the cousins?’ She’s the one with the brother who died in the plane?” At any rate, Rep. Peter King (R-Long Island) believes he'd be able to beat her in 2010, should Governor Paterson choose her for Clinton's Senate Seat. The Daily News reports that King is probably smart to avoid trying to run against Schumer—Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Queens & Brooklyn) says, "Pete King is not suicidal. It would be a fool's errand to run against Chuck," while Baruch College's Douglas Muzzio says, "Chuck Schumer is a heavyweight, he's a champ."

  • The Times asked if she supported the auto bailout passed by the House—"Yes, Caroline supports the auto industry bailout package passed by the House of Representatives earlier this month."
  • When asked by the Times, "Do you believe that an undivided Jerusalem must be the national capital of the State of Israel?" the response, "Caroline believes that an undivided Jerusalem must be the national capital of the State of Israel."
  • Politico asked, "Do you think Israel should negotiate with Hamas? Do you agree with Israel's Gaza Strip embargo? Would you support an Israeli airstrike on Iran if they felt Tehran's nuclear program represented a threat to their survival?" The response was, "Caroline Kennedy strongly supports a safe and secure Israel. She believe Israel's security decisions should be left to Israel."
  • Discussing health care, the Buffalo News reports, "Kennedy, like her uncle, Sen. Edward Kennedy, says expanding the availability of health insurance 'is one of the nation’s most urgent priorities.' Without saying how she would pay for it, Kennedy believes a program must ensure lower costs for all payers and improvements in quality."
  • Politico asked, "Do you think Senator Schumer made a mistake when he successfully pushed to have the Glass-Steagall Act repealed, breaking down barriers between securities firms and banks? What priorities would you set for restructuring New York's financial services industry? And which of the current financial regulatory plans would you support?" Her response, "At this time, Caroline does not have a specific plan to fix New York's financial services industry. But, if selected, she will work with President Elect Obama, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Chris Dodd to pass laws that protect investors and working families across New York and the country."
  • She told the BUffalo News that she opposes the death penalty.
  • Politico asked, "Will you commit to supporting your party's nominee for mayor against Michael Bloomberg in 2009? Did you back the mayor's efforts to suspend term limits?" and Kennedy, who has worked closely with Mayor Bloomberg, declined to answered.
She also supports mayoral control of the NYC public school and closing down Indian Point.