Caroline Kennedy Sails Through Confirmation Hearing

Melissa Stusinski

Caroline Kennedy sailed through her Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday and was praised by both Democrats and Republicans.

Kennedy, the only surviving child of late President John F. Kennedy, was nominated by President Obama to be the new Japanese Ambassador.

Given her warm reception during Thursday's hearing, USA Today reports that Kennedy probably won't see the same road bumps other Obama nominees have seen.

Some Republican senators raised questions about international treaties and an ongoing territory dispute between Japan and China. However, they appeared to have no objections to Caroline Kennedy's nomination.

If she is confirmed by the Senate, Kennedy would join the ranks of several prominent Americans who have served as the US ambassador to Japan. Among them are former vice president Walter Mondale and two former Senate majority leaders, Mike Mansfield and Howard Baker.

CBS News notes that the former first daughter also stated that she would be humbled if the is confirmed for the position, which would carry on her father's legacy. Kennedy explained that JFK wished to be "the first sitting president to make a state visit to Japan." Caroline added, "If confirmed as ambassador, I would be humbled to carry forward his legacy in a small way and represent the powerful bonds that unite our two democratic societies."

Kennedy's chances of being confirmed are very high, as even the top Republican on the panel, Senator Bob Corker from Tennessee, praised her abilities. Corker told the lawyer and best-selling book editor, "You have a good sense of what national interests are." He also told her that she would be a "great ambassador."

Kennedy's confirmation hearing was held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the same panel her father served on when he was a Massachusetts senator. The former first daughter helped President Obama reach the Democratic presidential nomination with her endorsement over Hillary Clinton. It was the second time Kennedy ever endorsed a presidential candidate.

Caroline Kennedy doesn't have any obvious ties to Japan or the same foreign policy heft as other former ambassadors to Japan. However, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee appears to believe she is right for the job.

[Image by Bill Burke/Page One via Wikimedia Commons]