Caroline Kennedy has never run for so much as dog catcher, and hasn’t even had a full-time job in years, so inevitably her desire to become a US senator has met with some skepticism. But Kennedy’s friends say her nonprofit work has made her a savvy inside operator with hands-on policy chops, the New York Times reports.
Kennedy has overhauled the New York public school system’s financing, helped pick Barack Obama’s VP, and convinced a Harvard panel to hire Nashville mayor Bill Purcell to head its politics institute. “She’s not shy about pushing people in a direction … in a way that people don’t even realize they’re being pushed,” said one member of that board. She also picked up campaign experience stumping for Barack Obama, which should help her explain her nontraditional qualifications.