Biden is preparing to nominate Caroline Kennedy to be the United States’ ambassador to Australia.
President Joe Biden is preparing to nominate Caroline Kennedy to serve as ambassador to Australia, according to three people familiar with the search process, in one of the White House’s most high-profile envoy selections to date.
Kennedy, the daughter of former President John F. Kennedy, served as the Obama administration’s ambassador to Japan.
She has been a longtime friend, ally, and donor to Biden, having endorsed his candidacy early in the campaign and speaking at the Democratic National Convention last summer.
A White House spokesperson declined to comment, stating that additional ambassadors would be named once the vetting process and notification to host countries are complete.
Caroline Kennedy is Biden’s second family member to be nominated for a diplomatic position, reflecting his close relationship with the Kennedy political dynasty. The President has appointed Victoria Kennedy, the widow of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, as his envoy to Austria.
Biden has spoken of the family’s influence on his own political career, recalling the inspiration he felt as a young man watching a fellow Irish Catholic American, John F. Kennedy, win the presidency. And in 2009, while eulogizing Ted Kennedy, Biden discussed the debt he owed the late senator — both in terms of assisting him in getting elected and advancing to the Senate.
Biden’s wife and daughter were killed in a car accident shortly after he was elected to the Senate in 1972, and his two young sons were severely injured. In 2015, at a memorial for Ted Kennedy, Biden told the family that he would have abandoned his political career without Ted Kennedy’s support.
“It is almost certain that I would not have been sworn in as a United States senator had it not been for your father’s encouragement,” Biden said, recalling how he had skipped his swearing-in ceremony and had not wanted to.
“I did not appear on the day I was scheduled to be sworn in. It was your father, along with Mike Mansfield, who sent the Senate secretary to a hospital in Wilmington, Delaware, to swear me in with my boys,” Biden recalled, adding that Kennedy “treated me like a little brother” once he arrived in Congress.”