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April 1st, 2013
06:27 PM ET

Caroline Kennedy being vetted to serve as U.S. ambassador to Japan

If it's a superstar the Japanese want, it's a superstar they'll get. A source tells CNN that Caroline Kennedy is being vetted to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Japan, a high-profile gig considered by many as a 'thank you' for her overwhelming support of President Obama. And she's got the name recognition the Japanese have come to expect.

Caroline Kennedy was America's daughter with an early flair for poetry, even naming her famous pony Macaroni. The White House was her playground. But tragedy struck Camelot. After her father's assassination and a very public childhood, Caroline Kennedy stayed out of the spotlight, marrying an artist and maintaining a quiet life in New York with her three children. She joined boards of charities and raised money for causes she champions, like literacy.

But after the death of her brother John Jr. in a plane crash, she became the last link to her father's legacy. But it was her Uncle Teddy who spoke for the family, giving the eulogy at John Jr.'s funeral. Almost a decade later, she found her voice. In 2008, a dashing young first-term senator was running for president. For many, Barack Obama was reminiscent of JFK from almost 50 years before.

"Fortunately, there is one candidate who offers that same sense of hope and inspiration, and I am proud to endorse Senator Barack Obama as President of the United States," Kennedy said during the 2008 election.

A year later, she was ready for a political role of her own, openly lobbying for an appointment to the Senate seat that opened up when Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State.

"I would be an unconventional choice. I haven't followed the traditional path. But I think I bring a lifetime of experience to this and in my family public service is really, you know, the greatest honor that anyone can have," said in December of 2008.

Critics were loud, nasty, and plentiful. Kennedy ended up backing off and Kirsten Gillibrand got the seat instead. Eight months later, Ted Kennedy died, leaving a gaping hole in the Senate. The Kennedy's were fading from political prominence. It would be a few years before a cousin, Joe Jr., went to Washington to serve in the House.

But Caroline kept going – straight into 2012.

"Barack Obama is the kind of leader my father wrote about in "Profiles in Courage." He doesn't just do what's easy. He does what's hard. He does what's right," Caroline Kennedy said at last year's Democratic National Convention.

And now, the president who evokes memories of her father is officially bringing her into the political fold in her own right. If he taps her officially, Caroline Kennedy will be the first woman to hold the U.S. post in Tokyo.

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