Caroline Kennedy has decided to pursue Hillary Clinton's U.S. Senate seat and has retained the services of a powerful political consulting firm to help advocate her candidacy, FOX News has learned.
The decision follows weeks of speculation that the early supporter of Barack Obama would trade in her otherwise private life in order to seek an appointment by New York Gov. David Paterson to the seat once held by her uncle, Robert F. Kennedy.
The New York Times first reported that Kennedy will ask Paterson to consider her for the job. The daughter of former President John F. Kennedy is known as an accomplished author and education advocate, and would face likely competition for the post from other more familiar faces in New York politics.
Among the pool of potential candidates is state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo.
Many New York Democrats who passionately backed Clinton during the Democratic primaries resent the idea of Kennedy taking Clinton's seat. Some have questioned whether she would bring more than name recognition to the job.
U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman recently compared Kennedy's appeal to that of singer and actress Jennifer Lopez.
"I don't know what Caroline Kennedy's qualifications are except that she has name recognition, but so does J. Lo," he said. "I wouldn't make J. Lo the senator unless she proved she had great qualifications, but we haven't seen them yet."
But Kennedy seems to be showing she's serious about the Senate run. She has retained the services of the New York-based consulting firm Knickerbocker SKD, which represents New York's other senator, Democrat Chuck Schumer.
The firm is also a subsidiary of Squire, Knapp and Dunn, a powerful Washington, D.C.-based firm. One of its leaders, Anita Dunn, was a senior adviser to Obama's presidential campaign and part of his inner circle.
Kennedy helped lead Obama's vice presidential vetting process after he won the Democratic primary.
Clinton has been nominated to serve as Obama's secretary of state.
FOX News' Major Garrett contributed to this report.