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Caroline Kennedy (left) and Vicki Kennedy. Photos: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe (left), Paul Morigi/Getty Images for WS Productions

President Biden is considering naming two Kennedys to represent him abroad: Caroline Kennedy is in line to be U.S. ambassador to Australia, and Vicki Kennedy is on his radar for Western Europe, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: With JFK's daughter and the widow of Sen. Ted Kennedy, Biden would be reaching outside of his pool of core campaign donors. He'd also be putting a spotlight back on America's most famous political dynasty — and honoring a late friend and mentor.

Flashback: Biden, who shares the family's Irish Catholic heritage, delivered a eulogy in 2009 for Ted, with whom he served in the Senate for 36 years.

  • He has described Kennedy as a "big brother," and felt a debt of gratitude for Kennedy's defense of his honor amid the plagiarism controversy in Biden's 1988 presidential bid.

Details: Vicki, an attorney at Greenberg Traurig and a gun control advocate, got to know Biden through her husband.

  • Caroline served as President Obama’s second ambassador to Japan and is well versed in the issues in the Asia-Pacific region, where the AP first reported she could be heading.
  • The White House declined to comment. People close to the process stressed that nothing is final until the White House sends a formal announcement.

Driving the news: Biden was scheduled to make several formal offers to candidates over the holiday weekend, ahead of announcing his first slate of ambassadors as soon as this week.

  • On Friday, he announced Rufus Gifford as his choice to be chief of protocol at the State Department.
  • Administration officials have been vigorous in vetting the first group of political ambassadors, hoping to avoid negative headlines.

The intrigue: In addition to political allies like former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, Biden will likely reward longtime friends and aides, in lieu of several donors who raised millions of dollars over Zoom from his campaign.

  • Biden is planning to nominate Cindy McCain as his envoy to the World Food Program in Rome.
  • Michael Carpenter, managing director of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement and a former career foreign service officer, is being considered for a European position.

Some donors may make the cut:

  • Cynthia Telles, a clinical professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA, is being considered for Costa Rica. She and her husband, Joe Waz, hosted a fundraiser for Biden in 2019 along with Hollywood luminaries Jeffrey Katzenberg and Rob Reiner.
  • Scott Miller, a former UBS wealth manager and LGBTQ activist, has been discussed for Switzerland. He and his husband, Tim Gill, are prominent philanthropists for LGBTQ causes.

Go deeper

Updated Sep 1, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Progressives call on Senate to reject Rahm Emanuel's ambassador nomination

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rahm Emanuel. Photos: Kevin Dietsch (left); Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) and Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-Mo.) urged the Senate on Wednesday to reject Rahm Emanuel's nomination for U.S. ambassador to Japan, accusing the former Chicago mayor of helping "cover up" the murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by a police officer in 2014.

Why it matters: Their statements reflect progressives' anger at President Biden's decision to nominate Emanuel, a close ally who also served as President Obama's chief of staff from 2009 to 2010.

Judge nixes Gulf of Mexico oil leases in climate-focused ruling

Tug boats prepare to tow the semi-submersible drilling platform Noble Danny Adkins through the Port Aransas Channel into the Gulf of Mexico on December 12, 2020 in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday canceled the Biden administration's late 2021 sale of new oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: The ruling that the greenhouse gas emissions analysis by the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was insufficient is a win for green groups that challenged the decision, as they seek to curb fossil fuel production.

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Credit: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine Thursday night, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.

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