Discreet Meetings: How Caroline Kennedy Vets Potential Veeps

07/11/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The question bounced around the Internet and tumbled from the lips of Washington insiders: Why would Barack Obama choose Caroline Kennedy, a reluctant public figure with little affection for modern politics, to vet the next Democratic vice presidential candidate?

A month into the search, as one of two remaining members of the search team, Kennedy is emerging as an active participant, slipping largely unnoticed around Capitol Hill for private meetings and exercising the kind of discretion that made her an appealing choice in the first place. Despite initial skepticism in some quarters that her appointment was window dressing, associates and at least one member of Congress who met with Kennedy describe her as an engaged and savvy operative.

Consider these scenes last month at Democratic National Committee headquarters.

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