Saturday, January 24, 2009

MODERATION WAS THE KEY IN PICKING GILLIBRAND

You probably never heard of her, but you will. She is a young, folksy, centrist Democrat from rural upstate New York who was just re-elected to her second term in Congress and is now inheriting the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton. Who is she?
She is Kirsten E. Gillibrand, a 42-year-old lawyer, a relentless campaigner and fund-raiser, a competitive woman whose friends, unprompted, suggest she might someday soon seek the presidency.

She is backed (and funded) by the National Rifle Association, while also being showered with love and dollars by women’s groups like Emily’s List; she favors the English language-only movement as well as abortion rights; she voted in July 2007 to withdraw troops from Iraq and, this fall, against the Wall Street bailout bill. Gay marriage? Not so fast. Although preferring to remain silent on the subject, she is somewhat less than a supporter.

But wait......rumors are she is flipping on the issue; gay rights supporters now claims she has announced Thursday she is now a supporter of gay marriage. Obviously, Gillibrand is now weighing her political future as a high profile female senator in a party looking for an Obama successor in eight years.

She may well be the modern-day Democrat. She has an admirable number of friends and supporters on both sides of the aisle, having once been an intern for former Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato, a Republican who somehow secured the spot above Ms. Gillibrand’s right shoulder among a sea of Democrats at Friday’s announcement. She was a law clerk for a Reagan-appointed conservative federal appellate court judge, Roger J. Miner, who, with his wife, remains among her political backers. And she ardently pursued and gained the support of Mrs. Clinton, whom she supported in the Democratic presidential primaries last year.

While her appointment is far less controversial than that of Roland Burris to replace president Obama, it is somewhat ironic as the NY voters favorite to replace Secretary of State Clinton, AG Andrew Cuomo, was once her boss; Gillibrand having serving as special counsel for the housing and urban development secretary.
Overall, I think Governor Patterson has made a very wise choice with Gillibrand, especially considering the pressure he had from the voters to nominate either the veteran Attorney General Cuomo, or the emotional favorite, Caroline Kennedy. This is the time to reach across the aisle and work together. This is the time for serious thinkers who carefully weigh their opinions and vote their conscience, irrespective of party lines. I think this may be her time, and many in the party agree.

4 comments:

Papa Giorgio said...

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"weighing her options," means she knows she has some sway and will use it to gain power or status quickly. She is a smart gal, UCLA bred.

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Kim said...

Funny how you can gain admission to national politics now with a resume that fits on the back or a business card, isn't it?

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Papa Giorgio said...

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I'm In Then!

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