Kirsten Gillibrand's meteoric rise to the upper reaches of American politics now means she gets to get skewered by the upper crush of American journalism! New York poison princess Maureen Dowd, herself a Pulitizer winner, knocked new Senator Gillibrand around, while trashing Gillibrand's ally, Governor David Paterson.
And Gillibrand was none too popular among her colleagues in the House. Supposedly, even Queen Nancy Pelosi took time away from larding the stimulus package with millions for contraceptives to secretly trash our heroine.
It's funny to see Gillibrand getting ripped downstate for being pro-gun and anti-immigration. Gillibrand strikes us as a typical Democrat, cutting her teeth on campaigns for liberal Democrats who are anti-gun and pro-immigration. When she made a stab for the 20th in 2006, she changed her views to become a centrist Democrat, becoming pro-gun and anti-immigrant. Her voting record reflects her transformation to the right side, even though Gillibrand was always upfront about trashing President Bush.
And then came the unexpected appointment to the Senate. Let's be frank, Gillibrand only got tapped after the Paterson team royally screwed up their handling of Caroline Kennedy. We shared the lack of enthusiasm New Yorkers demonstrated for Kennedy and the impending revenge mission by the Kennedys on Paterson will be something to see. In the meantime, Gillibrand is being referenced by every downstate publication as pro-gun, anti-immigrant, which hurts her among minorities, and anti-bailout, which hurts her among the Wall Street crowd. So she's now trying to position herself for a flip-flop on guns and immigration.
We can picture Gillibrand saying she supports the rights of hunters, but wants to restrict gun sales. Or have tougher penalities for gun crimes, or illegal sales or something. Some kind of cynical flip-flop move out of the playbook of her mentor Hillary Clinton, whose seat Gillibrand now occupies. But cynical flip-flops are one of the reasons Clinton lost to Barack Obama in the seemingly endless Democratic presidential primaries. In 2010, Democrats may ask themselves why they should support Gillibrand for election to a full term as Senator when they can elect a candidate who has been with them on the issues all the way.
The GOP moved quickly to settle their choice for Gillibrand's seat, going with Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco. The choice came down to Tedisco or Senator Betty Little, or John Faso, the 2006 gubernatorial candidate and 2002 comptroller candidate. All three candidates and all three would be good choices for the nomination, showing the GOP is geared up and ready to take back the seat when the special election occurs. On the other side, the Democrats have nearly 36 candidates, and no clear contender.