Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand the Brave Enters the Democratic Presidential Ring

She's a centrist turned progressive.


Kirsten Gillibrand
bernstein reuters via newscom

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand threw her hat in —or should we say beret?—for the Democratic presidential nomination on Sunday, the sixth woman in an already-crammed field.

Gillibrand has been a U.S. House member in a heavily Republican district in New York. She was initially tapped in 2009 to fill Hillary Clinton's U.S. Senate seat in New York when Clinton was named Secretary of State.

She was re-elected to the Senate in 2018, and since then she has moved from a centrist to a progressively progressive position.

She rose to national prominence as an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and his misogynistic comments. Subsequently, she positioned herself as an advocate of women's issues within her party and became a forceful proponent of the #MeToo movement, authoring a children's book last year titled Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote.

She was the first senator in 2017 to call for Minnesota Democrat Al Franken to resign from the Senate after allegations that he touched women inappropriately. She even commented that President Bill Clinton should have resigned over the Monica Lewinsky affair. If this upset Hillary Clinton, who strongly supported Gillibrand's bid to become her successor, she didn't say anything, although Bill Clinton did comment that Gillibrand was "living in a different context." However, the Clintons must have experienced at least a little schadenfreude earlier this week when Gillibrand herself faced claims that she mishandled allegations of sexual harassment in her Senate office. A female Senate staffer for Gillibrand resigned in 2018 after her complaints about sexual harassment by a senior advisor didn't result in his firing.

Gillibrand used to be anti-"amnesty," pro-gun, and anti–gay marriage. Now she has reversed herself on all those issues, which aside from gun rights isn't a bad thing from a libertarian perspective—although it does raise questions about her campaign theme of "bravery," which she featured in her opening ad.

The ad mocks Trump's calls for banning Muslims and building a wall as fear-mongering, not bravery. True bravery, it suggests, rests in embracing all progressive causes in toto. That may be par for the course given that she is, after all, a progressive. But what was jarring to anyone who cares even a little bit about logic was this little non sequitur: "If we could land on the moon," then we can definitely achieve "universal coverage" and "paid family leave" and "end gun violence" and "pass a Green New Deal"— unless Gillibrand has some secret way of making astronauts airdrop these things on the United States from the moon like manna!

Gillibrand has yet to reach the 1 percent mark in polls, a Democratic National Committee requirement to be included in the upcoming 2020 debates.

Her ad:

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  1. Brave? What is she, Native American?

    1. Going for the Lizzie vote. Meanwhile, Lizzie is going for the axe-first question-never vote.

    2. Plain old white women is not good enough to be President.

      Spartacus is in the running. Spartacus!

    3. A typical Dalmia progressive reviewing a progressive puff piece .. Gillibrand is such an easy target for most critical thinking libertarians that she could be torn apart in half the words this phony used. Dalmia did little except state the obvious. She gets paid for writing for Reason? I surprised she hasn’t written a “Profiles in Courage” piece for Bill Weld. My God is anyone awake at this magazine?

  2. Lots of hopefuls reading for the part of the seven dwarves, but none of them are tall enough to play Snow White. It’s going to be an interesting production when the wicked queen takes the stage and there’s nobody to challenge.

    1. Joe Biden as the Huntsman, but only if he can remember to steal his lines.

    2. It’ll be whittled down to Bernie, Warren, Harris, Biden, and maaaaaaybe Beto for the final debate… at which the building will collapse on all of them, leaving Hillary to stand atop the rubble and reluctantly accept the D nomination in an emergency “vote”

      1. Robert O’Rourke ain’t making it past Super Tuesday, if that, barring a major media push from Hollywood celebrities. They’ll be more likely to endorse Harris anyway, being a Jamaican/Tamil Indian woman from California rather than the Gen-X poser.

        1. O’Rourke probably ain’t making it past August this year

          1. I can see Julian Castro dropping out before O’Rourke. The latter has a huge warchest remaining from his Senate campaign, and a national profile thanks to the media/celebrity rimjobs that he’s been getting.

            No one in Texas gives a shit about Castro outside of the San Antonio metro area.

            1. An little more care for Beto. He has the thin resume of Obama but is White and sounds like Obama off teleprompter. He is the original “empty suit” … once regular Americans listen to his vacuous blathering for over 5 mins he will be gone.

          2. On the surface, I tend to think Beto is too centrist for the nomination. However, the right is absolutely terrified of him, so I may be wrong.

      2. Hillary will be tanned, rested and ready at that point. The progressives will go insane with anger

  3. “She rose to national prominence as an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and his misogynistic comments.”

    Denouncing misogynistic comments in the run up to the 2016 election doesn’t make anyone brave. If anything was brave, it was a libertarian woman telling it like it was:

    “The “pussy tape” contains what can be read as a confession to sexual assault?though, in my view, it sounds more like sexual trash talk . . . .

    Yet it also makes a difference that [unlike Clinton] no feminists, progressives, or mainstream journalists are likely to defend Trump or minimize his actions; if anything, they will lean in the opposite direction of casting his words in the most literal and negative light possible. Indeed, much like the Thomas confirmation hearings almost exactly 25 years ago, Pussygate has become a consciousness-raising moment on sexual abuse, with the social media a powerful instant amplifier of women’s stories.

    . . . . The heightened focus on sexual abuse has its dark side, now as in the early 1990s?including the stigmatization or even demonization of male sexual interest in women, the cult of female victimhood, the tendency to portray complex male-female sexual dynamics as a one-sided affair with abusive males and abused females, and the push to police sexuality.

    —-Cathy Young…..e-feminist

  4. The Democrat primaries ought to be interesting. With at least half a dozen women in the nomination race, none of them can fall back on “pick me because vagina”. They may have to–gasp!–come up with coherent policy ideas.

    Well, Harris can fall back on “pick me because vagina of color”.

    1. Super delegates make things more complicated, but, just assuming that Harris wins California, even without the super delegates, that gives her a big advantage. There will be a big attrition rate ahead of Super Tuesday, too: California, Massachusetts, and Texas are all up for grabs on the same day. If you don’t already have the momentum to attract donors ahead of that, you’re not going anywhere. You’re probably not even going to try. Trump might have dropped out ahead of that if weren’t able to attract so much free advertising by trolling the media. I doubt anyone on the Democrat side will attract that kind of publicity ahead of Super Tuesday.

      I still give Harris an advantage here if I were making a bet. The northeast is split too many ways (between Warren, Sanders, et. al.). Then the question becomes about who plays well in Texas. Again, It think Harris’ connection with immigration, being a prosecutor, etc. gives her a big advantage vs. someone from the Northeast. Texas’ issues are like California’s. Liz Warren might challenge just because she’s been building a national donor network since when Obama was in office and she isn’t as encumbered by that northeastern carpetbagger aesthetic. I don’t think people from the northeast truly appreciate how negatively they’re perceived outside of their native habitat.

      1. Sanders already has a national network from the 2016 election, so he shouldn’t have to worry about his appeal being limited to the northeast. With 20% or so of the vote on lockdown this massive field should really help him.

        1. Sanders didn’t have people to his left last time. Now he’s one of a handful and not necessarily the most charismatic of the bunch. Hell, Liz Warren even seems to be running to his left. She’s gonna break up Amazon, Google, and Facebook, and give us Medicare for all, too!

          Trump wasn’t the only one who benefited from Hillary being so unappealing. Even a lot of the Democrats in the primaries had to pinch their noses to pull the lever. Never Hillary wasn’t something invented by Republicans. That came from disaffected Sanders supporters.

          Anyway, I’m just reading the tea leaves, here. I could be wrong.

        2. Sanders already has a national network from the 2016 election, so he shouldn’t have to worry about his appeal being limited to the northeast.

          The problem is that black people, especially black women, can’t stand the guy. Hillary demolished him in the South, where most of the black population lives.

          His appeal is still limited largely to dumbshit high school and college students, and some white Gen-xers. He had an advantage in 2016 because Hillary was his only real competition, but there’s too many candidates promising a lot of the same shit he did this time around for him to stand out.

          1. Maybe he gets outlefted, but in a crowded field all he needs is those dumbass white kids to get traction over most everybody else. Hes behind only Biden in very early polling and no one else is close. If Bernie keeps it up it’s not hard to see a trumpian path where he comes close to winning with ~20% in iowa then bumps to about 30 or so in NH. After that who knows but he’d probably be leading at that point.

      2. I think you’re right about Harris’ advantages, and I think it will be interesting to see what sort of Hail Mary passes are thrown by other candidates to try to overcome those advantages. Playing it safe will probably be hopeless.

        1. Yeah, they’re gonna have to be more social justice warrior than the others.

          We might think a lot of them are playing for Vice President, too, but there isn’t much advantage in running for Vice President if you’re from California, the Northeast or some other deep blue state.

          California and New York aren’t going for Trump in the general election no matter whether Harris or Gillibrand or on the ballot. Before Obama, I guess, no Democrat had won a national election without someone from the South on the ballot. They thought Obama winning with Biden had changed that dynamic forever, but then the Democrats went and lost the middle of the country. Having somebody from neither the Northeast nor California may be more important for the Democrats than ever.

          1. If anyone’s “running for VP,” it’s probably O’Rourke, who will try to play the LBJ role and turn Texas. If Texas goes blue, there’s no realistic path for Trump to win. There’s no way he’ll pull off the sweep upper Midwest upsets again (too much motivation by the Dems to take those states back, and the candidates won’t be stupid enough to repeat Hillary’s mistake of not campaigning there), and California, Illinois, and New York are all guaranteed Dem states pulling 38% of the total electoral vote. Add in Texas, and the Dem is over halfway there with just those four states.

            1. If anyone’s “running for VP,” it’s probably O’Rourke, who will try to play the LBJ role and turn Texas.

              In related news, while I was at the KGB museum this weekend, I saw an umbrella that could discretely inject ricin into a target. The KGB had given a similar device to a hit man decades ago to take out a Bulgarian author who had taken refuge in the UK.

            2. “There’s no way he’ll pull off the sweep upper Midwest upsets again”

              This is the conventional wisdom at the moment. So I’m inclined to think it’s wrong.

            3. I’ve no doubt the Democrat candidate will campaign in the upper Midwest but I wonder what they’ll have to offer. “Vote for me, you dumb bitter-clinger rednecks.”

              1. I’ve no doubt the Democrat candidate will campaign in the upper Midwest but I wonder what they’ll have to offer.

                Trump won those states largely on the basis of keeping the area’s blue-collar jobs intact. If they’re still economically struggling in 2020, he won’t be able to hold on to them, even if someone like Harris or Gillibrand doesn’t bother to campaign anywhere in the region except the big cities.

      3. Harris is not going to win California.

        1. If you have some reasoning behind that, please share.

          1. Just a hunch, but I expect California will go to Beto or Biden. Harris doesn’t seem to be as popular with the people as she is with the media.

  5. I stopped reading after ‘Shikha Dalmia’. I read the first comment and skipped the rest.

    1. Same. Straight to the comments.

  6. I find it interesting when Democrats are considered “centrist” when they consistently vote party line and advocate for significantly leftist policy. Meanwhile, Republicans like McCain are “mavericks” but still somehow get called extreme. Then Collins and Murkowski are called “moderates” when voting with Democrats a significant amount of the time. Language matters and I’d say it shows major bias

    1. That’s because Democrats are the moderate center / left party and Republicans have moved far to the right over the past couple decades. There are studies proving this. I learned about them in college.

      1. Well, I don’t know what your parents did to convince the college to take you…but I hope I was worth it for them

        1. *it (freudian slip?)

          1. It’s all about his mother. 😉

      2. Those same studies show the Democrats moving as far to the left as Republicans have to the right. There is no moderate, center, or liberal party anymore

    2. “Progessively progressive” was my favorite phrase in the article.

  7. Gillibrand, along with Harris and Warren, continues to occupy my top tier of 2020 candidates. Her sincere evolution on issues like immigration and gun safety is truly inspiring.


  8. “True bravery, it suggests, rests in embracing all progressive causes in toto.”

    1. I liken such comments to “Our Strength is in Diversity” whereby the politburo puts what it wants you to believe on ubiquitous billboards and posters.

  9. Any bets on when there will be more Democratic candidates than Democrats who aren’t running?

  10. I really enjoy Shikha’s non-immigration pieces.

    It’s not even that I disagree with her on many immigration issues, but her articles about it are always disingenuous with hyperbolic rhetoric.

  11. Here are my predictions: With so many clowns in the circus tent, the only one who will emerge as the lead clown is the one with a significant nationwide following (you know who I’m talking about here-the dem soc from Vertmont). All others may win their home states or one of two others, but that’s it. This will lead to a brokered convention where Joe Biden or someone else from the inner circle will be nominated, and yes, I really do think the Democrat Party is stupid and corrupt enough to do this.

    1. And alienating their voters will of course meant 4 more years for Trump

      1. There is absolutely no way Drumpf wins in 2020. Even assuming Mueller fails to remove him from office, Presidents just don’t get reelected when the economy is this bad.

        1. Yeah-record low unemployment and rising wages must mean that the economy truly sucks right now

          1. He means in-accessibility to women’s lingerie.

        2. Ummm, please cite why you think the economy is bad.

    2. “Democracy….now with 99% more central control!”

    3. Biden/Sanders 2020

  12. Gilibrand criticize’s Trumps immigration policy and then says we should be brave enough to provide universal health care. When your video objects to your opponent building a wall, you undermine your position by demanding funding for the only private sector industry that locks it’s doors to prevent customers from leaving.

    In related news, I went to NYC yesterday. There’s a new KGB museum near NYU. The exhibits were informative. The tour guide explained that the electric chair is something you expect to find in a psych ward but the KGB used it for torture. One exhibit about KGB techniques showed a mannequin in a straight jacket and a video of a man in a straight jacket locked in a padded room, the type of procedures medicare currently pays for. Then there’s the displays of recording devices, as if there’s any privacy in a psych ward.

    Oh, and on the subway ride home, an ex-marine who had served under Reagan and the first Bush tried to lecture me about gender relations. I took care of him without having to bring up Tailhook.

    1. You took care of him on the subway? Without using a tailhook? So it was hands free?

      1. And did you maintain eye contact during?

  13. So, has this idiot done anything more significant that inviting Mattress Girl to the SOTU one year?


  14. Still looking for one bill of consequence (or any bill quite frankly) that she sponsored and which passed into law.

  15. Her qualifications are that she is critical of other politicians and she wrote a children’s book?

    I too am critical of politicians and can hire other people to illustrate my simple narratives.

  16. unless Gillibrand has some secret way of making astronauts airdrop these things on the United States from the moon like manna!

    Be careful what you wish for. 😉

  17. Gillibrand also denounced due process rights. She talked about how horrible it was that Betsy Devos was giving men called before campus star chambers just a tiny little shred of due process.

    Why do all of the women running have to be so god damn toxic on civil rights issues. The left is hell bent on it being a woman’s turn NOW and will rig the primary again, then be just shocked when they lose to the fucking orange idiot again, because they were unwilling to wait for a woman who didn’t openly hate white men.

    1. Because true bravery rests in toeing the party line.

  18. I just started 6 weeks ago and I’ve gotten 2 check for a total of $2,200…this is the best decision I made in a long time! “Thank you for giving me this extraordinary opportunity to make extra money from home. This extra cash has changed my life in so many ways, thank you!”
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  19. Democrats brave?

    Oh nooo, we cant debate on Fox, they might ask really, really, mean questions………..

  20. The dems are so fucked honestly. They have done it to themselves, embracing identity politics and the anti-white position so hard that they probably can’t dig out of this hole.

    Beto(a) has already spent his first few days since announcing apologizing for, well, everything he said in his announcement. Honestly one of the very few things I actually love about Trump is he doesn’t apologize (even when blatantly wrong/incorrect/out-of-his-depth). He says fuck off, get your apology on MSNBC. And you know what, sometimes your leader has to have a fucking set (even if that is his only good quality)

    These dems are literally all running as cucks, to see who can get their lunch stolen by trump the best.

    Their media machine is tripping over itself to make it clear at every turn that the candidates that aren’t: 1)extreme socialists, 2)POCs, 3) women 4) a combination of above have ZERO chance of making it through. A few of their regular commentators dedicate most of their on-air time to repeat, ad nauseum, that Beto has NO POSITIONS, and Biden has a COMPLICATED PAST (“and btw he hasnt declared so maybe theres hope?!”), and Bernie let his campaign go out of control in 2016…they might as well just tell the super-delegates who to vote for now.

  21. Watching them in these town halls is seriously cringe-worthy. It is a mix of constant apologies, pandering to any “victim” class they can think of, promising every fucking thing for free for anyone asking for it (“oh poor baby, you took out student loans and signed a contract, well govt should pay for that!…reparations many generations later? sure! why the fuck not!”).

    The current lizzy town hall has asked so far, first 3-4 questions in a row, to black women…god forbid they asked a non-victim a question on TV…this shit is not going to fly in a lot of the country, and this is exactly why they lost the rust belt.

  22. The deal is this…maybe in 100 years if demographics are different, you can get away with shitting on the current largest demographic and playing identity politics with the minority vote, if they are in the majority at that time…but they arent right now. So if you want to kick out the trumpenfuhrer you are going to have to put forward something that isnt a straight up pussy. Someone shared a john oliver clip to me recently and at one point he threw in there the synopsis of, paraphrased : “people vote for a bunch of assholes, but no one votes for a goober”

    The dem field is basically all goobers, a bunch of pussies…

    Biden might have a crotchety old set of nuts, maybe.

  23. Gillibrand is pretty and blonde I like her but not for POTUS. She can make me a sandwich if she can make sandwiches.

    1. She made sandwiches for the Clinton’s and Harvey. Apparently she is a naughty girl.

  24. Dalmia again proves the point that she is anything other than a progressive nitwit by writing a puff piece on Gillibrand. Comments like “She rose to national prominence as an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and his misogynistic comments. Subsequently, she positioned herself as an advocate of women’s issues within her party and became a forceful proponent of the #MeToo movement,” Except Dalmia does point out the obvious connection Gillibrand had with Clinton and Weinstein up to the point she didn’t need them anymore. Why is Reason still paying this pathetic twit.

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