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View Diary: Gillibrand: The Great Evolver (275 comments)

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  •  Feel better now? (17+ / 0-)

    I happen to know Senator Gillibrand personally. I have every expectation that she will "evolve" into exactly who she is today.

    Those claiming she is some far right conservative are wrong.

    Those claiming she is some far left liberal are wrong.

    Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is an extremely intelligent, capable, practical, moderate-to-progressive woman that is going to be an exceptional Senator. She has been representing the most rural, conservative district in the state and surprise, surprise, has the most conservative record. Sounds appropriate to me. Take an honest moment to compare an a "conservative" upstate New York Democrat to a truly conservative Republican from just about anywhere and you will find there is a vast gulf of difference between the two. Heck! If you can find a moderate Republican left in office compare them to Rep. Gillibrand and you'll still find a vast gulf of difference.

    From now on she will be representing one of the most liberal states in the Union. I am quite confident that you will see appropriate representation in the Senate by the new Senator.

    All I really ask anyone is to step back and give the lady a chance. I'm not concerned in the least about the final conclusion will be.

    Peace,

    Andrew

    former Internet Outreach Coordinator for Gillibrand '06

    by Andrew C White on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:58:22 PM PST

    •  CK (9+ / 0-)

      All I really ask anyone is to step back and give the lady a chance.

      Interesting considering that nobody of the front pagers ever gave Caroline Kennedy a chance.

      •  She had a chance (10+ / 0-)

        She spent a month (and had decades of adult life) to convince Gov. Paterson of her readiness for office.  She failed.

        •  And quit before (4+ / 0-)

          the final exam.  That alone showed me she would not have bene a good senator.  If you don't try, you can't win.  

          "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

          by TomP on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:22:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Takes toughness (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            devtob, Wide Awake in NJ, Crookshanks

            Kirsten's got it. Takes determination. Kirsten's got that too.

            former Internet Outreach Coordinator for Gillibrand '06

            by Andrew C White on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:24:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I would not have chosen her, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Andrew C White, devtob, Aunt Martha

              but she certainly has toughness.

              I hope she moves left.  I doubt she will move too much.  I suspect some of her views are actually hers and some were political for her district.

              She is good on EFCA and other labor issues.  

              Let's see how she votes.  Right now, the economy trumps all.  We need to create a new economy, a green economy based on economic justice, good, union jobs.  How she votes on the Obama economic transformation/recovery will be key.  I think she will vote okay on that.

              "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

              by TomP on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:28:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  She will (0+ / 0-)

                she has been very strong on pushing sustainable/renewable energy as the prime focus of our economy and job creation agenda from the first day she hit the campaign trail.

                There were a lot of very good, very qualified candidates here in New York. I would have been happy with any number of them.

                Peace,

                Andrew

                former Internet Outreach Coordinator for Gillibrand '06

                by Andrew C White on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:26:38 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  If CK was the right person for the job, she (10+ / 0-)

        would have made it happen.

        Gillibrand knows how to win elections and win people over.  CK apparently lacks that skill set.  I do too.  So do most people.

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:07:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Two separate issues (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adam B, devtob, CParis, Wide Awake in NJ

        they do not equate. The problem with Caroline is that she had done nothing to earn the job or show that she could do it. Kirsten has. Objections to her are in regard to positions she has taken. Both objections to Caroline and Kirsten are legitimate concerns.

        Caroline can solve hers by actually running for office, winning and then showing us whether she is up to the task or not. We already know that Kirsten can run for office, win, and that she is up to the task of performing the job.

        What we don't know yet is whether she'll be the horrenously conservatve Newt Gingrich/John Sweeny/Tom DeLay Republican that people seem to hyperventilating about or whether she'll represent her liberal state as well as she did her conservative district.

        And that is where I ask that people give her a chance. She's earned it.

        Peace,

        Andrew

        former Internet Outreach Coordinator for Gillibrand '06

        by Andrew C White on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:23:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Andrew is not a front pager. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Andrew C White

        Why this constant refrain in these diaries that the front pagers weren't fair to CK so now it's our turn to be unfair to someone else?

        Another annoying chant; blaming someone for their parents choices? How very Klingon.

        "You have brought shame on the house of Mogg Gillibrand!"

        "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

        by RonV on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:38:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wow, who said that? (8+ / 0-)

      Those claiming she is some far right conservative are wrong.

      Those claiming she is some far left liberal are wrong.

      The contention is that she's a BLUE DOG.

      And this site has never been fond of BLUE DOGS until one was put up as an alternative to Caroline Kennedy.

      You don't find that the least bit strange?

      Opt for BLUE DOG vs. "More and BETTER Democrats."

      You don't see any contradiction there?

      "Watch what you watchin'. Fox keeps feeding us toxins. Stop sleeping, start thinking outside of the box and unplug from The Matrix doctrine." -Nas

      by malharden on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:03:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you kidding? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RonV, devtob, alba, Crookshanks

        This site loves blue dogs.  Tester?  Webb?  Murphy?  This site has always been about electing blue dog (or similar) Democrats.

        You may not like blue dogs.  I may not like blue dogs.  But taken all in all, Daily Kos has never seemed to have a problem with them.

        John McCain, you are _not_ my friend.

        by LarryInNYC on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:06:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  not necessarily (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          devtob, malharden, TomP

          Kos, 12-4-08, on PA-SEN:

          As for more serious potential candidates, Rep. Joe Sestak's office issued a statement saying that he wouldn't run for the seat. Reps. Allyson Schwartz and Patrick Murphy are likely considering runs. Murphy, while originally supported by this site in the 2006 Netroots Candidates ActBlue fundraising list, headed over to the dark side by joining the Blue Dogs. Bad move.

          •  PA is a lovely cerulean color these days (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            malharden

            There's no reason to settle for a Blue Dog there.

            If we take Rep. Gillibrand at her word, she only sides with the Blue Dogs on fiscal responsibility issues, and that's going to be a moot point while the Fed is setting an effective interest rate of zero, the financial world has completely abdicated its role, and the only responsible party with any power to borrow or spend is the dear old Federal Government.

            [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

            by oldjohnbrown on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:24:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Guns, Immigration, Fiscal & Tax policy (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fcvaguy, oldjohnbrown, GN1927, malharden

              The "only" areas she's not progressive on.

              Well, that's rather a lot.

              She doesn't think the Bush tax cuts should expire. She has opposed any and all gun controls. And she goes along with the Republican anti-immigration canard of seal the borders first, then we can start thinking about reform but No Amnesty!

              NY-20 is an R+3 district. There are more conservative districts represented by progressive Democrats. And I certainly don't understand why an upstate New Yorker would be grandstanding about the Mexican border. That's not a factor of her district.

              I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong. - Bertrand Russell
              -5.38, -6.41

              by sullivanst on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:39:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  With few exceptions (0+ / 0-)

                the districts where immigration is not a problem are the ones doing the grandstanding. All they know they learned from right-wing talk radio. (Here in Iowa, where there are a lot of illegal immigrants despite our lack of a border anywhere near Mexico, there is broad support for amnesty.)

                And we'll have to see where she is when she's not just representing both rural conservative NYers and the ultra-rich in Saratoga Springs. If she's too conservative, she will have to face her whole state in the next election, not long at all after her appointment.

                [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

                by oldjohnbrown on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:47:13 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  And I told Kirsten (5+ / 0-)

            that joining the Blue Dogs was a mistake too. She believes, as I do, in fiscal responsibility. She felt it would be best to join the Blue Dogs because of that and stated immediately in answer to concerns about it that she was with them on fiscal issues only. I believe she ought to have told them that they could count her to vote with them when it came to fiscal matters but that should not officially join them. She felt otherwise. Politically it is not a bad move to burnish ones conservative credentials when you represent the most rural, conservative district in the state. I think it could have been done without but... I can't argue with the logic either.

            Peace,

            Andrew

            former Internet Outreach Coordinator for Gillibrand '06

            by Andrew C White on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:33:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  A Blue Dog in Montana (11+ / 0-)

          is progress, a Blue Dog in New York is a gift to the GOP.

          The weak in courage is strong in cunning-William Blake

          by beltane on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:08:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  My perception is different. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RaulVB, beltane, cybrestrike

          I did not perceive Webb to be a Blue Dog.

          I was enthused by his speech after the State of the Union.

          I was genuinely dissappointed in some of his votes.

          I dunno, maybe that makes me naive.

          "Watch what you watchin'. Fox keeps feeding us toxins. Stop sleeping, start thinking outside of the box and unplug from The Matrix doctrine." -Nas

          by malharden on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:08:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You betcha (0+ / 0-)

          Tester, Webb, Murphy - they all got my money and I was glad to give it to them. And, I confess, I gave money to Gillibrand in 2006, gladly.

          But no way in hell does she get a cent from me now.

          In places like Virginia, rural PA, and Montana, we support Blue Dogs and the occasional progressive (Pirello)when we have the opportunity. But, New York deserves better.

      •  This site is OK with conservative Dems (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RonV, devtob, CParis, TomP, LI Mike

        when the situation warrants. Jim Tester is no progressive. Neither is Jim Webb—he's a populist, but that's not the same.

        Heck, Jack Murtha had quite a following here for a while.

        Now, I'm going to riff on the idea of a BETTER Democrat. First of all, we don't know that Caroline Kennedy is an ideologically better Democrat, because she has no public record to speak of, other than a singularly apathetic voting history. Second, we don't know that Gillibrand isn't, because she is the representative of a very conservative district, and so there is a real extent to which she has to be representative of them. That doesn't mean that she is conservative, but it does mean that her votes have to echo what her constituents value to some extent.

        But let's say that Kennedy is more progressive for the sake of argument. A better Democrat actually gets things done. And here's where I get off the Kennedy bus: Her attempt to connect with her potential constituents was nothing short of a faceplant. Legislating is a lot more than taking positions, and Kennedy demonstrated no particular readiness to do the work required of a Senator, let alone a Senator representing a huge and diverse state with a contentious politics. Gillibrand, on the other hand, is damn good at it. So while she might not be as solid a leftie, she will be a better Senator, which translates to more effective support for at least the plurality of our agenda in the Senate.

        It's perhaps possible that Kennedy could have picked herself up and learned quickly, right before jumping right into an election campaign, but why take the risk when there's a sharp legislator, good campaigner and and good Democrat available?

        [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

        by oldjohnbrown on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:21:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You have no idea whatesoever whether (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GN1927, malharden, eXtina

          Gillibrand is "damned good at it." So far, her record consists of one-term in the House where she was extremely unpopular with her colleagues. That does not bode well for success in the Senate, where success depends almost entirely on a web of personal relationships and trust.

          •  Citation please. (0+ / 0-)

            "...she was extremely unpopular with her colleagues."

            "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

            by RonV on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:41:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not a big mystery!! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              malharden
              •  Nothing there I hadn't seen (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RonV

                She doesn't have to be Miss Congeniality, she just has to get things done.

                Hell, if you read up on Barack Obama you can find worse.

                And as far as your original claim that I have no idea whether Gillibrand is "damned good at it," the very article you linked says she is.

                No, she's not Mother Theresa, and yes she'll be primaried from the left (fine with me, as I'm pretty far to the left myself) but I think she's a good choice all told.

                [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

                by oldjohnbrown on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:58:35 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Three things... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Andrew C White, oldjohnbrown

                First, the article is from Politico.

                Second, It only speaks (anonymously)) of NY's delegation, not the whole Congress. It really sounds like she is very aggressive and eager to achieve things. Sadly, there is still a lot of prejudice against aggressive, capable women,

                Third, this quote from the article:

                "Republicans are already playing on that perceived discord to undercut her support in the state."

                Sadly, they ain't the only ones doing that, are they?

                "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

                by RonV on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:59:08 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Let's knock down this "very conservative" meme (0+ / 0-)

          NY-20 is R+3. That's tied for the second-most conservative district in New York, but this is New York we're talking about, which has four districts that are D+40 or more.

          It just does not fit the description "very conservative". A very conservative district is TX-17, which includes Waco, and is R+18. It's represented by a less conservative Democrat than Gillibrand, by voting record in the 110th Congress, according to voteview.

          I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong. - Bertrand Russell
          -5.38, -6.41

          by sullivanst on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:52:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Superb (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Andrew C White

            BTW, I have family in her district, so I'm not speaking abstractly about it. It may not be Texas conservative, but the radio is "babies, God, and guns" to borrow Rush Limbaugh's phrase and there's a very strong Libertarian streak. Not Texas conservative, sure, but conservative.

            If I'm wrong, and Gillibrand really is that conservative, well, she'll be facing McCarthy in a primary in a couple of years. In the mean time I doubt that guns will come up before then, and I'm pretty sure her hands will be tied on fiscal issues. If she's too conservative for New York she'll find herself out of a job.

            [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

            by oldjohnbrown on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:02:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Do you live in NY-20? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            oldjohnbrown, Wide Awake in NJ

            I do. It is far more rural and conservative then the D+40 districts down in the city. And it is far more conservative then that R+3 that Cook labels it with.

            Is this deep south Alabama? No. But it is a place where you go door to door talking with Democrats about a candidate and the first thing they ask you is where do they stand on guns cuz they won't vote for anyone that wants to take their guns away.

            NY-29 and NY-20 are the most Republican, rural, and conservative districts in the state. Virtually tied in the numbers. We flipped it to Democrat in 2006. NY-29 flipped in 2008.

            It was only a few years ago that we were represented by Gerald Solomon fer chrissakes! And then John "Brooks Brothers Riot" Sweeney after that. We worked hard to move this district. Real hard! But we've still got a long way to go before it can be called anything but conservative.

            Peace,

            Andrew

            former Internet Outreach Coordinator for Gillibrand '06

            by Andrew C White on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:06:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Then, you'll have to tell Gillibrand (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            oldjohnbrown

            She's a self described conservative.

            •  Skim much? (0+ / 0-)

              I was talking about the district, not her.

              The point I was making is that her district doesn't sufficiently explain how conservative she is - it's her choice.

              As such, maybe she'll drift a little left, but I'd be surprised if we saw any major changes.

              I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong. - Bertrand Russell
              -5.38, -6.41

              by sullivanst on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 03:42:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  If there is a better Democrat (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Andrew C White, oldjohnbrown

          that is what the 2010 primary is for...

          Obama/Biden'08 Delivering Change he Promised

          by dvogel001 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:56:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No. (0+ / 0-)

            That's the kind of thinking conservatives use to take advantage of us.

            We have a Dem governor and a chance to put someone in the seat who can demonstrate competence to the voters and run as a pseudo-incumbent.

            To do otherwise is to cede the advantage to the repubs.

            "Watch what you watchin'. Fox keeps feeding us toxins. Stop sleeping, start thinking outside of the box and unplug from The Matrix doctrine." -Nas

            by malharden on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:00:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I do not consider Gillibrand... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Andrew C White

              ceding anything to Republicans...she is not a Republican...

              Obama/Biden'08 Delivering Change he Promised

              by dvogel001 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:15:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  That's what's happening (0+ / 0-)

              I don't think anyone seriously questions Gillibrand's competence. (alba tried, above, but the article they posted refuted them.)

              The essential complaint here seems to be that New Yorkers are not getting to choose their representation, that the whole thing is closed and suspect and the results are subpar. I agree. I would love to see Russ Feingold's proposed amendment become #28. I wouldn't at all mind seeing Sen. McCarthy in 2010, either. She at least has some experience in addition to a verifiably liberal record.

              I don't see the value in second-guessing interim Sen. Gillibrand because she's a done deal. Whether she is a conservative or not, she knows that she will be primaried by now from the left and she knows that she will have a far more liberal constituency as a Senator. She's smart and ambitious. She can figure it out. If she doesn't, well, we have Sen. McCarthy. Not so bad.

              [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

              by oldjohnbrown on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 03:15:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Absolutely correct (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dvogel001

            If in 2010 folks still think she needs primarying then by all means they ought to back another candidate in a primary.

            I strongly believe in that process.

            Peace,

            Andrew

            former Internet Outreach Coordinator for Gillibrand '06

            by Andrew C White on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:01:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Kirsten believes in fiscal responsibility (4+ / 0-)

        She is not a Bush Dog. Take a look at all those horrible letters that the Blue/Bush Dogs write demanding this and that happen or they'll go vote with the Republicans and you won't find Kirsten's name on one of them. Not one.

        Kirsten is a very good democrat and I think when the smoke clears and people have had a chance to get to know her and see the job she does as Senator that they'll be quite happy with this particular democrat being better than most.

        Peace,

        Andrew

        former Internet Outreach Coordinator for Gillibrand '06

        by Andrew C White on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:27:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You can always ask (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927

      People can always say, "well, no, sorry..."

    •  I personally don't think (9+ / 0-)

      she's far right or far left.  She's exactly as her record illustrates: a centrist, Blue Dog Democrat whose own career was facilitated by family connections--namely those of a lobbyist father who has strong relationships with some of the most powerful Republicans in the state.  

      I'm sure you have admiration for her personally, but I don't come here to hear advocacy from other political insiders; I'm here to discuss improvements to the Democratic legislative caucus, and a Blue Dog as my new senator is distinctly at odds with that.  I'm shocked that this viewpoint would be painted as somehow illegitimate on this blog.

      With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. - President Obama

      by GN1927 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:10:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not illigitmate (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wide Awake in NJ, BaritoneWoman

        It is a perfectly valid concern. In regard to Kirsten Gillibrand I happen to believe it is an overblown concern.

        For instance, much has been made, as you note in your comment, about her fathers lobbying connections to Republicans.

        However, I have yet to read anyone comment how he also has lobbying connections to democrats or how state government has been in control of republicans so any lobbyist would have to have connections to republicans if they were to do their job.

        Similar to your shock is mine at seeing someone like her that has worked her rear-end off in getting where she is, someone who worked her rear-end off in getting rid of a perfectly horrid rethuglican John Sweeney in the most rural, most conservative district in the state, is having all her hard work and effort discounted and blown off because her father just happens to have a job in politics.

        How short our memories are. Kirsten's victory was the 15th seat. The 15th seat that just happened to flip control of the House of Representatives from Republican to Democratic control.

        Kirsten Gillibrand was then the first member of the House to start posting her daily schedule on her website including all meetings with lobbyists. She published all her earmark requests including who they benefitted.

        How soon after all our very legitimate complaints about Abramoff/DeLay Republicans do we now hammer the one person that took decisive action to open government and transparency.

        John Sweeney was a thug that stopped the recount in Florida 2000 and never in his 8 years in office met with his constituents.

        Kirsten Gillibrand hangs out at the local grocery stores in every rural town in the district to shake hands and talk with everyone, regardless of political stripe, about their concerns and problems.

        Did you know that one of the, if not the, absolutely most liberal members of the New York delegation when he heard about her posting her meetings and earmarks reacted by saying he'd have to talk with her about that and get it stopped because she was just being too naive? I for one was amazed and very disappointed in this particular liberal. But Kirsten didn't back down after that liberal talked with her and she continues to practice open government.

        There are reasons for people to be concerned about some of the positions she has taken. I disagree with her on some of the positions she has taken and I've told her so.

        But I strongly believe in her and I strongly believe that many of people's concerns are overblown and causing folks to over look the very solid qualities she brings to the position.

        Hence my request... relax, give her a chance. She how she does as Senator. Personally I think you'll be very pleased when all is said and done.

        Peace,

        Andrew

        former Internet Outreach Coordinator for Gillibrand '06

        by Andrew C White on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:49:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Amen... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Andrew C White

          Several in my family, including avid Dean supporters, helped get Kirsten elected and continue to support her. Her responsiveness to her constituents is such a breath of fresh air... we should all wish our Congress person was so accessible.

          My friends and family who live in her district from the Adirondacks to Columbia county would not support her if she wasn't progressive in her views and moving things in the right direction politically. But, she is and so they do!

          It's unfortunate to read the insults and insinuations that she is unprincipled, Palin-like, and has only gotten where she is because of her connections show how "group think" spreads... often totally not based in reality. It's not easy being a progressive and/or a Democrat in some regions of this country. When someone comes forward and actually makes the inroads and contributions as Kirsten has, it's worth giving her a chance! Thanks for speaking your mind about it. I'm sure you know of what you speak!

        •  I bring up her father (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ipl, LI Mike

          to note the hypocrisy of those who claim that politicians who have advantages via familial connections do not deserve the chance to prove their bona fides.  To me, the dynasty argument is all bs.

          My issue is ideology.  We could have done much better than a Blue Dog for this senatorial appointment, and it is strange to me that people would claim that a politician who is the member of a a conservative Democratic coalition and who is expected to shift positions for political expediency is somehow superior to a politician who holds progressive viewpoints in the first place.  Extremely unconvincing argument, one which unwittingly paints an unflattering image of this politician's core beliefs and ethics.

          With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. - President Obama

          by GN1927 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:03:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The dynasty argument is not (0+ / 0-)

            one that I have ever used.

            Kirsten is as hard working as anyone in politics. She has earned where she is and will earn where she is going. She is a freaking dynamo and the next time New York has a blackout all they need to do is wire her up! She'll power the entire northeast all on her own.

            Ideology is great until it gets in the way of reality. I have very strong ideological beliefs but I also know that reality includes lots of people that don't agree with me and that if I want things to move in my direction then I need to be able to work with those folks in crafting compromise solutions that work for all of us.

            And I'll match your "it is strange to me" by how I think it is strange that people think someone is automatically a particular ideology and automatically capable and automatically going to make things wonderful just because they belong to a particular family.

            Not all Kennedys are liberals. Not all Kennedys are capable. Not all Kennedys are born politicians. Some Kennedys are jailbirds. It amazes me that people think Caroline would automatically be wonderful!

            Don't get me wrong. I think she seems like a wonderful person and I would have been excited to see her run for office and show us what she's got. But she didn't. And we don't know what she's capable of.

            What I can tell you is that in the tough arena of Senate politics Kirsten will more then hold her own and will deliver for the state and for the country. This I know for a fact. I've seen her in action.

            With Caroline... we just don't know. We can guess. But we just don't know.

            Now... and I've said this all along... there are several very good, very qualified, very experienced New York Congresspeople that would also have made excellent Senators and I wouldn't have objected if one of them had been selected instead of Kirsten. I'm far from saying she is the only one but I will say with any doubt that she will be an excellent Senator and I will say that Caroline Kennedy, due to lack of experience, ranks far behind not only Kirsten but many of those other Representatives in consideration for the office of Senator. And that ain't a knock on Caroline. It is a fact of the very deep and wide bench here in New York and the fact that she has done other things with her life then politics.

            Peace,

            Andrew

            former Internet Outreach Coordinator for Gillibrand '06

            by Andrew C White on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:23:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well that particular Kennedy (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fcvaguy, ipl, LI Mike

              is a progressive whose views wouldn't require about-faces in order to become commensurate with the mainstream of the party.  Ideologically, Gillibrand just isn't there, and it's near scary to me that people would so cavalierly claim that about-faces on some extremely visible issues will be automatic and costless.  Gratuitously messy situation; there is no reason in the world that Paterson needed to have made such a controversial selection.

              With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. - President Obama

              by GN1927 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:28:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  I can't agree with you more. (7+ / 0-)

      As a resident and voter of her congressional district, I'm delighted with her record so far.  Don't agree with her on everything, but she's been a hard working mostly progressive representative.  Highly intelligent she's open to her constituents and if someone has a grievance it's quickly addressed.  Most of the posters who live in her district are really delighted with her work.  Listen to the people who know her, watch her actions over the next two years and make up your mind.  Just don't pre-judge her becuase she's not 100% in sync with your right now.

    •  Not the most conservative (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927, ipl, malharden

      NY-29 is the most conservative, per Cook PVI (R+5 vs. R+3). That's now also represented by a Dem.

      R+3 is a very, very, very long way from being the most conservative district represented by a Dem nationwide, that would now be Idaho's 1st at R+19. The most conservative district held by an incumbent Dem was Chet Edwards' TX-17, with a PVI of R+18. Edwards' record in the 110th Congress was more liberal than Gillibrand's (201st most liberal vs. 224th).

      Inviting comparisons to Republicans is disingenuous, given the netroots' motto of "more and better Democrats", and also the fact that there was perfect separation between the parties in the 110th Congress on the liberal-conservative scale.

      I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong. - Bertrand Russell
      -5.38, -6.41

      by sullivanst on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:33:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  NY-29 and NY-20 are virtually identicial (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BaritoneWoman

        and Cooks numbers are post-Kirsten Gillibrand NY-20. Pre-Kirsten Gillibrand NY-20 was more conservative then NY-29.

        And the district, while leaning more and more democratic, is far more conservative then R+3. I live here. I guarentee you that!

        The only reason I commented on inviting comparisons to Republicans is that I've seen people objecting to her with hyperbolic rhetoric comparing her republicans or acting like she is the death of the party.

        And that's the thing. I can understand folks showing sme concern about some of her votes. Heck! I've been concerned about some of her votes. Perfectly legit! But the last couple days I've been reading people freaking out about her and that is just way off base.

        Kirsten is a better Democrat as far as I am concerned. She is not as liberal as me but if I had a congress full of Kirsten Gillibrands I'd be living in paradise right now with a working government that took care of its people and didn't get involved in wars unless it absolutely had no other choice.

        I just want folks to calm down and see how she does. I firmly believe ya'll will be very pleased with her.

        Peace,

        Andrew

        former Internet Outreach Coordinator for Gillibrand '06

        by Andrew C White on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:56:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting you mention the war (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ipl

          given that's one of her votes that sticks out like a sore thumb - the only NY Dem to vote for funding with no timeline in May '07, if I'm not mistaken.

          I'm not hostile but I'm very concerned. I really don't like the immigration rhetoric, which is closer to Tom Tancredo than mainstream Democrats. But then, I really do like the voter contact.

          I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong. - Bertrand Russell
          -5.38, -6.41

          by sullivanst on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:46:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  In other words, she plans to "evolve" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927

      Thanks. She going to get primaried as well she should and New York deserves a chance to elect a progressive/liberal as its Senator.

      Good luck.

      •  I try not to put (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LarryInNYC

        words in peoples mouths and generally prefer when people don't put them in mine.

        As I believe I said elsewhere. She will "evolve" into exactly who she is today.

        If in 2010 folks think she should be primaried...

        Go for it!

        Peace,

        Andrew

        former Internet Outreach Coordinator for Gillibrand '06

        by Andrew C White on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:59:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Andrew, you make no sense (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ipl

          where does she stand today, Monday?

          Granted, today she supports marriage equality. 72 hours ago she didn't.

          Today, she is a Blue Dog, fiscal conservative, budget balancer. She has said nothing to change that. So, today, she would vote AGAINST Obama's stimulus plan.

          Today, she supports walls on the border, and an official English only.

          Today, she supports free and open sale of exploding bullets.

          Toay, she opposes DC self-rule and has meddled in DC affairs.

          So, we can be assured her positions on these issues won't change tomorrow. I'm not putting words in your mouth. That is precisely what you're saying.

      •  This whole "evolution" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fcvaguy, ipl

        thing makes her look pretty bad IMO.  I'd rather believe that this is a decent person with centrist beliefs rather than someone without the ethics to adopt political positions outside of what is in her career interests.  What a mess, an unnecessary gratuitous mess.

        With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. - President Obama

        by GN1927 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:06:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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