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Kirsten Gillibrand is my Congresswoman.   And it seems that she is poised to become my next Senator from New York, which will no doubt make many progressives nervous, if you look at her on paper alone.  

But those scorecards don't tell the whole story, and when you look at those scorecards and how she fares on the Democratic Purity Testing Scale, you would do well to remember one very important thing:
Kirsten Gillibrand is a Democrat representing a Conservative Republican district.  

It's a district that she has won twice.  The first time she won it with a bit of a nudge of Republican Frat Boy extraodinaire, John Sweeney.  But the second time she won it, she was the number one target of the NRCC, she ran against a self-funder who spent $7 million of his own money, against the $5 million she raised, and though he ran one of the slickest and most D.C.-type top level consultant expensive campaigns I have seen, she still beat him.

She beat him comfortably.

Below the fold I will tell you what I know about her, how I know it, and how this committed Democrat beat back two different Republicans in a conservative Republican district.

I know Kirsten Gilllibrand from her professional life, not her personal life.  

If those scorecards were all there was to Kirsten Gillibrand, I wouldn't have volunteered and donated to her campaign the first time, and the phone-banked and door-knocked myself into laryngitis during her reelection campaign.

I had never met her until I got up to speak at  one of her first "Congress At Your Corner" events in my town.  This new freshman Congresswoman was determined to bring the office of Congress to the people she served.

Only one problem.  Earlier that day, after voting against funding for the Iraq War four different times, she voted to fund the war for another half a Friedman Unit.  My new Congresswoman that I had worked to get elected, and had promised to work to end the war in Iraq, had just voted to fund the war.

I was pissed, and she was coming to my neighborhood, and she was going to get an earful.

Apparently, I was not the only one.  About two hundred people showed up at a meeting that was ostensibly to discuss rolling back NCLB.  But when folks got up to speak at the mike, NCLB was left on the virtual chalkboard.  

I was one of the first to speak, and I came armed with all of my facts and information.  I angrily spoke for almost ten minutes, with stops for burst of applause and yelling at the Congresswoman from the crowd.  It was not a pretty night, and you could see the aides beginning to look a bit nervous.

At last, I simply asked with frustration and despair, "You were sent to Congress to end the war in Iraq.  How could you?"

She didn't duck the question.  She didn't double speak.  She took a deep breath, and when she spoke, she spoke with something very rare to find in politics nowadays--she spoke the truth from her heart.  It had been so long since I had heard a politican do that, let alone on such a volatile issue, I almost didn't recognize it when I heard it, but there it was. Her voice, though soft, was resonant with conviction and emotion.

She said that being on the Armed Services committee, she couldn't vote to completely defund the war.  She said she simply couldn't do it because she didn't think it was the right way or the best way to proceed for the people in the Armed Forces.  She said that she felt three months funding with a short leash, and the added pressure of the Defense Department having to continually to come to Congress and to do so in public  and to have to defend themselves constantly, would prove to be the beginning of the end of the war.

It wasn't an answer I liked.  And it wasn't the answer I wanted to hear, but I know I was getting three things from a politician that are in short supply:  I was getting direct access to my elected representative, I was getting accountability, and I was hearing a truthful answer.

It wouldn't be the last time I asked her a tough question in a room full of people and demanded an explanation  (I'd like to say requested, but that wouldn't be true--when it comes to my elected officials, I tend to demand).  She doesn't run away from her angry constituents, she runs to them.  

She holds "Congress on Your Corner" meetings all over her district all the time.  This may sound commonplace, except that our district includes part of ten different counties in New York.  That's quite a bit of road time.

Kirsten Gillibrand not only shows up to do her job in Washington, she comes to wherever you live in her district so you can come and complain to her in person.

Are you mad at her vote on something?  Great-- you get to tell her, face-to-face, and she takes it, and she explains her vote to you.  Personally. With no political crapspeak.  And you know why she shows up and takes whatever hard time I, or any other person in her district, give her that day about her latest vote I don't like?  Because she believes that's part of her job.  And she believes that it's an important part of her job.  And she says so.  And when she comes to town, she brings her staff with her and they are there to help you with whatever constituent services you may need, right then, right there, no waiting.

She doesn't run away from her angry constituents, she runs to them.

Her accessibility is only one reason why she won reelection strongly.

She also won because she provided the best, most effective constiutent services I have EVER seen in twenty or so years in politics.  

She made her office about the people she represents.  

She is also the most transparent office holder I know of.  Her schedule is online all of the time, so anyone can look at any time and see any lobbyists, or anyone else she meets with.  She puts all of her "pork" requests and "pork" received on line.  All of her votes on everything are online. All of her work is easy to track, navigate, and user-friendly.

Her whole operation is user friendly.  

Imagine if all members of Congress with this user friendly to the people they represent.

I guarantee that you will not love all love of her votes as a Congresswoman, God knows I don't, but that is the reality of the district she represents.  And she represents the views of the people in her district well, because that is also part of her job.

But Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand not only understands the district she represents, she also knows with leadership, she could, and was, helping to turn this district into Moderate Democratic from Conservative Republicans.  And the folks who judge her Democratic Purity  would do well to remember that this is a REPUBLICAN DISTRICT.  Get that?  She is a Democrat who is representing a conservative Republican District.

If she is to become our Senator, I strongly believe that she will move to the left, as she will know that she now represents a different constituency of people. If you are looking for signals about where she might fall in terms of Democratic philosophy, I would encourage folks to look to who she supported in her primary choice last year: Hillary Clinton.  It's my experience in speaking with her that her political views are in very much in line with Hillary Clinton's views.  Her committee experience in Congress would dovetail nicely with  what Senator Clinton's committee assignments, and that would also serve New Yorkers well. Personally, [in terms of her political warmth] she reminds me of a younger version of Claire McCaskill.

And when she takes her considerable natural political talents and runs for this Senate office in two short years, she will more than likely have the financial and political backing of the Clinton political machine behind her, having had a longstanding relationship with the Clintons.

And the final thing I know for certain about Kirsten Gillibrand:  New York will be getting a fine new Senator, but we here in the district are losing a damn good member of Congress and one that will not be easily replaced.

Disclaimer:  I have none.  I volunteered for her campaign, and so did my seven year old son and my husband.  I have no professional or personal ties to Kirsten Gillibrand in any way, shape or form, nor do I plan to. Also, I am posting and running out the door, so I will answer any questions when I get back in at about noon.  Thanks.

UPDATE:  Big Time Cynic in the comments adds this interesting insight:

I am an Albany native, and most of the hysteria here is generated by people who either don't live in Upstate, or don't live in NY at all.  I find it very interesting that virtually every single person with prior knowledge of or experience with Gillibrand has a positive impression of her (me included). That should speak volumes to how she would fare in an election.

Also keep in mind that the general election could very well come down to her vs. Giuliani.  She would win, and many of her sinfully "conservative" views would be part of the reason for her easy victory.

The one thing that does bother me most is her NRA approval.  Most Upstaters hate the NRA and recognize them as the ideological crackpots that they are.  Gillibrand could easily support responsible firearm ownership and get the approval of sportsman associations, while shunning the absurd NRA love of assault rifles, cop killer bullets, and handguns with fingerprint resistant hand grips.  What we need in this country is a national politicial equivalent to the NRA that supports responsible gun policies for hunting, sport, and home defense.

That would give Dems some serious cover.
---
Update 2:  Also, I would ask people to make a note how many self-described progressive democrats who live in her district who have posted on this thread ad the overwheming support and approval they give her.  I think that also provides some valuable insight into a district with some unusual tics to it, both politically and geographically.

Originally posted to Casey Morris on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:08 AM PST.

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  •  Tips (321+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tsackton, NorthCountryNY, chrississippi, Glenn in NYC, pine, Chi, Ray Radlein, Phoenix Woman, Odysseus, jennifer poole, Timaeus, Better Days, Ivan, Oregon Bear, David in NY, SadEagle, burrow owl, abarefootboy, Pandora, mndan, decafdyke, AdmiralNaismith, NYmom, melvynny, am, wombat, janinsanfran, greenbird, Emerson, LynChi, Andrew C White, Jay C, rhubarb, oysterface, John Campanelli, gecko, devtob, freelunch, Matilda, bethcf4p, Doctor Who, Troutnut, srbaxley, concernedamerican, JSCram3254, Davidsfr, afox, Helena Handbag, Silverleaf, pondside, Mary Julia, megs, whenwego, makemefree, michelle, taonow, Boston to Salem, juslikagrzly, VA Gal, Ohiocrat, dmsilev, sidnora, Alohaleezy, Eddie C, wader, SneakySnu, ActivatedbyBush, resa, Admiral Santa, Nag, Alizaryn, emmasnacker, TexDem, oldjohnbrown, Eddie in ME, pat bunny, MTgirl, greenheron, grannyhelen, Samer, karendc, madame defarge, wdrath, NYFM, NYBri, smartcookienyc, Catte Nappe, renaissance grrrl, tabbycat in tenn, annetteboardman, papercut, dufffbeer, lcrp, riverlover, faithnomore, DMiller, bwintx, Matt Esler, WisVoter, bobnbob, SanDiegoDem, TexasLefty, cartwrightdale, rmx2630, pat208, lavaughn, historys mysteries, Bluesee, radarlady, Treg, SherwoodB, klamothe, HudsonValleyMark, PBen, Jersey Girl, tomhodukavich, wildcat6, Dobber, Jfriday, Gary Norton, boofdah, NeuvoLiberal, Pam from Calif, pasadena beggar, Buffalo Girl, aaraujo, Inland, jcitybone, Wufacta, Prison4Bushco, blue jersey mom, Steve Singiser, Blu Gal in DE, MajorFlaw, sodalis, Silence is Complicity, Jlukes, The Fat Lady Sings, Team Slacker, Sister Havana, xaxnar, Audio Guy, gwilson, BachFan, CParis, Orinoco, Debbie in ME, Clytemnestra, The Angry Democrat, VolvoDrivingLiberal, Big Eddie Calzone, darthstar, victoria2dc, ccmask, True Centrist, merrinc, OhioCav, shrike, nonnie9999, Eupraxsophist, jerseyjo, pi1304, PapaChach, JVolvo, plf515, PJHood, max stirner, myrealname, ER Doc, doinaheckuvanutjob, TayTay, IL clb, Randian, zhimbo, Mae, frankzappatista, etrangere, louavul, pseudopod, RagingGurrl, gwriter, goheelsgodems, timmyk, anotherdemocrat, dotsright, donnamarie, milkbone, godislove, Wide Awake in NJ, gloriana, nmira, Nespolo, Jimdotz, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, deepeco, DWG, malharden, thecount, bmx writer, chicago jeff, vbdietz, geejay, cyncynical, BaritoneWoman, Newzie, 4workers, Empower Ink, kafkananda, Sharon from OH, JoeW, Spruce, HobbyWizard, ChocolateChris, NYContrarian, oolali, Steve15, scooter in brooklyn, Senor Unoball, elwior, Fe Bongolan, golconda2, LearningCurve, TokenLiberal, mofembot, temptxan, xysea, MinervainNH, BYw, cactusflinthead, vintagejulie, JCAinCLE, cameoanne, hpg, Psychotronicman, arainsb123, BennyToothpick, MTmarilyn, litoralis, classico, StuckInGA, WereBear, Carol in San Antonio, DemocraticOz, janmtairy, mkor7, carllaw, Daily Activist, Prince Nekhlyudov, lollydee, GreenMtnState, ancblu, Crookshanks, ZilV, obscuresportsquarterly, IDrankWhat, BlueMama, realwischeese, RadioGirl, notksanymore, Houston Gardener, diddosMN, jfromga, Livvy5, joehoevah, Leftcandid, NCrissieB, lompe, Just Bob, bronxcharlie, Norbrook, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, seesmithrun, unertl, danbury6112, Earl3, OrangeMike, Alec82, awcomeon, Jess27, jdw112, on board 47, AlexXx, rkthomas, freedapeople, k8dd8d, sullivanst, Mariken, Egalitare, My Friend Flipper, addisnana, dclarke, berrieh, bushwhacked, Craig S, jonwilliamsl, otter 8, jeanma, anaxiamander, theKgirls, Pakalolo, Jane Lew, Colorado is the Shiznit, trained specialist, Kid G, etbnc, katanalori, arrows theorem, Cintimcmomma, Amayi, Susipsych, princesspat, molunkusmol, Homer J, gfields1026, Carolyn in Oregon, FrozeAgain, bamabikeguy, blw, SusanL143, BerkeleyDoc, ViralDem

    for women Senators.

    Subverting the dominant paradigm every chance I get. And I get a lot of chances.

    by Casey Morris on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:10:10 AM PST

  •  Thanks for your personal perspective. (31+ / 0-)

    Having read about her, I was a bit nervous about this appointment.  You have put my mind at ease.  

    All shall be well again, I'm telling you. Let the winter come and go. All shall be well again, I know. (S Carter)

    by MinervainNH on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:13:50 AM PST

  •  a younger version of Claire McCaskill (15+ / 0-)

    That's great for Missouri, not for New York.

    "Our resolution reflects the will of the State of Israel." Harry Reid. 1/8/09

    by Paleo on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:16:31 AM PST

    •  You misunderstand my point... (16+ / 0-)

      By comparing her to Claire McCaskill, I meant to compare her political skill and personal demeanor.

      Again, I think you are insistently missing larger points: She was a Democrat representing a Republican district.  How did you expect her to do that?  She represented the people who elected her.  

      Now, she will represent a different constiuency.

      I'm al little confused as to your experience with her that leads you to such insistence that you know her mind better than people who live here in her district, and have had opportunity to speak with her on progressive matters.

      Ach, I have to leave, but I will respond to anything you might want to post or ask when I get home later.

      Subverting the dominant paradigm every chance I get. And I get a lot of chances.

      by Casey Morris on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:28:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  She's a member of the Blue Dog Coalition (11+ / 0-)

        That's all I need to know.

        "Our resolution reflects the will of the State of Israel." Harry Reid. 1/8/09

        by Paleo on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:50:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Has anybody checked out her Labor (17+ / 0-)

          credentials?

          Well here they are:

          2007  Representative Gillibrand supported the interests of the AFL-CIO 96 percent in 2007.

          2007  Representative Gillibrand supported the interests of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees 100 percent in 2007.

          2007  Representative Gillibrand supported the interests of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Int 100 percent in 2007.

          2007  Representative Gillibrand supported the interests of the Federally Employed Women 70 percent in 2007.

          2007  In 2007 International Brotherhood of Boilermakers gave Representative Gillibrand a grade of 100.

          2007  Representative Gillibrand supported the interests of the Service Employees International Union 89 percent in 2007.

          2007  Representative Gillibrand supported the interests of the United Auto Workers 100 percent in 2007.

          2007  In 2007 United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers rated politicians in selected states. They gave Representative Gillibrand a rating of 50.

          2007  In 2007 Utility Workers Union of America gave Representative Gillibrand a grade of 100.

          At a time when jobs and EFCA are the main thrust of legislation this woman looks like she is on the right side. I don't like her NRA-friendly stance either, but, seriously, how much major legislation (or even minor legislation) is going to be on gun issues.

          I say give her the benefit of the doubt for a while.

          You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

          by yellowdog on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:55:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Which seems to be nothing (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TLS66, oldskooldem, ancblu, Earl3

          You use the term Blue Dogs like a racial epitaph.

          Its a fairly diverse group.  There are positions among that group to both criticize and also praise... as is the case with the progressive coalition... or any other...

          •  There is absolutely nothing praise worthy (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            buckhorn okie, GN1927, Balam, golconda2

            about blue dogs. DINOs each and every one of them.

            I demand prosecutions for torture.

            by heart of a quince on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:38:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's Just Not True, Sorry (6+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Adam B, TLS66, elwior, ancblu, Earl3, ViralDem

              Your abject hatred doesn't change that they vote with the Democrats over 80% of the time, and most of the stuff they disagree on involves deficit spending (which they oppose).

              If spittle & tooth=vigor & youth Bill-O & Savage won't grow any older If wishes & dreams=bitches & beams We'll all live in skyscrapers bu

              by TooFolkGR on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:04:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Like thier support of labor? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elwior, ancblu

              The fact that still a majority of them are pro-choice?
              Their leading charges on healthcare reform?  Like Marion Berry and Baron Hill.
              Their commitments to ethics and transparency?  Hill and Carney's Ethics reform Bill of 2007.

              On and On.

              I personally disagree with PAYGO in this environment, and other positions - but these are fellow Democrats.  Their contributions to our caucus and our causes have been instrumental to getting to this day.

              To reduce them to caricatures - without even offering a bit of reasoning - seems shortsighted.

      •  listening sessions in an UPSTATE CD (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mary Julia, buckhorn okie, rccats3

        aint anything like being the Senator of the entire state.   Are you saying she is going to spend her time going to all the CD's downstate that she is going to utterly piss off to explain why she just voted against their best interests?  I doubt that. Is she willing to forgo her stellar ratings with the NRA to become a staunch PRO gun control congresswoman? that would be some 'flip" AND if she flips in the political wind like that why would anyone trust her?

        Seems she was tapped for reasons other than she was the Best person to represent the interests of the majority of NYS.  She seems to be a new Playa in the same old same old NY political games.  exactly where does this fit in with the desire to see REAL CHANGE in American politics?

        2001-2008 "What a long strange trip it's been"

        by KnotIookin on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:17:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No, it's not great for (4+ / 0-)

      Missouri.  I live there.  Claire is better than Jim Talent, but often a disappointment.

      "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 Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:45:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Non-progressivess still do vote too you know (9+ / 0-)

      It seems that many comments like these fail to acknowledge the fact that there ARE still a great number of voters, districts and whole states out there that, despite our wishes to the contrary, do not share many or any of our progressive views.
      Practically and realistically speaking, progressive ideologues could only get elected to a relative minority of positions in the country despite the fact that, again, we would clearly prefer that NOT to be the case.
      We have to realize that in these many situations where average voters do not share al of our views, it is just as much of a success for us to get someone elected in those more red/right districts who is moving that district in a more progressive direction "as much as politically possible" as it is to get a total and pure progressive into a position where they too can realistically re-elected.  
      Marginally moving every single district in the progressive direction to the extent possible is the ONLY realistic way that our causes are going to be advanced.   Revolutions certainly DO happen, but evolution is un-arguably the norm.  Our realistic goals should be the make the evolution process as expedient as humanly possible, and we should not castigate every individual like Kirsten Gillibrand and Claire McCaskill as some sort of repulsive sell-out for trying to do just that.  It is people such as them that enable our wider party to obtain majorities, and without them all of our efforts would be stymied.

      •  And that goes for the Schumer-Mukasey as well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buckhorn okie

        It is more proper to view Schumer's suggestion of Mukasey as one that would be at least "minimally" acceptable to both sides, not one that would be either side's first or ideal choice (which would have been unrealistic to expect as well).

        •  Disagree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mj171976

          Schumer misunderestimated Mukasey badly. He thought he knew him better than he did, and then was unable to do due diligence in the confirmation hearings because he didn't want to admit that he'd goofed with all the cameras trained on him.

          The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

          by sidnora on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:22:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah The Burning Desire Many Seem To Have (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BachFan, CParis, Earl3

        To make our tent as small as possible as quickly as possible is a little frightening.  It's as if they're trying to do to our party in 2 years what took the Republicans 10-12 after 1994.

        I try to remind myself though that at the end of the day, this is a pretty fringy place.

        If spittle & tooth=vigor & youth Bill-O & Savage won't grow any older If wishes & dreams=bitches & beams We'll all live in skyscrapers bu

        by TooFolkGR on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:06:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  More like a younger Dianne Feinstein (0+ / 0-)

      Her husband (a nice guy) comes from a family tied up in the U.K. arms industry.

      "Animals are my friends. And I don't eat my friends." -- George Bernard Shaw

      by Hudson on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:23:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for showing a more (27+ / 0-)

    three dimensional side of her than has been posted by knee jerk black and white thinkers here who dismiss her as some cardboard, cartoonish homophobic(ludicrous)evil DINO Here's what the Times has to say about her today:

    Ms. Gillibrand, who had never held public office, won her seat in 2006 against great odds, defeating a four-term Republican incumbent in a race that turned intense and nasty in its final days.

    She proved to be a formidable candidate, raising millions of dollars and assembling a campaign organization that aggressively exploited the personal and political baggage of her opponent, Representative John E. Sweeney, who frequently found himself on the defensive. gun toting Conservative.
    __
    It's no mean feat to be the first Dem. to win that district in 30 years.

    Constituents love her. My liberal friends up in her district love her.

    I picked her to be the candidate about two weeks ago, while the Times was still churning out puff piece after puff piece on Kennedy. The only time they wrote about Gillibrand was in a story about how all the other candidates were in Kennedy's shadow.

    Gillibrand was mentored by Hillary Clinton. She's been Chuck Schumer's pick all along. I am going to trust they know what they're doing.

    •  Oops, the words "gun toting Conservative" in my (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      decafdyke, TomP

      last post shouldn't be in the Times excerpt. It's the words I used to describe how some people have been describing her.

    •  I hope you are right (14+ / 0-)

      but Mukasey was Schumer's pick for AG as well and look how that turned out. Schumer also stated a few months back that we can not afford Universal Health Care. I do not live in NY but a self described Blue Dog makes me nervous.

      "If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading."- Lao-Tzu

      by Pakalolo on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:25:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  People should have looked at her voting (8+ / 0-)

      record as well.  She voted with the party 93.3% of the time.  That's better than Kucinich, BTW, is pretty much in line with the much in line with the rest of the NY delegation, and is not a "blue dog" voting record.  

      I think she's going to be a great senator for this state.    

      I think that I have had enough of you telling me how things will be. Today I choose a new way to go ... and it goes through you!

      by Norbrook on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:47:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Time will tell. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bethcf4p, Geekesque

      She's not so conservative that she will support filibusters against Obama's legislation, so with the 58 or 59 seat majority on most issues, she won't do much harm.

      She voted for EFCA in the House.  She will not filibuster it and will likely vote for it in the Senate.

      Her gun support mostly is irrelevant with the S.Ct. case.  

      I assume she is pro-choice.

      She likley will support the stimulus.  No filibuster.

      How is she on green issues?

      Bottom line to me: she likely will not do much harm in the next two years.  If she moves left, she will be nominated.  If she doees not, she'll get a primary challenge.

      She may surprise now she represents the whole state.

      I have a wait and see attitiude on it.

      It was Paterson's choice.  The voters will chose in 2010.

      "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 Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:50:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Doubtful about the stimulus (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buckhorn okie, mj171976

        Gillibrand and other blue dogs such as Heath Shuler voted against the recent extra $350 billion.

        http://clerk.house.gov/...

        Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

        by Scarce on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:57:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Difference between TARP (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Adam B, bethcf4p

          to banks and stimulus.

          Many progressives also voted agaisnt second TARP.  I thought it was necessary to give Obama the money, but people of good faith and left politics differ on that issue.

          I understand her "blue dog" tendencies on financial questions, but the surest way to lose in 2010 is oppose Obama and the Dems on the economci recovery.  I just don't see her doing that.  It would be political suicide.  She will find a way to support it as emergency spending.

          "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 Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:02:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Her background suggests otherwise (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mary Julia, mj171976, TomP

            Paterson would wish anyone he chooses brings back many millions/billions to NY in the way of projects. That is inconsistent with her voting record. Perhaps politics would trump all in this case but she does seem a strange choice on this one aspect alone.

            Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

            by Scarce on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:28:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, I agree. (0+ / 0-)

              I have to believe that Paterson thinks she will bring home the bacon to NY.  The stimulus does some of that.

              If she votes against it, she not only will get a primary challenge, but the challenger will defeat her.  I see a "conversion" coming for her.  

              Long term, she'll probably revert back.  I wish he'd chosen a more progressive person, but I'm trying to see a few bright sides.  It may not be terrible.  I prefer good.  :-)

              "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 Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:41:37 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  So did Feingold. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buckhorn okie, oldjohnbrown



          This is a Test of the Emergency Free Speech System. This is only a Test. In an actual Free Speech Emergency, I'll be locked up.

          by ben masel on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:36:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, golconda2

        she won't do much harm.

        I think that we ought to set the bar a little higher than this.

        Agree, wait and see is the best approach, my gut feeling is that she will swing a little to the left. It will be interesting to see if she tries to put a little distance between herself and the other weasels, whoops sorry - meant to type Blue Dogs.

        Before anyone gets all aeriated, I fully appreciate the pols have to tailor their approach according to the sidtricts they represent but the the Blue Dogs take far to much pleasure in derailing progressive ideals and do it far more often than pragmatism dictates.

        •  She's not my preference, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stevej, TooFolkGR

          but I'm not Governor Paterson and I don't get to choose.  Indeed, I don't even live in NY.

          It's not a "bar."  It's just my realistic prediction.  I could be wrong.  

          "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 Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:02:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  TomP - Here's an essay she wrote (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geekesque, carllaw

        for the Poughkeepsie Journal on green jobs earlier this week:

        http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/...

    •  a good description (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Earl3
      "knee jerk black and white thinkers here who dismiss her as some cardboard, cartoonish homophobic(ludicrous)evil DINO"

      (sorry, my format tools don't seem to be working).  That also describes numerous kossacks' reaction to CK.  Now that the presidential election is over, they can transfer their free-floatin, high-decibel outrage to the various boogie(wo)men in this appointment.

      It's okay to love our country again.

      by SottoVoce on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:24:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If I knew how to search my comments.... (8+ / 0-)

    I just had a hunch about her, way back when I read about how she took notes at her constituent meetups.

    She looks like she earned it, and looks like a long term prospect to hold the seat against all comers.

  •  I have spoken with her, too. (18+ / 0-)

    During her first campaign, she came to the farthest corner of her district to meet the people in my small town.

    We discussed health care, and she shared the story of how the insurance company gave her a fight to get the right care for her son. She fought back.

    She gets it.

    I think you've made excellent points, and I'd like to have another; an Upstate Democrat is needed in the Senate.

    Hillary made friends Upstate the same way.

    WereBear
    Pootie fan? Me too! Check out my cat advice blog.
    The Way of Cats

    by WereBear on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:18:13 AM PST

  •  She joined the Blue Dog Coalition (15+ / 0-)

    No one put a gun to her head to join.  That made a statement.  Now the argument appears to be, she really didn't mean it.  That's says a lot also.

    "Our resolution reflects the will of the State of Israel." Harry Reid. 1/8/09

    by Paleo on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:21:04 AM PST

  •  asdf (6+ / 0-)

    Earlier that day, after voting against funding for the Iraq War four different times, she voted to fund the war for another half a Friedman Unit.  My new Congresswoman that I had worked to get elected, and had promised to work to end the war in Iraq, had just voted to fund the war.

    IIRC, she did the same on FISA: voted on the right way on multiple procedural votes & precursors, and then the wrong way on the final bill.

    But that shows that her intuition is right: she just needs a little more political will and her votes will line up w/ that intuition.  I'd expect that not representing such a conservative district will provide that will.

    We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

    by burrow owl on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:21:25 AM PST

    •  Do not underestimate her. (14+ / 0-)

      One would have to live in her district to understand how conservative it is, and how extraordinary it is for her to win over so many people in it.

      This is not New Yawk City (to use the accent I earned when I lived there.) This is rural New England territory, with Republican entrenchment that goes back for generations.

      The local Democratic party webpage wasn't even updated until she came on the scene!

      So if she isn't progressive enough for you, remember who she is winning over, and see us go from red to blue.

      WereBear
      Pootie fan? Me too! Check out my cat advice blog.
      The Way of Cats

      by WereBear on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:27:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Having driven through your district (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bethcf4p, Treg, BachFan, TomP, Norbrook, Earl3

        numerous times this past summer and fall, if I hadn't known better, I would have thought the New York was a red state by looking at the McCain lawn signs and bumper stickers that were absolutely everywhere!

      •  Exactly (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dss, Treg, BachFan, Earl3

        One of the problems I've seen, here and elsewhere, is that people tend to conflate NYC with NY State.  NY is a very regionalized state - generically, you can say "upstate" and "downstate", but there's more to it than that.  Upstate in general tends to be more Red than NYC - even on the Democratic side.  There's a lot of taking what people see from the City and applying it to the State - and it's not a good idea.  

        I think that I have had enough of you telling me how things will be. Today I choose a new way to go ... and it goes through you!

        by Norbrook on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:06:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  New England? More like West Virginia. Hell, the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BachFan

        KKK was alive and well in the 70's in that district. Some areas are very, very backwater. Think marryin first cousins. Appalachia meets, well, Appalachia. (No offense to West Virginians intended)

        I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

        by the fan man on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:09:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  winning over staunch conservatives upstate (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mj171976

        does nothing for her in terms of winning over any of the constituents DOWNSTATE.  I kinda laugh when I read that it doesnt matter what the voters downstate think of her conservative stances.  If she can't hold downstate in 2010 a REPUBLICAN moderate, supported by Bloomberg $$$ will win that seat.

        Bloomberg is as PRO GUN CONTROL as she seems to be anti it...and in a metropolitan city like NY gun control is a major issue.

        2001-2008 "What a long strange trip it's been"

        by KnotIookin on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:25:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Reasoning much? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927, TomP, coachster

      But that shows that her intuition is right: she just needs a little more political will and her votes will line up w/ that intuition.

      What, beyond wishful thinking, leads you to conclude that her "real" views are represented by her procedural votes, not the one that counts?

      Though maybe this does show that her intuition is right: progressives can usually be bought on the cheap through a combination of empty gestures and their own wishful thinking. And it looks like Gillibrand has already got this working for her.

      We got 99 problems but George Bush ain't one.

      by GreenSooner on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:50:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Telecom donations (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927, golconda2

      She was one of nine NY reps who flipped on FISA after getting telecom donations.

      "Animals are my friends. And I don't eat my friends." -- George Bernard Shaw

      by Hudson on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:25:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  People often don't realize (21+ / 0-)

    when you represent a district, it isn't about you. You can't always vote how you would want to. That is the problem with the Republicans. They wanted to create a certain social order, and did whatever it took to get there. Represent people? Not so much.

    As a state rep, I was more moderate in office than I really am because I represented a purple district. That being said, two issues I wouldn't compromise on were choice and the death penalty.

    I'm not in NY anymore, but if indeed Kirsten Gillibrand is chosen to be Senator, she seems like she will do a good job and be poised to win the seat when the election comes up. A Dem winning in a Red district is not to be sneezed at.

  •  Thanks for this diary (7+ / 0-)

    It's always great to get some unmediated observations.

  •  This whole ordeal only confirms the need (6+ / 0-)

    for special elections. Gillibrand for all her niceties would not have beat strong Democrats like Andrew Cumo, or Steve Israel.

    She may swing to the left she may not. From what your saying she's pretty principled so i'm pretty sure were going to have another gun totting Blue dog in the Senate to act as a "independent" and "pragmatic" voice.

    Why are we so afraid to let the people decide what is right.

    Semper avarus eget.

    by Avarus on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:40:22 AM PST

  •  Very strong diary. nt (9+ / 0-)

    "The first Republican who cries "Wolverines!" on the House or Senate floor has to be considered the front-runner for the 2012 Iowa caucus." JF on TPM

    by Inland on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:42:33 AM PST

  •  P.U,M.A Wins round 2.. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paleo, mj171976, GN1927, golconda2

    The trashing of Caroline Kennedy is straight out of the PUMA playbook.

    The flubbing of this appointment will concede the State to the Rethugs.. exactly what the PUMA crowd wanted..

    check out what Hillary is 44 is saying..

    http://www.hillaryis44.org/

    I can't wrap my brain around what a wonderful thing we did!

    by Blue Texas on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:46:38 AM PST

  •  As another NY-20 Democrat (18+ / 0-)

    I agree completely with your perspective on Gillibrand. My big worry now: who can we support for her seat? Who can do what she has done and win in this district? What are the mechanics for a special election and how soon would it have to be?

    •  Yes, maybe the worst thing about her (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mary Julia, sidnora, dss, BachFan, Earl3

      elevation is replacing her in the 20th with a reasonable Dem.

      We may not have seen the end of Treadwell, the 'Pub wheel-horse she trashed in NOv. sigh.

      Maybe Raham Emmanuel can find another one like her, but I doubt it.

      "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." General Nathanael Greene, Continental Army, April, 1781.

      by faithnomore on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:01:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for helping folks to better understand her (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      faithnomore, BachFan, carllaw

      It's hard for people to understand the dynamics of this district and how she functions in this environment if all they see if her scorecards.

      Subverting the dominant paradigm every chance I get. And I get a lot of chances.

      by Casey Morris on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:04:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Casey - this is a good read (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BachFan, Casey Morris

        and hope that with more access to our Congresspeople on a face-to-face level instead of armchair quarterbacking, we can get to know them better and keep them accountable.

        Gillibrand sounds to me like someone who will listen, and watching your district in action -- it is a very vocal one, so she has had to pay attention. I think she's a good choice to replace Hillary.

        That's PRESIDENT Obama. That's right. P-R-E-S-I-D-E-N-T Obama.

        by Fe Bongolan on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:10:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yes. She is very impressive. (14+ / 0-)

    My experience supports everything Casey says.I live right outside her district, or soon-to-be former district, and also have seen Kirsten several times.   In some ways, she is kind of a "good" Palin. That is, she is very attractive, and presents herself well in public events.  Except, she really knows what she is talking about, and has fundamentally Democratic values. But reporter trying to trip her up will be in for a big surprise.

    I've seen her three times. Twice campaigning and once in a "Congress at Your Corner" event, near the northern tip of her 150 mile-long district. Before taking questions, she talked for about 10 minutes about the issues she was dealing with in Washington (before taking questions and dealing with constituent issues). She spoke without notes, to about two dozen people. During the entire presentation, I remembered later, there was not a single "uh", "um', or "you know". I thought of this that night when I saw both Obama and Hillary on TV. The same could not be said for them. Gillibrand is very good.

    I think her District is fairly representative of upstate NY.  She is, I believe, the first Dem to win it since before the Civil War.   After a close victory against the execrable Sweeney in '06, she annihilated her opponent in 2008. In spite of Treadwell, a trust-fund millionaire and career Repulbican pol,  spending  millions of his own and 'Pub money, and using every Rovian dirty attack ad imaginable.  

    Any Dem wishing to challenge her on her lack of liberalism, or whatever, should certainly not quit their day job.  

    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." General Nathanael Greene, Continental Army, April, 1781.

    by faithnomore on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:52:04 AM PST

  •  I SO hope you're proven right (8+ / 0-)

    about the course Gillibrand is going take.

    I am going to wait and watch her perform, and then decide if she will earn the meager amount of campaign contributions that I was already prepared to send to CK.

  •  This diary provides a unique (11+ / 0-)

    perspective that you don't find anywhere else. Well written and interesting.

    •  Given that it got 70 recs, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cactusflinthead

      Its perspective can hardly be unique.
      It is certainly shared by the people who rec'd it.

      The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

      by ge0rge on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:44:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not necessarily (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ancblu

        I'm going to rec it because I got a different perspective on Gillibrand from it, not the conventional wisdom, and from someone who's local and involved.

        Doesn't mean that I agreed with it before I started reading, or even that I totally agree with it now.

        The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

        by sidnora on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:44:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You mean the sky *isn't* falling? (9+ / 0-)

    But all the concern trolls will be so upset that there isn't another thing to be upset about.

  •  interested in having a progressive NY Senator? (13+ / 0-)

    Please go to www.progressivenewyork.org

    or

    Elect A Progressive New York Senator In 2010

    There will be a primary in 2010. Count on it.

  •  Meh (9+ / 0-)

    Another opening. Another blue dog.

    I demand prosecutions for torture.

    by heart of a quince on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:08:14 AM PST

    •  The Problem is the Party (7+ / 0-)

      Here's the problem: like it or not Blue Dogs are real Democrats.  It's not just a few bad apples. These folks are deeply woven into the fabric of the party.

      Blue Dogs aren't an accident. The party promotes them. Gillibrand was handpicked by Rahm Emmanuel to win her district.  Now she's handpicked to be a Senator.

      The only way that the Democratic Party will ever become a progressive party is if it gets rid of its dominant center-right faction.  Unless and until that happens, the Democratic Party will remain (charitably) a middle-of-the-road party with a progressive rump.

      The Republican Party became a conservative party when movement conservatives got serious about purging the liberals and moderates.

      When are progressives going to get serious about getting rid of the Blue Dogs?

      We got 99 problems but George Bush ain't one.

      by GreenSooner on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:55:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree 110% (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenSooner, GN1927, bigchin, Earl3

        I still consider at least half the party to be republican light.

        I demand prosecutions for torture.

        by heart of a quince on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:16:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And the ideologically pure Republican Party... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bethcf4p, ancblu

        ...or should I call it the Confederate Republican Party, now controls the Old Confederacy - minus Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. And it also controls Deseret and its Idaho subsidiary.

        The Democrats gained control when they backed people who represented their constituencies. And don't try telling me that big city progressives could have defeated Macaca and Man on Dog Santorum.
        The Dems chose pro-gun and pro-life populists Jim Webb and Bob Casey to win in pro-gun, pro-life Virginia and Pennsylvania. Thank goodness they did.

        Forget the purges and the show trials, Okie. And remember the words of your fellow Oklahoman, Will Rogers, "I don't belong to any organized political party. I'm a Democrat."

        Still true.

        •  You can have fun with that (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GreenSooner, GN1927, eamonsean, golconda2

          But if the party goes back to its ultra-centrist ways you will start bleeding off lefties again. How'd that work out in florida 2000? Dems got a lot of support this time around because bush was so terribly bad - but don't expect lefties to stick around if you keep shoving centrist (aka moderate republican) bullshit down their throats.

          I demand prosecutions for torture.

          by heart of a quince on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:27:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It worked great in VA, NC, NM, CO, MT, etc... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ancblu, Earl3

            and the Conferederate Republican Party doesn't have a single House seat in New England, and barely half a dozen in the Northeast.

            The Rebel-publicans have even lost the two most literate Conferederate states - Virginia and North Carolina - and are down to the rest of the rebel South, a bittle bit of the midwest, and the LDS strongholds of Utah and Idaho.

            If Quince and Sooner think that Webb, Warner, Salazar, Tester, and the Udalls are not ideologically pure enough to be Democrats, they've got another think coming.

            Those Democratic lefties capable of learning - and that's the vast, vast majority - learned a painful lesson in Florida in 2000. The War in Iraq and the ongoing Bush Economic Depression will help them to remember it. (I see Nader on the street occasionally, and it raises my blood pressure.)

            For the Democrats to govern, they must be the big tent party. The Republicans, who seek ideological purity, have become a regional party of losers and whiners.

            See all the whiners on the cable news shows? They all seem to have the title "Republican Strategist" under their names. You don't want to become like that, do you???

          •  See ya! I like winning & governing (0+ / 0-)

            Kiss Dennis Kucinich for me!

        •  Rec rec rec (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          faithnomore, ancblu, Earl3

          From someone living in a purple state.

        •  Who said anything about "big city progressives"? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          golconda2

          We need progressive populists.

          Guns, I agree, are probably worth conceding in the West. Reproductive rights? Hell no.  A lot of conservative Western GOPers used to be pro-choice before the Christianists began to dominate that party about a decade and a half ago.

          And Pennsylvania isn't anti-choice.  Lil' Casey just is.

          We got 99 problems but George Bush ain't one.

          by GreenSooner on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:10:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Pennsylvania most certainly IS anti-choice.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BachFan

            ..which is why pro-choice Ed Rendell told Chuck Schumer that the best candidate to throttle Santorum was anti-choice Bob Casey. And why the party pushed out opponents in the primary.

            The T in the center and top tiers of the state is certainly anti-choice...that's the part James Carville calls Alabama.

            Southwestern Pennsylvania - which is Democratic - is heavily Catholic...and so is anthracite country around Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. The demographic is elderly, religious, and pro-life.

            The only part of the state that you could safely consider pro-choice is Philly and the Philly suburbs.

            I don't question your knowledge of Oklahoma politics, so trust me on Pennsyltucky. I was born in Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh(as were Tommy Vilsack and Janet Napolitano). My dad was a Ward heeler for Davey Lawerence back in the day.

            Go check the exit polls from 2000 and 2006 and see the enormous shift in the Catholic vote against Santorum when an anti-choice Democrat ran against him. Those numbers don't lie. Mr Frothy Mix went from winning better than 3-2 to losing better than 3-2 among Catholics.

            Even the pro-choicers agree that PA is one of the toughest states to crack.

      •  But we have to be very careful (0+ / 0-)

        because the Republicans marginalized themselves when they became purged their moderates. The last couple elections have shown that that strategy doesn't work for long, and worse, that it has one heck of a backfire.

        The public dialog has to move left. The decades-long demonization of "the Left" and of its principles has to be turned around. The most reliable way to get better Democrats in office is to have better Democrats in the voting booths.

        I have some familiarity with Gillibrand's district. It's all right-wing radio all the time. It's to her credit that she's done as well as she has, but there's a lot of work to do to undo all the propaganda that spew into the ears of the people she serves.

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

        by oldjohnbrown on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:13:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bethcf4p, BachFan, Earl3

    This is very useful information.  I'm not from NY and didn't feel like I had adequate information or investment in the choice, but from what you say Gillibrand sounds like she deserves support for now, anyway.  One thing I resigned myself to at the beginning of the campaign is that no matter how much time and money I gave to the Obama campaign, I still wasn't going to be happy all the  time with the outcome.  Gillibrand is not the worst choice and may end up being a darned good choice.  I love that she holds "town hall" type meetings.

  •  Blah, blah, blah. (14+ / 0-)

    What rot.

    If a liberal republican from a Democratic district were selected to represent Indiana, 99% of the GOP wouldn't even try to pretend to be happy...only progressives can be treated like dumb sheep, apparently.

    Great, she represent(ed) a republican district -- whoopie. NOW she represents a liberal state (despite what some hallucinatory upstate/L.I. types think) and she's...NOT liberal.

    Oh, but she speaks from the heart. Well, that'll make me feel better when she joins Nelson and Landrieu (and Lieberman) in failing to end some dumbass republican filibuster due to "her convictions".

    Hope she and Paterson BOTH lose, hopefully in a primary, but in a general if necessary. Then (eventually) we can get a real Democrat, not just a cautious one.

    --------
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

    by PBJ Diddy on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:10:17 AM PST

  •  she has a 100% ACLU rating (13+ / 0-)

    According to NPR this morning, Gillibrand has a 100% rating from the ACLU. That's a good sign to me, and I'm willing to give her a chance, even if some of her other positions are disappointing to Kossacks. I'm also willing to guess that she may venture further to the left now that she's out of a conservative district.

  •  Her sons (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bethcf4p, Earl3

    Have the same names as my sons - Theodore and Henry.

  •  Because she's good for the district . . . (7+ / 0-)

    does not mean she's good for the state.

    I had been dreading a Kennedy appointment, and for that matter a Cuomo appointment, and was hoping for Carolyn Maloney.  New York has a particularly strong slate of members of Congress, and most of the top tier people are women so it's not exactly hard to chose a female replacement for Clinton.  

    Plucking Gillibrand out of her Congressional seat costs us one in the House, while slightly weakening the hand of progressives in the Senate.  It just doesn't make any sense.  

    I guess I'll try and look on the bright side and point out that the Senate could use someone who believes in civil liberties right now.  That, Gillibrand certainly is.

    •  No to Maloney. All of NYS deserves a voice (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BachFan, Earl3

      and I believe that every single NY Senator for the past 40 years has called NYC home.  There is a place for a slightly more "conservative" (by NY standards anyway) Senator that is more representative of the state as a whole.  Gillibrand is a good pick in that regard.

      Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

      by bigtimecynic on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:57:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If every NY Senator was from NYC... (0+ / 0-)

        ...why is it better to pick a Senator from Upstate?

        Wouldn't a better pick be someone who would most likely have gotten elected the proper way?

        If Upstate NY doesn't get representation in the Senate because they represent a minority in voices state-wide, why is giving them "special consideration" in an appointment palatable to anyone?

        That said, I liked this diary because it was informative and persuasive, but I don't understand this argument.

        •  Do you want Democrats to have credibility? (0+ / 0-)

          Yes, the Democratic party can win elections while ignoring Upstate; but continuously ignoring a region that has been economically hurting for decades does little for the party's credibility upstate in state & local elections.

          Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say... (from "Creatures of Light and Darkness", R. Zelazny)

          by SadEagle on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 11:19:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The problem is, this is New York state (5+ / 0-)

    We need to be adding lefties to the mix, not moderates. She'd be a fantastic dem for Missouri, Mcaskill indeed.

    To top it off, the chances of that district going Democrat again are a little less with her not there.

    And, lastly, being so close to Albany--which has effectively detached itself from the misery of upstate--I can't say she's an answer there either. She's had a billion dollars worth of investment in the district.

    Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

    by upstate NY on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:34:38 AM PST

  •  Best to give her a chance (6+ / 0-)

    Than prejudge her either way.  

    If she is too conservative when the chips are down, then we work to defeat her.  If she's with Obama, then she will deserve our support.

    We don't get to make the choice - Paterson does.  So we have to live with her for the next couple of years.  I have a feeling we'll know pretty soon where she's going to stand.

    And I hope to hell nutcase King runs for the Senate.  It will be great to finally get him off the stage.  The man is slime.

    I feel like I need to wash my TV screen every time he's on.

    There may be no such thing as a free lunch, so make sure the guy who can afford it picks up the tab.

    by liberalpercy on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:37:41 AM PST

  •  Tipped and Recommended (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Treg, BachFan, vbdietz, OldLady in BC

    I too am represented by Gillibrand and voluntereed for her this past cycle. My regret is to be losing her as my rep and having to recontest this district so soon. But those questioning her qualification for the appointment are dead wrong.

  •  Bachelor's in Asian Studies. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BachFan, Earl3, PeggyD

    .
    It's about time that someone on Capitol Hill had some background in the most populated area of the Planet.

    As an Asianist myself (noting that I've always got a lot to learn) I'm simply amazed at how those on Capitol Hill who know virtually nothing about China, Japan, India, Korea, Southeast Asia, history, religions, dynamics . . . let alone languages . . . spout off and make pronouncements and policies with all the strident confidence of knowing that a new traffic light has to be put at that intersection two blocks away from their house.

    Congresswoman Gillibrand looks like not just a good pick, but a great pick.  I'd be honored to meet her someday.

    bg
    ________________________________________________

    "If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of Giants." -- Newton

    by BenGoshi on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:40:05 AM PST

    •  P.S.- same could be said about the Middle East, (0+ / 0-)

      .
        Latin America, Africa, or, heh, "Old Europe".

        Of course, not every Member of Congress can be an expert, or have background, in everything.  But knowing that Capitol Hill -- let alone the top tier of the Executive Branch -- was peppered with people who do have backgrounds in various parts of the world and their cultures and histories would be a comforting thing.

        The House is certainly well-served to have members with Latin American family connections.  The House, and the country.

      bg
      _______________________________________________

      "If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of Giants." -- Newton

      by BenGoshi on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:44:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Magna cum laude grad from (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BenGoshi, faithnomore

      Dartmouth. She's married to a Brit. He's not even a US citizen !! Wonder if he's working on that.

  •  thank you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BachFan, joehoevah, Earl3

    i spent last night angry and dejected over the choice.  your diary has at a minimum talked me down part of the way.  i'm especially interested in how her views on lgbt issues will evolve and evolve quickly if my enthusiasm for her reelection is to ever be forthcoming though.

  •  Yeh for big picture outlook here (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wufacta, BachFan, Earl3, Egalitare

    To begin with one of the most over-used words of the pundit class,

    Look:

    We must acknowledge, if we only grudgingly accept, facts on the ground.  NY like every other state is really purple; it's all shades thereof.  Paterson is solidifying his own support with this pick, to, and that should be expected.  And if we consider the pool for the seat, isn't there an upside to having Not Cuomo selected?

    While pre-emptive doomsaying will always be fashionable to some, it's not useful.  It's the opposite of hope, and it's not even in the same realm as a useful cynicism that prompts action.  Claims that Senator Gillibrand will mirror Representative Gillibrand accomplish...  what, exactly?  Oh, right: the ability to righteously blog, "I TOLD you so!!!"  

    The hopeful depend on a world without end, whatever the hopeless may say. --Rush

    by Leftcandid on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:44:36 AM PST

  •  Hey Casey (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Manhattan Dan, Mary Julia, BachFan, Earl3

    I thought, "Casey is losing her congresswoman when I heard the news."

    Thanks for writing this up.

  •  But why prefer someone who MIGHT (11+ / 0-)
    be more progressive when she has a track record of being a mushy center-rightist? She joined the Bluedogs who then proceeded to undermine the dem caucus on Iraq and supported the surge.

    I think you are too impressed with the fact she actually meets with people. It's her views and policies that I care about. Meeting with people is necessary but not sufficient.

  •  Sounds like a good future Senator.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mary Julia, Earl3

    ...thanks for your on-the-ground perspective.  I will always have respect for an elected representative that faces the electorate fearlessly.

    My own Congresscritter, Jerry Costello (IL-12) is not nearly as accessible.  He's been a pretty reliable Democrat on most issues, though, so I haven't had a problem with him for the most part.

    This concerns me, though:

    she [Gillebrand] reminds me of a younger version of Claire McCaskill.

    For those of us in Missouri (or close to Missouri, as I am) that's kind of worrisome.  McCaskill has disappointed some of us who worked for her campaign with some of her votes (FISA, warrantless wiretapping, war funding).  Hopefully Gillebrand will carve out her own niche and be closer to HRC's politics.

    Andy
    Alton IL

    (new signature to appear soon. Watch this space.)

    by AAbshier on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:49:58 AM PST

  •  Really great diary - I love her accessibility (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BachFan, cactusflinthead, Earl3

    This is the kind of thing I come to dKos to learn - from real people on the ground in places I don't know much about.

    I may not agree with all her votes, but her openness and accessibility are really impressive. I can only imagine that kind of access to an elected representative.

    She's already got a primary challenger, from what I've heard. It's going to be interesting to watch what happens.

  •  if she's for rolling back NCLB (0+ / 0-)

    then she has my full support.

    Save public education from corporatisation: Educator Roundtable

    by DeweyCounts on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:50:55 AM PST

  •  4 reasons why REPUBLICAN DISTRICT is a negative (5+ / 0-)
    1.  Ds are almost certain to lose her seat in the house in 2010.  I don't mind Blue Dogs representing Republican districts; I'd always rather have a Democrat representing a Republican district than a Republican.
    1.  Given the choice between a real Republican and Republican lite, Rs will vote for the real Republican.  So the idea that she can hold the seat by appealing to upstate moderate Republicans who may have voted for her in past elections is foolish.
    1.  She will draw heavy duty R opposition in 2010 that will siphon off whatever advantage she may have had among moderate Republicans.  It could be 9iu11iani, or he might still decide to challenge Paterson in spite of this attempt to offer him an easier target.  Either way, the Rs will put one of their biggest names against her.  They want this seat BAD to try to prevent Dems from getting the supermajority in 2010.  Don't be surprised if the RNC moves someone into NY specifically to run against her.  If any Republican with a national base moves into New York State in the next few months, pay close attention.
    1.  Gillibrand will draw D opposition in 2010.  The power base in New York state in terms of money and influence is more liberal than she is, and they are going to want a liberal/progressive in that seat for the long term.  Folks who were willing to step aside to let Hillary have that seat in 2000 will not be as willing to step aside to let Gillibrand keep that seat in 2010.  A bruising primary fight/proxy battle in a blue state like NY is a problem.  Ds need resources flowing to other 2010 Senate races in the 50 state strategy.

    If Paterson likes Gillibrand so much, and thought her House seat was expendable, he should have run with her as Lt. Gov. in 2010, and appointed a heavier hitter to the Senate seat.  That way her moderate credentials could have helped him upstate, and NY Dems would have a top-tier Senator who could start raising money nationally now to hold that seat for us in 2010.

    Instead, Paterson has set things up to make it easier for Democrats to lose a congressional seat, a Senate seat and the Governorship of NY two years from now.  What an amateur.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
    President Barack Obama. At last.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:51:45 AM PST

    •  I am distinctly (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TrueBlueMajority, mj171976, GN1927, eagle5

      underwhelmed with Paterson's handling of this. And I agree with your analysis. Politically, this was one of the most idiotic decisions I have ever seen.

      Paterson seems to forget (quite often) that Eliot Spitzer brought him to this dance.  Spitzer must be laughing his ass off today, and will certainly tune in at noon to watch Paterson try to smooth THIS over.

      We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

      by Mary Julia on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:04:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Horrible NRA slave. Can't wait for the primary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mj171976, golconda2

    Sorry I have to run to the Senate floor to abolish torture.

    by bten on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:52:16 AM PST

    •  Get real. And calm down... (7+ / 0-)

      I live in DC and wouldn't dream of having a gun. I wish gun control here would work, but the reality is every thug who wants one has a gun. Even, so I'm in support of strong gun laws here.

      But our little ranch in Fresno County, California - up against the escarpment of the High Sierra - has snakes, coyotes, mountain lions, and bears in the neighborhood. We also have little kids and livestock. Guns are an absolute necessity. Every home has one. We're also miles from the nearest law enforcement official.

      In rural districts across the nation, people want and need guns. And they will NOT elect anyone they believe will take them away. Gillibrand's district, which stretches 150 miles, is one of those rural districts.

      Gun laws are like speed limits. What works in the city is far too restrictive for the wide open spaces of the country.

      •  what are you talking about (0+ / 0-)

        ...nobody is talking about guns... its banning loopholes that alows sales of guns during gunshows without background checks.... thats how you end up on the NRA chosen list.

        Gillbrand is Pethatic... she's pro guns and Anti immigration!

        •  I am pro-gun.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Admiral Santa

          If that means pro-2nd-amendment, though I'm for closing those types of loop-holes.  Am I suddenly 'pethatic' as well?  

          We should avoid these single-issue litmus tests.  So soon we forget that it is this that has crippled the Republican Party most of all.

          Gay, straight, black, white...
          Marriage is a civil right!

          by joehoevah on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:10:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  agreeed... (0+ / 0-)

            .... any reasonable person would want to close these loopholes and make sale certain guns prohibited (ie they are NOT for hunting--see oozi)

            Gillibrand is against these common sense points.

            •  Not a very convincing... (0+ / 0-)

              Argument.  If lenience on gun issues is her biggest problem, I'm sold in support.  Personally, I have my crosshairs (heh) aligned on other targets.

              Gay, straight, black, white...
              Marriage is a civil right!

              by joehoevah on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:20:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  actually getting 100 by (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mj171976

                NRA is only the biggening of her issues.

                From Villiage voice:

                Gillibrand has described her own voting record as "one of the most conservative in the state." She opposes any path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, supports renewing the Bush tax cuts for individuals earning up to $1 million annually, and voted for the Bush-backed FISA bill that permits wiretapping of international calls. She was one of four Democratic freshmen in the country, and the only Democrat in the New York delegation, to vote for the Bush administration's bill to extend funding for the Iraq war shortly after she entered congress in 2007.

                •  Yeah... (0+ / 0-)

                  You've already said that a bunch of times.

                  I'm still not convinced that the sky is falling OMG OMG just because she happens to represent a conservative district, or did until recently.

                  As a Senator for the entire state, if you think her voting patterns won't change, then I think you need to evaluate more closely the way American politics work.

                  Gay, straight, black, white...
                  Marriage is a civil right!

                  by joehoevah on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:23:54 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Read that closely (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  joehoevah

                  What she's supporting is a new tax bracket. Right now, income above $171k (the top of the 28% bracket) is at the top 33% bracket, which Obama wants to revert back to the 38% or so it was before the Bush cuts.

                  Gillibrand, based on this quote, seems to be advocating having a 28% bracket from $82k to $171k, a 33% bracket from $171k to $1000k, and a 38% bracket above $1000k.

                  Agree or disagree, this isn't as simple as being for Bush's tax cuts.

              •  also.. (0+ / 0-)

                ... she has clearly done a 180 on gay rights which is good but how can we expect her to do a 180 on immigration, taxes to the rich, TARP, IRaq, and yes even the very unpopular Gunshow loop-hole.

                She needs to reverse herself on so many issues to be viable in NY primary and even I doubt she would be very popular in New York.

                This was a poor choice.  and Paterson will likely pay.

            •  With all due respect, the 2nd Amendment isn't (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Crookshanks, joehoevah

              about hunting.

  •  I am an Albany native, and most of the hysteria (13+ / 0-)

    here is generated by people who either don't live in Upstate, or don't live in NY at all.  I find it very interesting that virtually every single person with prior knowledge of or experience with Gillibrand has a positive impression of her (me included). That should speak volumes to how she would fare in an election.

    Also keep in mind that the general election could very well come down to her vs. Giuliani.  She would win, and many of her sinfully "conservative" views would be part of the reason for her easy victory.

    The one thing that does bother me most is her NRA approval.  Most Upstaters hate the NRA and recognize them as the ideological crackpots that they are.  Gillibrand could easily support responsible firearm ownership and get the approval of sportsman associations, while shunning the absurd NRA love of assault rifles, cop killer bullets, and handguns with fingerprint resistant hand grips.  What we need in this country is a national politicial equivalent to the NRA that supports responsible gun policies for hunting, sport, and home defense. That would give Dems some serious cover.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:53:41 AM PST

    •  I live in Syracuse (5+ / 0-)

      and I do know one thing - all politics is local and two years in politics is infinity.

      Rep. Gillibrand may well be a fine choice, but she WILL get primaried in 2010. She's going to be spending her time getting money from the moment she is sworn in as our new Senator.

      And the way Paterson is going, he's going to get primaried, also.

      Meanwhile, back at the ranch, NY 20 has to hold a special election this year to fill Gillibrand's seat. So we may lose this seat to Republicans.

      Paterson needs to have his head examined.  

      We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

      by Mary Julia on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:11:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe. But unfortunately EVERY senator up in 2010 (0+ / 0-)

        is going to be spending the next 2 years fundraising. It's the greatest flaw of our system.  And what's bad about a primary? Unless it is scorched earth it doesn't harm the candidates; it sharpens them for the general election.  

        Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

        by bigtimecynic on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:22:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  99.99% of DOWNstate voters neva heard of her (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mj171976

      and that bodes BADLY for this decision to pick someone who has close ties to Pataki and Da'Mato running in 2010.  Downstate D's will launch a primary challenge and that is exactly how we get republican politicans in nyC.  We split the vote every damn time and a moderate republican slips in that way.   The problem for NY dems is NY DEMS and Ms Gillibrand seems to be a prime example of the problem.  She plays great in conservative upstate CD's but no one ever heard of her in NYC.

      the democrats had better get serious about bringing some REAL CHANGE to the Dem party IN NY or we will continue to be a blue state that is represented by blue dogs and dino's.

      Paterson made one hellava BIG mistake here... and if he thinks this postions him well for his upcoming election...  sheeesh

      2001-2008 "What a long strange trip it's been"

      by KnotIookin on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:34:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  a national politicial equivalent to the NRA (0+ / 0-)

      "What we need in this country is a national politicial equivalent to the NRA that supports responsible gun policies for hunting, sport, and home defense."

      I haven't gotten the impression that "Most Upstaters hate the NRA".

      Gillibrand could have endorsed (with horrendous results) the AHSA and received the obvious electoral response from the NRA, whose demonizing of the AHSA as a liberal front may be the only thing keeping it in business.

      Pendelton State University is a college located in Rutherford, Ohio.

      by annieli on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 09:47:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I love Kirsten Gillibrand... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    faithnomore, Earl3, Blackmamba1973

    and she would be a great fit for Senator of NY...if she does not represent the overall progressiveness of NY we will primary her in 2010...No Big Deal...

    Obama/Biden'08 Delivering Change he Promised

    by dvogel001 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:54:19 AM PST

  •  very happy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    faithnomore, Earl3

    I was hoping she would get the nod when this all started.  

  •  20th CD (11+ / 0-)

    She has given the best services to her district of any congressman I have had since Liz Holtzman.  That list also includes our senior senator when he was in congress.
    She should win the nomination in 2010, and the election after that.

    •  Yet another approval by an ACTUAL CONSTITUENT. (6+ / 0-)

      But.. but.. that goes against the narrative of pissed off bloggers in California and SoHo coffee houses! Shame on you.

      Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

      by bigtimecynic on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:08:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  how many people actually LIVE in her CD district (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mj171976, Casey Morris

        I would venture its less people than live in my NYC neighborhood and mine is but one of many MANY heavily populated DOWNSTATE neighborhoods...  so to say she is great for NY because  she was good for her small upstate conservative (repub leaning) district says absolutely nothing about how she would play with the state as a whole.

        2001-2008 "What a long strange trip it's been"

        by KnotIookin on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:37:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Also live in the 20th CD district and have for (10+ / 0-)

      more than 20 years and can't agree with you more. Kirsti Gillbrand had been extremely hard working,focused and has been a terrific congress person.  Upstaters have been neglected by the democratic party for so long and Paterson made a smart move.  She's actually quite progressive, pro-choice, pro-labor,anti-war, and highly intelligent.  Her becoming Senator is our district's loss but NY State's gain.

    •  Ditto (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      faithnomore, BachFan, ancblu

      While she is a great admirer of HRC, I also see some similarities to Obama, which I think is generational.  She is more of a pragmatist than an ideologue.  I guarantee that one of her first priorities will be to reach out to the Democratic base to make sure that she doesn't face a serious primary challenge in 2010.  It will be kind of a switch for NY Democratic politicians.  Usually Democrats have to go on tours of places like Utica and Troy to prove that they can relate to upstaters; look for KG to reach out to Democratic clubs on the Upper West Side and the Village to prove her progressive credentials.  She is real smart, and a real good politician, which, as I think Obama is showing us, is not necessarily a bad thing.  BTW - I have heard several commentators describe her as anti-abortion.  That is definitely not true.

      •  Good point on outreach to City Dems. (0+ / 0-)

        Given their propensities, I see many, New York City Dems swooning over her. Like it or not, looks and charm count for a lot in politics. Not discounting talent, which she also possesses.

        "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." General Nathanael Greene, Continental Army, April, 1781.

        by faithnomore on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:48:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  She asked me to serve on her finance committee (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      faithnomore, golconda2

      But has never responded to questions about her positions on immigration, et al.

      That's not "constituent service."

      "Animals are my friends. And I don't eat my friends." -- George Bernard Shaw

      by Hudson on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:28:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mary Julia, faithnomore, BachFan, Earl3

    I'm not from the district, but I have a house there in the Catskills, and I have followed her pretty closely.  Some of her positions disappointed me, but I did continue to donate to her second campaign.  After all, she was representing the views of her district, which is more conservative than most of the rest of the state (Although NY 20 really is not so conservative these days--I think some of the same trends happening in New England are happening in NY 20, which it borders.)  Gillibrand will be a fine Senator,and her positions will evolve as she represents her new broader constituency)

    Defending NY 20 is a worry, but with redistricting looming, NY 20 soon may not exist in the gerrymandered form that it does now.

  •  "We will lose the House seat argument" fails. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldjohnbrown, Wufacta, Earl3

    Dems have a LARGE majority in the House right now, and a substantially smaller majority in the Senate. It is far more important to select a Senator with the best chances of winning in the general election, than it is to hold onto the House district. Obviously I would prefer both. But an ultraliberal politician from NYC as Senator would be much more vulnerable to a Republican challenge than Gillibrand would be.  Paterson is wise in this strategy.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:02:20 AM PST

  •  Sorry. I live in NY-20 and have for 20+ years. (9+ / 0-)

    Yes, she does great constituent services.  But she's a Blue Dog.  And I'm not ready to concede that the district, which has changed so much in the past 20 years, is still Gerry Solomon's or John Sweeney's NY-20.  It isn't.  It is far, far more moderate, and slowly, gradually, each election moving bluer.

    Gillibrand would be ok to continue as our Congressperson.  She's accessible and more important educable.  She might move further left in her 5th or 6th term.  Especially, if the Rethuglicans keep running asshats like Sandy Treadwell or John Faso against her. But making her a Senator is just not a good idea.  Not for NY.  She's to the right even of Paterson.  Or as the beloved founder would say, she's not a Better Democrat.

    Feh.

  •  In many ways Gillibrand owes her success to (14+ / 0-)

    the netroots and Jack Abramoff.

    Her opponent in 2006 was John Sweeney. In July of 2006 when I posted: Rep. Sweeney (R-NY) helps Abramoff find work. This research made the hard link between Sweeney and Abramoff.

    I shared more details about the Sweeney/Abramoff link with progressives bloggers in NY and the Gillibrand campaign.

    On October 18, 2006 the news of John Sweeney’s close working relationship with Jack Abramoff appeared on the front pages of the Albany Times Union. It was a connection to scandal that Sweeney was never able to put behind him. It was a story that almost did not run. I spent many hours providing back-up and certification of documents to help answer the questions and concerns of the Times Union editors. In the end the story proved solid enough to be published.

    This was a story that would never have seen the light of day if there was not a netroots and a Daily Kos for me to sketch out the scandal details and make connections to help give the story a wider audience.

    I will hope that a Senator Gillibrand will remember the way progressives helped her get elected to Congress as she does her work in the Senate.

    Perhaps I'll stop by her office and say hello.

    Cheers

    Time to clean up DeLay's petri dish! Help CNMI guest workers find justice! Learn more at Unheard No More.

    by dengre on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:04:06 AM PST

  •  I'm pleased by the Gillbrand nomination... (5+ / 0-)

    I'm from NY-24, the next district over from Gillibrand, and from what I've seen, I'm very impressed.

    One thing to note is that she has star quality, which a US Senator from NY needs. (Schumer isn't handsome, but he's galvanizing on TV. And of course, Hillary has it. That's what I mean.)

    Gillbrand could get re-elected in 2010 rather easily, if she can carry a conservative upstate district easily, and I think she'll serve the state and the nation well.

    My Dem rep, Mike Arcuri, has been described as a "Blue Dog in name only," and I think the same could be said for Gillbrand...

  •  What about her opposition to gay rights? (5+ / 0-)

    Paterson has f*&ked this thing up about seven more ways than I thought possible.

    Terrified to find myself in the majority.

    by Kevvboy on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:39:16 AM PST

    •  What opposition to gay rights? (5+ / 0-)

      Gillibrand Tells Pride Agenda She’s for Marriage Equality and Repeal of Federal DOMA Legislation

      January 23, 2009, New York City – Last night likely Senate pick Kirsten Gillibrand spoke to Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan Van Capelle about issues important to New York’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

      "After talking to Kirsten Gillibrand, I am very happy to say that New York is poised to have its first U.S. Senator who supports marriage equality for same-sex couples," said Van Capelle. "She also supports the full repeal of the federal DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) law, repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) and passage of legislation outlawing discrimination against transgender people. While we had a productive discussion about a whole range of LGBT concerns, I was particularly happy to hear where she stands on these issues."

      http://www.signorile.com/...

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

      by Geekesque on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:05:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Flipflop (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kevvboy, GN1927

        This is (a) a secondhand report -- not an official position -- and (b) not her longstanding position.

        When it comes to civil rights, I don't care for poll-driven answers.

        "Animals are my friends. And I don't eat my friends." -- George Bernard Shaw

        by Hudson on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:31:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You expect politicians to not act like (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Casey Morris

          politicians?

          If Caroline Kennedy had to run in NY-20, do you think her positions would be so pristine?

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

          by Geekesque on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:36:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  EXACTLY the point and thank you.. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Geekesque

            What exact positions do you think would be necessary for a Democrat to win in a distrcit that has been Republic for thirty years.

            Subverting the dominant paradigm every chance I get. And I get a lot of chances.

            by Casey Morris on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:24:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Based on what other Kennedy's did... (0+ / 0-)

            ...they probably would. What we really need is politicians who know that they can be liberal and still win elections, not more politicians who cater to the right wing in order to win.

        •  Tell me if this sounds anti-gay to you: (4+ / 0-)

          IO: A decent portion of our readers are gay. What’s your position on same-sex marriage?

          KG: What I’d like to do legislatively, on the federal level—and I think we’ll be able to do this with the new president—is actually make civil unions legal in all 50 states, make it the law of the land. Because what you want to fundamentally do is protect the rights and privileges of committed couples, so that they can have Medicare benefits, visit in the hospitals, have adoption rights. All [the] things that we give to married couples, committed gay couples should be eligible for. And then the question of whether you call it a marriage or not, what you label it, that can be left to the states to decide.

          [It’s] so culturally oriented. My mom’s generation, they want their gay friends to have every right and privilege that they should be eligible for as a married couple, but they feel uncomfortable calling it marriage. To them, a marriage is a religious word that they learned from the Catholic Church: It’s a covenant between a man, a woman, and God. So they feel uncomfortable with the word. But they don’t feel uncomfortable with the rights and privileges.

          I think the way you win this issue is you focus on getting the rights and privileges protected throughout the entire country, and then you do the state-by-state advocacy for having the title.

          http://www.insideouthv.com/...

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

          by Geekesque on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:41:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How does that work with her other anti-gay votes? (0+ / 0-)

            She has a record.  And not to sound like Hillary, but this is just an interview.

            People know what they do; they frequently know why they do what they do; but what they don't know is what what they do does. -Michel Foucault

            by eamonsean on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:47:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  She is a politician who was running in a deeply (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jcitybone, Earl3

              red district despite her fairly liberal views (relative to the rest of the country) on GLBT and other social issues.

              Now that Chelsea and the West Village are part of her consittuency . . .

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

              by Geekesque on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:48:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, I guess we will see... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Geekesque

                And, of course, I'll hope that the Senior Senator keeps her in line...  But I am not at all impressed with what she's done so far.  

                People know what they do; they frequently know why they do what they do; but what they don't know is what what they do does. -Michel Foucault

                by eamonsean on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:58:57 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I *live* in her district, it's not deeply red now (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Earl3

                I love how people who don't live here in the 20th District have conveniently picked up or swallowed the Gillibrand camp's spin on why she has tacked to the right of Arlen Specter.

                Obama won this district -- it has been trending more and more blue over the past decade.

                "Animals are my friends. And I don't eat my friends." -- George Bernard Shaw

                by Hudson on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:50:52 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  She's not too good on gay issues, according (0+ / 0-)

        to HRC.

        People know what they do; they frequently know why they do what they do; but what they don't know is what what they do does. -Michel Foucault

        by eamonsean on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:44:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But getting better (and rapidly so). eom (0+ / 0-)

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

          by Geekesque on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:00:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think that's correct. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Geekesque

            I have strong feelings on same sex marriage as a civil rights issue.  And I believe the country is moving in that direction as well.

            I think Kirsten will be on board with this view soon.

            Subverting the dominant paradigm every chance I get. And I get a lot of chances.

            by Casey Morris on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:25:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I take it back! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ancblu

          HRC confirmed with Gillibran’s staff additional points regarding her LGBT record:
          Supports marriage equality
          Cosponsored and voted in favor of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act
          Cosponsored inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and supports enactment of inclusive bill
          Voted in favor of ENDA
          Supports repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
          Supports repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act
          Supports equal tax treatment of employer provided domestic partnership benefits
          Voted against allowing discrimination in hiring for the Head Start program
          Voted in favor of allowing Washington, DC to fund needle exchange programs with local funds
          Supports the Early Treatment of HIV/AIDS Act (ETHA) to allow states to provide Medicaid coverage for HIV-positive persons
          Voted against procedural attempts to derail ENDA and hate crimes
          Endorsed by HRC PAC in 2008

          People know what they do; they frequently know why they do what they do; but what they don't know is what what they do does. -Michel Foucault

          by eamonsean on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:18:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sorry but I feel that this is a disaster (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SadEagle, Mary Julia, mj171976, GN1927

    I recommended the diary because every point is solid and considering the transformation from representing NY-20 and the entire state I have few problems with Kirsten Gillibrand. If she holds the Blue Dog status I'll have problems with her but I don't think that is the case.

    My problem is with the governor. How does the party hold onto NY-20 now? The end of one of the strangest and most awkward episodes in the history of New York politics may be the beginning of an undoing of Democratic Leadership in New York.

    I'm having more and more problems with this governor and the transfer from Kennedy connections to this sort of connection, well. Some words from Wayne Barrett yesterday.

    The irony is that Paterson may be swinging from the nation's most prominent Democratic family to one with strong Republican ties. Gillibrand's father, Doug Rutnik, is an Albany insider and lobbyist whose ties to former GOP powerhouses Joe Bruno, George Pataki and Al D'Amato are legendary. In fact, Gillibrand won her seat when a state police domestic violence report about the GOP incumbent, John Sweeney, was mysteriously leaked, ostensibly with the acquiescence of the Pataki administration, which had its own reasons to oppose Sweeney.

    Now I'm sure the Democratic machine here will stifle Carolyn McCarthy and Scott Stringer before any real primary challenge happens. I'm sure the seat will belong to Kirsten Gillibrand for as long as she wants it But I'm feeling that for some upstate favors Paterson just gave the Republicans a big opening.

    But time will tell.

    •  In the big picture, ONE house seat is a deal... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Better Days, Davidsfr, joehoevah, Earl3

      ...breaker?  Talk about mountains and molehills.  We are up by something like 60-70 seats in the house right now, aren't we?  

      "the beginning of an undoing of Democratic Leadership in New York"?  That's pretty dire over one person moving from the U.S.House to the U.S. Senate.

      Yeah, Patterson handled this thing with all the grace of a buffoon, but that will all be blown over by Monday.  What matters is what Gillibrand does in the Senate.  

      There is a risk involved plucking senators for higher leadership positions, but don't we want our best minds out there leading, even if it costs us a little bit?

      I just can't get on board with all the outrage around here, about pretty much everything, like democrats appointing a democrat to fill a vacancy.  OMG - disaster!  I'm really happy that we got ruling majorities and a president with the values and potential to give me some hope for the future.  

      "When people show you who they really are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

      by Pennsylvanian on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:01:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've made a few points about Patterson (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mj171976, Pennsylvanian, klamothe

        in Please tell Governor David Paterson to cut the Bulls**t and please don't imply that I am outraged.

        But the moves of this governor each day in insuring his own reelection are making it harder and harder to tell a difference between Democrats and Republicans in this state.

        Like I wrote above "every point is solid" in my "mountains and molehills" comment but I'm not feeling the love for this governor and as all the Democratic promises from the previous campaign slip away because the party want to wait until he is actually elected, voters will be going to the polls saying "What was the difference?"  

        •  I agree that Paterson looks really weak. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eddie C, klamothe, BachFan

          Frankly, he really looks like an indecisive attention whore and this whole appointment was just handled badly.  This is why the choice of Lt. Governors is really important and shouldn't be left to patronage or hangers-on but really solid, proven leaders.  I don't know anything about Paterson's background but he's not looking too solid right now.  Believe me, our recently deceased Lt. Gov. in PA was completely unfit for office in her recent term, and I was terrified Rendell would be offered something.  It feels a bit catty to say now that she has passed away, but it really was a huge potential problem, though sadly resolved by her passing.

          As for Gillibrand, though, I'm really glad to see a woman fill the seat and Gillibrand is a solid democrat, if a more conservative one.  She reps a conservative district and will have a lot more leeway representing the state as a whole.  Calling this a disaster really seems way overboard to me.

          As for the outrage I mentioned, it's really just this general feeling that we can't even celebrate for a day after the awesome victories our party has accomplished, we just have to start attacking our own again immediately.  Honestly, it's like the circular firing squad never even took a day off.  That wasn't really directed at you, but rather just a general comment.

          "When people show you who they really are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

          by Pennsylvanian on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:19:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You don't know anything about his background (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pennsylvanian

            That is the worst part. He was on hell of a Harlem Democrat before he transferred to the Lt. Governor position.

            I try to look objectively and I'll be the first to admit how heartbroken I am over the demise of Spitzer. I wish there was something positive that I could write about Paterson. I really do. But this state needs what we elected, a Democratic Governor.

            It seems to me that nothing is happening in this state outside of shutting down programs that the voters won't notice and raising taxes on the middle class and working poor.

            As I've implied I too am happy for Gillibrand and I wish her the best. But I'm not going to savor the appointment when my gov makes Rod Blagojevich look good. Nor am I willing to become a nonobjective Democratic loyalist.  

            Believe me I'm in big time celebration mode (Yes We Did! Yes We Did! Yes We Did!) but after the last eight years there is nothing more obvious than the fact that we need to keep the feet of the Democratic leadership in the fire.

            I know that even though they bent over backwards for Bush they will give Obama grief and as small as our voices are in their opinion we need to at least try to force Democratic ideals on the Democratic leaders.  

    •  I've read that NY will lose a seat in the House (0+ / 0-)

      after the next census.

      So all we really have to do is put up with a GOPer in NY-20 for a few years, and then re-district the seat out of existence altogether.  NY-20 can be split up among the other districts, in such a way that the NY-20 Republicans don't make a majority in any of the other districts.

      With Democratic control of the governorship and state legislature, it's easy enough to do.

  •  Let me add (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BachFan, BCM, joehoevah, Earl3

    my voice to those of her constituents who support her.  She's great.  I firmly believe she's a BDINO (Blue Dog in Name Only) and as Casey notes, she repeatedly voted against funding the war, before agreeing to the short extension he talks about.  She's also great on issues of food production (formerly called agriculture) that have strong and positive implications for energy and health policy.  She'll be a terrific Senator.    

    •  Didn't I say (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joehoevah

      BDINO?  She's apparently, and perhaps suddenly, not opposed to gay marriage and is moderate on weapons issues.  She's great, I tell you.  And I think her coming from an area where she has learned about diversified farming may (if she stays in Agriculture, which may not be possible) provide important input in the food production area.

    •  When did we start... (0+ / 0-)

      ...supporting people based on what we hoped they would do in the future instead of what they had done in the past?

  •  I see the big tent is officially under the bus. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Admiral Santa, DCleviathan

    Thanks for your diary, but it appears that if Gillibrand isn't the next Barney Frank, we are royally fucked as a party and hate her, at least from what I read around here.  

    "When people show you who they really are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

    by Pennsylvanian on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:52:07 AM PST

  •  Thanks for the post -- I am happy with the pick.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Better Days, BCM, Earl3

    if it is in fact the pick!

    I think that she is a solid, down the fairway Democrat who has proven she can be effective in a conservative district.    

    She represents upstate.  A woman.   A more moderate balance to Chuck Shumer.  She helps Patterson win upstate in his re-election bid.   She is young.  Dynamic.  Accountable.  

    "Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one." - Friedrich Nietzsche

    by ActivatedbyBush on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:57:00 AM PST

  •  Financial Disclosure (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joehoevah, Earl3

    I believe that she also posts all of her financial disclosure forms online, which I believe is rare for Congresspeople.

  •  Go Carolyn McCarthy Go! (5+ / 0-)

    I will never vote for Gillibrand, if McCarthy runs against her she's already got a volunteer.

  •  Gillibrand = Clinton ? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mj171976, GN1927, adigal

    They seem so much alike. Both vote with republicans when the chips are down.Find A True Democrat for God Sakes !

  •  Howard Dean was endorsed by the NRA (5+ / 0-)

    repeatedly.

    He's clearly a conservative Democrat :)

  •  She SUCKS. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adigal, ruscle

    Politicker:

    On the issue of gay rights, Gillibrand received an 80 out of a 100 rating from the LGBT advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign. That was the lowest score out of New York’s Democratic representatives. According to the Human Rights Campaign, she voted against the repealing of “Don’ Ask, Don’t Tell” legislation, opposed legislation that would grant equal tax treatment for employer-provided health coverage for domestic partners, opposed legislation to grant same-sex partners of U.S. citizens and permanent residents the same immigration benefits of married couples and opposed legislation to permit state Medicaid programs to cover low-income, HIV-positive Americans before they develop AIDS.

    People know what they do; they frequently know why they do what they do; but what they don't know is what what they do does. -Michel Foucault

    by eamonsean on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:13:52 AM PST

    •  WORST choice ever.... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevvboy, mj171976, GN1927, adigal

      .... This might even be FIRING offense for Paterson... Dump her and Dump Paterson on the election.

      How do you choose Blue Dog that would be conservative in GEORGIA to be the hand picked Senator of Freaking NEW YORK... are you KIDDING ME PATERSON?!?!!

    •  My bad! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BachFan, ancblu, Mariken

      HRC confirmed with Gillibran’s staff additional points regarding her LGBT record:
      Supports marriage equality
      Cosponsored and voted in favor of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act
      Cosponsored inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and supports enactment of inclusive bill
      Voted in favor of ENDA
      Supports repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
      Supports repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act
      Supports equal tax treatment of employer provided domestic partnership benefits
      Voted against allowing discrimination in hiring for the Head Start program
      Voted in favor of allowing Washington, DC to fund needle exchange programs with local funds
      Supports the Early Treatment of HIV/AIDS Act (ETHA) to allow states to provide Medicaid coverage for HIV-positive persons
      Voted against procedural attempts to derail ENDA and hate crimes
      Endorsed by HRC PAC in 2008

      People know what they do; they frequently know why they do what they do; but what they don't know is what what they do does. -Michel Foucault

      by eamonsean on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:19:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  When wrong, you shout it out loud... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BachFan, ancblu

        I like that about you.

        I hate those folks that decry "flip-flopper"  What nonsense!  I don't know what you do when you discover you have held a position that is incorrect in the face o new information, but I CHANGE my point of view.

        Thank you for so quickly and LOUDLY correcting your earlier incorrect information.

        Subverting the dominant paradigm every chance I get. And I get a lot of chances.

        by Casey Morris on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:27:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Very misleading! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SadEagle
      If you check the actual HRC scorecard, you'll see that she received the 80% because she didn't co-sponsor bills that never came to a vote, not because she voted against DADT or other issues.

      If you look at actual votes and not symbolic co-sponsorships, she was 100% in line with HRC's position.

      .08 Acres
      .0000016% of Massachusetts political commentary

      by sco08 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:29:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "my bad" is the shorter version (0+ / 0-)

        of what you said.  still, i'd like to see her get out front on these things now that she's got manhattan and brooklyn constituents...

        People know what they do; they frequently know why they do what they do; but what they don't know is what what they do does. -Michel Foucault

        by eamonsean on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:33:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I would like to believe that we haven't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eamonsean

    come this far only to slip back into the abyss. I think this appointment is a major mistake. I am ready to support any real democrat who is willing to make a real challenge in a primary next year.

    "We had a decisive win... and so I don't think there is any question we have a mandate to move the country in a new direction." Barack Obama

    by pollbuster on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:15:32 AM PST

  •  Another Gillibrand Volunteer Story (14+ / 0-)

    First, Kudos to Casey!  Great right up!

    My experience as a Gillibrand volunteer, in both her first and second campaigns was very similar to Caseys.  When I first volunteered and started donating to her first campaign it was simply to turn the district blue and get rid of that a...hole Sweeney, who by the way was one of the leaders of the Republican mob who shut down the Dade County Florida recount by force in 2000.  I didn't know Kirsten from Eve at first but that didn't matter.  The first race was tight, because of the almost 2 to 1 republican enrollment in the heavily Gerrymandered district.  She ran a great campaign on limited resources, but to be completely honest, her win probably wouldn't of happened if it weren't for that 911 call by Sweeney's wife just a few weeks before the election where she called State police to her residence saying her drunken, Frat-Boy, Congressman husband was beating her.  Nice Guy!

    Anyway, she won the seat and on that 2006 election night she was the 15th Dem. to flip a district from red to blue, which made her win the one that flipped House control to the Democrats.  I was very pleased to have the candidate I worked for be the one who gave us the majority.  Within a week of her first election Kirsten went on a "Thank You" tour of her district.  She came to the State Agency in Albany where I work to meet and greet and answer questions.  Although Albany is not part of her district, she new she had gotten a lot of support among State workers and she wanted to show her appreciation.  She was nothing short of impressive.  She made a few brief opening remarks, then went right to questions.  With no notes, she answered a barrage of questions on every conceivable topic, from foreign soup to domestic nuts.  She gave clear, concise answers with no political bull.  Simply put, you could tell she knew her sh..t!

    In knocking on doors for her during her re-election campaign, I came upon one elderly gentleman with a walker.  He told me that he was a vet who had had some difficulty with the Federal bureaucracy in getting the Vet benefits he needed and deserved.  He said that after a single call to Gillibrand's office her people got right on it and walked his paperwork through the system so he promptly got the aid he needed.  He was very grateful.  I had heard that Vets are very high on her priority list, and I guess this just goes to show that she walks the walk as they say.  

    My latest interaction with her office was during the TARP debate last Fall.  It was after the first vote on the Paulson plan which failed, and just before the second vote.  If you remember, the second bill had strong support by the Dem. leadership who bought into the Bush spin of "give us the money now or our country will die."  I sent an E-mail to Gillibrand thanking her for her first NO vote, and urging her to vote no again, because I thought there should be more strings attached to the money and Congress should more control since we should of learned by now not to trust the Bush administration.  She wrote back to me after the second vote which passed, to tell me she had again voted NO, for many of the reasons I stated in my E-mail.  I was very impressed by this NO vote, and I think it says a lot about the kind of Representative Kirsten is:

     - First, she listens to and responds to her constituents.
     - Second, she takes her constituent's views into account when she votes.  No, I don't just mean my views, I mean her whole district.  The mail she was getting plus polling in her district was overwhelmingly anti-TARP.
     - Third, she didn't swallow the Republican hipe machine, of pass this now or the world will end; and
     - Last, and most important, she bucked the Dem. leadership who were very much in the tank for this bill.  That showed courage, especially since she is reportedly very friendly with Nancy P., and was taking an obvious political risk in voting NO.  But, she knew, as she indicated to me in response to my E-mail, that without appropriate Congressional controls placed on the Bush administration, taxpayer money could be squandered, and she was right.

    Lastly, for those who do not know her, she is a work-aholic, dynamo (unlike Sweeney who was an alcoholic, slouch).  She is married and lives in a rural area just outside the city of Hudson in upstate NY.  She has a little 5-year old boy and had a second child during her first term in Congress.  She is a dedicated mother returning home every week to be with her family.  If you take a look at her schedule, you will see when she is not voting or in Committee she is busy meeting with people to get input on the various issues.  When Congress is not in session, you can find her conducting town meetings throughout her district to get as much input as she can from her constituents.

    Bottom line is she will make a great Senator, and I have no doubt that her heart lies with a progressive agenda.  I am also not concerned about her being able to get elected in 2010.  Once the State gets to know her, they will like her I'm sure.  That's how she won re-election in her district where she beat a Republican opponent with deep pockets and who didn't beat his wife.

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:25:26 AM PST

    •  Constituent Service (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      faithnomore

      Is really important.  Don't forget, in the coming year, there is going to be a boatload of stimulus money coming out of Washington.  Paterson wants to make sure that there is a very skilled legislator representing NY in the Senate who is going to steer as much of that money as possible to NY State.  That's Gillibrand, I seriously doubt that it would have been Kennedy.

      •  you know what i consider good (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mj171976

        Constituent service... closing down the loophole at Gun shows so killers don't get guns without background checks and Kill your Constituents.

        NOW THATS Constituent Service!

        You know what ELSE i consider CONSTITUENT SERVCE.  Repealing DODA and DOMA because it treats our Neighbors as SECOND CLASS citizens.

        now THATS Constituent Service!

        You know what ESLE i consider CONSTITUENT SERVICE?
        Providing a legal pathway to illigal immigrants so the guy serving me at the counter doesn't have be living in HIDING FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE.

        now THATS constituent Service!

        Why is GILLBRAND on the WRONG side of these issues??!! why isn't she providing THESE services.

        she was a PETHATIC choice and she WILL go down in 2010 primary! period.

    •  from Villiage voice (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927

      Gillibrand has described her own voting record as "one of the most conservative in the state." She opposes any path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, supports renewing the Bush tax cuts for individuals earning up to $1 million annually, and voted for the Bush-backed FISA bill that permits wiretapping of international calls. She was one of four Democratic freshmen in the country, and the only Democrat in the New York delegation, to vote for the Bush administration's bill to extend funding for the Iraq war shortly after she entered congress in 2007.

  •  Consider Her a Caretaker (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eamonsean

    She will have to convince a lot of Downstate Liberals™ she deserves to be renominated in 2010. If Cuomo really wants it he can take her on.

    Caroline, we barely knew ye.

    The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by easong on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:25:38 AM PST

    •  If Cuomo Wanted It, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      easong, Earl3

      Gillibrand wouldn't be getting it.  Gillibrand is very close to Cuomo (she worked for him at HUD), and if he really wanted the Senate seat, I think she would have taken her name out of contention.  I always thought that Cuomo really wants to be Governor, and I'll bet he struck a deal with Paterson that Paterson will only run for one term, leaving the path open for Cuomo in 2014.

    •  In your dreams. (0+ / 0-)

      Watch for her on the national ticket in 2016.

      She is Obama-smart.

      "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." General Nathanael Greene, Continental Army, April, 1781.

      by faithnomore on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:04:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What is your evidence for this? (0+ / 0-)

        She represents me, and we barely know her! She is not a friend of the poor.

        My new bumper sticker: Cheney-Satan '08

        by adigal on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 09:04:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My "evidence": (0+ / 0-)

          From my comment above

          My experience supports everything Casey says.I live right outside her district, or soon-to-be former district, and also have seen Kirsten several times.   In some ways, she is kind of a "good" Palin. That is, she is very attractive, and presents herself well in public events.  Except, she really knows what she is talking about, and has fundamentally Democratic values. But reporter trying to trip her up will be in for a big surprise.

          I've seen her three times. Twice campaigning and once in a "Congress at Your Corner" event, near the northern tip of her 150 mile-long district. Before taking questions, she talked for about 10 minutes about the issues she was dealing with in Washington (before taking questions and dealing with constituent issues). She spoke without notes, to about two dozen people. During the entire presentation, I remembered later, there was not a single "uh", "um', or "you know". I thought of this that night when I saw both Obama and Hillary on TV. The same could not be said for them. Gillibrand is very good.

          I think her District is fairly representative of upstate NY.    After a close victory against the execrable Sweeney in '06, she annihilated her opponent in 2008. In spite of Treadwell, a trust-fund millionaire and career Repulbican pol,  spending  millions of his own and 'Pub money, and using every Rovian dirty attack ad imaginable.  

          Any Dem wishing to challenge her on her lack of liberalism, or whatever, should certainly not quit their day job.  

          Obviously, I have no idea that if she will be a national candidate in 2016, but I see in her the intelligence, overall knowledge, savvy, & appeal I saw in Obama several years ago.  I have NEVER seen a candidate, Obama included (other than in mass rallies where Obama certainly rules),  present him/herself as well as she does in terms of knowledge and personal appeal. And I have seen a few, including both Clintons.
          And to compare her to D'Amato, well, that cannot be from someone who knows anything about her.

          To be clear, I am talking about political skills, not necessarily her positions, or basic character. Which are probably ok.

          "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." General Nathanael Greene, Continental Army, April, 1781.

          by faithnomore on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 11:57:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, please, she has a little girls' voice (0+ / 0-)

            and is certainly no better at public speaking than anyone else in Congress. She is no Obama, who is able to inspire and influence, just using his voice and words. Not even close.

            My new bumper sticker: Cheney-Satan '08

            by adigal on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:11:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK, here it is. (0+ / 0-)

              Obama, who very well might be a great President, is, as I said, matchless in giving speeches before large crowds.

              He was also mediocre in one-on-one, or small group situations.  This was cited frequently in the media, (as was his oratorical superiority), and it was well-known that his handlers refused to let him do town-hall meetings with McCain.  When he went on Olbermann last fall, he was so lame that my wife turned to me and said, "He's going to lose." Fortunately, not.  
              Gillibrand would  certainly be no Obama before large crowds. Nobody would be.  But she is, as Casey, myself, and most others here agree, excellent before  small to medium groups.  I don't know about most in Congress. I've seen a few pols live, including both Cuomos, Kerry, Spitzer (he was very popular not long ago), Kucinich, Dean, and a few others.  Dean was the only one as good as she.

              As for her voice, well, it doesn't seem to have hurt her.

              "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." General Nathanael Greene, Continental Army, April, 1781.

              by faithnomore on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:38:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  No, she is "d'Amato smart". (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GN1927

        She's got nothing to do with Obama.

        ZERO.

        She comes from a Republican family, that is tied up with people like the Felon Alphonse.

        But, given the putrid weakness of the Democratic Party, you are probably right, she'll be on the ticket in 2016.

  •  Voted with Dems 93.3% of the time (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Davidsfr, faithnomore, Earl3

    Uh, that's pretty damn good, folks.

    I finally put in a signature!

    by Boris Godunov on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:27:27 AM PST

    •  except when she didn't vote with the dems (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927

      ... it was to keep to Don't ask don't tell, keep the loophole at gunshows, and immigration issues.

      But at least she passed the tarp--- what BS.

      Paterson should have known and he shuold have done better.

      •  I guess Paterson isn't about litmus tests (0+ / 0-)

        I would bet you dollars to donuts that Gillibrand will vote to repeal DADT when Obama calls for it.

        I finally put in a signature!

        by Boris Godunov on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:26:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  agreed... (0+ / 0-)

          ... but what about path to citzenship for immigrants which she has been against... or closing the loophole at gunshows or preventing the sale of automatic machine guns.

          She is on the WRONG side of soooo many issues but we are suppose to be OK with her because she has a D infront of her name.  

          Give me a BREAK Paterson.  She will be out by 2010
          .

          •  Look at TomP's diary (0+ / 0-)

            Already supporting gay marriage.  My guess is she will move left on the other issues.  She reflected the opinion of her constituents in NY-20.  Now she has a much different constituency.

            I finally put in a signature!

            by Boris Godunov on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 09:31:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  And 93% Dem voting record (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Earl3

            Indicates "sooooo many issues" is a major exaggeration.

            I finally put in a signature!

            by Boris Godunov on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 09:32:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  From villiage Voice (0+ / 0-)

              From the villiage Voice "Gillibrand has described her own voting record as "one of the most conservative in the state." She opposes any path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, supports renewing the Bush tax cuts for individuals earning up to $1 million annually, and voted for the Bush-backed FISA bill that permits wiretapping of international calls. She was one of four Democratic freshmen in the country, and the only Democrat in the New York delegation, to vote for the Bush administration's bill to extend funding for the Iraq war shortly after she entered congress in 2007. "

      •  There was no vote on Don't Ask Don't Tell (0+ / 0-)

        She didn't vote against it, she just didn't cosponsor the bill that never came to a vote.

        Call her a coward for not sticking her neck out on a bill that had no chance of passing a presidential veto, but don't say she voted against it.

        .08 Acres
        .0000016% of Massachusetts political commentary

        by sco08 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 09:30:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm well pleased (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LNK, BachFan, Earl3

    I've met her twice, and was impressed both times. But more importantly, I have been involved in grantwriting, and her office is VERY eager to be involved with both the writing process and with letters of support.

    It's a small thing, but it's important. Constituency services can make or break a congressperson/senator - a lesson Jesse Helms taught and Elizabeth Dole learned the hard way.

    Kudos to Kirsten; now the only problem is finding a strong Dem to keep NY-20 blue!

    "Our brighter days are still ahead. But we have to invest in our people again. It will require us to all come together." -Obama

    by Word Alchemy on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:34:48 AM PST

  •  conservative for the state (0+ / 0-)

    She'll get primaried and I hope a more liberal Democrat wins the nomination.

    100% NRA rating -- not good.

    •  I Suspect, (7+ / 0-)

      That your views of New York have been shaped by media stereotypes.  New York is not anywhere near as liberal as is generally believed.  We have had a Republican Governor who was elected by large margins, and a Republican Senator, D'Amato, who was elected for 3 terms.  Even the Democratic Senators, Moynihan, Clinton, and Schumer, are not particularly liberal.  And its not just upstate/downstate.  NYC has had Republican Mayors for the past 16 years.  And while Dinkins was quite liberal, he was elected in a squeaker and defeated by Giuliani in the re-election.  Before that, there was Koch, who is about as conservative a Democrat as you are going to find.  In fact, before Dinkins, the only really liberal Mayor that NYC had was Lindsay - who was elected as a Republican.

  •  I live in NY..she better be good. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Earl3
  •  beautifully written (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    faithnomore, BachFan, Casey Morris, Earl3

    I'm an old man so please don't take this the wrong way--you wrote this in a forceful, direct manner--what I was taught was a masculine voice.  You've come a long way, baby!!! My daughter writes this way and that makes me so proud.

    •  I love you.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mariken

      And my Dad would have LOVED this comment.  I have tears in my eyes thinking about how much he would love this comment from you about my writing style.  Thanks so much for that.  

      And thanks for teaching your daughter so well.  We need her, and you should be proud.  She didn't learn that in school.  She learned it from you.  And it's my guess here that her mom was no slouch either!

      Subverting the dominant paradigm every chance I get. And I get a lot of chances.

      by Casey Morris on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:30:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  even freaking Rudy "911" Guiliani is more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MJ via Chicago

    ... pro-immigration than Gillibrand or as she's known around NRA circles Killbrand...

    Thanks for NOTHING paterson.

  •  Member of my extended family (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    faithnomore, LNK, BachFan, Earl3, Mariken

    I never met Kirsten, as she is only a distant, distant relative.  Kirsten Gillibrand is my step-father's cousin and he worked on her 2006 campaign - a seat that has been held by Republicans for almost 30 years.    

    While I cannot speak about Kristen or many of her policies, I do know my step-father.  He is one of the MOST liberal people I know - for socialized medicine, very much involved with the peace movement, long time environmentalist, strong supporter of marriage equality, believes in an activist government, the whole nine yards.  A lot of my early political beliefs were shaped by his influence.  If he supports Kirsten Gillibrand, the rest of us should have no problem supporting her.  

  •  she is my congresswoman also-- (0+ / 0-)

    the upshot:  Maurice  Hinchey would have been a better choice but Paterson caved due to pressure from the women's block that puts gender ahead of substance.

    Which candidate will rescind Executive Order 13233?

    by el vasco on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:56:58 AM PST

  •  Thanks for substantial diary! Gillibrand (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    djs, BachFan, Casey Morris, Earl3

    might be a political choice, but this IS politics and politics is the art of the possible.

    One of my highest priorities is to see a Senator who can beat all and any Republican challengers.

    Media Reform Action Link http://stopbigmedia.com/

    by LNK on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:07:13 AM PST

    •  This is New York... we don't need someone (0+ / 0-)

      THAT conservative to be elected... she is more Republican than most that will run in New York.

      I am about as progressive as it gets... if she doesn't lose the primary... and Bloomberg or some other moderate republican comes along thats on the RIGHT side of Guns, Gays, and immigration i'll be voting republican for the first time in my life.

  •  But is Kos happy? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moira977

    That's the real question.

  •  Newspaper column my father wrote on Gillibrand (8+ / 0-)
    Here is a column about Gillibrand that my father, Ronald H. Bailey, wrote for a local Upstate New York newspaper in February of 2007. My father, who is one of the most liberal people I know, has only one misgiving about Gillibrand being selected as Senator--he will be losing a good Congressperson and they will be hard-pressed to elect another Democrat in a strongly Republican district. FYI, my father is a former senior editor for the old weekly LIFE Magazine and has written or contributed to more than 100 books. And, before people start yelling about "fair use" because I am going to post the entire column, my father owns the copyright to the article and I can't link to it because the local paper doesn't have a website. Here is the column:

    >>
    Originally published February, 2007

    By Ronald H. Bailey

    Don't tell my wife, but I fell for our new Congresswoman long before I ever met her. This was nearly three years ago in those heady days when a group of area people got together every month in the Howard Dean meetups. When it became distressingly clear that our candidate was stumbling badly in the Democratic presidential primaries, we lowered our sights began to focus on unseating the 20th district Congressman, John Sweeney.

    A couple of people from our group traveled upstate to a meeting of what would become 20TrueBlue, a grass-roots organization dedicated to replacing Sweeney. Any sane person would have recognized this as a hopeless task. The district is bizarrely shaped like a fishhook, including all or parts of ten counties and bypassing cities even as small as Oneonta, intentionally gerrymandered to provide an overwhelming Republican registration superiority of 2-1 over Democrats.

    But our people came back with astonishing news. A young lawyer named Kirsten Gillibrand had attended the meeting. She was one of those rare upstate natives, the fifth generation in an old Albany area family, who had gone elsewhere to become a resounding success in the larger world and was now returning home. She was said to be attractive, bright, articulate and--best of all--experienced in political fund raising. She reportedly thought she could raise the million or so bucks necessary to wage a competitive campaign. I swooned.

    As it turned out, Gillibrand had the good sense not to run in 2004 and thus avoided the John Kerry debacle and the lackluster Democratic performance in the Congressional races. Then, during the summer of 2005, 20TrueBlue convened a meeting in Delhi. The word: Gillibrand was considering the race, had done some polling with promising results, but wasn't yet certain.

    I waited anxiously and wasn't disappointed. Finally came the news that she would run. When local Democrats met her for the first time in Stamford that autumn of 2005, she was everything we expected and more--and almost young enough to be my granddaughter. I signed up immediately to do some writing for the campaign, and in the days before the professional pols took over, several of us local enthusiasts enjoyed a couple of conference calls with Kirsten and her husband, Jonathan, in which we contributed ideas and advice.

    Kirsten came to Delaware County repeatedly during the campaign. One visit sticks out vividly in my memory. Frank Bachler, our supervisor in Meredith, invited a number of area farmers to his house to talk with the candidate about agricultural issues. What I remember is how Kirsten sat there with a legal pad in her lap, furiously making notes on what the farmers had to say. Unlike most politicians, she professed to have no answers, but showed that she was there to listen and take away what she heard.

    Now that she's done what few thought possible and actually won the Congressional seat, Kirsten might be forgiven for easing up a bit. She hasn't. She has gained membership on two important committees. She's on the Agricultural and thus able to carry the concerns of our local farmers and on Armed Services and thus in a position to voice the our misgivings about the war in Iraq. She also put her money where her mouth is on ethics. At the end of each working day she posts on her House web site the names of the lobbyists she met and the issues they discussed.

    Nor has she given up on listening to the folks back home. A couple of Saturdays ago, she came to Delhi as part of her ambitious Congress At Your Corner program. It was the sixth in a series of visits to communities in her district aimed at discussing issues, listening to people's opinions and even to helping them with problems they may be having with a federal agency. This is a down payment on making good on her repeated promise to provide "accountability and accessibility."

    Despite the lack of press coverage--the event was on, off and on-again at the last minute--perhaps 60 or so residents showed up at the Delhi Great American around noon. Legal pad in hand, she gave a quick rundown of what was happening in the House of Representatives--for example, minimum wage increase, cut in student-loan interest rates, end to oil industry subsidies--and answered questions on the war and other issues. She voiced strong disapproval of Bush's escalation in Iraq.  And in answer to a question, she said if the Bush administration bombs Iran without Congressional approval, it would be grounds for impeachment.

    Kirsten demonstrated once again her her knack for disarming critics by engaging in give-and-take with even hostile questioners. She went patiently back-and-forth on the war with my strong-minded fellow columnist, Nick Albaugh. Nick is the peace advocate who picketed in protest outside the Shaver Hill Farm in Harpersfield a year ago, when she formally announced her candidacy--and then dashed inside to elicit her precise views on the war.

    One middle-aged fellow in the group at the Great American told Kirsten proudly, "I'm a Republican, but I voted for you, and I'm glad I did." She beamed. "I speak for you," she told the group, "I could not be more honored to serve."

    Later the new Congresswoman attended a reception with members of the county board of supervisors--fewer than half showed up--and then a public forum at Delhi College. The forum was intended mainly to focus on flood-related matters, but she allowed it to cover any issues people wanted to talk about. She spoke up for marketing of locally grown produce and beef as well as dairy products.

    Industrial-scale wind turbines came up, as they had earlier at the Great American, and the fact that thousands of local people have signed petitions opposing them. She strongly favors renewable energy, but acknowledges that big turbines are not appropriate everywhere and that local communities should be consulted on density, size and siting. On this and other issues, she promised to set up meetings with one of the district staff members accompanying her.

    Not long after her visit, the New York Times began an occasional series of articles offering an inside look at Gillibrand and her life and challenges as "The Freshman." Less than two months on the job, the Times pointed out, "she often looks like a candidate who is still on the run." She is, of course; the Republicans look at her 53 percent margin in a district they thought was theirs and make her defeat a prime priority for 2008.

    <<

  •  I gave her $$ in 06 but not 08 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MJ via Chicago

    and that's my way of thinking now. She's more liberal than her voting record, but she might find other 'reasons' for staying a blue dog. We'll see. If she does, she'll find lots of opposition.

    Paterson made a lame choice, but not a terrible one. I'll hold my guns until this time next year.

    My guess is she'll vote in the majority 99% of the time, and her support on bills will be a non-factor. I'm more interested in what issues she may LEAD on, now that we're losing a real Senate leader.

  •  voted? (0+ / 0-)

    Did she vote in every mayoral election, including primaries, over the last 20 years? If not, she should, according to the front pagers, be disqualified.

    Or is yet another ridiculous standard that only applied to Caroline Kennedy but not to anybody else?

  •  Schumer and Gillibrand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Earl3

    I note the tradition that the junior senator follows the lead of the senior senator.

    Dare I ask.......?

    Compare and contrast Schumer and Gillibrand?

    I'm in NYC ........

    I'm hoping for Senators who are quick studies in understanding issues and who can explain themselves to us. . . . . and who are not overly beholden to corporations/Wall St./military-industrial-entertainment-prison complex.

    I think it's up to us to do more work bringing society along.....Progress....comes from below........

    Media Reform Action Link http://stopbigmedia.com/

    by LNK on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:15:51 AM PST

  •  My mind's open... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in RI, Earl3

    about Kirsten as my Senator. Though this is my hometown Congressional District (where, when growing up there was basically a "snowball's chance in hell" of being represented by a Democrat), little is know about her by me.

    Hopefully, she will prove herself to be sensitive to the viewpoints of ALL of her constituents as a Senator, not just those of the conservative Congressional District which she had represented.

    Another concern of mine is why the Governor decided to cede this Congressional seat back to the Republicans (which is most likely what will happen in the election to replace her). It was such a monumental victory for her to be able to win and retain this seat.

    This is a good choice from the perspective of trying to give some balance to the state's political power base where, currently, there are few, if any, major statewide players from upstate New York.

    Will try to keep my mind open, for now, and give her a chance to prove herself. Should she disappoint me in the next couple of years, there will likely be a few options for me to support in 2010.

  •  I had the same reaction as you did Casey (5+ / 0-)

    and I live within her district also. She has been the most constituent reactive rep I have ever had. I really, really, really wanted Kennedy to make it but now that she is out I think Gillibrand is a good choice and has the opportunity to become a great Senator.

    http://www.artistval.com

    by Alizaryn on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:30:19 AM PST

    •  You must live in a wealthier part of her district (0+ / 0-)

      because we in the poorer areas never see, nor hear of her. That has always been my problem with her - she is a republican in democratic clothes and is a corporate girl all of the way.

      I am glad to be rid of her in NY20.

      My new bumper sticker: Cheney-Satan '08

      by adigal on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 09:10:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What area do you live in? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Earl3

        She does Congress in your Corner everywhere.

        Have you called the office to asked to be notified of any of her visits to her area?

        All you have to do is call her office once and ask when she's coming and you will be asked if you want to be on the lift to be called when she will be there?

        Subverting the dominant paradigm every chance I get. And I get a lot of chances.

        by Casey Morris on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 09:15:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, I haven't called her office since I called (0+ / 0-)

          to complain about her support for the war through funding. I live in the Warrensburg area, and she has not been here.

          Oh, she does go to lakefront houses in Bolton Landing quite a bit, I do know that.

          My new bumper sticker: Cheney-Satan '08

          by adigal on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 09:28:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  WTF are you talking about? In Queensbury. etc... (0+ / 0-)

            She's been in Queensbury, Saratoga Springs, Lake Placid, with Congress on your Corner.

            Did you ever call the office and say, "Hey, when the hell is she coming to MY area?"

            She came to all around your area, but where were you in your responsibility to hold her accountable instead of just complaining?

            The responsibility goes BOTH ways, Adigal.

            Subverting the dominant paradigm every chance I get. And I get a lot of chances.

            by Casey Morris on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:17:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  WTF I am talking about, Casey, is that (0+ / 0-)

              she has not been a frequent visitor to areas with smaller pocketbooks. Do you know my area AT ALL? Are you seriously comparing Warrensburg, where 2/3 of the storefronts are empty, including my old shop, to Saratoga Springs and Queensbury and Lake Placid??? I don't think you know the area at all!!

              I had a progressive shop in the county for three years, and she never visited the town, never gave a damn about small businesses. All of this, Oh, she is so involved, is total bull.

              My new bumper sticker: Cheney-Satan '08

              by adigal on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:28:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  And I didn't complain, because I know big shots (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Alizaryn

              are her favorite constituents. She was not worth my time to waste. If you have a million, or a lakefront house, she will come visit. Good old Dartmouth girl.

              My new bumper sticker: Cheney-Satan '08

              by adigal on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:30:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think you are dramatically overstating this.. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Earl3

                Why didn't you challenge her to come to your area?  I have never seen her shrink form a fight or a challenge yet?

                Better still, why not call her office or go over her website for a review of all of the places she has done Congress on your Corner and add some facts to you allegations?

                Absent that, this looks like you are blaming her for the economic woes of an area that has LONG had major economic woes.

                And after three posts, I am still confused as to exactly WHAT you expect from her that she hasn't done?

                Subverting the dominant paradigm every chance I get. And I get a lot of chances.

                by Casey Morris on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 12:39:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I have called her a few times, and once we got (0+ / 0-)

                  a bit heated, so she does not respond anymore. And before you call me a crackpot, i am an educator, owned a store for a number of years, and am a dedicated, devoted Democrat, so I do not overstep my bounds. I expect her to come up with some legislation helping small businesses, oil for the poor, etc. Gee, if an idiot like me can come up with those two plans, she should be able to come up with more in 3 years.

                  I am glad she is going.

                  My new bumper sticker: Cheney-Satan '08

                  by adigal on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 03:35:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I would NEVER call you a crackpot, Adigal... (0+ / 0-)

                    I have followed many of the things you have written over the years here at Kos, and you are no crackpot.

                    I think we simply disagree on this matter, and I think that your experience is that you got really shitty service from you rep., and that your rep wasn't interested in serving the needs of you financially strapped community.  And your conclusion was that she wasn't interested in meeting those needed for exactly that reason, that your community IS financially strapped and had nothing to offer her politically.

                    I understand what you are saying, and I can't disagree with what your experience has been.  But I disagree with the motives you ascribe to why your experience has been such.

                    I live in a community that is farmers.  Family farms that have been handed down for a zillion years, and the community is interested is staying non-McMansion land.  I am a democrat surrounded by NRA members and conservative Republicans.

                    That's the community I live in.  I know some of Warrensburg, but not a lot of it.  What kind of legislation do you think that Kirsten could have supported or sponsored that would help your community?

                    Though our discussion started with constituent services (that you clearly did not find adequate), I am also wondering what committees you would like a new rep to sit on, and what kind of legislation they could work on that you thinking will help you part of the district.

                    Subverting the dominant paradigm every chance I get. And I get a lot of chances.

                    by Casey Morris on Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 12:01:45 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  I'm a self employed "starving artist" so no (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Casey Morris

                representing the wealthy end of things...like I said she has impressed me with her involvement. Sorry that she disappointed you, lets hope she does a better job in the Senate and changes your mind.

                http://www.artistval.com

                by Alizaryn on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:10:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Two things - (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BachFan, joehoevah, Mariken

    One

    ...our district includes part of ten different counties in New York.  That's quite a bit of road time.

    Not the easiest roads, either.

    Second, over hear in the rural part of her district, near Cooperstown (where the joke is that you can throw a rock and have a better chance of hitting a deer than a Democrat), I've discovered that rare bird: the liberal Republican. It's not that hard to nudge them over to their liberal roots. Just take guns off the table and you're halfway there. Promise not to raise their taxes, and you got 'em.

    On everything else, they're actually pretty lefty. They think the government should stay out of their personal business, like medical decisions. They like medicare and social security. They're very populist.

  •  She sounds like a fine choice (4+ / 0-)

    She holds "Congress on Your Corner" meetings all over her district all the time.

    As long as she recognizes that she now represents the entire state, not just her R+3 district, I am sure her hard work will win people over. Give her a chance.

    Well? Shall we go? Bush - the proud arsehole of America.

    by whenwego on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:39:32 AM PST

  •  At a private gathering... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Manhattan Dan, djs, Dave in RI, BachFan, Earl3

    ...I had a heck of an argument with Kirsten about her vote to fund the war and will attest to the fact that she does not run from controversy. Even after I told her I no longer wanted to discuss it, I was too angry at her and didn't want to lose my temper, she returned twice to continue the conversation with me.

    She strongly believed that if we didn't fund the troops, Bush was nutty (my word) enough to allow them to run out of bullets. (I thought he would never allow that, it would be political suicide for him, but now I think her theory about Bush may have been justified.)

    The discussion resumed, both our voices raised, then I lobbed the missile: I told her she could take responsibility for the subsequent deaths of our soldiers by voting to continue the war.

    Someone eventually dragged her away. I was told that after our argument, she was in tears. This was shocking to me - a politician with feelings? Did something I say get through? I don't know. But I wasn't as angry with her after that. I was just embarrassed that we both let the discussion get so heated at a friend's get-together.

    As senator, Kirsten will need to buck up for future battles. I'd prefer she become a leader that educates her constituents about the right (correct, moral, ethical) actions to take and not use the excuse, "I'm in a Republican district!" to keep the country from making progress.

  •  I have read damn near this whole thread now (6+ / 0-)

    I am in another corner of the country (WA) and have not set foot in NY state in about 18 years,so I have been gathering all the information I can on Rep. Gillibrand, so that I might get a better handle on this appointment.

    I'm coming to the conclusion that Gillibrand's antagonists on the "left" might be seriously underestimating her as a legislator, as a campaigner, and as a politician.

    The more I read about her, the more she reminds me of the U.S. Representative in my adjoining District, Rep. Adam Smith (WA-9). Adam has been pretty roundly excoriated by peace activists and other self-styled "progressives," whatever that means and whoever is to decide.

    Yet Adam's outreach to his constituents can be described with only one word -- relentless. He does exactly what the diarist says Gillibrand does -- runs TO them and not away from them.

    Adam took a swing District away from Randy Tate, one of the worst right-wing Christopaths ever to represent WA in Congress, and has made himself unassailable in any election. He is generally considered a front-runner to fill any Senate vacancy here, should one occur (I hope not any time soon).

    If the diarist's description of Gillibrand's approach to constituent outreach and services is accurate, and if she can extrapolate that level of service to a statewide constituency, I'd guess her chances to be elected to a full term would be better than some posters here appear to think.

    My own personal agenda aligns pretty closely with that of Dennis Kucinich. Yet I can support Representatives like Adam Smith because of his almost insane work ethic and sense of responsibility and public service.

    If Gillibrand turns out to be a female Adam Smith, I'd be sending her money.

    "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

    by Ivan on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:50:00 AM PST

  •  When she ran, I was thinking of running, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mj171976

    but was told she was a Friend of Hillary, and would have her backing and support. It is all clear to me now. Like Hillary, she is a corporatist, and those of us in the north, the poor part of her district, never see hide nor hare of her. She does NOT care for the poor of this district.

    Corporate girl - just like her buddy Hillary. I am glad to be rid of Hillary, and Gillibrand, too. Now maybe someone will run, like the Republican Betty Lyttle, who actually cares about the people in my area. She would have gotten my very Democratic vote over Gillibrand.

    My new bumper sticker: Cheney-Satan '08

    by adigal on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 08:58:51 AM PST

  •  Thanks for the excellent post -- NRA issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Casey Morris

    Thanks for a great post.  I was initially upset with the choice of someone with 100% NRA approvale rating.  But, with her other qualities, I will get over it.  

  •  count me as just glad it wasn't Andrew Cuomo (0+ / 0-)

    Until this morning, I don't think I'd thought about her since she defeated Sweeney.  From what I read, her conservative leanings notwithstanding, it strikes me as a wise choice.

    "If we believe that all humans are human, than how are we going to prove it? It can only be proven through our actions." Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire

    by djs on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 09:02:16 AM PST

  •  Welcome Kirsten! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joehoevah

    I'm feeling much better about you, and hope that the Kennedy camp will stop stewing in their own venom.
    I don't think attacking Governor Paterson is the way to go.

  •  Well this should answer the issue (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, GN1927, MJ via Chicago

    Paterson is about to announce the appointment and there up front to show support is none other than Al D'Amato...

  •  I'd rather have this lifetime New Yorker than the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Earl3

    complete fraud that she is replacing.  This is NY business.

  •  I put money that she votes against Obama's budget (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, mj171976, GN1927

    stimulus package. This is a terrible choice, plain and simple and she is a Democrat in name only.

    "A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave." Mohandas Gandhi

    by HGM MA on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 09:59:45 AM PST

  •  I was depressed about her till I read this! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joehoevah, Earl3

    After seeing some "Blue Dog" accusations here yesterday, I had come to think that Gilli was an old-school CongressCritter. But your post shows that there is more to her than I thought, and I'm very optimistic that maybe she's a new breed, that will contribute to the evolution we need in Congress.

    Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits. Satchel Paige 1906-82

    by threesmommy on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:03:34 AM PST

  •  Carolyn McCarthyill is livid that Gillibrand was (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MJ via Chicago, Paladine

    picked and vows to challenge her in two years.  Wow.

    When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. JFK

    by yowsta on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:13:22 AM PST

    •  Good for her! n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yowsta
    •  Carolyn McCarthy, bless her heart, makes a career (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Earl3

      out of being livid. And she's good at it. After all, she truly has experienced much about which to be livid. And she has fought the good fights.

      But la Gillibrand has genuine star power. She's terrific on her feet, and has great camera and stage presence.

      If she strays too far to the right, she'll be primaried, but don't underestimate her.

      Having one Senator from New York City and another from upstate provides a geographical balance, and the incumbency will give New Yorkers a chance to get to know Gillibrand.

      I'm not sure she would have been my first choice for the seat, but I think it'll be hers as long as she wants it.

      I can understand how McCarthy, Cuomo, and others can feel.....being left unpicked while the seat goes to the Rookie of the Year. But life is not fair. And we are all entitled to a hissy fit, once in a while.

      Everybody on this board will eventually get over it, and this woman will be an excellent Senator for many years to come.

  •  Carolyn McCarthy (0+ / 0-)

    When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. JFK

    by yowsta on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:14:48 AM PST

  •  Not impressed at all (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mj171976

    All this time, for THIS pick? Please...

  •  NY State is not conservative, it's not Republican (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mj171976, GN1927, MJ via Chicago, Paladine

    Sorry, but I'd rather not see Al d'Aamto's felonious moon face on my TeeVee, standing behind Gillibrand.

    Wrong choice.

    For a whole bunch of reasons.

    This choice is a slap in the face to liberals and progressives, in a State that is liberal and progressive. Gillibrand was fine serving in NY-20, a throwback district. She is not representative of the State of NY.

    •  This whole thing just doesn't smell right n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, GN1927
      •  Care to expand? (0+ / 0-)

        I think Caroline was forced out. Paterson didn't want to pick Gillibrand and create a war now, while trying to work on a budget due April 1. I'll bet Kennedy will get a nice spot in the Obama administration for taking a bullet for Paterson.

        What's your theory?

        "As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It's Alaska" -- Gov. Sarah Palin

        by makemefree on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:39:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  NY is liberal and progressive? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BachFan, carllaw

      It's liberal and progressive in NYC and suburbs. Upstate has always been more Republican. Remember, it had Pataki as governor FOR 12 YEARS! And a Senate run by Republicans since the 1960s, I believe. So let's not overstate the case. N.Y. politics is more complicated than that.

      What we know is this. This seat is really going to be tested. There will be elections in 2010 and 2012. If N.Y. turns dark blue and Gillbrand doesn't evolve, she'll quickly be in trouble. I'm hoping she evolves and becomes a great senator.

      "As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It's Alaska" -- Gov. Sarah Palin

      by makemefree on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:37:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's watch the hypocrisy here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Admiral Santa

    We were very critical of the Republicans when they ran Congress that they marched in lockstep and there was no room for debate. They all voted as they were told to by DeLay or Karl Rove or whoever else called the shots.

    We see what happened to them. Could they have stayed in power if they had a left-wing to their party? Somebody or some faction that would have tempered their crazier thoughts and actions? I think so.

    I think the Democratic Party is big enough to have a right-wing faction. Some faction to temper our own crazier left-wing ideas, as long as we all come together on the important issues.

    So we don't know yet what kind of senator Gillbrand is going to be, but I do welcome a fellow Democrat - a young, attractive Democrat who is a hard worker - into the Senate and wish her good luck.

    "As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It's Alaska" -- Gov. Sarah Palin

    by makemefree on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:28:02 AM PST

    •  I detect the Sarah Palin effect. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      makemefree

      "young, attractive Democrat"

      What the hell does that have to do with anything.

      •  the Palin effect? (0+ / 0-)

        Young, meaning if she builds a base, she will lock down a seat for the Democrats.

        Attractive doesn't hurt in politics. I think that was a big part of Palin's appeal. I also think attractive male candidates also have a big advantage.

        But unlike Palin, I think Gillibrand's record speaks of an intelligent candidate. If my candidate is smart, everything else will fall into place.

        "As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It's Alaska" -- Gov. Sarah Palin

        by makemefree on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:43:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Will another Democrat hold NY-20? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Earl3

    I admire Rep. Gillibrand, and my sole reason for having opposed her immediate elevation to the Senate was the need to hold NY-20 for another cycle until it could be un-gerrymandered from its current +R PVI.  We'll be wanting to take out the 23rd in the next cycle of redistricting, and having that one contiguous with another district held by a Republican will be a problem.

    Holding the 20th will be a problem.

    Sure, a Senate seat trumps a House seat, but it seemed to me that any good Democrat would have held the Senate seat, and we didn't need to put the House seat at risk.

    Gillibrand will be a formidible force for Team Democrat whatever office she holds, and I look forward to decades of service from her in the Senate. I don't look forward to the next election in NY-20. Hopefully, at least we won't have Sweeney wanting his old job back.

    REPUBLICANS: The Older White Meat.

    by AdmiralNaismith on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:43:44 AM PST

  •  Is that Al D'Amato standing next to her? (0+ / 0-)

    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 11:03:11 AM PST

  •  a few potential issues (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elishastephens, GN1927

    I've read that Gillibrand gets an "A" rating from the NRA and anti-gun Rep Carolyn McCarthy says she will primary her in 2 years.

    I'm not that psyched about having another 'blue dog' in the Senate - even if she makes herself available to her constituents.  I'd rather have someone that votes progressively and is less available.  Votes matter more than face time.

    Do we have someone to take her house seat?  Does the Gov. appoint her successor in the house?  We finally got this seat away from the Rethug's.  Are we risking giving it back?

  •  heard she was also Albany High School prom queen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Earl3
  •  One question for Casey Morris (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you for the thoughtful, heartfelt, and informative post.  It's helped on an otherwise difficult day here in New York.  I have a question, which you may or may not be in a good position to answer.  For those of us for whom Caroline and Ted Kennedy's endorsement of then-Sen. Obama meant everything last spring, especially here in New York, given his major opponent, how do we avoid the overwhelming sense that this messy and callous denouement is payback for that endorsement?

    If you are looking for signals about where she might fall in terms of Democratic philosophy, I would encourage folks to look to who she supported in her primary choice last year: Hillary Clinton.  It's my experience in speaking with her that her political views are in very much in line with Hillary Clinton's views.

    Regardless of whether Kennedy was the right pick or whether she handled it well, I feel horrible that this is how we've treated her.  Between Patterson's fumbling and what looks like a well-played campaign by Clinton allies led by Schumer, this takes me back a year in New York politics, a terrible place to be on Jan. 23, 2009.

    [Yes, I know it's a long comment, thank you!]

    •  to be fair... (0+ / 0-)

      Most of the NY delegation supported Hillary.  (Very few pol's in IL supported Hillary.)  It would have been political suicide if they didn't - especially if Hillary won.

    •  Payback? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      carllaw, Earl3

      A Senate seat should be handed to Caroline Kennedy?

      If Obama wants to pay back Caroline for her support, he has plenty of offices he can appoint her to.

      N.Y. is a mean and nasty place. What good would it be for the Democrats to give her a free ride, and then she gets ripped up by the Republicans? And her own actions had more to do with crippling her candidacy than anything Schumer did. Let's be real.

      Besides, I'm not sure, as a Democrat, I would want to hand the Senate seat over to a person who is inexperenced as 1) a candidate 2) a legislator.

      I think Gillibrand earned her chops. Let Kennedy earn hers on the battlefield. Then we will see.

      "As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It's Alaska" -- Gov. Sarah Palin

      by makemefree on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 11:24:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, I think the situation was unprecedented... (0+ / 0-)

      The NY press was bored and needed meat.

      I think that Jane Hamsher was ALL ABOUT payback for Carolyn Kennedy's support of Obama.  If Carolyn wanted to have the seat, she needed to be very "in your face", you bet your ass I'm taking this seat.

      My sense was ALWAYS that she didn't really want it.  Ever.  I think that the idea was tht she was more of a placeholder, and was willing to do it as a favor to democrats and to her uncle.  It would have been a good move, but Paterson needed to move FAST to make it work, and by it, I mean Kennedy takes the seat, raises gajillions of money, while voing with the Democrats 100% and doing good work on educations and arts issues.  In 2010, she then supports whoever the Democrats REALLY wanted for the seat.

      My feeling was always that CK was about buying time and raising money for 2010.

      She was savaged as payback for Kennedy support for Obama.  The whole monarchy stuff was bullshit.  Note that Kos has been curiously silent on the subject of monarchy about Gillibrand, who is about five generation of politics in New York.  Somehow, he now thinks it's SUPER to have a "conservative" Democrat for the next two years instead of a liberal Democrat in the Senate.  Kos fucked up on this and was lead down the garden path by Jane Hamsher.

      Fortunately for him, though, Gillibrand isn't conservative anything, and she is well educated in financial and regulatory matters at a time when we need that desperately in a Senator.

      Subverting the dominant paradigm every chance I get. And I get a lot of chances.

      by Casey Morris on Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 12:16:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for this (0+ / 0-)

        It's not what I wanted to hear, but it settles the question.  I really don't want to go back to where I was a year ago, marching up Broadway with 25 other people screaming Barack Obama's name at the top of my lungs in the freezing cold, with foreign tourists and African-Americans in Times Squ. cheering and half the people on the upper west side glaring and booing, but this really takes me back.

        I'd like to believe you about Gillibrand, but so far she seems like Sarah Palin Esq. crossed with Dana Perino and born into the Albany machine.

        Makes you proud to be a New Yorker, doesn't it?

  •  hysteria re: Blue Dog Mike Thompson (0+ / 0-)

    for Interior Secretary was also generated by dKos commenters who knew nothing re: Thompson's district or Thompson's real, and quite good, record on environmental matters (got a huge wilderness bill passed and signed by Bush, very good record on salmon, solar energy, etc.), as attested to by the guy who runs the local Environmental Center, no centrist he, I talked to him a couple weeks ago re: the online hysteria painting Thompson as some kind of James Watt.

    For those who missed it, Thompson's name was floated for Interior Secretary. Dozens of dKos diaries were posted based on one slanted article in Grist magazine (quoting a "Sonoma County  environmentalist" view of Thompson without noting such quotee was a Cynthia McKinney supporter, so of course he doesn't like any Democratic politician). One of the greatest "horrors" (in addition to a "throwaway" vote on Bush's salvage logging bill that was going to pass anyway) seemed to be the thought that Thompson was a HUNTER!! OMG!!

    Skepticism is a virtue -- as are multiple sources -- and not just when you're reading MSM or watching Fox.

  •  English official language (0+ / 0-)

    According to her campaign website, Gillibrand "believes English should be made the official language of the United States and she opposes providing non-emergency taxpayer benefits to illegal aliens."

    Eli Stephens
    Left I on the News

    by elishastephens on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 11:13:16 AM PST

    •  This will have to change (0+ / 0-)

      But you have no idea how nuts people are about illegal immigrants in upstate N.Y.

      "As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It's Alaska" -- Gov. Sarah Palin

      by makemefree on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 11:26:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  She is Perfect (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    makemefree, Earl3

    I just heard her talk.
    I could not imagine Caroline having this kind of chemistry and interplay with her audience.
    This woman has already won two tough elections in a Republican district.  She might be up against Rudy in 2 years.
    Upstate NY is very disgruntled because they feel they have been neglected, they are ripe for a Republican.
    Paterson did the right thing.

    Good work, Governor.

  •  Alternative to NRA (0+ / 0-)

    As a sensible alternative to the NRA, let me suggest the American Hunters and Shooters Association which is headed by KOS diarist Ray Schoenke:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Ray supports the 2nd Amendment with reasonable restrictions that all of us can live with and was an active campaigner for President Obama. Ray's best recommendation comes from the NRA which hates him because he has called out their lies and extremist views.

  •  i thought she was a good pick (0+ / 0-)

    she's not perfect, but it's better for the
    party to have people who have fought and won elections
    and to not have coronations.

    We were looking at this november

    Senator Salazar Junior,

    Senator Kennedy Junior,

    Senator Biden Junior

    and one more.

    I'm sorry,  the reason i hated Bush was his only credential was his name.
    If Caroline Kennedy is deserving of the title, she will win it.

    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

    by nathguy on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 12:24:32 PM PST

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