Is It Kirsten Gillibrand?

Apparently (according to WPIX) Gov. David Patterson has made his choice to fill Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat. Her name is Kirsten Gillibrand and she’s a Congresswoman from upstate NY.

Sources say Gillibrand, a blue-dog Democrat and a good fundraiser, would be an asset to Paterson in any bid for election in 2010. However, since her name has moved high on the list of candidates, there has been criticism of her voting record and of her support of the National Rifle Association.

Color me surprised. Anne Kornblut must have written her piece before the apparent pick was known:

With her abrupt exit this week from consideration for the Senate, Caroline Kennedy added her name to a growing list: women who have sought the nation’s highest offices only to face insurmountable hurdles.

Like Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sarah Palin before her, Kennedy illustrated what some say is an enduring double standard in the handling of ambitious female office-seekers. Even as more women step forward as contenders for premier political jobs, observers say, few seem able to get there.

Of course, Palin is thrown in there more in an attempt to keep this from appearing to be a whine than an analysis. But, in fact, Kennedy underwent far less scrutiny and far fewer vicious attacks than did Palin. And those on Kennedy certainly weren’t ideologically driven. She simply wasn’t ready for prime-time and it showed. That has nothing to do with ceilings – glass or otherwise.

Speaking of ideology, the Village Voice wonders if Gillibrand is “too Republican” for NY:

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.

But here’s the shocker:

Ironically, Chuck Schumer, who defeated D’Amato in 1998, is said to be Gillibrand’s top Democratic champion. What’s even more ironic is that Gillibrand has a one hundred percent rating from the National Rifle Association, and Schumer made his own national reputation as a sponsor of the assault weapons ban and a fierce proponent of Brady bill and other gun control legislation. Gillibrand even opposes any limitations on the sale of semiautomatic weapons or “cop-killer” bullets that can pierce armored vests. Schumer’s other signature issue is the care and feeding of Wall Street, and Gillibrand voted against both of the Schumer-supported financial service bailout bills last fall, which have delivered billions to New York, salvaging institutions like Citigroup. An editorial in Crain’s, the city’s premier business news magazine, said recently that Gillibrand “should be disqualified” from seeking the senate seat “by her politically expedient vote” against the bailout.

Meanwhile, Andrew Cuomo keeps his appointment for the second fitting of his bridesmaid dress. In the world of state politics, it appear a more conservative (but Democratic) Senator from upstate NY would be more useful to a Paterson gubernatorial run than would a run-of-the-mill liberal Democrat. Besides, NY already has one of those.


Strange bedfellows.


[Crossposted at QandO]

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