Gillibrand And Progressives: A Primary Challenge And A Focus On Issues

Discussing the lay of the land now that Kirsten Gillibrand has been appointed to follow the now-Secretary of State as New York's junior senator, I think the focus on payback and finger-pointing by some folks is misguided. It seems to me that the idea should be to affect issue outcomes. In that vein, I believe a Senator Gillibrand will be especially susceptible to progressive influence. That should be the focus of progressives now.

The main pressure point Senator Gillibrand will face is a potential primary in 2010 from a credible progressive opponent. I have long believed that primaries need not topple an incumbent to be effective. The threat of the primary will often provide strong incentive for movement towards progressive positions by challenged Dem incumbents. In two cases, that of Reps. Jane Harman (who was primaried) and Ellen Tauscher (who was threatened with a primary challenge), the mere threat of the primary pulled the representatives to the progressive view on key issues. So it could and likely would be with a Senator Gillibrand. More . . .

What makes Gillibrand a particularly prime target for this type of pressure is the makeup of the politics in New York. When you evaluate Gillibrand going forward (and looking back for that matter) - watch her positions on economics and foreign policy - she'll give you all you could want on privacy, choice and gay rights. Heck, I imagine when you compare her to Schumer, she'll be his twin.

As Nate Silver notes, the New York GOP is not the GOP of the South. Nate correctly states that "an upstate New York sort of conservative is different from an Alabama sort of conservative." But what are those differences?

The differences lie mostly in the social issues realm. Take a look at the NYGOP website. Look in particular at this:

Why Am I a Republican?

I believe in the promise of America and the goodness of the American people.

I believe that the roots of our society are found in strong families, personal faith, solid communities, and love of country.

Personal faith? As you can see, public evangelicism is not a big seller in New York, even among Republicans. As we know now, Gillibrand has already shifted her positions to support gay marriage. she has always been pro-choice. These are issues where Gillibrand will gladly and safely move Left. The GOP piece continues:

. . . I believe that government and governmental programs should be efficient, and provide full accountability for the practices and policies it’s leaders propose and implement.

I believe in the spirit of free enterprise, in which capitalism is the best means to keep our economy running strong, both now and in the future.

I believe that while government can and should be the provider of some essential services, it should function with limited taxation, financial efficiency and the adoption of innovations to allow taxpayers to get the most for their hard-earned tax dollars.

Small government conservatism on economics is still the strong message for the New York GOP (though it clearly never really practiced it.) It is here where Gillibrand should be pressured. for it is in this area that "Blue Doggism" among Dems causes the most harm.

. . .I believe that governments [sic] first and foremost responsibility is the providing of safety and security to our citizens. I believe that the rights of law-abiding citizens should outweigh the rights of criminals and that the enforcement of existing laws, combined with the addition of innovative, common-sense policies, is the best means of furthering a civil society.

Hard lines on foreign policy and against "criminals" is still the calling card for Republicans in New York. More

I believe that our natural environment is a precious resource for all humankind, and that citizens and government should work together to implement common-sense policies that allow for both environmental protection and economic growth.

Protecting the environment is truly a bipartisan issue in New York. Gillibrand will have no problem holding the progressive line on the environment. Now watch how the NY GOP finishes up its pitch:

I believe that in the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, all persons are created equal, and that I oppose discrimination in any form, against any person, and for any reason.

I believe in an inclusive political party, a party with a “big tent” approach where I am encouraged to share my beliefs and to disagree with those who share opposing viewpoints.

This is not the Limbaugh/McConnell/Cantor GOP. New York is different. Gillibrand will move easily to the progressive position on social issues and the environment. Watch her and pressure her on economic and foreign policy issues. Those are the areas where progressives should bring pressure to bear. Gillibrand will neutralize her Left flank on the social issues. That's the easy part. But what will she do on economic and foreign policy issues? A potential primary challenger should focus on those issues.

Speaking for me only

< Friday Open Thread | President Obama On Senator To Be Gillibrand >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Unless things change (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 01:44:00 PM EST
    She was reportedly strongly backed by Chuck Schumer and has been a huge fundraiser.

    She also sparred with Spitzer on immigration on his unpopular plan to give illegal aliens driver's licenses.

    I think the governor was looking to his own re-election in 2010, but if he thought people would vote her out in 2010, then it doesn't seem logical that they would vote for him for seating her.  I think Patterson feels she is a strong candidate and will easily win re-election in 2010.

    Whether Gillibrand wins (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 01:45:40 PM EST
    both a primary and a GE is not my point here.

    My point is about THE ISSUES and how to INFLUENCE Gillibrand.


    Who cares who she really is "inside"? (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:11:32 PM EST
    I just care what she does and how she votes.

    Precisely (none / 0) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:16:31 PM EST
    In a sense, I could not care less what legislator REALLY THINKS. I only care how they REALLY VOTE.

    You say "she'll never be (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by chezmadame on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:51:02 PM EST
    [Caroline] Kennedy" as if that means something. I'm not willing to give up one of my state's senate seats to someone simply because she campaigned for Obama.

    Good Thing (1.00 / 2) (#68)
    by squeaky on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:57:28 PM EST
    You are not in charge and the adults are running things.

    Already Moving Left (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by squeaky on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 01:54:17 PM EST
    "For many in New York state, this is the first time you've heard my name and you don't know much about me," Gillibrand said at a ceremony in Albany. "Over the next two years, you will get to know me. And, more importantly, I will get to know you."


    During the news conference, Gillibrand complimented all of the state's female House delegation, offering an olive branch to McCarthy who she said has "provided outstanding leadership in fighting against gun violence and keeping our children safe. I pledge to work with her on her signature bill for updating background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals."


    Something tells me that the NRA are going to change their 100% rating of Gillibrand shortly.

    heh (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 01:56:18 PM EST
    Ok, if she's already feeling the pressure, this could work out.

    She did vote no on FISA. (5.00 / 5) (#48)
    by allimom99 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:26:02 PM EST
    She did oppose the bailout over accountabiliy issues. She is supported strongly by Hillary. I'm going to watch the votes. She could surprise us all.

    You know, BTD said progressives will have (none / 0) (#79)
    by cpa1 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:39:40 PM EST
    to work to keep her in line.  He's right but why should we have to do that, in NY, no less?  I really don't like it that Paterson did this.  Imagine if she joins the gang of 14 or however many of those pigs are left.

    Not voting for the TARP based upon accountability standards, while the banking system almost crashed is horrible and what the Republicans and the Blue Dogs did.  

    If Gillibrand votes for tax cuts or votes to prevent the raising of the taxes on the rich, Paterson will be the one that gets hurt and he should.  He picked a Democratic version of Sarah Palin because he wanted the ya hoo's votes.

    I didn't want to have to worry about this Senate voter.


    Her seat is up in '10 (none / 0) (#41)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:16:30 PM EST
    and again in '12. Rarely are Senators so often held to public vote.

    Principled pols (none / 0) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:17:40 PM EST
    is an oxymoron.

    Most do not have any core value (5.00 / 0) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:32:03 PM EST
    but getting elected and reelected.

    I'm suggesting (none / 0) (#66)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:53:41 PM EST
    she holds the same core values all pols hold - getting elected and reelected.

    Key word in your sentence (none / 0) (#81)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:22:11 PM EST

    Ok, that kind of seals it for me. She's (5.00 / 0) (#13)
    by tigercourse on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 02:01:26 PM EST
    clearly willing to move left. I'm guessing she's going to be shooting (pun intended) for a Schumeresque voting record. A liberal primary challenge is a good idea though.

    Kos is hopeful that KG is 'evolving' (5.00 / 0) (#20)
    by byteb on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 02:55:30 PM EST
    but I think he's deep into making lemonade out of lemons since he was pretty disparaging of Kennedy. I wonder if he imagined that a Blue Dog would get the nod?
    How much better it would have been to appoint a true progressive to the seat rather than a blue dog Dem with strong ties (via Dad) to the Republican Party. Seeing Al D'Amato beaming with pride behind her during the press conference was a bit offputting.
    I agree that she's malleable to pressure if she wants to keep her Senate seat and I hope that the pressure begins asap.
    I'll be keeping my eyes open. In the meantime, I hope a strong progessive candidate emerges to challenge her.

    Paterson made the pick (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 03:57:13 PM EST
    not Kos.

    I had no problems with Kennedy, but apparently there were problems.

    The question is what do you do now?

    Many seem intent on acting as if Caroline Kennedy was s star progressive that Dems let slip through their fingers.

    It seems to me that is not an accurate portrayal.


    Pols are pols (none / 0) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:27:57 PM EST
    Why are you acting as if pols are principled? they ain't.

    Kos (none / 0) (#23)
    by WS on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 03:01:10 PM EST
    should focus on more and better Democrats.  I have no idea why he likes Tester so much.  Tester's voting record is better than a Republican but that's not exactly saying much.  

    Thank you (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Jjc2008 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:39:24 PM EST
    In my view, KOS is about as progressive as Arianna, (another ex republican who worshipped Reagan, hated the Clintons).  I think the obnoxious and repugnant policies of a dolt like W, forced many former rethugs to reconsider.  Making money off pretending to be a progressive has worked well for a few.

    A while back (none / 0) (#74)
    by cal1942 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:36:19 PM EST
    it may have been a couple of years ago Eric Alterman wrote, in Altercation, that he felt he should be given some credit for moving Huffington from right to left based on a lunch or dinner conversation he had with her.

    From that I make the assumption that Arianna is nothing more than a brand that was adjusted for a different market. And Kos ...


    Interesting (none / 0) (#77)
    by Jjc2008 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:48:28 PM EST
    Thanks for sharing.

    I like Alterman and it would be nice if he is right. But to me, Arianna is far from progressive.  To me she seems more about the politics of personal destruction.   But that is just an opinion from afar.


    I agree (none / 0) (#86)
    by cal1942 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:38:52 PM EST
    that's she's not a progressive. I think she switched sides for commercial reasons.

    Bloggers like Kos and Ariana ... (none / 0) (#75)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:36:51 PM EST
    are like the pols BTD mentioned above.  No principles or morals.

    They hold whatever positions that get them the highest speaking fees, and the biggest ad revenues for their sites.

    Yesterday, one of the banner ads on dKos was from a defense contractor.


    Kos doesn't have approval (none / 0) (#80)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:39:40 PM EST
    on individual ads, nor does pretty much any other blogger.  Far be it from me to defend Kos, but this is one thing he's not guilty of.

    Look at her voting records (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by jen on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 02:55:28 PM EST
    and stands on the issues here:

    On The Issues

    It's confusing that she's called a Blue Dog... She scores as a "Populist leaning liberal". She has stood up for all the right causes and people - except gun control.

    I like about 95% of her stands on issues and votes and I am NO Blue Doggie!

    Strong advocate for women, children, health care, poor and middle class, strongly opposes privatizing and reforming that ole "entitlement" of social security. She strongly favors alternative energy over coal/oil, in favor of finance reform and against lobbyists gifts, strongly favors same sex partnerships, strongly believes abortion as a woman's right to choose, was an out of Iraq with a timeliner, YES on requiring warrants for wiretaps/FISA; YES on more congressional oversight of CIA interrogations, YES on restoring habeaus corpus, voted YES on getting troops out of iraq in 90 days; YES on paper ballots, as for tax cuts- she voted twice to extend the tax cuts for the MIDDLE CLASS (not the "bush tax cuts") She did a lot of pro bono as an attny for abused women and children, tenants and safe housing, voted YES on lobbyist disclosure of bundling (that's hugely progressive) YES on assisting workers who've lost jobs due to globalization and "free trade", opposes school vouchers, FOR the implementation of the 9/11 commission suggestions, even opposed the Bilderberg North American Union highway!

    On the bad side she did vote FOR restoring immunity to telecoms -- but so did O and he was pretty much "pardoned" for it by the bloggos. I think she'll be a very good advocate. Caroline doesn't even support dems..... and she has some cash to throw around.

    h/t ms in la

    and from Chris Bowers:


    [ ... ]Case in point: the Wall Street bailout, otherwise known as TARP. Gillibrand voted against it back in October, then she voted in favor of the auto bailout in December, then voted in favor of Barney Frank's oversight bill on Wednesday, and then voted against the release of the second half of the funds yesterday. This makes Gillibrand one of about only 40-50 House Democrats who would have voted the same way I would have voted across all four of those bills. [ ... ]

    EXACTLY. I think she could be (none / 0) (#54)
    by allimom99 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:34:35 PM EST
    pretty good. I have good friends from the North Country, so I will be interested to see what she does.

    Remember that Pat Moynihan more or less passed the chance for his seat to Hillary. then she went out and earned it. Gillebrand may do the same.


    Labels and actual votes & positions (none / 0) (#69)
    by christinep on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:08:21 PM EST
    Good recap, Jen. I'm not sure who does have the perfect record. Even the Montana's Gov. Schweitzer & Sen. Tester are strong western 2nd amendment gun rights advocates. Even Sen. Feingold supported confirmation of some "interesting" appointees such as DOJ's Ashcroft. Perhaps, muttering about primary opponents and whatnot might be premature? She may actually bring some important upstate strength with her. (By the way: I've noticed here and in other blogs, the use of "primary/primar-ied" as a verb. 'Just a general comment apart from your remarks, Jen.)

    Medical Marijuana (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Ben Masel on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 03:58:48 PM EST
    Gillibrand voted to imprison medical marijuana patients and caregivers.

    The Hinchey/Rohrabacher Amendment to the Dept. of Justice budget sought to bar use of appropriated funds to arrest or prosecute in States with medical marijuana laws.


    Democrats 150 Aye, 79 Nay
    Republicans 15 Aye, 183 Nay

    I suspect (none / 0) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:01:02 PM EST
    you will be lobbying her to change her views on this subject.

    Why not? Shouldn't our leagislators know (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by allimom99 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:28:01 PM EST
    what we want, directly from us? I think that's an excellent idea!

    A movement arises . . . (none / 0) (#58)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:40:44 PM EST
    Gillibrand will be fine (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by chezmadame on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:25:50 PM EST
    Many of us down-state liberal democratic New Yorkers are happy with the choice.

    Gillibrand will be beholden to the entire state, not just to her upstate district, and this will help her to keep the focus on economic and social progress for the middle and working classes as well as for the disadvantaged.

    Now if only someone could persuade the "progressive" safely ensconced in the White House to do the same.

    So what, watch her tax votes? (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 01:38:43 PM EST
    NYBri seems convinced that she's going to do a 180 on the problematic issues. Her welcome flip-flop to support gay marriage is one such example.

    I wonder about two issues where she's taken a hard line: immigration and guns. Those are two issues in New York that are still politically divisive. I think she could easily get away with changing her position, to some degree, on both. And I think to escape losing a primary challenge, she'll have to.

    She will flip flop on immigration (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 01:41:21 PM EST
    I think folks overstate the potency of the gun issue amongst liberals.

    Certainly people who opposed (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 01:43:47 PM EST
    howard dean did. But New York is special: it's the center of the gun control universe in America.

    I disagree (5.00 / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 01:46:18 PM EST
    the issue is dead now.

    I doubt it impacts many voters at all.


    Your thesis is supported (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 01:50:47 PM EST
    by Obama's position on guns, which would have been unthinkable for a Democrat 10 years ago.

    But I would suggest to you that there is a reason why big city mayors are still fighting the battle, and the state of the economy makes it likely that the crime they are responding to will just get worse.


    I Took A Public Policy Course (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by daring grace on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 03:53:57 PM EST
    (years ago) with a professor who was also a conservative upstate New York
    Republican office holder (Republican, natch).

    I said once in class I didn't understand why there weren't better gun control laws on the books given peoples' concerns about violence etc.

    He smiled and asked me what politicians had lost their jobs for voting AGAINST gun control...


    Carol McCarthy may have the only scalp (none / 0) (#31)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 03:58:35 PM EST
    However, I think there might be some examples from the south of conservative white Democrats who found themselves in newly minority-majority districts

    I Was A Starry Eyed Idealist (none / 0) (#71)
    by daring grace on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:16:21 PM EST
    and, I think, framed it in terms of Reagan's shooting and his press secretary Brady's injuries and the gun law campaign that emerged with him as the poster boy. My (idealistic) point was: How can republicans ignore the violence that was visited on some of their own, etc. etc.?

    And his response was both the one I cited and that hey, kid, other people view these issues in other ways like: you don't control the gun, you control the gun wielder, etc.

    Maybe because we were on completely opposite ends of the political spectrum (but first and foremost he was performing as an educator), it was one of the best learning experiences in politics I've ever had.


    Yes, there is a reason why (none / 0) (#30)
    by Radix on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 03:58:08 PM EST
    Big Cities Mayors, all politicians for that matter, use these issue, it's easier than addressing the real problem, income and opportunity in-equality.

    What makes you think she'll (none / 0) (#15)
    by Maryb2004 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 02:02:40 PM EST
    flip flop on immigration?  She seems to have taken some strong stands on it.  

    Pols are pols . . . (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 02:29:25 PM EST
    Now she needs Latino votes.

    We'll see. (none / 0) (#18)
    by Maryb2004 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 02:45:12 PM EST
    This was a very useful post, by the way.  I'm enjoying all the meta fingerpointing going around the blog, but I do prefer issues.

    acceptance (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by jedimom on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 01:54:35 PM EST
    I am thrilled with Gillebrand :0)

    She stated in her acceptance speech she WILL support Carolyn McCarthy's bill on gun control...

     she is a hunter and her mom shoots the turkey every yr at Thanksgiving, upstate NY is red...I dont have any issues with her at all :0)

    of course this election taught me I am a moderate now, in 92, 96, 2000, 2004 I was a liberal...


    Oh don't say that she's a hunter (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 02:02:08 PM EST
    Then we will have to revisit the days of PDS again....

    Priceless (none / 0) (#8)
    by lilburro on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 01:53:18 PM EST
    from your kos link:

    "'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,' Van Capelle said."

    NY Daily News

    What a difference a 30 day conversation makes, if the timing is right.  

    Now hopefully ESPA will maintain its influence upon her so that she isn't just a supporter but an advocate.  That's a lot of power I'd think - to get on the phone right before the announcement and change somebody's position!  Ah New York.

    bzzt (none / 0) (#9)
    by lilburro on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 01:53:48 PM EST
    sorry, I meant 30 minute conversation, not 30 day.  If the conversation with ESPA was even that long.

    You're right (none / 0) (#17)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 02:29:43 PM EST
    She'll be fine.  If she was savvy enough to win as a Democrat in her GOP district she'll win state-wide, and that will require more progressive positions and votes.  As a left to the left of center Democrat I think it is a solid pick and do not mind the obvious self-interest at work in Gov. Patterson's decision (politicians, self interest???).

    Just as when MLK aksed LBJ how a former Southern Senator could be so bold as President in the matter of civil rights, and LBJ repsonded "free at last, free at last," the same liberating dynamic will be at work with this new Senator.  And she is by all accounts a talented politician.

    BTD, keep up the good work on the torture, civil liberties issues.

    her opponent was weighed down with scandal. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by byteb on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 02:58:14 PM EST
    They were itching to dump him.

    What about EFCA? (none / 0) (#21)
    by Lolis on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 02:56:35 PM EST
    i am nervous on her stance on unions. Any idea whether there will be enough pressure on her to support the Employee Free Choice Act?  From what I hear, Dems are having trouble rounding up their members on this one.

    She's for it and has excellent ratings (none / 0) (#33)
    by Teresa on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:00:29 PM EST
    from unions from what I can find.

    Well (none / 0) (#61)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:42:55 PM EST
    She is obviously on the Left on some issues.

    Now the question is about the other issues . . .


    "I Believe" (none / 0) (#24)
    by SOS on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 03:01:24 PM EST
    blah blah

    What a mess (none / 0) (#25)
    by SOS on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 03:06:00 PM EST
    I knew Obama was inheriting a mess. But it's apparent it's even more then I could even imagine.

    WTF happened to this country?

    Because, by and large, we bought (none / 0) (#36)
    by Radix on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:04:56 PM EST
    into the "Greed is Good" mantra. There's good reason why greed is considered a sin.

    Why gamble? (none / 0) (#26)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 03:41:36 PM EST
    Pressure is good, but the situation didn't have to exist. There were other candidates that were better suited to the job in NY.

    My rep has been challenged and still is terrible. And I live in a middle class district in a solid Democratic area. Yet he's still against woman's rights, stem cell and voted for the war and FISA. It's not easy to unseat them once they have the party leadership behind them.

    Well (none / 0) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 03:43:56 PM EST
    Since we did not get to pick the person, there was no gamble at all.

    This is the lay of the land now. If your point is why did mean old Kos go after Caroline Kennedy, well, he explained his thinking many times. I never agreed with him.

    I was fine with Caroline Kennedy. But it did not happen.

    I am talking about what to do now.


    Unseating (none / 0) (#35)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:04:54 PM EST
    My point was that it's very hard to unseat an incumbant that has the party backing. (As in the case of my district) I agree that the decision has been made and now we go from there. My reference to other candidate was not directed at CK, but there were at least two other candidates that seemed to fit NY better.

    Gillibrand (none / 0) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:09:43 PM EST
    can be "persuaded" to "better fit" the entire state.

    that should be our focus now.


    As I resident of New York, (none / 0) (#55)
    by byteb on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:36:14 PM EST
    I'm fully prepared to do my bit in helping 'persuade' KG towards holding positions that fit New York State and not just upstate NY. If she doesn't evolve, she won't have my vote.

    One more thing, upstate NY is RED and not in some genteel, mild mannered country club Republican kind of way. The folks up there would fit in rather easily in any southern town. My daughter went to college in upstate NY and it was an awakening. It's a testament to the genius of Hillary Clinton that she was able to win the votes and affection of those Reagan Democrats. Don't kid yourself for a minute that upstate NY isn't God, guns and anti-gay Red.


    Well, given that (none / 0) (#57)
    by dk on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:39:26 PM EST
    Gillibrand is now just the second US Senator (after Feingold) who publicly supports same-sex marriage, one wonders why she wasn't tarred and feathered or hung in effigy up there yet.

    They won't (none / 0) (#60)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:42:05 PM EST
    byteb is quite mistaken about upstate.

    It has only been a day (none / 0) (#63)
    by Lolis on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:49:08 PM EST
    since she's held that position ... I'll be curious to see what kind of response she gets from the more conservative parts of the state.

    Not evangelical (none / 0) (#59)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:41:35 PM EST
    New york is quite different from the South.

    you are quite mistaken on this.


    Central PA is a bit like the South (none / 0) (#62)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:47:17 PM EST
    Upstate New York is like New Hampshire.

    VERY Astute Comparison (none / 0) (#87)
    by daring grace on Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 01:11:29 PM EST
    From someone upstate in an area that trends both blue (in the cities--Albany and environs) and red in the suburbs and rurals.

    yes, not evangelical like the South (none / 0) (#67)
    by byteb on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:55:01 PM EST
    this is true.

    You are very generous to call Al (none / 0) (#46)
    by Joelarama on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:23:43 PM EST
    Giordana "misguided" on this.  He's essentially blaming Netroots progressives who dared criticize the proposed Kennedy appointment for the Governor's decision to appoint a Blue Dog.  If there is any other point to his argument, I can't see it, and it's worse than misguided.

    From what I have learned about Gillibrand, her record is too conservative, although it remains to be seen how she votes when she represents New York.  As a person, however, I like her as a contrast to Kennedy, and that other media star, Sarah Palin.  This is a young mother with the substance that Palin lacks, and that Kennedy has rarely allowed us to glimpse.


    What (none / 0) (#76)
    by cal1942 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:47:24 PM EST
    Gillibrand did in her home district was for the purpose of getting elected in that Republican leaning district.  You must get elected to be a statesman.

    What she does as a Senator in a Democratic leaning state may be different.

    The one thing about this that annoys me is taking the very real risk of giving up a House seat when others could have been appointed without giving up anything.

    New York v Illinois--an observation (none / 0) (#78)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 06:32:48 PM EST
    about process v outcome.  The Blagojevich appointment process was as bad as it gets, but Roland Burris has a progressive record and most Democrats will be pleased with his senate votes.  The Paterson appointment process, while a little clunky, was eons better and different in kind but resulted in a blue dog Democratic senator whose positions appear to require some kneading to fit the progressive mold.    

    Burris is a disaster (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:22:50 PM EST
    We lose the seat in 2 years.

    You Called It (none / 0) (#84)
    by squeaky on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 09:45:08 PM EST
    And convinced me. It was lose lose all around.