Friday, January 23, 2009

Sen. Gillibrand

I'm not overly surprised that Gov. David Patterson (D-NY) went a little off the board with his appointment to the senate. Formerly Congresswomen Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is a proven campaigner, defeating an incumbent congressmen is never easy even if it is beating a Republican in New York in 2006. She will likely face a primary challenge in 2010. How strong that primary challenge may depend on her ability to seem like a tougher fight than the man who appointed her. The man to watch is apparently New York AG Andrew Cuomo. However, Cuomo will have to make up his mind as to whether he wants to try to be governor or senator. Frankly, junior senators are not all that powerful in the senate. If they have a profile like Secy. Clinton or Pres. Obama did when they were in the senate, it can be useful as a stepping stone. However, for relative unknown Gillibrand, her appointment may be the last you hear from her until 2010 unless you're watching a lot of C-SPAN. There was speculation before Clinton's appointment to Foggy Bottom that she might have been mulling a run at the governor's mansion precisely because she had no interest in waiting for New York's senior senator, the relatively youthful and powerful Chuck Shumer, to retire before she could get real power in the senate. The choice of Gillibrand should eliminate any charges of sexism against Kennedy. Gillibrand is clearly more qualified for the job than Kennedy, despite her low profile. It will also be nice to have someone not eligible for social security in the senate (Gillibrand's only 42). Gillibrand's appointment does open up a seat in congress in a red part (Cook says R+3) of New York. This is the kind of special election - winnable district in the northeast - the GOP is going to have to win if they're going to stage a comeback in the near future. Republicans hold no seats in the house north of New York state and have been reduced to just three seats in New York. Just like it was panic time when Democrats were getting swept out of Senate seats in the south a few years back, the big blue swath that is New England will need to change if the GOP wants to be a national party again.

No comments:

All views expressed in this blog are those of the author and the author alone. They do not represent the views of any organization, regardless of the author's involvement in any organizations.

All comments are the views of the individual writer. The administrator reserves the right to remove commentary which is offensive.

The author is not responsible for nor does he support any of the advertisements displayed on the page