Friday, January 23, 2009

Another odd Senate pick

I don't know too much about Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Governor Paterson's choice for Hillary Clinton's old Senate seat, but from what I've read this morning, she's pretty conservative as Democrats go. She has a 100% rating from the NRA, she supported telecom immunity, she used to work for Al D'Amato, etc. She's had some pretty anti-gay stances, too, but has demonstrated some recent flexibility on that issue.

Now, all this might be justifiable if she were being appointed to a Senate seat in, say, Colorado, where a moderate voting record would be really helpful in the next statewide election. But she'll be running in New York, where liberals like, say, Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton can win statewide. Meanwhile, elevating her to the Senate means opening up a moderate district to a special election which could easily go the Republicans' way.

Most peculiar.


Steve Balboni said...

Thanks for acknowledging the obvious about this pick. It seems most bloggers who opposed Caroline Kennedy are either ignoring the story or desperately spinning.

I've been emailing with Ezra Klein and he's just embarrassing himself.

But at least she's not an aristorcat! Oy vey.

Milan Chatterjee said...

I agree that this was an odd pick. I was hoping for Andrew Cuomo to be chosen for this senate seat. I find Gillibrand to be a vulnerable candidate for the 2010 election. Cuomo or Steve Israel may challenge Gillibrand during the primary and remove her with the support of the NY liberal base. There's also a possibility for a NY Republican like Peter King (A moderate) to win this seat.

The candidates chosen for the 3 seats were disappointing this year.

Milan Chatterjee said...


Russ Feingold is going to introduce a constitutional amendment this upcoming week to end the governor's right to appoint senators. There will be a special election instead. This is in response to the odd senate picks. Do you think this amendment will pass?

Seth said...

Interesting. Well, with all of this year's appointments now made, I'm guessing this issue will pretty quickly fade from public attention. So I doubt there's all that much hay to be made from actually pushing a constitutional amendment at this point, given how much energy and time that requires. Still, I'm curious to see who signs on.