In New York, Governor Paterson and his Senate choice, Kirsten Gillibrand, are in political trouble

Following up on the Illinois story below, the political situation in New York doesn’t look good for the Governor, David Paterson, or his pick to be Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand. Some Democrats really know how to turn a winning situation into a losing one pretty damn fast. Hillary Clinton’s ascension to Secretary of State could have been a great opportunity for Paterson. He blew it.

From Political Wire:

A new Quinnipiac poll finds both Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and the man who appointed her, Gov. David Paterson (D) trail Democratic primary challengers in 2010.

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D) crushes Paterson, 55% to 23%, in a possible gubernatorial primary.

Meanwhile, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) beats Gillibrand in a Democratic U.S. Senate primary, 34% to 24%, with 39% still undecided.

I don’t trust Kirsten Gillibrand. I knew she was trouble when I saw former GOP Senator Al D’Amato standing beside her the day Paterson announced the appointment.

Gillibrand has been vehemently anti-immigrant, a position that shouldn’t sit well with New Yorkers. She also did an amazingly fast turn around on gay issues in order to secure the appointment. That assuaged some gay leaders, but not me. As a member of the House, Gillibrand wouldn’t even co-sponsor the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” But, overnight (almost literally), she became a supporter of gay marriage. Just like that. The problem with politicians like Gillibrand, who flip so quickly to be on your side, is that when times get tough, they’ll flip again. It really seems like there isn’t a set of convictions driving her. There’s just raw ambition. I don’t mind ambition, I just like it with some core beliefs.

Clearly, Gillibrand is vulnerable. Bring on the primary and let New York Democrats have a debate about what progressive values really mean.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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