It will come as no surprise to regular observers of New York politics that Senator Kirsten Gillibrand handily won another term on Tuesday with roughly two-thirds of the vote. (There was some ticket splitting going on because she bagged roughly 400K more votes than Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo managed in his victory.) Having put that simple chore behind her, Gillibrand wasted no time getting booked for Stephen Colbert’s show. The host asked her the obvious question concerning her plans for 2020 and received an equally predictable answer. She’s giving it, “a long, hard thought of consideration.” (New York Times)
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on Thursday gave her strongest public indication yet that she was contemplating a run for president in 2020, telling the late-night show host Stephen Colbert she would “give it a long, hard thought of consideration.”
“I’ve seen the hatred and the division that President Trump has put out into our country, and it has called me to fight as hard as I possibly can to restore the moral compass of this country,” Ms. Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, said in what sounded like the makings of a campaign theme.
Ms. Gillibrand, who won re-election to her second full term on Tuesday, had for months brushed aside questions about her 2020 ambitions by saying she was focused fully on 2018.
If all you read of that New York Times article was the title and first few paragraphs, you’d likely assume this was nothing out of the ordinary. Notice how the Times characterizes her past comments on the subject by saying she, “had for months brushed aside questions about her 2020 ambitions by saying she was focused fully on 2018.”
Of course, anyone who has been following this story knows that’s a complete lie. But the Times does, to their credit, mention her promise made during a debate, though you have to dig down quite a few paragraphs to find it. If you’ve been keeping up with this story here, you already know Senator Gillibrand was asked about her 2020 plans and whether or not she would serve out her full six-year term if re-elected. In fact, she was asked twice. She looked straight into the camera and gave her answer.
Moderator: “Can you tell New Yorkers, who plan to vote for you on November 6, that you will, if re-elected, serve out your six-year Senate term?”
Gillibrand: “I will.”
Moderator: “Just want to make this clear, you’re saying that you will not get out of the race and you will not run for president? You will serve your six years?”
Gillibrand: “I will serve my six-year term.”
Of course, it was only one day later when she began giving hints that she might not be keeping to that pledge, but nothing definite was announced, nor was the conflict between her statements explained.
But last night on Colbert, Gillibrand made things crystal clear. If she had no intention of even possibly running and keeping her word, that would have been an easy question to field. All she’d have to say was that she was going to be sticking with her job in the Senate, continuing to work in the best interests of the people of New York in that capacity and any other cheerful word salad she cared to dish out on top of it.
But she didn’t. Kirsten Gillibrand once again demonstrated that her promises all have an expiration date which arrives precisely as soon as they are no longer convenient. But that shouldn’t shock anyone. Go back and re-read some of her history, which I wrote about at the end of this article. Not that long ago, Gillibrand was a “conservative Democrat” who took positions and made promises which horrified Maureen Dowd and the Daily Beast. She was described by one ardent liberal author as being, “a bizarro version of Sarah Palin.” But once she was elevated to a statewide office and more progressive positions were called for, her promises melted away like cotton candy in the rain. For some deeper history, here’s a piece I wrote more than five years ago about her political “evolution,” including how she used to brag about her A rating with the NRA and keeping shotguns under her bed.
Gillibrand is a serial liar and is one of the biggest phonies out there. And now she’s giving “a long, hard thought of consideration” to running for president. I wonder which face she’ll be wearing this time if she does.