Hours after Gillibrand’s announcement Wednesday night, both she and Franken trended on Twitter together, seemingly inextricably linked.
“Franken was definitely a problem in terms of fundraising,” the person familiar with the Gillibrand campaign said. “He just kept coming up, over and over again.”
Jen Palmieri, Hillary Clinton’s former communications director, said there was “no question” that the Franken had a “huge, outsized impact on her.”
“The sub-current of her entire candidacy was the Franken resignation, and people unfairly pinning that on her,” Palmieri said. “It’s a crowded field, and it’s hard for all the candidates, but that really hampered her.”
Gillibrand, along with several other candidates, has also cited the DNC’s debate criteria as an insurmountable hurdle for their campaigns. The polling and donation thresholds “caused a seismic shift” in the race, and “that’s what did in Gillibrand, and frankly,” it will do the same to other candidates, said Jess Morales Rocketto, a Democratic strategist.