Welcome to our recurring series “Who The Fuck Are All These Fucks?” in which we profile, in brief, each of the 2020 candidates for president. This series is not meant to be exhaustive, and you’re encouraged to look into each candidate on your own.
Every time I go to make one of these a new candidate pops up. I’m not even sweating it. We’ll get to Harris eventually. For now, let’s look at part 3 of our eternal damnation: Kirsten Gillibrand, candidate for president.
Gillibrand is actually just in the exploratory stage, so there’s always a possibility she explores and decides “no, no I don’t want this.” But let’s assume she’s going to run because she’s going to run, folks.
Gillibrand is a New Yorker, continuing a longstanding political tradition where New York dominates the nation’s political discourse for some reason. Gillibrand bucks this trend slightly as recent New York political figures have come from New York City while she’s from Albany and currently lives in Brunswick, a city in New York’s Capital District region.
As an upstater rather one of those godless communists who lives in NYC, Gillibrand’s early political positions are fairly conservative. At the urging of her mentor, Hillary Clinton – we’ll get to that – Gillibrand ran for Congress in 2006. Her positions were fairly typical for the Blue Dogs, a bloc of Democrats that were slow to back progressive changes on things like gun control, voter reform, and LGBT+ rights. In Congress, she opposed sanctuary cities, backed expanded privacy protections for gun owners, and generally opposed large spending measures.
Then, in 2009, Gillibrand was appointed to the U.S. Senate.
Okay, so let’s backtrack: Gillibrand was an attorney before she was a politician and she worked as a campaign attorney for Hillary Clinton’s senate bid back in 2000. That’s how the two met and how Clinton became her mentor. When Clinton became Secretary of State, her senate seat opened up and New York’s governor got to pick a replacement. The governor picked Gillibrand, the first person from upstate to serve in the senate in three decades. Gillibrand was now a statewide political figure.
Pretty much from that day forward, Gillibrand has been a progressive leader. She dropped opposition to same-sex marriage immediately (as did most Democrats around this time). Her current political positions include paid family leave, LGBT+ rights, greater access to green energy, and government reform. She was the first U.S. senator to advocate for the abolition of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement or ICE. And a major piece of her career has been women’s rights, especially advocating for the rights of sexually harassment or assault victims.
Her migration from conservative Dem in the House to liberal firebrand in the senate is most evident from her rating by the NRA: in 2006, she got a perfect 100. In 2018, the NRA gave her an F.