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Paterson Picks Unknown For Senate Seat

From a shocked and dismayed New York Times:

Paterson Picks Gillibrand for Senate Seat

Published: January 23, 2009

ALBANY — Gov. David A. Paterson was preparing Friday to announce at a noon news conference his selection of Representative Kirsten Gillibrand, a 42-year-old congresswoman from upstate who is known for bold political moves and centrist policy positions, to fill the United States Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, according to a person who spoke to the governor early Friday.

An aide to Ms. Gillibrand confirmed early Friday morning that she had accepted the appointment.

Ms. Gillibrand is largely unknown to New Yorkers statewide, but is considered an up-and-coming and forceful lawmaker in her district and has gained considerable attention from Democratic leaders in Washington.

Mr. Paterson made his final decision shortly before 2 a.m. Friday after a marathon series of phone calls and deliberations with his top aides, according to the person who spoke to him. He began making phone calls to other contenders about 9 p.m., and had notified most of the other contenders by midnight. By then, the only two candidates who had not heard from Mr. Paterson were Ms. Gillibrand and Randi Weingarten, the president of the United Federation of Teachers.

One of Mr. Paterson’s preferences had been to select a woman to replace Mrs. Clinton…

Ms. Gillibrand’s selection was a careful political calculation by the governor, who will run for his second term as governor in 2010, when Ms. Gillibrand will also be on the ballot. The choice reflects Mr. Paterson’s thinking that his selection should be someone who can help him attract key demographics — in Ms. Gillibrand’s case upstate New Yorkers and women.

Ms. Gillibrand, who lives near Hudson, N.Y., just outside of Albany, with her husband, Jonathan Gillibrand, a financial consultant, and their sons, Theodore, who is 5, and Henry, who is 6 months old. (Ms. Gillibrand received a standing ovation on the floor of the House from her colleagues for working right up to the day she gave birth to Henry.)

Ms. Gillibrand, who had never held public office, won her seat in 2006 against great odds, defeating a four-term Republican incumbent in a race that turned intense and nasty in its final days…

The news of Ms. Gillibrand’s appointment followed a day of anonymous and often bitter sniping over Caroline Kennedy’s mystifying departure from the Senate field…

This is quite a surprise, especially coming from Mr. Paterson.

Of course he could have picked a Republican. But Ms. Gillibrand is about as conservative a Democrat as one could hope for in New York. (She’s even pro-gun.)

And goodness knows Mrs. Clinton’s seat will be a hard one to fill.

Still, how can the Empire State be properly represented by someone who is not the ‘wife’ or scion of a prominent political family?

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, January 23rd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Paterson Picks Unknown For Senate Seat”

  1. bousquem says:

    In part of her speech, she said “I hope to work the the anti-gun …” (I think that it was lobby after anti-gun but I’m not too sure) but quickly changed to something about working against violence. And while a democrat at least she is from upstate. I live in Albany while at school and I can tell you everyone from downstate tends to lookdown at people upstate. It will be nice to at least get someone to thumb their nose at the jerks downstate. I also have to like when the NYT reporter asked why someone more experienced was chosen (read downstate politician) and how this wouldn’t help the party “knit back together”, Patterson said something along the lines of ‘I’m not interested in knitting anything’.

  2. proreason says:

    This almost looks like a rational pick.

    So there must be a lot more about her yet to be revealed.

    • Odie44 says:

      I agree, being a Hudson Valley born and raised kid.

      There is a huge difference between upstaters and downstaters in NY. She appears to be tuned into her constituency, rather than party rank and file – but the rub could be:

      An attempt to placate upstaters for Paterson
      An attempt to put an empty suit to ensure 2010 success for a downstate liberal
      An honest to good politician who may just be a real Senator, bucking the 30+ year NYS trend.

      Tough call – but 2875 times better than Princess Skelator
      (PS – that picture is disturbing, but the split ends, rosacia, hollowed gaunt look is alcoholism 101…)

  3. imnewatthis says:

    I don’t know why they’d give her a standing ovation for working up ’til the birth. Aside from the bouts of nausea, that wasn’t too bad when I did it. It’s the working after the birth that’s difficult.

  4. Reality Bytes says:

    Paterson picks a peck of pickled peppers. (sorry. I couldn’t help it).

    Although, if this were Massachusetts, you could sub politicians for peppers. Have a good weekend.

  5. CGardner says:

    “Ms. Gillibrand, who had never held public office, won her seat in 2006 against great odds, defeating a four-term Republican incumbent in a race that turned intense and nasty in its final days…”

    Please NYT, let’s get this story straight!

    In the 2006 election, John Sweeney was leading Gillibrand in the polls by 20-some points until the final 3 weeks of the campaign, when a State Trooper report of a domestic violence call to Sweeney’s home was uncovered. Sweeney claimed to have proof that the report was a fake, but never showed it and just tried to ignore the issue.

    Upstate voters are no one’s fool and voted him out.

    Gillibrand worked hard to keep in touch with constituents, to her favor. She did vote against the initial bail-out, but that was because Pelosi allowed the freshmen in tight races to vote “nay” to help keep their seats.

    Sorry, Gillibrand is no Sara Palin, as the MSM will try to make her out to be.

  6. pinandpuller says:

    Talk about blind luck…

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