Well, it's now official:
Gov. David A. Paterson has selected 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.
Color us thrilled. To pieces. Not.
Gillibrand is a member of conservative Blue Dog caucus. She is the only NY Democrat to have voted against the TARP legislation both times it came before the House, and has supported the renewal of Bush tax cuts.
Gillibrand has also been criticized for her close ties to the NRA. Her positions on gun control are likely to earn Gillibrand a primary challenge from Long Island Representative Carolyn McCarthy.
Gillibrand’s positions on some social issues is, shall we say, a work in progress. Once maligned for her less than clear statements on abortion rights, Gillibrand and her supporters now make it clear that she is solidly pro-choice. Gillibrand has also moved to support full marriage rights for same-sex couples; a position she was much less clear about just weeks ago. (Her new position is stronger than either that of current Senator Chuck Schumer or former Senator Clinton.)
They're certainly not happy at Progressive New York, which noted yesterday:
Wrote one person: "It's a travesty. No matter who gets picked by the governor, he or she will be damaged goods and certainly won't represent me. Yes, that person will have the title, so what? I am not going to think of a person like that as my senator until we vote".
Well, perhaps she'll prove a "work in progress," especially considering she hailed from a conservative, Republican-leaning district. But then she will be vulnerable to flip-flopping charges.
Hope New Yorkers are happy, but no one else is very impressed.