Today, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand blogged about her unyielding support to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. We have to wonder, what happened to the too conservative Gillibrand that was once predicted? When Gov. Paterson tapped her from New York’s Republican-leaning 20th district, he angered and alienated just about every liberal dynasty and constituency possible: the Kennedys, the Cuomos, Carolyn Maloney, gun control enthusiasts, and anti-smoking advocates. Liberal fears were ripe that the one-time tobacco lawyer and gun owner would put an AK-47 in the hand of every child and a Joe the Camel poster on their bedroom wall. Gays and lesbians were concerned that she wasn’t quite there on gay marriage, and she’d voted against repealing DOMA she hadn’t signed on to repeal DADT.
Paterson missed a golden opportunity to appoint a future gubernatorial rival, and instead gambled a statewide Senate seat on the most conservative member of New York’s house delegation. (He could afford to do that back then — his approval numbers were comfortably in the double digits.)
And did we get a Blue Dog Democrat? Hardly. Gillibrand blogs on the Huffington Post nearly as often as Nora Ephorn. Her views on gun control “evolved” rather quickly. Civil Unions instead of marriage? That was yesterday. Marriage for everyone, says today’s Senator, and toss out DADT while you’re at it! She vocally wants a public option for health care. She was one of just seven — 7! — senators to vote to continue funding ACORN, inspiring the Post to call her Sen. Jello Brand.
Heck, she’s so liberal now she broke with Marty Markowitz, Al Gore and Barack Obama and actually endorsed Bill Thompson for mayor! At this rate, Comrade Gillibrand might even endorse the man who put her on the map, though she’s still keeping her cards close to her vest on that one.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 6, 2009