Kirsten Gillibrand joins the fast-growing Democratic presidential field
The Democratic Senator from New York announced her presidential campaign on Tuesday night, joining a growing wave of Democrats in pursuit of the nomination.
The 2020 Primaries are shaping up as a competition to determine the candidate who best manages Instagram or, in a worst scenario, the one who can best crack a joke on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show.
From Bernie Sanders to Kamala Harris, tentative or confirmed candidates for the 2020 presidential elections have decided to turn the Ed Sullivan Theater into their launching off point, using the platform provided by Stephen Colbert as a megaphone directed at prospective voters.
But, while Sanders and Harris didn’t dare say 'yes' or 'no' when visiting Colbert, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand jumped right in on Tuesday night, and announced her candidacy on set.
"I am introducing an exploratory committee for the presidency of the United States tonight," Gillibrand told Colbert. She made clear that, although a committee is a preliminary step, her candidacy is a reality.
Gillibrand has a history promoting gender equality, having strongly supported almost all female candidates for public office while at the same time becoming a strong voice against sexual abuse and violence.
The senator garnered the antipathy of many in the political establishment for being one of the first public officials to ask former Senator Al Franken to resign after accusations of sexual harassment were made against him, a move that also won the hearts of others for her commitment to the #MeToo Movement and the Women's March.
When it comes to doing the right thing and helping people, I’ve never backed down from a fight – and I won’t start now. pic.twitter.com/yo7soDhRRk
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) 16 de enero de 2019
However, her candidacy may have to exert additional energy to leave 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's shadow behind.
Gillibrand not only filled the position Clinton left open when she became Secretary of State under President Obama, but she has also made clear the influence the former first lady has had in her career. This could turn out counterproductive, particularly for those who want to distance themselves as much as possible from the mistakes made in 2016.
Although the senator decided last year to stop receiving money from Political Action Committees, her close relationship with Wall Street also haunts her, especially after receiving $20 million between 2013 and 2018, according to the Washington Post.
Even while these ghosts help contribute to her reputation as a "conservative Democrat", Gillibrand has become one of the leading voices for many liberal causes such as the right to abortion, marriage equality, Medicare for all, and she was even the first senator to call for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2018.
The newest candidate assures that her campaign is a "moral question" that seeks to face the "divisionism" currently plaguing the country. Her first battle will be to distinguish herself from her colleagues in what may end up being the most crowded primary field in history.