Friday, January 23, 2009

Clinton Gone, Kennedy Out, Kirsten In

Way back last year, late in the Bush Era, when Caroline Kennedy announced her desire to be the next Senator from New York, I was all excited. But it turns out that excitement was based on an old crush, not current conditions. Kennedy has proved her desires to be pie in the sky. Her resolve started with the romantic aura of 'Camelot reborn' yet ended in mystery and even a bit of political mayhem. In the last month, "Sweet Caroline" has not displayed the steely focus, drive AND decisiveness one needs to be a particularly effective statesman.

These ARE qualities Hillary Clinton has shown from the moment she found out about Monica Lewinsky, and Hillary only built on these strengths during her determined run for the presidency.

Now we have Kirsten Gillibrand, a United States Representative from the Albany area, and good for her. Good for us. This is the right choice after all. A tough campaigner, an impressive fundraiser, a bridge-building "blue dog Democrat," who may catch some flak east of the Hudson and south of Westchester, but who may, in the short term she's got, help bring together more upstate and downstate values.

She'll become known for her defense of gun rights, but you know who else defends gun rights? The American Civil Liberties Union.

Rep. Gillibrand has a 100% voting approval record from the ACLU, and along with some green cred and on the ground experience in Washington, that's good enough in my book.

I say farewell to the old baggage of Clinton and Kennedy and welcome the fresh young face and future-leaning pragmatism of Kirsten Gillibrand.

Governor Patterson, a bit sloppy in the final rounds, but in the end, a victory.


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