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What a difference a day makes…

ALBANY – Gov. Paterson, defying the liberal wing of his Democratic Party, has chosen little-known, NRA-backed, upstate Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as New York’s junior senator, it was learned last night.

The surprising – and, for many Democrats shocking – decision to pick the conservative Gillibrand, 42, from Hudson in Columbia County, was disclosed by the governor in calls to party officials and some members of the state’s congressional delegation, many of whom said they were unhappy with the selection, sources said.

Gillibrand, a mother of two occasionally resented by colleagues for being an aggressive self-promoter, was strongly backed for the post by Charles Schumer, the state’s senior senator, who said a woman and an upstater was needed on next year’s ticket.

This pick seems to make more sense than Kennedy because a conservative Dem will be more in line with Hillary’s centrist politics. Also, the fact that it’s ruffled some feathers in Manhattan isn’t the worst thing in the world.

More as it develops…

  • http://thepurplecenter.blogspot.com/ John Burke

    Justin — Gillibrand is not in any possible meaning of the word a “conservative.” That’s the New York Post’s Fred Dicker making mischief by tagging her with that label and positioning it as Paterson “defying the liberal wing” of the Democratic Party.

    As far as I can see in dozens of news stories, a handful of liberal Democrats have gone on record opposing her appointment. But she has strong support from both Schumer and Clinton, not to mention Paterson. Are they not in the “liberal wing?”

    Gillibrand has voted as a moderate, a centrist on some issues. She’s a member of the Blue Dog Coalition. Her non-liberal stands and votes in the House have mainly been about taxes and budgets. She voted against the Wall Street bailout. Given the daily torrent of criticism of that from liberals, what’s the matter with that?

    And she’s pro-gun rights. If she weren’t, she never would have been elected in a rock-ribbed Republican upstate district where every other voter is a hunter.

    As a Senator representing the whole state and needing the support of the statewide Democrtaic Party, I suspect she’ll shift a bit on some issues. She’ll certainly be as staunch an Obama supporter as anyone in the Senate.