Should Kirsten Gillibrand run for president in 2020? | The Tylt

FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should Kirsten Gillibrand run for president in 2020?
#GoGillibrandGo
A festive crown for the winner
#NoThanksGillibrand

It may seem premature, but Democrats are already eyeing the 2020 presidential election. Senators like Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, and Sherrod Brown have all been mentioned as possible contenders. But the name that most consistently tops these speculative lists is Kirsten Gillibrand, New York's junior senator, who inherited her seat from Hillary Clinton. Gillibrand has earned a reputation as a stalwart supporter of liberal causes. Her critics say she bases her opinions less on morals and more on careful political calculations. Should she run in 2020?

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Should Kirsten Gillibrand run for president in 2020?
#GoGillibrandGo
#NoThanksGillibrand
#GoGillibrandGo

In a 2017 profile, Politico pointed out Gillibrand has consistently been on the cutting edge of liberal issues since she first took her seat in the Senate. Issues that were once considered "niche" are now on the forefront of the national conversation, making Gillibrand a tempting candidate for the presidency.

The world is paying attention to Gillibrand in a new way. At least since the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, when Gillibrand thrilled the crowd at the Women’s March, jabbing the air with her finger and telling them, “This is the moment of the beginning of the revival of the women’s movement. This is the moment you will remember when women stood strong and stood firm and said never again. This is the moment that you are going to be heard!” The 51-year-old Gillibrand has come to represent a rising generation of Democratic leaders, one who came of age in an era when equality of the sexes was something almost taken for granted. And the buzz about her presidential ambitions has only grown.
For years, the issues that Gillibrand has made her name on—aid for 9/11 workers, ending "don’t ask don’t tell" in the military, transgender rights—were important but distinct, touching on segments of American life that most people never interact with. And now, at a moment when the cover has been ripped off toxic workplaces from Hollywood to Wall Street, Gillibrand is finding that the rest of the world has caught up with her crusades.
“She was on this before anybody else was,” said Brian Fallon, a former aide to both Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton. “It’s a moment that has come to her rather than her grabbing the spotlight.”
#NoThanksGillibrand

The New York Times points out that Gillibrand's ability to jump on causes before they fully hit the national consciousness has made many pundits wonder whether her opinions are based on moral judgment or political calculations.

Her leftward thrust on economics — coming on the heels of her progression from a first-term congresswoman with an A rating from the National Rifle Association and guns under her bed to a gun-free senator with an F rating — is likely to resurrect questions about where her convictions end and political convenience begins. Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, told The New York Times she is a case study in Democratic “political contortionism.”
#GoGillibrandGo

The Washington Post highlighted, in an extensive breakdown of the likelihood Gillibrand is running for president, the causes that Gillibrand is currently supporting are very much in the zeitgeist. She has become a standard bearer for many of the causes currently pushing liberal candidates to victory.

There’s a lot of progressive chatter about Gillibrand
A Democrat hoping to run for president might have a strategy of tacking noticeably to the left — in an attempt to grab the attention and enthusiasm of the progressive activists most likely to work for her and vote in the primaries. And Gillibrand has been doing precisely that. She was the first senator to call for Al Franken (D-Minn.) to step down, has been criticizing Bill Clinton’s failure to resign over allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct, and was an early supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s “Medicare for all” bill. Earlier in December, she called on President Trump to resign over numerous credible allegations of sexual harassment and abuse, to which Trump responded with an insult- and insinuation-laden tweet reaction.
#NoThanksGillibrand

In May 2017, however, Gillibrand herself came out and said she would not be running for president. Per The Hill:

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on Monday said she is ruling out a run for the White House in 2020.
“I’m focused entirely on running for Senate, so yes, I’m ruling it out,” Gillibrand said in Fort Drum, N.Y., according to NYStateofPolitics.com.
#GoGillibrandGo

The Hill contradicted their own story just a few months later, claiming Gillibrand had "unapologetically begun her bid for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020." Michael Starr Hopkins, an op-ed contributor, claims Gillibrand's independence from the mainstream Democratic party makes her an ideal candidate to run against Trump.

The notion that heavyweights in our party would pull their support from Gillibrand for her refusal “to go along to get along” will haunt the party in 2020 if it proves true. Gillibrand is one of the few candidates with the bonafide to take down Trump and bring the country back to some semblance of respectability. Kissing the proverbial ring of the Clintons to gain their support would harm her candidacy, not help it.
There is no denying that the Clintons are icons within the party, but there is also no denying their complicated history. We as Democrats cannot continue to brush the uncomfortable questions relating to the Clinton era of the White House under the rug. Of the many factors that led this country down the path that led to the election of Trump, the inability of Democrats to speak objectively about sexual harassment is one of them.
#NoThanksGillibrand

The Daily Dot points out that while Gillibrand's current profile is that of an ideal liberal crusader, she has, in the past, championed much less reputable causes. 

There are some unfortunate skeletons in the Senator’s closet. As a young lawyer, she defended tobacco giant Philip Morris as they allegedly shuffled away evidence of the harmful effects of smoking. She’s been eager to downplay that role. However, in a 2009 New York Times piece, her former co-workers said that Gillibrand was a major part of Philip Morris’ defense. One co-worker said “she was a full partner in everything we did.”
...Like many opportunistic politicians, Kirsten Gillibrand has shifted her views to suit the electorate. Still, her changing positions are arguably some of the most drastic in politics.
Early in her political career, she was a conservative Democrat, holding pro-gun, anti-immigration views. She even boasted an “A rating” from the NRA after co-authoring a bill that would make it difficult for the government to track gun owners. 

These issues could become stumbling blocks for her in a presidential campaign.

FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should Kirsten Gillibrand run for president in 2020?
#GoGillibrandGo
A festive crown for the winner
#NoThanksGillibrand