Presidential Election 2020: Kirsten Gillibrand?
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Politics and Activism

Presidential Election 2020: Kirsten Gillibrand?

Get to know Kirsten Gillibrand, from the NRA to Bipartisan Cooperation.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q59SGJL3LMk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q59SGJL3LMk

Junior Senator of New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, just announced her run for the 2020 Presidential Election last night on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert". If you have no idea who she is, trust me, you aren't the only one.

Kirsten Gillibrand is a 52-year-old Democratic New York Senator. She was a lawyer before she joined Congress in 2009, taking a seat that was previously Hillary Clinton's before she became Secretary of State to former President Barack Obama. Gillibrand has announced that she is putting together an "exploratory committee" to run for President in 2020. An exploratory committee is a committee put together to determine, given all factors, if a politician should run for President. So while Gillibrand's campaign may still be in the very early stages, it is worth knowing her policies and politics.

While Gillibrand has expressed the usual democratic desires of healthcare for all, gender and racial equality, etc., she has a very interesting past with the National Rifle Association (NRA). According to NBC New York, Gillibrand went from A to an F rating with the NRA in 2010. These "grades" or "ratings" the NRA gives to politicians judge how pro-gun or anti-gun a politician appears to be, says The New York Times. Gillibrand originally was known to own guns and show pride in "how her family hunted their own Thanksgiving turkeys" as an upstate congresswoman, but her tune changed once she reached the Senate. Once she joined the Senate she began voting consistently against the "gun-lobbying group" (NRA), when upstate she had previously voted consistently in favor of the NRA.

In an interview with NBC NY, NRA spokesman, Andrew Arulanandam, in regard to Gillibrand's change said, "Kirsten Gillibrand either lied to her constituents in the 20th district, or she's lying to all New Yorkers today. Either way, the operative word is 'lie'."

Gillibrand responded to the accusation that she had lied to her constituents: "Not at all. I still support the Constitution completely... My interest is not in what any one group thinks or feels. My interest is being a voice for New Yorkers."

Her words project unity and care, but it could be a red flag if a politician flips that drastically on an issue especially before entering a higher office. In her defense, she changed her position on some previously passed gun legislature because of what she learned from former Mayor Bloomberg (active from 2002-2013) about how prevalent illegally-obtained weapons are in "urban crime". At present, she continues to hold her more left-leaning stance for gun-control as she had stated back in 2010.

Senator Gillibrand has also shown the ability to work productively in favor of bipartisan cooperation. She explained in her interview with Stephen Colbert that "finding common ground" was key for many important congressional ventures such as repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Bill and putting together the 9/11 Health Bill. "I have a bipartisan bill with nearly every member of the Senate." Gillibrand says, "Ted Cruz and I agreed on how to end sexual harassment in Congress, and wrote a bill together which ultimately was passed unanimously." Her ability to find common ground and compromise could be invaluable to our nation, being as we are currently polarized. The current government shutdown is entirely built upon the inability to compromise and come together for the good of the people. If we want our country to benefit us as a whole, our politicians have to work together rather than against one another.

Could Senator Gillibrand flip again and earn back that 'A' rating from the NRA? Could she bring both parties together to finally create a healthcare act that will wholly benefit everyone in America? Gillibrand, much like the year of 2020, will be full of possibilities.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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