Score One for the Home Team

Fri, 23 Jan 2009 15:04:41 +0000

The New York Times reports that Representative Kirsten Gillibrand will be appointed to fill the Senate seat from New York vacated by Hillary Clinton. This process has been a sordid mess, with too much focus on Caroline Kennedy and too little discussion of other possible candidates. But the result is a good one -- upstate New York ought to be represented in the Senate, and the voters will be able to decide if they want to keep Gillibrand in 2010. And for folks at Dartmouth, it will be nice to have our first alumna in the Senate. (Gillibrand was the first in the House as well).

Gillibrand is a centrist Democrat. It is already clear that she will face a primary challenge:

If Mr. Paterson was hoping to quiet the tumult over the selection process by picking Ms. Gillibrand, there were indications that he may not get his wish. Ms. Gillibrand, who has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association, is controversial among some of the party’s more liberal leaders downstate.

Representative Carolyn McCarthy, a Long Island Democrat and ardent gun control activist, said Thursday that if Ms. Gillibrand got the job, she was prepared to run against her in a primary in 2010. Ms. McCarthy was elected to Congress after her husband was killed in a gunman’s rampage on the Long Island Rail Road in 1993.

Congratulations to Kirsten.