Attacking ‘Paterson-Appointee Kirsten Gillibrand’
One of the NRSC’s hardest potential targets in 2010 has been Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.): appointed in a bit of a mess by Gov. David Paterson (D-N.Y.), struggling to define her political identity, but incredibly adept at scaring potential opponents out of the race. The NRSC fires a shot across the bow today with a new sobriquet — “Paterson-Appointee Kirsten Gillibrand” — and what seems to be an attempt to spook her out of attacking possible candidate Dan Senor’s role as chief spokesperson for the Coalition Provisional Authority after the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
I’ll just quote the NRSC’s spin:
Before she was appointed to the Senate by Governor Paterson, Gillibrand broke with fellow Democrats in the House and voted with Republicans in supporting the war in Iraq. On May 24, 2007, for example, Gillibrand joined with Republicans in voting against the Democrat leadership for a bill to provide funding for U.S. efforts in Iraq without setting withdrawal deadlines for troops. In fact, of the five freshman Democrat Members of Congress from New York in 2007, Gillibrand was the only one to vote YES.
The following year, Gillibrand also continued her support for funding the war in Iraq and on June 19, 2008, she once again broke with the Democrat leadership and joined with Republicans in helping to pass another Iraq funding measure.
What’s even more notable about both votes to fund the war in Iraq? In both cases, Kirsten Gillibrand was the ONLY Democrat in the New York congressional delegation to vote with the Republicans in support of the war. In fact, Gillibrand’s votes in support of the Iraq war took place a full three years Dan Senor left his position as CPA spokesman.
Let’s just revisit the history here. For nearly four years, the United States pursued a strategy in Iraq that, everyone now realizes, was a disaster. Senor was part of the Bush administration and helped spin that strategy. After the 2006 midterm elections that sent Gillibrand to Congress, the Bush administration reshuffled its cards and launched the surge. Gillibrand — as the NRSC admits — bucked most Democrats and supported that strategy. So the strategy is to … attack her for supporting the tactics that worked? A bold prediction: This will not scare Gillibrand off of attacks on Senor’s resume.