News·3 min read

Kirsten Gillibrand’s pitch for 2020

May 22, 2019

Editor's Note: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand dropped out of the race on Aug. 28, 2019.

The Who

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) wants to ditch Capitol Hill for the White House. (Psst...if this sounds familiar, it's because six of Gillibrand's Senate co-workers are doing the same. Awkward...)

The Resume

She’s a former lawyer who started her political career in the House, as a moderate repping a largely rural upstate NY district. In 2009, she was appointed to Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat when Hillz left to serve in the Obama admin. And she’s been there ever since.

The Elephant in the Room

Earlier this year, she came under a microscope for the way her Senate office handled an internal sexual harassment allegation. And has dealt with backlash among Democratic donors for calling for former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to resign over sexual harassment allegations. Then there’s the criticism for her history of backing more conservative policies when she was in the House. See: she used to have an ‘A’ rating from the NRA and called for closing US borders.

The 2020 Policies

On women's issues...women’s rights are her no. 1 priority. She’s known for supporting bills aimed at changing how sexual assaults are handled in the military and on college campuses. Back in 2017, she called on President Trump to resign due to the sexual misconduct allegations against him. Since announcing her presidential campaign, she said she would only nominate judges who would uphold Roe v Wade. And she recently rolled out a plan for maternal health and child care – including creating a nationwide paid family leave program.

On gun reform...don't get whiplash, she’s now all for universal background checks.

On immigration...when it comes to border security, she’d focus on funding anti-terrorism and anti-drug trafficking efforts, and would stop using immigrant detention centers.

On climate change...she has an idea: enough with trying to compete with Russia on exploring space. Let’s compete with China on green energy solutions in order to cut down carbon emissions.

On student debt...she's got some ideas for this too: refinance all federal loans at a 4% interest rate (psst... right now the rate can be anywhere from 5% to 7.6%). And create more public service programs that give students free school in exchange for going into certain careers, like in healthcare or, yep, green energy.


Gillibrand is one of six women running in what’s considered the most diverse presidential candidate field ever. But polls show she’s not really on America’s radar, and she’s been having trouble getting donors to open their wallets. We asked her about this. Her response: “I have always been discounted and underestimated politically, but I win elections every time.”

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