I think maybe that the first woman to get elected president will have to be a political prodigy, just as the first African-American president is a political prodigy. Kirsten Gillibrand is sharp as a tack. She got into Congress running in a heavily Republican district, and had to take many conservative positions to win. The moment she was appointed to the Senate, she turned on a dime and became one of the more liberal members of Congress. That’s how you do it, you cut the tail off all at once, not one inch at a time. And, hate it or love it, voting against all the Trump nominees is the smart move (via) for future Democratic presidential primaries:
She is the only senator to vote against all three of Trump’s cabinet appointments. Yesterday, 15 Senate Democrats voted to confirm Mike Pompeo, a noted pro-torture Islamphobe. This is pathetic. Why? Why would Chuck Schumer vote for Pompeo? Why would Sheldon Whitehouse do this, of all people? What does anyone get out of this? Do they legitimately think these are good choices? Do they think that this will mean Republicans will take Democratic voices seriously? No, of course not. It’s that even Schumer doesn’t understand the rules of the game, even after 8 years of fireeating extremism.
On the other hand, Gillibrand is running for president in 2020 and she is going to have an excellent message for Democratic primary voters: “I voted against every single person Donald Trump nominated for his Cabinet.” And that’s a pretty compelling message. That no one else seems to understand what is going to play in 2018 and 2020 is more than a little dispiriting. But hey, I’m sure a few Democratic votes for Betsy DeVos and Tom Price will totally get Manchin and Heitkamp legit home state cred!
It’s also the *right* thing to do on Pompeo, that’s for damn sure.