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The Gillibrand Pick: Winners and Losers

Today's appointment of Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ends a tortured process that proves that there is nothing that compares to New York politics.

The obvious winner from today's announcement is Gillibrand, who, after just two years in Congress, is moving on up to the Senate.

But here at the Fix we always aim to go beyond the obvious when it comes to politics so below you'll find our take on some less high-profile winners and losers as a result of today's news.

Disagree with our picks or have some of your own? Offer them in the comments section.


Chuck Schumer: It was an open secret that Schumer wanted Gillibrand to be the pick and, as has happened often in the last few years in state and national politics, the New York senator got his way. While Schumer allies insisted he was not opposed to state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, it's not hard to understand why Schumer would want the lower profile Gillibrand as opposed to the nationally known Cuomo. Schumer is now the senior statesman from New York -- literally and figuratively -- a designation he has always wanted.

Upstate: The forgotten part of the Empire State has one of its own in the Senate now. As much as Clinton worked to endear herself to Upstate voters, she was "from" Westchester County not Albany County. Gillibrand has long ties to the Albany area and will always keep Upstate foremost in her mind.

House Republicans: Not much has gone right for House GOPers over the last four years but Gillibrand's appointment will set off a special election in the 20th district -- a seat that former President George W. Bush won with 54 percent of the vote in 2004. (District by district data for the 2008 presidential race are not yet available.) Candidates are already lining up; this will be a very competitive race on which both national parties are likely to spend heavily and, if Republicans can win, will give them a badly needed talking point.

Carolyn McCarthy: McCarthy will be a regular guest on cable television for the next two years as the most outspoken critic of the Gillibrand pick. Today McCarthy told NBC's Andrea Mitchell that the new senator would have to convince voters that she is "not the poster girl for the [National Rifle Association]." There is also talk that McCarthy will run in a primary against Gillibrand; that seems unlikely given her reputation as a less-than-aggressive fundraiser.


David Paterson: Is it possible that this process could have played out any more publicly or messily? It's hard to imagine how. Paterson's final pick -- Gillibrand -- is entirely defensible but the way he handled everything that happened between when Clinton was nominated and today cloud that picture. Will Paterson ultimately be a winner for picking an Upstate woman to share the ticket with him in 2010? Maybe. But, today it's hard to see him as anything other than a loser.

Andrew Cuomo: Bypassed for the Senate appointment, there's no obvious next step for Cuomo. It's hard to imagine him running in a primary against Paterson in 2010 -- running against an African American candidate twice in Democratic primaries is not a great idea -- and so he will likely have to wait around in his current position for the foreseeable future. For someone with the ambition that Cuomo possesses that may be a bitter pill to swallow.

Caroline Kennedy: Two months ago, Caroline Kennedy was a beloved American icon -- the last direct link to the first family of American politics. Today, there are stories in New York papers that suggest she dropped from consideration due to tax problems and a potential nanny issue. Not good. Kennedy's image will almost certainly bounce back in the years to come but it's hard to see the past two months of Kennedy as candidate as anything but bad news for her.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 23, 2009; 4:10 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Radio and newspaper pundits in New York are furious with Paterson because they tried to "strong arm" him into revealing his choice for Hillary's job weeks before it was appropriate to do so. The governor held his ground until President's Obama's choice for secretary of state was sworn in. They underestimated Mr. Paterson's resolve to do right by Mrs. Clinton. Too bad, for the media types. Perhaps they will begin now to realize, as voters do, that David Paterson is the real deal for New York!

Posted by: dickhealy | January 27, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Radio and newspaper pundits in New York are furious with Paterson because they tried to "strong arm" him into revealing his choice for Hillary's job weeks before it was appropriate to do so. The governor held his ground until President's Obama's choice for secretary of state was sworn in. They underestimated Mr. Paterson's resolve to do right by Mrs. Clinton. Too bad, for the media types. Perhaps they will begin now to realize, as voters do, that David Paterson is the real deal for New York!

Posted by: dickhealy | January 27, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

As an outsider(not a New Yorker) it seems
that anything the Kennedy's get mixed up
in(the second generation) has the potential for public humiliation. Why in heavens name would CK, a neophyte in politics(even in public speaking. especially in public speaking), want to try to fill a senate seat vacated by one of the most educated, erudite, politically savvy women ever in politics. From the beginning CK was so obviously in over her head, that it was painful to watch her jerky, grammatically tortured attempts to
communicate with her potential constituents. Whatever the reason she was
not chosen, New York should be celebrating.
As for the psudocoluminist Maureen D. whose obsessive rants almost always include the Clinton's, I think
we can put her in the same Closet of Oblivion as CK.

Posted by: Kavanaugh1 | January 27, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Patterson is shooting our a defensive decoy, and trying to get Cuomo to run anainst Gillibrand insteat of himself. How about it NYorkers, is this possible?

Posted by: nwsjnky1 | January 26, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I think Patterson is a winner. He didn't kowtow to anyone (Kennedy or Cuomo) and made HIS choice. Those in the know have said all along that he does what he wants. Truer words were never spoken.

Kennedy and Cuomo factions can badmouth him if they want but this proves he is his own man.

Posted by: rlj1 | January 26, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"I an surprised that so many NY Ds are so vehemently anti-gun ownership."

Perhaps most of them live in the city where the primary reason to have a gun is to shoot a human being. Rural folk see them as a different kind of tool.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 26, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Kirsten Gillibrand is an excellent choice (not that I like these appointments by governors); she will make an excellent candidate going forward, and far as I can tell, she will be a good Senator, too. As an attractive, intelligent, pragmatic, ambitious politician, she was by far the best option for Governor Paterson. The only drawback is having to replace her in the House of Representatives.

That said, I understand why others who were on the "short list" should feel slighted, since she was only beginning her second term in Congress and had essentially come out of nowhere in 2006 for her first campaign. Andrew Cuomo would probably make a better candidate if he weren't so nakedly ambitious--it seems all he cares about is climbing the ladder.

Posted by: Budikavlan | January 26, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Calling the Kennedys the first family of American politics seems like calling Michael Jackson the King of Pop. True for a time, earned, deserved - but no longer. Love them or not, I'd put forth that the Clintons are the first family now.

Posted by: keith_a_anyon | January 26, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Broadway Joe- it is amazing how much hatred there is for the Clintons when she hasn't done anything to elicit such hate- I am a very left leaning NYer and I am glad that Paterson picked a legitimate candidat- even if more conservative- rather than someone so disengaged that she has not even consistently voted. The idea that Caroline be handed the job simply for her name (and as a trade for her endorsement, an endorsement given after a year of Barak running, during which time Caroline had given HRC a max donation- in other words a trade off to allow the Kennedys to try and solidify power by blocking out the Clintons) is so outrageous and the idea that anyone is upset about her bowing out is ridiculous.

Posted by: nycLeon | January 25, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't care if Gillibrand is a Republican or Democrat. At least, she is not someone created to act a POSER. She is real.

Posted by: mjno | January 25, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

@broadwayjoe: Maureen Dowd has it in for the Clintons--especially Bill. She finds a way to work in a potshot at one or both of them in nearly every single one of her columns. Take any Clinton accusation she makes with a grain of salt.

Posted by: Heron | January 25, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I have to respectfully disagree with those who don't think Gillibrand is a NY style democrat, or that she'd necessarily be defeated in a democratic primary. She's no doubt NOT a New York City style democrat. Given that the NY State Assembly is run by downstate dems, the current and former governor were from the NYC area, and New York is hardly renowned for effective state government - well, not being a NYC democrat sounds good to me. I think Gillibrand will play well upstate, and if you don't think dems need those votes to win, well, remember, this is the state that elected Pataki governor three times.

Posted by: -pamela | January 25, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Mark in austin-- you're abolutely right, I misspoke. Spitzer did NOT appoint paterson, he chose him as a running mate. That was his poor judgment, IMO. Now, it was our fault as citizens for not paying more attention during the election, but Lt Gov is just not an office we'd paid much attention to before - ceremonial and fluffy as you say -- and I swear I never saw Paterson's face once during the campaign and you know I am involved in politics. He was virtually a stealth candidate. What is qualifications are supposed to be, I cannot imagine, because none of them have been in evidence.

Posted by: drindl | January 25, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Pulitzer Prize winner Maureen Dowd reports today in the NYT that the mess over filling Mrs. Wm. J. Clinton's Senate seat may not have been totally Gov. Paterson's fault (as the MSM has reported), but that another sinister force may have been to blame--yes, that's right, the Hillarians.

MoDo reports:

"Paterson’s five weeks of dithering let the jealous vindictiveness of the Clintons and friends — still fuming over Caroline’s endorsement of Obama and Teddy’s blocking Hillary from a leading health care role in the Senate — poison the air. With his usual sense of entitlement and aggrievement, Bill Clinton of Arkansas did not want Caroline Kennedy of New York to have the seat that Hillary Clinton of Illinois held."

MoDo's column:

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 25, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

drindl, I understand that LG in NY is ceremonial, where in TX it is the most powerful office in the state. But I thought that the LG was elected by the people, not selected by the Gov. Is that correct?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 25, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

"So it seems we have the lip sync adminstration. First it starts with Perlmann and Yo yo faking a quartet, playing out of tune while sending a perfect sounding piece to the masses. then the rest of the Capone Admin complies.

[The rest of the incoherent rant was omitted.]

Posted by: king_of_zouk | January 23, 2009 9:44 PM"

king_of_kook, at least your fellow traveler Rush Limbaugh was succinct the other day. He said simply, "I Hope [our President and Commander in Chief] Obama fails." Thus, in one sentence, Rush proclaimed himself, maybe unintentionally, a proud anti-American ugly American. [BTW, has Louise Slaughter re-introduced her Fairness Doctrine legislation in the House yet? Louise, get to typing!!!]

Kook, any reason why you, 37andO (unplugged for the last month, I guess), Dianne 721 (formerly Dianne 72), et al. can't do one official I-hate-Obama post for all the robo-trolls for all time, and then in subsequent posts just reference back to it with "ditto" or "What I said"? Just a thought.

Finally, I know it is unwise to challenge your rants with actual facts, but just this once -- The reason those legendary musicians sync'ed with pre-taped music was because the freezing temperatures would not permit them to properly play their instruments; for instance, the guy playing the clarinet would have had his lips frozen to the reed.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 25, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Koolkat_196 wrote:
Perhaps you can list the qualifications for being a US senator? Here, I'll start.

1. 30 years old

Now your turn!

My comment:
Okay. I'll play. U.S. Citizen.
Now your turn (mind you this is going to be a very short game, I think we have at most two or three things left....)

Posted by: dcraven925 | January 25, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Paterson has displayed an indeciveness that does not merit election. He publicly embarrassed Caroline Kennedy--a Democratic icon--and appointed a candidate who is not a true Democrat in Gillibrand. Gillibrand will be defeated in a primary.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | January 25, 2009 4:11 AM | Report abuse

The big loser here is actually the New York Democratic Party. Paterson revealed himself to be somewhat incapable of decisiveness. He subjected Caroline Kennedy---a Democratic icon--- to a protracted ideal of public embarrassment. He then selected as a replacement for Clinton a candidate who is sure to get a strong NYC-based primary challenge.

Gillibrand is not a NY-style Democrat. She is more like a Southern Democrat, or a
Northeast Republican. I really think she is very vulnerable to a primary challenge.

Paterson demonstrated that he is not worthy of top office, and is not an astute politician. Personally, I am willing to commit myself to work hard to defeat Gillibrand. She's not the kind of Democrat I would support.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | January 25, 2009 3:59 AM | Report abuse

New York's two grand dames of opinion, Gail Collins and Maureen Dowd have weighed in:

Firstly, let me say that while I'm not happy with this pick, I think that Paterson is getting too much heat.

When Hillary was announced as the pick for SoS, he said that he would wait until she was confirmed to announce his pick, and he did just that. Having prospective candidates fill out a questionaire and then meeting with them one on one do not seem unreasonable when you're picking the next senator from New York.

That being said, unless Gillibrand moves pretty fast to the left (which she seems to be doing...witness her sudden endorsement of gay marriage and her new found desire to work with Rep. McCarthy on gun issues), she might easily be shown the door in 2010.

What I find more troubling is what's happening to Chuck Schumer. He rose to national prominence as the House's #1 advocate of gun control. Now, he backed a candidate to be his junior senator who has a 100% approval rating from the NRA?

I mean, I know the guy had to recruit conservative Dems as the head of the DSCC, but come on, this is New York State.

In addition, he's blocked moves to increase the income tax on hedge fund managers from the absurd rate of 15% and was the guy who managed to push Mukasey ("we've found lots of wrongdoing, but we're not going to prosecute anybody") through as AG.

Chuck might find himself facing some problems in his own party when he runs again.

Posted by: Bondosan | January 25, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

'You can count on the tacit if not visible support of the Obama team for Gillibrand.'
If you think that Obama will get in the middle of this you are a bigger fool than Paterson. Outside of the right wing GOP, McCarthy is very well renowned here. The same goes for the Clintons, they will sit out the primary.

Paterson messed up from the start with this choice, and it's backed up by the lack of support at her press conference. Biggest name there besides Schumer (never met a camera I didn't like) was Al D'Amato.

The real question is will Cuomo take on Paterson. As was written in the NY Times yesterday, he was hurt badly by this, and his lame State of the State address.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | January 24, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I just do not see how Kirsten Gillibrand can win a Democratic primary in New York State if challenged by a downstate liberal.

In 1986, moderate-conservative millionaire trust-funder John Dyson wanted to challenge Republican Senator Al D'Amato.

Liberal activist Mark Green entered the race, called himself the "real democrat" (code words!!!!) and won the primary, despite Dyson spending $6 million 22 years ago.
From the New York Times 9/10/1986

Mark Green, the consumer advocate and frequent Congressional critic, defeated John S. Dyson for the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate yesterday in the New York primary.With 14,536 of 14,706 election districts reporting, the vote was: Green...259,832; Dyson...226,109.

Mr. Green, claiming victory before several hundred supporters at the Halloran House in Manhattan, said: ''We were outspent by 800 percent and won by 600 percent. No one has ever been outspent in a primary by $6 million to $800,000 and still won.''

Posted by: Digital_Voter | January 24, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

FIXISTAS: The WHY behind the Surveillance State?

NSA SPYING on public, virtually all journalists, just the baseline 'program' for THIS?

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 24, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Biggest loser is Paterson. He gets less popular with New Yorkers every day, with good reason. What most of us can't figure out is how he even got to be Lt. Gov -- he doesn't seem competent enough to even perform that ceremonial function, and his policies are out of touch with most of the state as well. He has botched this and managed to alienate a wide swatch of Democrats for the ham-handed way he tarred Kennedy. Just another proof of the lack of judgment of our not very beloved former Governor Spitzer, I suppose.

My guess is Paterson will lose big in the next election, and Gillibrand will likely be out too -- unless she changes her position on a wide variety of issues. Publicly, of course, she is, having experienced overnight conversions on quite a few things already. She's a poliitical animal. But we'll be watching closely how she votes.

Posted by: drindl | January 24, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse


Great (seriously) candid behind-the-scenes photos of the President and the First Lady on inauguration day from HuffPo:

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 24, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Avanti5010, may I assume you're a vegetarian, and if you occasionally eat eggs they're from free-range chickens only? The hunters I know treat deer more humanely than most cows are treated at slaughterhouses.

Geoff, I live in rural western NY but have family downstate and visit frequently. I've also spent a good deal of time in and around Gillibrand's district. NY 20 seems a lot more like the area I live in than it does NYC/LI. I'm pleased with the pick and will be interested to see how well Gillibrand gets to know this area.

Posted by: -pamela | January 24, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Wall Street Captains of the Universe are also BIG losers. Kirsten twice voted against Paulson's TARP. Asked about it at the press conference she gave an intelligent explanation of why buying up toxic assets could not possibly work (a la Krugman & Roubini). Banks would stick taxpayers with their most toxic CDOs and continue to feather their own nest with bonuses. She wanted many more conditions to be placed on TARP.

A populist psyche matched with real understanding of the economic issues will hopefully make her an antidote to Schumer's willingness to carry the water for Wall Street's incompetent and predatory investment bankers.

Posted by: jhb51 | January 24, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Chris, you don't know why Caroline Kennedy withdrew from consideration. The rumors of tax and nanny issues are just that--rumors. "Journalists" from the National Enquirer, New York Post operate on rumors. We expect better from the Washington Post professionals.

Further, to call Kennedy a "loser" for withdrawing from consideration--regardless her reasons--is unprofessional and unjustified.

Posted by: txgall | January 24, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

"this will be a very competitive race..."

Wanna bet on that?

Posted by: JEP7 | January 24, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cillizza understands less about New York politics than he implies. Kirsten Gillibrand does not represent "upstate". NY-20 encompasses the Hudson valley and parts of the Katskills, and this area is part of New York City's extended suburbs. The district has essentially nothing in common with the agricultural and rust-belt heart of upstate, particularly the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse corridor mired in its 4th decade of deep recession. Once again, the power brokers have chosen to ignore the other 75% of the State.

Posted by: GeoffWittig | January 24, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I see a lot of winners all around, and no losers.

Through this two month process I learned about some NYC area politicians I had not known too much about before. I learned that Carolyn Maloney is not Carolyn McCarthy, for example.

I also learned that if we do it right -- I mean if the media is smart -- we can have intelligent conversations about gun ownership in the future. New York culture is varied. In the north, the culture is more like our neighbor, Vermont, where guns are used for hunting and sportsmanship by many people. (Vermont and Alaska are the only states that don't require gun permits.)

The Adirondacks, for example, have many private leases for sportsmanship that I only learned about recently. Our cities have different concerns: criminals possessing and using guns illegally.

If we are smart people, we can talk about it. The strongest proponents of gun safety are hunters, and most people who are unfamiliar with guns don't know that.

We also have diverse opinions about immigration. Sen. Gillibrand will have to be an advocate for our multicultural state and develop positions reflecting that.

I'd like to see New York take a leadership position on immigrants' rights. Actually, I want to see us take a leadership position reflecting that immigrants are members of our community.

In New York, we have diverse opinions on federal bailouts: people firmly opposed to giving Wall Street millionaires any of our tax dollars, and people with too much information about how our water and sewer pipes date back to before the Civil War and need federal dollars to replace.

I see a time for good conversations, if we do it right. If we stop focusing on political soap operas and move on to talking about people's lives.

Winners all around.

But I wish our governor would just make decisions and stop "having fun" with it.

Posted by: kateinNY | January 24, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

avanti5010, it may come as a shock to you, but, in many rural areas, hunting is a way to put meat on the table and feed a family. No, we don't need and shouldn't allow assault, automatic, sem-automatic and concealed weapons in the hands of the general public, but while I don't hunt, it's none of my damned business who does so long as they are lawful.

I predict Gillibrand's views will moderate. She's a proven fund raiser and can win in a GOP district as she beat her opponent last November by 24 points.

While understanding Ms. McCarthy's position due to family tragedy, if she runs agains Gillibrand, she's making the biggest political mistake of her career. You can count on the tacit if not visible support of the Obama team for Gillibrand.

As far as the Sarah Palin comparison, when did she graduate from Emma Willard School in Troy, NY, obtain a degree Magna Cum Laude from Dartmouth, a law degree from UCLA and speak and write fluent Mandarin? Duh! Liberal "whack jobs" strike again.

Posted by: NotBubba | January 24, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I an surprised that so many NY Ds are so vehemently anti-gun ownership.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 23, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

R. Limbaugh (for stating he "hopes [Commander in Chief] Obama will fail" thus dropping the pretense he is some kind of patriot and admitting he is a bloated anti-American hatemonger)

Broadwayjoe with the intellectually dishonest comment of the day! Or maybe he's just a pathological liar, like his boy Biden?

Posted by: ArlingtonHokie | January 23, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like another Sarah Palin to me. Ya' know what I mean.
Democrats who cow tow to NRA are not true Dems. Why doesn't she switch to Repugnican and move to where she belongs. NRA makes me envision that larger than life fool Heston (thank God he's pushing up daisies) and the fool Dumbya. Thank God he is GONE!
Hunting with guns is no longer a sport or a necessity.. It is a barbaric excuse to kill something with life in its blood. No one NEEDS to hunt animals any longer to survive in the USA.
Hillibrand is probably a manwoman who won't come out of the closet and feels the need too use a gun to alleviate her penis envy.

Many in my family were hunters, but have moved beyond the barbarism they may have had.

Obama is quickly losing his luster, too.

Posted by: avanti5010 | January 23, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like another Sarah Palin to me. Ya' know what I mean.
Democrats who cow tow to NRA are not true Dems. Why doesn't she switch to Repugnican and move to where she belongs.
Hunting with guns is just no longer a sport. It is a barbaric excuse to kill something with life in its blood. No one NEEDS to hunt animal any longer to survive in the USA.

Posted by: avanti5010 | January 23, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Chris, she's from Columbia county, not Albany county.

Posted by: johannesrolf | January 23, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse


DAVID PATERSON & SHELLEY SILVER: they weren't going to be muscled by Caroline Kennedy's "star" power and were furious by her cultivation of support of Paterson and Silver's enemies: Bloomberg, Schumer, Koch, and Parsons. Also, Paterson gave CK at graceful way out and she didn't take it, so Paterson and Silver (who've known each other since childhood) put a good hard NYC middle-class beat-down on a Social X-Ray.

KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND: She represents a conservative district with a lot of hunters but her own views are quite a bit more progressive than those of Carolyn McCarthy. Hurricane Katrina proved that guns are neither a Republican nor Democratic issue. The NRA interpretation is the prevailing one and as far as I know brandishing a firearm in public is still a very serious felony whereas hunting is a pastime.

NEW YORK AND DEMOCRATIC SENATE DELEGATION: Gillibrand=ANTI WAR. McCarthy=PRO WAR. Gillibrand=PRO GAY MARRIAGE. McCarthy=anti-GAY MARRIAGE. Gillibrand Pro-Choice=McCarthy very wishy-washy. How did McCarthy become Rep? A tabloid tear jerker which allowed Whites to express racism while being in the morally correct position!


CAROLINE KENNEDY. If she's so rich, why isn't she smart?

ANDREW CUOMO: Another lunatic Spitzer type who could snap at any moment and cost Paterson the defense of his office

BLOOMBERG, KOCH, SCHUMER and the rest of the NY "centrists". They hate Paterson but they showed themselves to be impotent.


Posted by: DexterClinkscale | January 23, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Only two days in and so much material. Gonna be a quick two years until commrade PeLousy and Thin Reed are gone. consumed by incompetence, infamy and fecklessness.

A quick synonym is Dem.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | January 23, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Gonna be a lean 8 years for you, king_of_zouk. Keep reaching. If nothing else, the stretching exercise will do you good.

Posted by: officermancuso | January 23, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

So it seems we have the lip sync adminstration. First it starts with Perlmann and Yo yo faking a quartet, playing out of tune while sending a perfect sounding piece to the masses. then the rest of the Capone Admin complies. We will close gitmo, in a while. we will hire a tax cheat to run IRS. we will have no lobbyists unless we do. we will end the war on terror, just call it something else. We will answer no questions, same as always. we will deploy the incompetents - we Are DEMS after all.

All the warnings about the guy with no experience went unheeded. Rev Wright should be schreeching about the chix coming home to roost.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | January 23, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

To lartfromabove: you said CK could run and win in 2010. Problem is, CK will never run for anything. It's too much work. I doubt she would have even run for re-election had she been appointed.

Posted by: Compared2What | January 23, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm not conversant with New York politics but I'd venture to guess that those who are writing off Gillibrand's ability to win her first Democratic party senatorial primary will be surprised by the power of incumbency. I predict it will give her the Dem spot on the next ballot, gun issue or no.

Should this prediction prove correct I win the right to pay my next electric bill. On the other hand, should it prove foolhardy, my penalty as a loser will be to have to pay my next electric bill.

Who's up next?

Posted by: officermancuso | January 23, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin's credentials > C. Kennedy's Credentials

Posted by: 4thFloor | January 23, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Paterson could possibly have done better by appointing Cuomo. Polls showed he was the popular favorite. Kennedy was not disqualified because of her sex, but her supporters won't admit that. So Paterson gains nothing by appointing a female. Kennedy's supporters are rabid for him and another female congressional representative is already promising a primary challenge. Had he chosen Cuomo, then at least he could have pleased someone. Oh well. I've never seen such a shtstorm, but I'm not convinced that New York is any tougher than some other places.

Posted by: blasmaic | January 23, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

1) To upstaters, Albany seems a world away - but Saratoga Springs and Glens Falls are a whole lot closer (geographically and psychologically) than NYC - and the 20th congressional district also touches the Adirondacks.

2) Now that Gillibrand will represent the entire state, and is not constrained by a very "R" leaning district, she has more freedom to move center-left should she choose.

3) I know many democratic voters who hunt. Unless she does something crazy that affects gun laws downstate, I see McCarthy's claim that Gillibrand is a poster child for the NRA as a hyperbolic non-issue. (And sour grapes, too. Her whining did not come across well on NPR - I'd move her to your loser column.)

4) If she's as smart and energetic as she's portrayed, Gillibrand will survive a primary challenge, win the special election, and win a full term in 2012. Add Peter King to your list of losers.

Posted by: -pamela | January 23, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

As a New Yorker I am thrilled with this choice.

Gillibrand is a rising star. McCarthy, who is 65 and has no charisma and does not have the talent for fundraising, doesn't stand a chance against her in the primaries. Gillibrand is a formidable candidate and will beat back all challengers. She will also be elected to the Senate seat.

Posted by: VictoriaBalfour | January 23, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

More winners:

Hillary Clinton. Gillibrand supported Clinton in the primaries, while Caroline Kennedy supported Obama.

Working mothers. Gillibrand already had a young child, when she was elected to the the House, and gave birth to another while in office. After the trashing of Sarah Palin (who deserved it for her politics and inexperience but not for her family life) and Michelle Obama's "Mom in Chief" declaration, Gillibrand could be the champion working moms need right now.

Posted by: samrosenbaum | January 23, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Biggest Loser is Barack Obama, who advocated for Caroline Kennedy.

Big Winner is Hillary Clinton, who was strongly endorsed by Gillenbrand.

Caroline Kennedy endorsed Obama during the Presidential campaign (and rightly so) which boosted his credibility and ended up hurting Clinton's credibility because the Kennedys and Clintons were supposedly such good friends and here Caroline is publicly supporting Obama. Obama owed it to Caroline to endorse her, and Hilary was bound to be opposed since Caroline spurned her in the past.

It should be noted the I am in favor of Gillibrand's appointment to the seat over Kennedy's. I hate name recognition politicians (Like GWB, Hillary, the Kennedys).

Posted by: Grant_x | January 23, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Just Losers this time (except for Pultizer Prize winner Maureen Dowd's brfillant appearance on Larry King):

Mrs. Schlossberg (you know)

Gov. Paterson (for making a mess of something that should have been simple -- even Blago figured it out; Delaware had no difficulty appointing Biden's long-time family retainer to his vacated seat)

Gillibrand (clearly won't survive the Dem. primary when she runs for election in 2010; a right-wing extremist Dem, one of a kind)

New York State (they had about 132 perfectly qualified candidates including Jerrold Nadler but ended up with Gillibrand; how'd that happen?)

R. Limbaugh (for stating he "hopes [Commander in Chief] Obama will fail" thus dropping the pretense he is some kind of patriot and admitting he is a bloated anti-American hatemonger)

The anti-BHO, anti-AA AA "commentators" hired by CNN to integrate their punditry to talk about the first AA President of the United States (Was Ward Connerly not available? Could they not borrow J. Williams from Fox? Was Tavis Smiley already booked?)

"Mrs." Mary Carillo (for again providing unlistenable and unwatchable tennis commentary for ESPN at the Australian Open; since there is no radio play by play you can't turn the sound off -- "Mrs." Carillo is "Mrs." Billie Jean King but much worse) (for creating more imaginary, self-generated, anti-BHO controversies each day than even Drudge; if you need web filler, sell more ads)

Richard Speck (for being Richard Speck, nuff said)

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 23, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Since Kennedy was not chosen, Paterson could not choose a Cuomo, given Cuomo's divorce from Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, who is her cousin Caroline's booster. Paterson split the difference, and chose Gillibrand, which will of course help a lot upstate.

Also, do not underestimate Hillary's working to "endear" herself to upstate voters. She worked tirelessly to get to know upstaters, and she succeeded. And, although Albany is upstate, people in the small towns of the Southern tier and in western New York, view Albany somewhat unlike their more industrial towns, and their rural villages.

Posted by: readerny | January 23, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Paterson: This This gal in my opinion is a NO NO. PRO GUNS YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING



Posted by: LOONYBIN2000 | January 23, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Gillibrand may be the obvious winner, but it's New York's loss.
And speaking as a grateful former constituent of Hillary Clinton's, I've had many a chance to see both her in action and the deleterious effects of the patronage system she opposed and that Patterson is still intent on creaking along.

It was a mystery to me from the first that with all the experienced Kennedys available, notably Robert Jr., not to mention the Cuomo's, Patterson would have thought a novice like Caroline Kennedy would have even been relevant. How you can so obviously consider the wrong Kennedy and still be thought credible is going to be interesting.

It says a lot more about Patterson's solely politically motivated judgement that he is willing to put in someone pretty much guaranteed to do his bidding rather than creating the forceful jetstream created by the Schumer-Clinton pairing.

My guess is that Patterson already knows he is a one-timer there but for the grace of God and call-girls. And this is how he is paying back all his opposition.By screwing them over with a proxy-puppet.

There is nothing really as wrong as, oh say, George Bush with Gillibrand. But there is not a whole lot that is outstanding about her either. She is the kind of traditionally insipid nepotistic Upstater you hope you can do better than be. Not that it would be hard to do.

And Upstate needs a pro's pro right now. To overlook half your state merely to mow some political hay is truly unforgivable. And in NY it won't be.

What is it with this country, anyway? Texas, Florida, Chicago, New York. The dirtier the pond, the bigger the fish.


Posted by: gala1 | January 23, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

You left out Taxpayers as losers in New York and the Thain clique as winners-but there's time to recover.

Four ways to make BAC pay for MER bonus outrage:
1. Loans on the basis of convertible amounts which increase with price of BAC stock, ie $1 loan for $1 at $6/share; $2 for $1 loan at $10/share, $3 for $1 loan at $15 per share or above.
2. Loans which require repayment within six months or convert at $2/$1 loan; repay within 1 year at $3/$1 loan; repay within 2 years at $4/1 loaned.
3. Never again clause-no acceleration of any incentive payments to management or all loaned amounts immediately become due.
4. Deferred incentive compensation - payout any amounts over $100,000 only on basis of 10 year payout, with remaining unpaid amounts lost if excess losses or loans unpaid on terms as described above.

All of the above measures can be justified on grounds that if Banks recover after govt assumption of baseline risk, they can issue equity/ or share earnings, to pay govt back in multiples of amounts put at risk by taxpayers (JUST AS EXECUTIVE SOUGHT MAXIMUM COMPENSATION FOR MINIMUM RISKS!!!)
And shareholders have nothing to complain about these terms, because without govt funds, after ridiculous executive compensation claims, equity would have been worth ZERO/NAUGHT/NADA/DE RIEN

Posted by: mesondk | January 23, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Those who don't follow New York politics may well underrate Gillibrand, who's new, but definately qualifies as a comer. She was recruited by Rahm Emmanuel to run in a majority Republican district against an entrenched Republican incumbent,raised a ton of money and won a very nasty campaign, worked really hard getting stuff for the district and beat another strong Republican candidate last year by over 20 points. The process may have been botched, but you have to think Paterson, who's a New York City guy, comes off better next year with Gillibrand campaigning for him upstate. She's definately a Hillary type--smart,works her tail off, takes nothing for granted. No pants suits though.

Posted by: grundoon51 | January 23, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

By the way, if "rabid pack of howling jackals" should perchance violate WaPo's rules governing commentaries and discussions, I'd like to change that to "bunch of butt-munching mutts".

Posted by: officermancuso | January 23, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Though basically unknown to the public, Gillibrand seems like a good choice.
She's from the upstate part of New York State. New York City - the southern part of the state - gets most of the media attention.
But upstate New York needs financial help badly; it has done so for some time now.
Gillibrand will able to look out for the interests of upstate voters as well as those from the other part of the state.

Posted by: pkellogg1 | January 23, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Caroline Kennedy definitely lost some luster in this tussle. Being a Kennedy has its political advantages (multiplied when you're a child of JFK), but outside Massachusetts it also brings in tow a rabid pack of howling jackals - in addition to her own missteps.

Posted by: officermancuso | January 23, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Here is the voter registration stats as of 11/1/2008 for New York's 20th CD.

Republican: 196,118
Democrat: 125,486
No Party Affiliation: 118,364
Independence: 24,713
Conservative 9,306
Green: 1,858
Working Family 1,710

One would think that the Republicans should win this seat, but they have mastered the art of losing.

Posted by: Digital_Voter | January 23, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse


--"Who will Paterson pick? Divining the mind of Paterson is a fool's errand (as evidenced by the coverage over the last 24 hours) but there appear to be two frontrunners: Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand and state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo."--

Well if you gotta be a fool, might as well be a successful one.

Posted by: DonJasper | January 23, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget Bobby Jindal! I'm sure you've got him on the winners line somewhere.

Posted by: havok26 | January 23, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I would add the people of New York to the winners column: the process, as messy and unseemly as it was, is over, and they have a new senator who, by all accounts I've read, is a smart and capable legislator.

Posted by: rbn1211 | January 23, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Caroline Kennedy may have made a newbie mistake that people will forgive and forget about. If she decides to stay in New York state politics, she'll be a very significant player. She could easily win a seat in Congress in 2010.

David Paterson isn't making friends. One of the best things he could do for himself (and for the state) would be to find a role in state administration for Kennedy.

Kirsten Gillibrand has won a lottery, but she's a good second choice for the Senate seat. If she's Schumer's pick, she's pretty safe for 2010; Chuck Schumer is a great leader and a lot of New York Democrats want to be on his side of things.

Posted by: lartfromabove | January 23, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Say what you want about Gov. Paterson, but at least he managed to fill a Senate seat without getting himself arrested, making his state a global laughingstock or seeing his wife fired. That makes Paterson a big "winner" in my book . . .

Posted by: simpleton1 | January 23, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Biggest Loser is Barack Obama, who advocated for Caroline Kennedy.

Big Winner is Hillary Clinton, who was strongly endorsed by Gillenbrand.

Posted by: jctmpt | January 23, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Good use of quotation marks: Hillary wasn't "from" Westchester County. She was from Washington, D.C., and Arkansas. At least that was how many of we Upstaters felt.

Posted by: coonchuck1 | January 23, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Agree that Patterson's stock took a hit here. As a result, the Democrats may have just let Republicans back in in NY. Patterson may lose the governorship, and they are likely to lose Gillibrand's House seat. And she will get an aggressive NYC primary challenge. This pick is a total political loser for Paterson.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | January 23, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"Also not qualified, or interested."

Perhaps you can list the qualifications for being a US senator? Here, I'll start.

1. 30 years old

Now your turn!

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 23, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

@OHIOCITIZEN--You're dreaming if you thin a Schumer backed candidate will beat Gillibrand. McCarthy is justifiably upset, but ultimately she won't run.

I'd add Congressman Peter King as a big loser. I think his only open door was Caroline Kennedy; I doubt he even runs for Senate now.

Posted by: TapirBoy1 | January 23, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Re: Very well written, although ...

... a short sub-clause identifying Carolyn McCarthy might have helped those not as well versed on New York politics as they should be. (It is more than a full-time job trying to keep up with the craziness of California politics.)

Border Enforcement + Immigration Moratorium
For the Environment & All Living Within It

Posted by: tma_sierrahills | January 23, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Gillibrand is likely to lose a Democratic primary next year.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | January 23, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

RE: Chelsea -- that's an easy one, she turns thirty, the minimum age to be a senator, on Feb. 27, 2010. Also not qualified, or interested.

Posted by: garfield1 | January 23, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

David Paterson is indeed the # 1 Loser in this debacle. His "process" of secret questionnaires and parading prospective appointees through his office like cattle up for auction was demeaning to the candidates themselves, the U.S. Senate and the People of New York. He almost seemed sadsistic as he left decent public servants twisting in the wind while he played his game with them these many weeks. At least this bizarre burlesque is finally over.

Posted by: FloridaWatcher | January 23, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I agree Paterson is the biggest loser, but have to disagree that Cuomo will be shy about challenging him, especially after the past two months.

While Paterson will enjoy a strong AA backing, I doubt he will have the cake walk that you are predicting.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | January 23, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone proof read at the Post any longer? "Not much has gone 'write' for House GOPers..." I know it is a blog, but still. It should be "right".

Posted by: DCBoudin | January 23, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Chelsea Clinton (Loser) -- why wasn't she considered?

Posted by: newbeeboy | January 23, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

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