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Why Is Kirsten Gillibrand Still Running for President?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

In 2016, there were four candidates vying for the Democratic nomination. In 2019, there are well over twenty people competing for the same prize. Most of them have zero chance of grabbing that brass ring, let alone beating Trump in the general election in 2020.

Some of them aren’t really running for president. They’re running for a chance at being picked for vice president, a cabinet position, or some other lucrative government post if the party’s nominee somehow manages to defeat Trump.

One candidate with no possibility of achieving any of those goals is Kirsten Gillibrand, the junior United States senator of the state of New York.

Gillibrand announced her 2020 run for president in January of 2019. Seven months later in July, she has yet to crack one percent in the Real Clear Politics average of polls.

Andrew Yang, who is considered a fringe candidate by many, has reached two percent.

Marianne Williamson, a New Age quasi-guru candidate no one had even heard of two months ago, is polling nearly equal with Gillibrand, and has received more press attention.

Why is this happening? There are at least three reasons.

First, Gillibrand’s role in the resignation from the United States Senate by Al Franken in Minnesota, turned off a lot of committed Democratic donors.

It doesn’t seem to matter whether she was right or wrong by leading the #MeToo charge against Franken. The perception by many progressives, who would be most likely to vote in a Democratic primary, is that she misused the #MeToo movement against another liberal senator who was more popular among progressives than she is today.

Politico and other liberal media outlets have cited this as a reason for her struggle to raise money, suggesting that progressive donors are holding back out of spite for her role in Franken’s resignation.

The second issue Gillibrand faces is honesty. When she was running for reelection to the Senate in the fall of 2018, she was asked during a televised debate if she was planning to run for president in 2020. She deflected by promising that if reelected to the Senate, she would serve her full term.

She probably will end up serving her full term, but it won’t be for lack of trying to do something else. It’s also worth noting that she will have spent a year or more of that time chasing her own personal gain, rather than serving the people of New York.

Lastly, Gillibrand has a massive authenticity problem. Anyone who pays attention to politics in the state of New York knows that Gillibrand presented herself as a conservative on many issues when she needed the votes of people in upstate New York to win election to the Senate in 2010.

Now that she is trying to appeal to Democratic primary voters on a national level in 2019, Gillibrand is presenting herself as Miss Woke USA.

Gun rights? Never heard of them. Immigration laws? Who needs ‘em?

A casual observer might suggest that Gillibrand is willing to say, do, or support whatever she thinks it will take to secure victory for herself, not the people of New York or the rest of the United States.

None of this explains why she is still running for president with less than one percent in polls. At what point does she finally drop her futile bid?

The “Ancient Aliens” guy with the crazy hair has a better chance than Gillibrand of securing the Democratic nomination for 2020, and he’s not even running. Yet.

His people should get in touch with Marianne Williamson’s campaign.

As a ticket, they would have more potential than Kirsten Gillibrand.

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