Heard about this on Rush Limbaugh while I was driving in from the airport, and laughed so hard I almost drove off the Interstate:
ALBANY – Gov. Paterson, defying the liberal wing of his Democratic Party, has chosen little-known, NRA-backed, upstate Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as New York’s junior senator, it was learned last night.
The surprising – and, for many Democrats shocking – decision to pick the conservative Gillibrand, 42, from Hudson in Columbia County, was disclosed by the governor in calls to party officials and some members of the state’s congressional delegation, many of whom said they were unhappy with the selection, sources said.
Gillibrand, a mother of two occasionally resented by colleagues for being an aggressive self-promoter, was strongly backed for the post by Charles Schumer, the state’s senior senator, who said a woman and an upstater was needed on next year’s ticket.
Paterson’s decision – to be officially announced today at noon at the state Capitol – was made just 24 hours after Caroline Kennedy took herself out of the running.
The decision was a major rebuff to some of the state’s best-known Democrats interested in Clinton’s seat, including Attorney General and former federal Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo, for whom Gillibrand once worked as a junior lawyer.
Sources said “at least five” members of the state’s Democratic congressional delegation called Paterson to protest the possibility of Gillibrand’s selection.
Gillibrand has won two successive elections in one of the heaviest GOP districts in the state, first upsetting incumbent Rep. John Sweeney and, in November, defeating former state GOP chairman and multimillionaire Alexander Treadwell, in one of the most expensive races in the nation.
Liberal Democrats have been wary of her because she ran for re-election with the backing of the National Rifle Association, opposed the federal TARP program to rescue banks, and has been less than enthusiastic about gay marriage.
So, in other words, everyone complained so much about Caroline Kennedy, and so many insiders wanted the seat, that Paterson just got tired of the bickering and chose someone with experience who (a) wasn’t one of the bickerers, and (b) at least had a modicum of appeal to both sides.
And now her open House seat will very likely b filled by a Republican. That is a double-win for conservatives. I predict that a small TON of Democraps will run for this seat in 2010; and probably knock each other off — laving her in the seat indefinitely.
You gotta love it.