Senator Kirsten Gillibrand launched a drive to get more women politically active, saying it was time to "get off the sidelines." But as a race for her seat in the U.S. Senate unfolds this year, YNN's Bill Carey says that's just where Gillibrand finds herself.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Standing on the sidelines, Kirsten Gillibrand, for now, can only wait until a June 26th primary to find out just who she will be running against in the fall. But even then, she says, she will resist the urge to focus solely on politics at the expense of her job.
“You're always trying to do the best you can for your constituents. What an election is, is the day they decide if you're doing a good enough job. And so I feel like it's fundamentally intertwined anyway. I'll be doing the same thing, come Election Day, that I'm doing today,” Gillibrand said.
While she has been on the sidelines of the political battle among republicans for their party's nomination, it is Gillibrand who is at the heart of all three republican campaigns.
Congressman Bob Turner says Gillibrand is part of a broken system in Washington that needs to be changed.
George Maragos ties the incumbent to President Obama, saying the public has lost faith in their policies.
Wendy Long says Gillibrand is out of step with the people she represents.
Republicans are also arguing that Washington and the Senate have changed Kirsten Gillibrand.
“She was such a conservative Upstate member of Congress and now she is the farthest, most liberal in the United State Senate, as judged by the National Journal, which is a very respectable judge of those things,” New York State Republican Chairman Edward Cox.
“I have the exact same values and priorities that I've always had,” Gillibrand said.
Gillibrand rejects the GOP argument.
“I don't necessarily understand what they're saying. But that's their view. My view is, I have to be measured on what's my visions for New York? What do I care about? What am I fighting for? Who am I representing? And that's what really makes a good Senator,” Gillibrand said.
The news, so far, for the Senator on the sidelines, has been good. Her favorability ratings are sky high. Her lead over any of the potential challengers is nearly two to one. But she says she's taking nothing for granted.
“No one's entitled to public service. Public service is an honor and it's a privilege and anyone who disregards that shouldn't be in it,” Gillibrand said.
Kirsten Gillibrand indicates she will not be on the sidelines much longer.
The three republican candidates for Gillibrand's Senate seat are due to debate on Sunday night at 7 here on YNN.