On Friday, New York Gov. David Paterson announced his pick for Hillary Clinton’s now-vacant Senate seat: conservative Dem Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand. She is considered one of the so-called Blue Dog Democrats who believe in fiscal conservatism, and the article notes she has a 100% rating from the NRA. She also voted against the recent bailout and believes in tough border enforcement. (Heads up from IMAO on the links.)
Some downstate liberals are moaning about the appointment and vowing to run against her in 2010. I guess when you’re in a state so dominated by Democrats, internecine fighting is inevitable. Personally, I think Gov. Paterson did a good job with this pick, and credit is due him. Gillibrand is a much better choice than previous favorite Caroline Kennedy, a candidate whose views the left were more comfortable with but whose qualifications seemed to mainly consist of her dad being JFK. She abruptly withdrew from contention, and I’m sure the polling data showing most New Yorkers were opposed to her appointment had more than a little to do with it.
I’m sure there will be times she’ll take positions I disagree with, both out of her own principles and in the interests of following her party. Overall, though, she seems like a competent and reasonable woman to be joining the ranks of the Senate, and it might be worth noting that Republicans would be more likely to work with Democrats cut from her cloth than with the more liberal establishment that has taken over leadership in the Democrat party.