New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has been running for the Democratic nomination for president for several months, but last weekend she officially entered the race with an event meant to grab the attention of the news media and set her apart from the other candidates in the field.
Throughout her career she has been underestimated by journalists and fellow politicians. This probably stems from her youthful appearance and the fact that she was appointed to her seat in the U.S. Senate before winning two full terms on her own.
To combat perception, her campaign staged an announcement rally outside the Trump International Hotel, near Central Park and Columbus Circle, in New York City. There is no better way to elevate your reputation than by standing up to a bully - and no better person to serve that role than the president.
As I have mentioned in previous reports, the Democratic candidates are searching for the best way to confront President Trump on the campaign trail. Some argue the only way to beat him is to play the game by his rough rules. Others say, a winning Democrat will ignore Trump's personality and draw a comparison based on the issues.
There are a few candidates, like Gillibrand, who argue Trump's behavior in and of itself, is an issue that must be challenged.
Gillibrand knew her announcement would be eclipsed by the Trump/Russia story as she took the stage, but the news did not alter her underlying message.
She was introduced by a series of speakers who described how they had been personally hurt by the policies of the Trump administration. Each told the crowd they had found a partner and advocate in Gillibrand and each argued in their own way that Gillibrand would use the presidency to fight for those who are otherwise powerless.
© Dean Pagani 2019