Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York announced Tuesday that she will run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, in a campaign that is expected to lean heavily on gender issues and imagery.
She told host Stephen Colbert on CBS’ “Late Show” that she believes she has “the compassion, the courage and the fearless determination” necessary.
“The first thing I would do is restore what’s been lost: the integrity and the compassion in this country,” she said. “I would bring people together to start getting things done.”
Gillibrand, 52, is most well known for her efforts to combat assault in the military and on college campuses, to repeal the military’s policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and to make it easier for Capitol Hill staffers who have been harassed or assaulted to report their experiences.
The senator has latched on to the burst of activism prompted by President Donald Trump’s election and his policies, a movement that’s largely driven by women. She called the 2017 Women’s March on Washington “truly the most inspiring moment of my entire life” and joined the protesters who challenged Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court last fall. She also stood up to fellow Democrats as the #MeToo era dawned, criticizing then-Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota and former president Bill Clinton for their alleged inappropriate behavior toward women.
“I’m going to run for president of the United States because, as a young mom, I’m going to fight for other people’s kids as hard as I would fight for my own. Which is why I believe that health care should be a right and not a privilege,” she said. “It’s why I believe we should have better public schools for our kids because it shouldn’t matter what block you grow up on. And I believe that anybody who wants to work hard enough should be able to get whatever job training they need to earn their way into the middle class.”
(c) 2019, The Washington Post · Jenna Johnson