Sunday, February 19, 2006

Here's Kirsten

Today's Post Star has two stories on the campaign. The opinion section features a Question and Answer session by Mark Mahoney:
Already well-funded and off to an unusually strong start for a Democrat in this district, Gillibrand got the first big front-page headlines of her fledgling campaign by calling out the congressman for his ski weekend in Utah with a group of lobbyists. During a meeting with The Post-Star editorial board last week -- her first meeting with a newspaper board since she officially began her candidacy in January -- Gillibrand continued to show she was up for a fight. Relaxed, confident and informed, her presence was a refreshing breath of air for Democrats following the well-intentioned, but disastrous, 2004 campaign waged by Mrs. Kelly. In the hour-long interview, she spoke easily about the congressman's record, what she sees wrong with it, and why she thinks the voters of the 20th Congressional District will overcome their past tendencies and send a Democrat to Congress for the first time in nearly three decades. [full story here]
And the Local Section acknowledges that the campaign has a chance. As Editor Ken Tingley says in the local story here.
The pragmatic, sensible reasoning is that Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand has about as much chance of unseating Republican Congressman John Sweeney in this district as: a. George W. Bush pulling troops out of Iraq. b. Dick Cheney taking a shooting lesson. c. Bill Clinton admitting he did have sex with that woman. d. Hillary Clinton announcing she won't run for president. That's the conventional wisdom for a 39-year-old lawyer from Albany who has never run for elective office. By September, the multiple-choice choices might be a little different. It might be framed this way: Kirsten Gillibrand has about as much chance of unseating Congressman John Sweeny as: a. O.J. getting off. b. The U.S. hockey team beating the Soviets in Lake Placid in 1980. c. The United States landing a man on the moon. d. The Red Sox finally winning a World Series.
It looks like her campaign has more than just a chance as an online poll today shows Gillibrand winning almost 58% of the vote when asked "If the election was held today, who would you vote for to represent the 20th District in the U.S. House of Representatives?" John Sweeney will be pounding the streets soon, but it might be too little too late since locals have been asking "Wheeerrrre's Johnny?" for some time now:
The only federal representative we haven't seen around these parts is Congressman Sweeney. Maybe he's resting on those 65-35 percent Election Day victories. ... Voters in this area have shown no hesitancy about throwing indifferent Republicans out of office -- as evidenced by the outcome of last month's general election. Mr. Sweeney owes it to consitutents to regularly stop by, meet with them and answer their questions. Otherwise, he may find himself on the short end of the next 65-35 election result.

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