Maybe lefty downstaters wouldn’t have been so upset with the appointment of Kirsten Gillibrand if they’d known how quickly she’d jettison her more moderate stances on issues like guns, gays, and ‘gration (that’s immigration…we really wanted to keep the alliteration thing going). The very first to go was her opposition to marriage equality. Shortly before she was chosen to replace Hillary Clinton, Gillibrand was told by Governor Paterson’s team that she needed to make nice with New York’s gay-rights leaders. A couple of phone calls, and just like that, Gillibrand transformed overnight from a supporter of civil unions to a proponent of full-blown marriage equality — further than Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, or Barack Obama have been willing to go. Guns were next on the chopping block. No doubt Gillibrand will continue to fight for hunters, but after acknowledging that her priorities will change now that she represents the entire state (a prediction echoed by Chuck Schumer), her 100 percent rating from the NRA will surely take a hit going forward.
The latest issue is immigration. Meeting with Hispanic leaders on Sunday, Gillibrand suggested “that she would take the lead on some immigration issues — and perhaps quickly drop some positions that they considered objectionable,” such as her prior support for cracking down on illegal immigration in “sanctuary cities” like New York, according to the Times. Not everyone at the meeting was completely convinced that Gillibrand was suddenly a friend of immigrants, but at the rate she’s going, Gillibrand could make herself fairly palatable to city folk in time for the fast-approaching 2010 special election.
Related: Don’t Mess With Senator Tina* [NYM]