Kirsten Gillibrand’s Al Franken Betrayal May Doom Her 2020 Prospects
“national donors and bundlers — many of them women — said they would never again donate to or fundraise for Gillibrand”
New York Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has already made it clear that she intends to run for president in 2020. In an ultimate twist of irony, her enthusiasm for #MeToo may be her undoing.
She is already having a problem with Democrat donors for supporting Al Franken’s resignation last year.
Natasha Korecki and Laura Nahmias report at Politico:
Franken scandal haunts Gillibrand’s 2020 chances
Just a month after Al Franken formally resigned from the Senate amid sexual misconduct allegations, the former senator met with an intimate group of Bay Area supporters at the home of major Democratic Party financiers Mary and Steve Swig.
As Franken and his wife, Franni Bryson, made the rounds, thanking supporters in the philanthropists’ San Francisco home at the February 2018 event, the conversation broke off into another subject: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. The New York Democrat had, in their opinion, pulled the rug out from under Franken, a Minnesota Democrat beloved by the group, forcing him out without any real vetting of the allegations facing him.
“It was said not in front of Al to impress him; it was said privately in a corner. A group of us were standing there talking about it. He was one of our best weapons against this administration, his presence on these committees. [Gillibrand] did the damage that Republicans could not do themselves,” one of the attendees told POLITICO. “There were other people at this event who were saying the same thing. They said, ‘Absolutely, I will never do anything for her.’”
These are the people who could doom Gillibrand in 2020. In the months before the Democratic primary, there will be a mad dash for campaign cash with tons of competition. Gillibrand could be finished before she starts:
Today, nearly a year after Gillibrand led the charge in calling for Franken’s resignation, the anger is fresh on the minds of major donors across the country.
More than a dozen prominent West Coast, New York and national donors and bundlers — many of them women — said they would never again donate to or fundraise for Gillibrand or would do so only if she ended up as the Democratic presidential nominee.
Tiana Lowe of the Washington Examiner does a fantastic job of reminding these folks that Gillibrand is not responsible for Al Franken’s behavior:
Democratic donors plot to punish Kirsten Gillibrand for holding Al Franken accountable for his sins
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., has flipped her position on issues before, yet for the one thing she remained admirably principled on — the seriousness of sexual assault — the Democratic donor class reportedly plans on punishing her.
Yes, Gillibrand is going to be punished for the crime of leading the charge to oust sexual predator Al Franken from the Senate…
To her credit, Gillibrand hasn’t backed down. She directly rebuffed George Soros’ blame game in August and shared the Politico report about this donor revolt with the comment, ” Silencing women for the powerful, or for your friends, or for convenience, is neither acceptable, nor just.”
She’s correct. More importantly, Gillibrand didn’t make Franken grope multiple women. She didn’t make the truth come out, and then she certainly didn’t make him lie about it. What she did was stick by her principles and ask that Franken face punishment for his actions. In a just world, Franken’s multiple instances of sexual battery and assault would warrant criminal punishment. But a Senate resignation is more justice than most victims ever receive.
Many of the same donors who blame Gillibrand for Franken’s problems support recent efforts to rehabilitate Franken’s public image. David Freddoso, also of the Washington Examiner, threw cold water on that in an excellent new column this weekend:
Dear hypocrites and enablers: Please stop trying to rehabilitate the predator Al Franken
I had resolved to stay clear of Twitter on Thanksgiving except perhaps to share a few thoughts about food. But last night, I saw a tweet from one of Washington’s longtime liberal think-tankers that was just too much for me to bear:
Take the time to read Al’s beautiful Thanksgiving reflection. His voice is so important. @alfranken https://t.co/SOzzdnuDJT
— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) November 22, 2018
Perhaps Ornstein and disgraced former Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., are old personal friends, and this is just a case of someone wrongheadedly defending a bad person out of personal loyalty. But there has been a broader effort in recent months to rehabilitate the unapologetic serial groper, who was forced out of office for attacking and harassing so many women that his own partisan colleagues couldn’t avoid throwing him under the bus. This broader effort can’t be considered outside of the fact that Franken was a huge draw for Democratic fundraisers, and his disappearance has been a disappointment for many.
For the sanctimonious attitude he took before his downfall toward issues of workplace harassment of women, Franken is also a classic hypocrite. Those trying to rehabilitate his career — and yes, this is a thing, it’s been going on almost since he resigned — are enablers who deserve to be called out.
Read the whole thing.
It will be great fun to watch this issue come up in the Democratic primary debates. Which candidate will defend Franken to take out Gillibrand? There’s not enough popcorn in the world.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
I wonder how many congress critters Gillibrand has serviced.
Leave a Comment