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Kirsten Gillibrand announces presidential bid—and Al Franken diehards are salty
It’s almost like Democrats have learned nothing in two years.
“I’m filing an exploratory committee for president of the United States….tonight!” she said, with the audience bursting into cheers. “As a young mom, I’m going to fight for other people’s kids as hard as I would fight for my own,” adding the need for better healthcare, public schools, and access to jobs.
To do this, she said she wants to take on institutional racism, “corruption and greed in Washington,” and special interest groups that influence middle-of-the-night lawmaking.
A vocal advocate of the #MeToo movement who has called for President Donald Trump’s resignation, Gillibrand is known also for taking a stance against men in her own party who have been accused of sexual misconduct. She said in November 2017 that Bill Clinton should’ve stepped down from his presidency because of his illicit affair with Monica Lewinsky; she was also one of the first to call for the resignation of then Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) in December 2017 following allegations of groping and kissing women.
After calls from numerous other Democratic senators, as well as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee condemning his actions, Franken resigned within a day. But people are still salty about it, and her outspoken comments have reportedly lost her support from donors in her own party.
Yesterday, following her announcement, many Franken supporters picked at their old wounds, saying they would never vote for her because she “betrayed” Franken. One Twitter user even commented that stanning Franken was the majority of responses to her 2020 announcement tweet.
I stand with Al Franken always. You devistated his family and we lost the brilliance of his voice. Watching the Barr hearing today was upsetting enough but sad without senator franken— amy glass (@amyglas77482424) January 15, 2019
Kristen Gillibrand, won’t ever get my vote. I hated the way she went after Al Franken, never gave him the right to due process. She did that just to make a name for herself.— Cooper (@Cooper19728891) January 11, 2019
Don’t play that game. We are not the deplorables. We know exactly what #NeverGillibrand did to Al Franken and why she did it.— Pat (@IrishPatty54) January 16, 2019
From what I can see in the comments, you don’t have a groundswell of support due to your actions against Al Franken.. we remember— it’s-me-sha (@itsmesha) January 16, 2019
I won’t be joining you given what you did to @alfranken , foregoing due process or the chance to appear for an ethics committee hearing. I am a life long Democrat but I wil steadfastly work for another candidate who believes due process is important— Beth Cefalu (@BethCefalu) January 15, 2019
Al Franken ........ Thank U Next— Meti (@84Meti) January 15, 2019
I agree. Not sure about her..🤔 I don’t like what she did to Al Franken either..— Texas Girl (@bpearson3031) January 16, 2019
I will never support you; remember Al Franken, who asked only for a hearing. Apparently you believe in justice for everyone except white men who might be rival candidates to you in 2020.— Susan DeSanti (@SusanDeSanti) January 16, 2019
To be honest, I’m not a big fan of the Clintons. But I’ll never forgive her for what she did to Al Franken. Plus, she was a hardcore conservative when she was congresswoman, then she automatically did a 180 on almost every position she held when she was appointed senator.— Shawn Michaels (@ShawnIsDynamite) January 16, 2019
More reasonable people have pointed out, however, that Franken didn’t resign because of Gillibrand’s actions but because of his own.
Lukewarm on Gillibrand atm, but credit must be given for alienating Clintonworld by saying Bill should've resigned, and standing her ground on Al Franken.— Elizabeth Bruenig (@ebruenig) January 16, 2019
There is no lower walk of life than men who blame Kirsten Gillibrand because Al Franken liked to play grab ass.— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) January 16, 2019
Kirsten Gillibrand is not responsible for Al Franken's behavior or resignation. Al Franken is responsible for both.— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) January 16, 2019
Buddy, I twice voted for al, he had to go after that picture. Don’t blame her for Al doing things he shouldn’t have.— DaddyCoolGuy (@daddycoolguy) January 15, 2019
Others noted that by asking for Franken’s resignation, Gillibrand was simply standing up for sexual harassment victims and women in the workplace, which is what Democrats should value in a leader.
Again, regardless of what you think of her candidacy, Gillibrand is a leading voice on sexual assault. Her call for Al Franken to resign was entirely consistent with her principles. You say you want principled leaders, but then you vilify Gillibrand for being too principled. 7/— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) January 16, 2019
I don't know what her chances as a presidential contender are... but no better way to detect the rotten part of the Democratic establishment than to find the folks who blamed Kirsten Gillibrand for Al Franken's problems.— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) January 11, 2019
This. This. This. And if you're on Twitter dot com saying that the only way Kirsten Gillibrand wins the nomination is with an endorsement from Al Franken then you're gutter trash and need to unfollow me right now.— diane alston (@dianelyssa) January 16, 2019
You know who you are. https://t.co/rz7AnvKlmB
Should be a long two years of learning nothing from our last presidential election!
Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque