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Kirsten Gillibrand announces presidential bid—and Al Franken diehards are salty

Late Show with Stephen Colbert / YouTube

It’s almost like Democrats have learned nothing in two years.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) announced her candidacy for the 2020 presidential election on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday.

“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.

More reasonable people have pointed out, however, that Franken didn’t resign because of Gillibrand’s actions but because of his own.

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.

Should be a long two years of learning nothing from our last presidential election!

Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque

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