Two of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s former staffers are urging the New York Democrat to discontinue her 2020 presidential campaign rather than continue fighting to qualify for the next Democrat primary debate.
“It would be best if she decided that this was not her time,” one longtime Gillibrand fundraiser told the New York Post. “Most people that I talk to are very happy with her as their senator and don’t want her to give up her Senate seat and don’t see any realistic traction for her.”
Gillibrand, who has yet to breach one percent in major national polls, is working to secure the 130,000 individual donations required to appear on the debate stage next month in Houston — an appearance that one former staffer believes will only serve to harm her future political career.
“I don’t know that anyone even wants to see her on the debate stage. Everyone I have talked to finds her performative and obnoxious,” a former senior staffer in Gillibrand’s Senate office told the Post.
“She comes across as an opportunist to the public. I think that’s the biggest problem,” said the staffer, noting Gillibrand’s reversal on gun rights and immigration restrictionism, causes she championed as a member of the House representing a rural upstate New York district but later abandoned when she ran for the upper chamber. “I think she’ll have to seriously evaluate her campaign and her candidacy if she doesn’t make this debate.”
Gillibrand has received roughly 115,000 individual donations, which places her behind upstart candidate Marianne Williamson, a self-help author with no political experience who has already surpassed the threshold required to qualify for the next debate.