Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said Thursday she would give a 2020 presidential bid “a long, hard thought of consideration,” marking a shift in posture from how she addressed questions about her ambitions during her just-concluded reelection campaign.
Gillibrand, who was initially appointed to fill Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat and won reelection Tuesday, addressed the issue during an appearance on CBS’s “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” The host asked if there were “another election that you might be concentrating on.”
Gillibrand called that “an important question.”
“I believe right now that every one of us should figure out how we can do whatever we can with our time, with our talents to restore that moral decency, that moral compass and that truth of who we are as Americans,” she told Colbert. “So I will promise you I will give it a long, hard thought of consideration.”
During her campaign for reelection, Gillibrand brushed off questions about 2020, pledging in one debate to serve out her full six-year term representing New York.
If she runs, Gillibrand is expected to be part of a crowded field of Democrats, including several of her colleagues from the Senate.
During her Senate tenure, Gillibrand has been outspoken on issues such as sexual assault in the military, sexual harassment, equal pay for women and family leave.
In the wake of Wednesday’s mass shooting in Southern California, Colbert introduced Gillibrand as someone with “an F rating from the NRA,” a reference to the powerful gun-rights lobby, the National Rifle Association.
“It is extraordinarily heartbreaking, and it’s infuriating because Congress literally has done nothing in the face of gun death after gun death in communities all across this country,” Gillibrand told Colbert. “And it is because of the greed: the greed of the gun manufacturers and the greed of the NRA.”
She added that there is hope for change, based on the success of several candidates who stood up to the gun lobby and prevailed Tuesday.