Democratic Primary Exit Survey: Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand was never going to be president. Everyone knew so after the first debate, and the second debate only cemented it. So when the New York senator failed to qualify for the upcoming third debate, it’s no shock that she decided to end her campaign altogether.

Gillibrand’s decision comes just days after reports leaked of former staffers begging her to drop out. She began the 2020 Democratic primary by loudly championing women’s and reproductive rights, which created a tiny bit of buzz. But Gillibrand seemed to overplay those hands in the debates and regularly ran over her speaking time. Combine that with criticism of her spearheading Al Franken’s #MeToo Senate resignation in 2017, and Gillibrand might’ve blown her shot before she even declared. Not even her cozy Wall Street ties could save her.

What’s next for Gillibrand? She’s a prolific fundraiser, so she’ll remain a player in the Democratic Party as long as she keeps the money flowing. The senator flexed some progressive bonafides, but they were all within the party establishment’s purview—in other words, she’s not looking to go after the financial sector or do anything drastic to the status quo whatsoever. Gillibrand’s a dark horse vice president possibility depending on who wins the nomination. But beyond that, the most we’ll have to remember her by is this Donald Trump tweet following her dropout announcement, which we begrudgingly recognize is hilarious.

Trump likely won’t keep this up with candidates he’s actually afraid of losing to (read: anyone in the top five besides Joe Biden), so it’s important to cherish these kinds of childish burns while they last.