ALBANY–Smiling broadly as David Paterson told of the first time they met–during the great blackout in 2004, when Paterson was state senate minority leader and Gillibrand was an attorney–Kirsten Gillibrand was elevated from the House of Representatives to the U.S. Senate, replacing Hillary Clinton.
"We just saw an orderly transfer of power pursuant to our Constitution on Tuesday," Paterson sad. "Today, our United States Constitution acts again."
"This decision was not based on gender, on region, on race, religion or sexual orientation," Paterson said. "I believe that I have found the best candidate to become the next United States senator from New York."
When she was finally introduced, Gillibrand's words were slow and measured, as she read from a prepared statement.
"I realize that for many New Yorkers, this is the first time you've heard my name and you don't know much about me" Gillibrand said. "But I assure you that over the next few years, you will get to know me, and I will get to know you."
Gillibrand had kind words for both Andrew Cuomo, who was seen–by the public, if not the governor–as a prime contender for the seat, and Representative Carolyn McCarthy, a gun-control advocate who has vowed to run against her on the issue.
“Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has been a personal mentor and friend,” she said, reflecting on how they worked together at HUD when he was secretary.“I have special gratitude to Andrew, because he’s worked with me over the years on vital issues.”
“I’d like to recognize Congresswoman McCarthy, who’s provided outstanding leadership against gun violence,” Gillibrand said. “I look forward to working with her.”