Her name isn't well-known outside Albany, but associates of New York's newest senator say Kirsten Gillibrand will change that soon enough. Gillibrand is such a natural and skilled politician that her friends matter-of-factly expect the 42-year-old mother of two to run for president someday, the New York Times reports in a profile. Gillibrand is admired if not always liked by the state's Democrats and has never been shy of bucking her own party, once defying former Gov. Spitzer at the height of his power.
Democrats hope that her relatively conservative views on some issues—the NRA loves her—will shift leftward now that she's no longer representing a Republican district in Congress. However it shakes out, many expect more victories ahead. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this carried her even higher onto a national platform,”said a former classmate, now chief executive of cosmetics firm Burt’s Bees. “I could see her in the Cabinet, indeed if not throwing her hat into the ring in eight years."