In the face of accusations that he committed multiple ethics violations-including gloming on to additional rent stabilized apartments that might have been welcomed by some income challenged Harlem residents-accidental senator Kirsten Gillibrand is standing by her man. As Liz reports: " At a stop in Western New York this morning, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said she still plans to attend a fund-raising event/80th Birthday soirée with embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel. “He’s done a great deal of good for this country not only through his military service, but as the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee he’s done enormous amount of great public service for our state and I intend to attend.”
But what's her position on the, "embattled," Pedro Espada? Well, it is none other than her former staffer Gus Rivera (or whatever name he's going by today) who is making the challenge to Espada-can't imagine that it would be the case if it were Rangel, do you? But if Charlie Rangel's war service, and his great job of raising the country's incredibly high debt levels as chair of Ways and Means-and not the wrath of angry African-American voters-is what is moves Gillibrand, than surely the fact that Espada has provided health care to hundreds of thousands of poor South Bronx residents will soon bring a fulsome endorsement of this party pariah. No?
So, why the double standard? And what about Malcolm Smith and Greg Meeks. Will Gillibrand weigh in on these embattled pols as well? What we see from this political mutation is the kind of malleability once thought to only be possible for Gumby. Put simply, Gillibrand is a woman whose views and allegiances are ruled totally by expedience.