‘It starts with humility and a recognition that you acknowledge that you’ve done something wrong…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Presidential hopeful Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, said there could be a “path to redemption” for Democratic politicians accused of sexual misconduct, like former Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and pundit Mark Halperin.
“It’s not for me to judge,” Gillibrand said during a Washington Post Live event when asked about Halperin’s return to the national spotlight.
“It’s a choice that any individual can make and they just make it,” she said. “It starts with humility and a recognition that you acknowledge that you’ve done something wrong.”
Gillibrand claimed she doesn’t see it as her responsibility to be the purveyor of disapproval, despite the fact that she was one of the first Democrats to call for Franken’s resignation—a decision she has continued to defend.
“There is no prize for someone who tries to hold accountable a powerful man who is good at his day job,” Gillibrand said at a town hall last month. “But we should have the courage to do it anyway … I did not want to remain silent.”
The New York Democrat maintained that she doesn’t regret speaking out against Franken, but described the situation as a “difficult” one.
“Anyone who wants a second chance, it’s always there for everyone,” she said. “We’re a country that believes in second chances.”
Some Democrats have accused Gillibrand of tanking Franken’s career to advance her own.
“I do hear people refer to Kirsten Gillibrand as ‘opportunistic’ and shrewd at the expense of others to advance herself, and it seems to have been demonstrated in her rapid treatment of her colleague Al Franken,” Democratic donor and fundraiser Susie Tompkins Buell told Politico.
“I heard her referred to as ‘She would eat her own,’ and she seems to have demonstrated that,” Buell continued. “I know [Gillibrand] thought she was doing the right thing, but I think she will be remembered by this rush to judgment. I have heard [that] some of her women colleagues regret joining her.”