1. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, (D) New York
"I'm running for president the United States. I want to represent our country. Our whole country. And that means listening to their challenges. And when I talk to folks in New York, they just want basic things for their families. They want health care -- as a right and not a privilege. They want to be able to afford it and have good-quality health care. They want better schools, they want to know that their children can have a better life for themselves. And for a lot of people, they've been working so hard that they cannot make ends meet. They just want the access to the training they need to get a better job. And for so many people in New York, they need us to take on these structural challenges. Institutional racism is real. And it prevents you from getting a good job if it harms you because our public schools aren't funded equally. If it makes it impossible for you to get quality health care and survive childbirth, well, you gotta take on those things too. So, for all the people across America that feel left behind, I'm going to fight for them. And I have a track record -- to your question: I've done it. I've taken underdog causes, come-from-behind things. I mean, for those who know me here you know my first House race was in a 2-1 Republican district. Right here in this county. And it didn't matter because I could run on my values, I could run on Medicare for All in 2006 in a 2-1 Republican district, because back then people wanted basic health care. So, I intend to talk to everyone about what they care about and intend to listen and then I intend to fight for them."
A day after she jumped into the presidential race from a glimmering Manhattan television studio, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand returned Wednesday to her upstate New York hometown to preview a campaign that is expected to put gender front and center.
Speaking outside a Troy diner she said is "a stone's throw" from her family's house, Gillibrand framed the campaign as an extension of motherhood.
"I'm going to run for president of the United States because as a young mom, I will fight for your children as hard as I would fight for my own," Gillibrand, 52, said as she was joined by her husband, Jonathan, their 10- and 15-year-old sons, and her mother, Polly.
That argument could resonate in a Democratic primary in which women will be a crucial voting bloc and comes on the heels of a midterm election that sent a record number of women to Congress.
But Gillibrand, who announced the creation of a presidential exploratory committee Tuesday on CBS' "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," faces a series of hurdles.
She won't be the only woman seeking the White House — Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii have already jumped into the race, and several other prominent women are expected to soon follow them.
And there are persistent questions about whether — more than two years after Hillary Clinton fell short of the White House — Americans have grappled with sexism and are willing to support another woman running for president.