After a two-month exploratory phase, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced the launch of her 2020 presidential campaign Sunday morning. In a video entitled “Brave Wins” — the theme of her campaign — published on social media, the senator laid out her reasons for running by reflecting on the lyrics of the Star Spangled Banner: “Our anthem calls America ‘the home of the brave.’ But we don’t realize that the lyrics first pose it as a question: ‘O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?’ It asks, ‘Will brave win?’ Well, it hasn’t always. And it isn’t right now,” Gillibrand says in a voiceover.
She expanded on her campaign theme of bravery, saying: “Brave doesn’t pit people against each other. Brave doesn’t put money over lives. Brave doesn’t spread hate. Cloud truth. Build a wall. That’s what fear does. We need to remember what if feels like to be brave. We launched ourselves into space and landed on the moon. If we can do that, we can definitely achieve universal health care. We can provide paid family leave for all, end gun violence, pass a Green New Deal, get money out of politics and take back our democracy. None of this is impossible.”
Gillibrand’s announcement comes on the heels of her tour of key primary states including Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, California and Texas. Her first week on the official campaign trail will take her to an MSNBC Town Hall in New Hampshire and campaign events in Iowa and Nevada. She will also appear on Showtime’s Desus and Mero — her second appearance on the show — before her first official campaign speech in New York City.
In choosing the location of her first big speech as a presidential candidate, Gillibrand is signaling she is ready to take on President Donald Trump. She will kick-off her official campaign near Columbus Circle outside of Trump’s hotel, Trump International.