Courtesy of Kirsten Gillibrand for President 2020
Courtesy of Kirsten Gillibrand for President 2020
Screenshot: Kirsten Gillibrand 2020

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand officially declared her candidacy for president this morning in a video announcement. She joins an already crowed field of candidates, including frontrunners Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Before today, Gillibrand was still in the exploratory phase. Her announcement comes as no surprise, as she has been traveling regularly Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.


Balancing the imagery of patriotism and pushing back against Donald trump’s racism, the video opens up in Black and White color with the American Flag waving in the wind. You see photos of American troops leaving military vehicles, people marching with a “Gay Liberation” banner, Tommie Smith and John Carlos throwing up the Black Power first at the 1968 Olympics.

In the background is Gillibrand’s voice:

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.

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.

It is a clear shot at Trump and his nativist rhetoric, which Gillibrand will have to take on directly if she eventually goes on to win the Democratic nomination for President.

Courtesy of Kirsten Gillibrand for President

The New York senator is kicking off her announcement week in Michigan Monday, campaigning in the state with Governor Gretchen Whitmer, whom she supported during her primary in 2018. MSNBC will be hosting its first 2020 Town Hall in Michigan, with Senator Gillibrand. The moderator will be Chris Hayes and will last the full 8pm EST hour Monday night.


Tuesday and Wednesday, she’s off to Iowa and then to Nevada Thursday.

Her first official campaign speech will take place Sunday in front of Tump International, in New York City, near Columbus Circle.

Terrell Jermaine Starr is a senior reporter at The Root. He is currently writing a book proposal that analyzes US-Russia relations from a black perspective.

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