Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced she was ending her presidential campaign on Wednesday afternoon.
In a video posted on Twitter, Gillibrand said, "It's important to know when it's not your time and to know how you can best serve your community and country. I believe I can best serve by helping to beat Donald Trump in 2020."
Gillibrand jumped into the crowded field of Democratic challengers in January, after leasing 5,000 square feet of office space upstate and visiting Iowa, by announcing her quest on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The 52-year-old positioned herself as an advocate for families and their futures.
“As a young mom, I am going to fight for other people’s kids as hard as I fight for my own,” she promised on the program.
However, Gillibrand did not make a splash amongst the dozens of other candidates: She had been polling at 0-1 percent in polls and was tens of thousands of donors from qualifying for the third debate.
As the NY Times explains, "Although Ms. Gillibrand aligned herself with her party’s progressive wing on a range of issues, from health care and climate to immigration and campaign finance reform, she did not electrify liberals with her distinctive ideas, like Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Nor did she achieve a moment of debate-stage ignition, like Senator Kamala Harris of California."
"At a time when our national cortisol level is tied to the president’s Twitter feed, and when candidates are live-streaming and clapping back and eating salads with hair equipment, it has become unforgivable to be boring," a Washington Post feature about her suggested.
In a NY Times interview about her decision to leave the presidential race, Gillibrand said "she would endorse another candidate in the primary but had not yet picked a favorite."
Though she stopped short of saying she would endorse a woman, Ms. Gillibrand, who has made electing women to Congress a personal cause, said the next president had to be capable of uniting the country and suggested that a woman might be best suited for the job. “I think that women have a unique ability to bring people together and heal this country,” Ms. Gillibrand said, adding, “I think a woman nominee would be inspiring and exciting.” But she added: “I will support whoever the nominee is, and I will do whatever it takes to beat Trump.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement, "Senator Gillibrand is a great talent, a rising star in the Democratic Party and a good friend. The people of New York are fortunate to have her back full time."
Mayor Bill de Blasio, another presidential candidate who is polling in the 0-1 percent zone and has not qualified for the third debate, also chimed in:
Shortly after starting her campaign in January, WNYC's Brigid Bergin asked Gillibrand whether there was a divide in the Democratic party.
"I don't think the party is as far apart as you think. I think we deeply care about fairness and opportunity for everyone. I think we very much believe that healthcare should be a right and not a privilege. We certainly want better public schools and we want higher education to be more affordable," Gillibrand said. "I don't think Democrats want people to be laden with student debt and they're willing to fight against it. I think Democrats want to take on the drug companies to make sure that they stop gouging. And so I think there's a lot of unanimity about who we are, what our values are and what we're willing to fight for. I think you'll see small differences over the next year and a half."