CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) — The Chrome Horse Saloon in Cedar Rapids' NewBo District is used to big crowds, but not when a politician takes the stage. The music venue hosted a campaign event for New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Despite not making a formal announcement that she is running for president, Sen. Gillibrand has already amassed a healthy war chest, hired campaign staff, and begun to criss-cross critical battleground states including Iowa.
It's an opening lap in an attempt to separate from a crowded Democratic field for the 2020 nomination. Sen. Gillibrand is one of five U.S. Senators already in the race. "You have to fight for what’s right, even when it’s hard, especially when it’s hard." Said Gillibrand, who also had plenty of criticism of the current occupant of the White House, President Trump. "We have always believed that we should care about the least among us, until right now." Gillibrand said. "Until President Trump has spewed so much hate, so much division, dividing us on every racial religious and socioeconomic line you can imagine.”
Gillibrand says she was inspired to enter the political world after seeing a speech delivered by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton more than 20 years ago. Clinton spoke in China and challenged the communist nation on both human rights and women's rights. "We stand on the shoulders of the 65 million cracks in the glass ceiling that she achieved and I think all of us are grateful that she tried hard and that she had a vision for American and she tried to achieve it." Gillibrand told reporters after her event.
One of the key problems for Senator Gillibrand and all the other Democrats in this race is many voters are waiting to see what former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders do. Until then, Gillibrand and the others are hoping that declaring early will lead to success here in Iowa.