The Cycle | March 12, 2013
>>> back in 2006 , kirsten gillibrand was getting her feet wet in state politics. she was a moderate democrat who campaigned as a common sense centrist. she had no in order to win her congressional election in the largely rural upstate new york district 20 that had been a republican strong hold for all but four years since 1913 . and elected george w. bush twice. well, serving her upstate constituents on immigration and guns she sounded more like a texas conservative than a new york liberal. she opposed efforts to extend state driver's licenses to illegal immigrants and earned herself an "a" rating from the nra. sponsoring a bill to dwleet gelete background check information after 24 hours . then she was appointed to hillary clinton 's senate seat in 2008 . on the day of her appointle, mayor michael bloomberg publicly criticized her for her staunch opposition to gun control . suddenly the moderate kirsten of 2006 needed a makeover and quick if she was going to make it in bloomberg 's new york . so a new and improved kirsten, one that was more politically palatable to new york liberal elites was born practically overnight. within two years she impressively turned the "a" rating from the nra into a "f." she flipped on immigration, too, switching from a congresswoman who opposed all forms of amnesty to a senator who co-sponsored the dream act . lost in the talk about republicans primarying each other and running the party ever rightward is the story of gillibrand , hardly the only democrat forced to the far left of her party by an increasingly aggressive purification effort. if gun control and immigration were important issues in 2008 , purrty on those issues is top of mind for democrats looking to run in 2014 . democrats in the conservative districts won by mitt romney in 2012 are already fretting about the president's hard tact to the left since getting re-elected. as a politico piece by alex isentast laid out this week, the apparatus that recruited gillibrand and gabby giffords , a tough on immigration, pro gun, pro business moderate who wan in arizona border district by casting herself as a centrist. now being a moderate means running against the president. bloomberg is hard at work waving his purity wand around the country. last waging war on a pro gun democrat in illinois. obama made no secret of his desire to take back the republican-controlled house and his re-election seems to have injected a new confidence in the administration and the democratic party . one that's willing to ignore that many of the districts' dems want to win lean right. will 2014 democratic candidates cave to the pressure of obama/ bloomberg and the democratic apparatus as compliantly as gillibrand did or will the leftward plunge prove too perilous? one word is certain, if leftward becomes leftward no in 2014 , kirsten gillibrand will get to working on reversing again.