It is precisely that impression — that she isn’t scheming, that she isn’t tacking left simply for political utility, even if, in fact, she might be — that could put her ahead of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a mentor, in a race for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. Both have been talked about as prospective candidates. Liberals like the governor more than they used to, and he has seemingly become more progressive, standing up for a $15-an-hour minimum wage and behaving as a champion of the marginalized, a warrior against future and present Trump-based indignities. On Saturday night, when people flocked to Kennedy International Airport to protest the executive order on immigration, the governor ordered the Port Authority to reverse its decision to allow only those holding plane tickets to board the AirTrain, proclaiming that the voices of New Yorkers would be heard. Still, he has never shaken the impression that expedience is his first calling.
Ms. Gillibrand is honest about what she did and didn’t know at the beginning of her tenure in the Senate. She is willing to admit her mistakes and the gaps in her knowledge. Swelling support for her comes at a time when her closest colleague, Mr. Schumer, a fellow Democrat who is the Senate minority leader, has been the target of repeated protests from constituents who are either aggrieved over his approval of some of Mr. Trump’s cabinet nominees or who simply want to let him know they expect him to lead the resistance without wavering.
On Saturday, a big group convened outside his apartment building in Park Slope, Brooklyn, pointing to the backs of the fake skeletons they carried — the theme was “Get a spine.” Three days later, thousands more marched to the building to remind him that he was being held accountable. This was after he had already publicly wept over the immigration ban and suffered the president’s derision for doing so, and after he had announced that he would oppose most of the rest of the cabinet appointments.