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Kirsten Gillibrand’s Book Tour in Political Territory

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Andrea Mitchell, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Connie Britton, Gloria Steinem and Sen. Cory Booker. These are some of the folks Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has hung out with as part of the publicity tour for her book, “Off the Sidelines: Raise your Voice, Change the World.”  

Since the book’s Sept. 9 launch in Manhattan, the New York Democrat has gone coast to coast this political season, touching down to talk about her political memoir, often side by side with a compatriot who embodies the book’s message for women to get involved in public life.  

On Sept. 10, she was in D.C. at an event with Mitchell at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue put on by Politics & Prose; on Sept. 13 she was at the Commonwealth Club in Los Angeles; Sept. 14 brought her to Boston, where she did an event with Warren at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. On Sept. 16, she was in Philadelphia at the Constitution Center; on Sept. 20, it was Nashville with “Nashville” and “Friday Night Lights” actress Britton as part of Parnassus Books’ Salon@615 event; on Sept. 21, she was in Dallas at Southern Methodist University; on Sept. 22, she appeared at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs with Michelle R. Seitz, partner and head of William Blair Investment Management; on Sept. 27, she was back in hometown Albany, N.Y.,  at the University of Albany;  and on Sept. 28, she had a two-fer, appearing in Manhattan with feminist icon Steinem and across the Hudson River in New Jersey with Booker at Montclair High School near Newark.  

This week, she’ll be in San Francisco at the Commonwealth Club with Sheryl Sandberg, author of “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” another literary treatment about female leadership.  

All in all, not a bad itinerary for someone widely viewed as having national political aspirations, as her book makes clear.  

Gillibrand credits the tenacious women in her life as her inspiration to enter politics and to achieve. Her great-grandmother manufactured ammunition during World War II and kicked her drunken husband out of the house and raised her kids on her own. Her grandmother worked as a secretary in the New York Legislature and rose to become an important organizer and campaigner in New York. Her mother, the first in her family to go to college, went to law school and built her own law firm. And Gillibrand credits Hillary Rodham Clinton, who wrote her book’s foreword, as the inspiration that propelled her into politics.  

The autobiographical and call-to-action aspects of the book, coupled with Gillibrand’s prowess as a fundraiser and campaigner, make the rest of her stops through November worth watching.  

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