Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand indicated Tuesday that she’s open to serving as her party’s vice presidential nominee if her White House bid fails.
“I’m here to serve,” the senator from New York told Fox News on Tuesday. “I can serve in any capacity.”
A day earlier, the senator also said in an interview with the Washington Post that “of course” she’d be open to serving as the running mate to the eventual Democratic presidential nominee. White House hopefuls rarely discuss the possibility of accepting the number two slot while they’re actively running for the top job.
But Gillibrand has struggled to stand apart from the record-setting pack of Democratic presidential contenders since launching her campaign in January and she may not qualify for next month’s third round of primary debates. She’s close to meeting one of the two thresholds spelled out by the Democratic National Committee – 130,000 contributions from individual donors. But with one week to go, she’s three polls short of reaching the other criteria – hitting 2 percent in four qualifying national or early voting state polls.
After a campaign event in New Hampshire focusing on the mental health crisis, a confident Gillibrand told Fox News “I’m planning on making this round.”
As of Tuesday, 10 candidates say they've qualified for the third and fourth rounds of debates. They are: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
Hours after Castro announced he would make the stage on Tuesday, Gillibrand made a plea to those on her campaign’s email distribution list, saying there “are now just 8 days to go until the DNC’s deadline, and we’re getting closer to the 130,000 donors we need to help secure my spot, but I’m not there yet.”
Billionaire environmental and progressive advocate Tom Steyer – who announced his candidacy in early July – has reached the donor threshold and is one poll away from making the stage. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii has also passed the donor threshold – but is two polls shy of qualifying.
Washington state. Gov. Jay Inslee has secured 130,000 contributions from individual donors but has yet to reach the polling threshold.