Kirsten Gillibrand's appearance on The Late Show -- and her answer to that question

Kirsten Gillibrand's appearance on the The Late Show Thursday night is embedded above.

The clip has been getting a lot of attention this morning because Gillibrand kind-of sort-of says she's thinking about running for president.

Here's a transcript of her answer when Stephen Colbert asked if there was "another election that you might be concentrating on" -- a clear references to the 2020 presidential election:

So I believe it is a moral question for me. And I believe in right versus wrong. And until this election I actually thought that wrong was winning. And as I've traveled across my state, across the country for all these candidates, I've seen the hatred and the division that President Trump has put out into our country and it has called me to fight as hard as I possibly can to restore the moral compass of this country. Our country was founded on the principles that we should care about one another, that we believe in the golden rule. That I should care about your kids or your kids or your kids as much as I care about my own. And so I believe right now that every one of us should figure out how we can do whatever we can with our time, with our talents, to restore that moral decency, that moral compass and that truth of who we are as Americans.
So I will promise you I will give it a long hard thought of consideration.

Of course, just two weeks ago she said during the Senate election debate: "I will serve my six-year term."

There's been speculation about who's going to run for president in 2020 pretty much since election night in 2016. It's an especially popular frame for the media, and it's worth asking whether it's actually helpful to the rest of us. The frame often treats politics more as a game than a real life endeavor that's at the heart of our society.

Also, for that matter, it's worth asking why politicians don't just answer these sorts of questions honestly. If Gillibrand had said during that debate that, yeah, she's thinking about running for president, would that have really hurt her chances in the Senate election? Should we have all considered her differently for the job? If so, why? And shouldn't politicians treat us all like adults who can understand ambition instead of playing coy on the topic?

By the way: She got the most votes of any candidate in New York State on Tuesday.

By the way x2: The are-you-running question was at the end of the Late Show segment, and Gillibrand and Colbert talked about guns, and this week's elections, and her new book before that. One of the things that caught our ear: How often Gillibrand name-checked other candidates around the country and shifted some of the attention in the conversation to them.


Hillary Jr. 2020!

Yes Hilary 2020!!!! Would be great for the country!!!(ps you do know Hilary lost right?)

Of course she is. How exciting!
So was Al Franken.

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