Maloney Unmoved After Talk With Biden

Posted June 4, 2009 at 1:32pm

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) is continuing to consider challenging Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) for her seat, despite the desire of the White House to prevent a messy primary fight, according to a source close to Maloney.

Maloney spoke to Vice President Joseph Biden by phone in recent days. But Biden did not request that she stay out of the race, according to the source close to Maloney. “He did not ask her not to run,— he said.

However, the source would not further characterize the conversation or confirm whether there was any type of indirect pressure applied by Biden. But he said that whatever transpired, the discussion with the vice president had not affected her plans.

“It did not have any effect on her decision,— the source said. “Her decision will not be based on a phone call but based on what can best help the people of New York.—

This source and a White House official said the call was the only contact this week between Biden and Maloney and that there was no face-to-face meeting, even though Biden was in New York this week.

Some Democrats consider Gillibrand, who was selected to fill the seat when former Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was tapped to be secretary of State, to be too conservative for the New York Senate seat.