Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who was once a proud member of the Blue Dog Democrats, is now a darling of the progressive set.
MoveOn.org sent an e-mail to supporters today touting Gillibrand as a "hero of the public option," and urging them to "call her local office hearest you and tell her that you really appreciate her work and are counting on her to keep fighting."
"As next week's health care summit approaches, a group of progressive senators - led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand - are standing up and fighting to get a public option in the final health care bill," the message reads.
"Senator Gillibrand has taken the lead in pushing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to give the public option an up-or-down vote. The letter that she drafted with Senators Bennet, Merkley, and Brown already has 18 signatures and is really picking up momentum."
"When a senator stands up for progressive priorities, it's really important that she hears from her constituents. In just the last few months, Senator Gillibrand has taken courageous stands on the public option and on saving the Clean Air Act."
MoveOn is the sort of organization that a Democratic senator who might be facing a primary challenge from a former Tennessee congressman would really like to have in her corner - particularly since the sort of voter who tends to come out on primary day trends to the left.
Sen. Chuck Schumer has also signed on the public option letter.