Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., appears to be taking the primary challenge she's expected to mount against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., very seriously. And despite the fact that she's bucking her own party by running against a senator appointed by New York Gov. David Paterson to fill Hillary Clinton's old seat, she's attracting some high-profile help for her campaign.
Maloney was already known to be close to hiring Democratic strategist Joe Trippi, who made his name in Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign and advised former Sen. John Edwards on his run last year. Now, she's reportedly ready to bring on another prominent name in Democratic politics: Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, the firm headed up by Mark Penn. Penn, you might recall, was Clinton's chief strategist for most of her 2008 presidential run, at least until he was shown the door.
Now Maloney just needs to hire Bob Shrum -- she'd be unstoppable!