Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: Male colleague called me 'porky'

(CBS NEWS) -- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is pulling back the curtain on some insulting, sexist encounters with male colleagues during her seven-plus years on Capitol Hill in a new memoir, according to the New York Post.

"Good thing you're working out, because you wouldn't want to get porky," Gillibrand recalled a male colleague telling her as she worked out in the House gym when she was a member of the lower chamber.

The Post cited an interview Gillibrand gave to People Magazine promoting her book, entitled "Off the Sidelines." The interview has not yet been published.

Gillibrand also described an encounter with an unnamed southern congressman who accompanied her down the center aisle of House of Representatives. "You know, Kirsten, you're even pretty when you're fat," he said, according to Gillibrand.

"Thanks, a--hole," she replied. In the memoir, she explains, "I believed his intentions were sweet, even if he was being an idiot."

In the book, Gillibrand describes her struggles with her weight after giving birth to her son Henry in 2008. "I knew I was too heavy for my own health," she said, according to the Post.

Gillibrand was appointed in 2008 to the New York Senate seat Hillary Clinton vacated upon becoming secretary of state. She later won reelection to the seat in a 2010 special election.

After she arrived in the Senate, though, she still faced some inappropriate commentary from male colleagues. "Don't lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby," she recalled one older senator telling her.

In 2010, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., drew some criticism after he referred to Gillibrand as the Senate's "hottest member" at a New York City fundraiser.

Gillibrand is considered a rising star in Congress, taking the lead on high-profile issues like therepeal of Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell and an overhaul of the military's handling of sexual assault cases.

It's a record that has some wondering whether Gillibrand is fixing her sights on a presidential bid, but right now, she said, "I like where I am."

But never say never. Gillibrand also said she doesn't hope to be in the Senate "for 30 years."


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