Klobuchar continues to defy the odds; can she keep her momentum?
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Those who know much of anything about Minnesota’s own Amy Klobuchar, when our U.S. Senator announced she was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, couldn’t help but have a tiny glimmer of hope in the back of their minds: She could actually pull this off. If anyone could defy such massive odds, it could be Klobuchar.
Why? Because she’s smart. She gets things done, i.e. writes and/or sponsors legislation that helps people and gets it passed. She’s compassionate. She’s funny. She’s a winner. She can compromise. She’s a lot of good things, including being consistently excellent on the debate stage. It all adds up to a lawmaker, a woman and a human being who just might be able to rise above the fray.
After a middling performance in the Iowa caucuses with all of their technical glitches — at crunch time, Klobuchar had to leave the campaign trail to be in Washington, D.C. at the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump — Klobuchar was the toast of cable news television Tuesday night after her strong third place showing in the New Hampshire primary. She trailed Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg by a decent margin, but was also way in front of the fourth and fifth-place finishers, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden.
So you know what’s going to happen now. Those charged with getting other Democratic presidential hopefuls the party’s nomination will come at Klobuchar with claws bared. We’ve already heard from former staffers that Klobuchar can be difficult to work with and/or for. A longtime high-profile criminal prosecutor before entering politics, we’re also starting to hear about a court case here and there from her past that maybe didn’t amount to the most fair prosecution or sentence.
That kind of digging into a politician’s past is common and unavoidable. Most of the people in Congress, most of them men, have probably been difficult and maybe even awful to work with and/or for from one time or another. It seems like a pretty weak criticism to come up with. And most of those male lawmakers are also lawyers; do you think they’ve been involved in a few cases from time to time that warrant hindsight-inspired criticism later?
Concerns about Klobuchar’s likability as a colleague or superior and previous court cases likely pale in comparison to Klobuchar’s latest challenge: Keeping her momentum going. Although the word was Tuesday night that she’s hiring more staff to hit the streets and the internet in upcoming primary and caucus states like South Carolina and Nevada, the fact is that Klobuchar focused the vast majority of her campaign resources on Iowa and New Hampshire.
Adding to the uphill climb, there are more minority voters in upcoming primary and caucus states like South Carolina and Nevada, and Klobuchar right now is polling poorly among minority voters. Boosting those numbers needs to be job No. 1 for her and her team, in addition to the obvious priority: Raising more mountains of cash.
But every candidate for elected office faces challenges; it’s just that when you’re trying to get elected to the White House, everything is infinitely magnified.
Still, this is Amy Klobuchar. Yes, the odds are still stacked against her, but perhaps her biggest strength of all is that she seems at her best when she has the most to prove.