Posted: 10/20/12 20:55
by Dave Mindeman
On the Almanac couch last week, the question came up, "Is "Amy Klobuchar running for President?"
I had to smile. My wife and I have been speculating about that for months. We think she is. She is positioning herself into a 2016 run for all the marbles.
Here is why I think that. Take a look at Amy's commercials. She doesn't talk about big national Democratic issues. Nope. She is talking about Amy. Her work with veterans. Her help for local GM car dealerships. Nothing wrong with the issues but still ....self-promotion.
And she is extremely careful about how she associates her "brand". Oh, sure, she does the obligatory DFL fundraisers and smiles with local candidates. But when it comes to serious local politics, she is selective and careful. I know of one campaign where she refused to help or get involved. She doesn't like to get in the middle of district contests that may get controversial.
And Amy has been lucky. She has run two Senate campaigns and has had the fortune of getting 2 of the worst candidate opponents (Kennedy and Bills) in the history of the GOP selection process. She has been able to easily amass potent fund raising warchests. Her carefully crafted moderate image has served her well....as far as popularity goes.
To be honest, if Amy Klobuchar runs for President, I doubt that I could support her. And if Hillary Clinton decides to run and Amy throws her hat into the mix anyway?....well, let's just say that it would be more than a little upsetting.
I wouldn't presume to think that Klobuchar has enough of a national profile to be a top contender....yet. But she has a 6 year Senate term to work with (4 full years without an election) and plenty of opportunities to work those "Amy Issues" as I call them. The feel good, non-controversial type things that independent voters latch onto.
As a progressive, honestly, Amy has been a disappointment. She isn't a Wellstone firebrand or an Al Franken progressive workhorse. She avoids controversy and finds middle ground language.
But she will be able to point to some impressive Senate election victories. She tends to make safe, non-controversial votes. She stays clear of local issues that can drag her moderate image down.
It all points to a long term plan....a strategy that covets the Oval Office. President Klobuchar? Hmmmmm