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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Sorry Amy - I'm Sticking With Hillary

Category: Amy Klobuchar
Posted: 07/19/13 18:22

by Dave Mindeman

I still truly believe that Hillary Clinton should be the Democratic candidate in 2016. I also believe that she would be more of a transformative President than we had expected Obama to be.

But what if she doesn't run? There is no guarantee obviously and 2016 is a political lifetime away. Chris Cillizza posted about the idea that if Hillary didn't run, are there women candidates who could still lead a charge at the gender glass ceiling?

He says yes....

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who took Clinton's place in the Senate, has emerged as a leading voice for gays and lesbians, and women in the military during her relatively brief stint in the chamber. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is already a national liberal hero for her crusade against big banks. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar may well be the most talented -- and effective -- politician most people have never heard of.

Gillibrand and Warren? I fully agree.

But our own Sen. Amy Klobuchar? Well, on that I am not so sure.

In a way, Cillizza points out the Klobuchar problem with his description. She is a talented politician. She knows how to work the media and has a very unique talent to avoid confrontation.

But that same talent points to the second part of Cillizza's Klobuchar reference.....a "politician most people have never heard of."

It would seem to be pretty difficult to jump into Presidential politics with such a low name recognition threshold. But Klobuchar seems to be more than willing to test the waters....

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) will be the keynote speaker at the Iowa Democratic Party's 10th Anniversary North Iowa Wing Ding fundraiser....Klobuchar will be the first possible 2016 presidential candidate from the party to visit Iowa since the 2012 election, according to The Des Moines Register.

Amy Klobuchar is a good Democrat...don't get me wrong....but to me, she has been a "safe" placeholder. Unwilling to truly mix it up on controversial issues. She played it safe in the 2012 election against a weak GOP candidate, Kurt Bills. She defeated him handily and sports a lofty 59% approval rating.

Yet as a Strib reporter pointed out in 2012...

Klobuchar also has developed a reputation for avoiding the big battles in Washington, removing herself from the no-compromise, rancorous partisan standoffs that have led to gridlock on the deficit and to single-digit approval ratings for Congress.

She doesn't push positions like Elizabeth Warren....she seldom gets out front on issues like Kirsten Gillibrand....and she certainly doesn't attract a media scrum like Hillary Clinton.

She has a pleasant personality, folksy charm, and a way of advocating a position without attempts to humiliate the other side.

But in progressive fights, Sen. Klobuchar isn't in the lead. She follows up and reinforces, but leadership involves controversy... and that dusts up approval ratings.

She has been supportive of immigration....the Senate gun bill...and supports the Party line on the budget. By the same token, she seems a little too supportive of the NSA programs... and when the subject of drones used in law enforcement came up...

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, expressed concern that as drones are more commonly used, they could be involved in accidents. "What would happen if one of them hit a small plane?" asked Klobuchar. "Like when birds hit a plane, it can create problems."


I suppose this sounds a little too critical. After all, Sen. Klobuchar is certainly a state party leader and also been quite successful in winning elections.

And although I wish she would be more forceful in her advocacy of issues, she still has been effective in moving some things forward.

The bottom line is that I do want to see a woman occupy that Oval Office....soon. But our best hope and most promising candidate is and shall be, Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Klobuchar is an excellent Senator and I hope she has a very long and successful Minnesota career - but I doubt she will be quaking the 2016 field.

And that is still OK.
comments (1) permalink

Osskopp & The Bills Campaign Have Entered the Low Level Basement

Category: Amy Klobuchar
Posted: 10/26/12 00:21

by Dave Mindeman

I have to say that I find this pretty disturbing....

"I'm running the ad to make the case. There are allegations against Sen. Klobuchar. If true, they are pretty serious," said Mike Osskopp, Bills' campaign manager.

Osskopp, who is not one of the best political characters in Minnesota, is running an ad for Bills that brings up allegations that Amy Klobuchar passed on prosecuting Tom Petters when she was Hennepin County attorney.

Now, apparently there was some link to Petters via a different person that went through the County Attorney's office, but the idea of any massive Petters fraud was not conceivable at that time; and the idea that some obvious connection existed, is a stretch.

Yet without any proof, and based primarily on a blog posting that is throwing out any connection they can come up with to see if it sticks, Osskopp and the Bills campaign are running a TV commercial that acts as if it is all true.

And here is the really ugly part of this...

Osskopp said the campaign is running the ad because it wants the media to investigate the story.

So Osskopp, without any proof, without any actual paper trail, without any actual news organization backing the story....without any of that, Osskopp thinks it is OK to put an ad on television that can say something that might be without any merit whatsoever... or more bluntly - a complete lie.....and hopes the mainstream media will investigate because Osskopp puts it on TV.

Although this smacks of desperation, the larger issue is that we now have to wonder -- Can you say anything in a political ad? I know Cravaack and Nolan are having exchanges about the residency issues of the incumbent and questions have been raised. But at least they are arguing over something substantive. Osskopp is working with rumor and innuendo. Pulling it out of his you-know-what.

Mike Osskopp has stooped to the lowest level of the political basement. I hope this goes on his resume for future reference.
comments (2) permalink

President Amy Klobuchar?

Category: Amy Klobuchar
Posted: 10/20/12 14:55

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
comments (4) permalink
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