Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has a certain genius for avoiding outspoken stands on important issues and leading the way on trivial matters calculated to garner broad public support. If she secures a favorable headline or two in the process, it’s no coincidence. It is the true object of her efforts and it’s not too difficult. The hometown newspaper is always happy to pitch in on public relations, as Stephen Montemayor does today in the Star Tribune article “Rare deal has Minnesota federal court on verge of finally filling 2 long-vacant seats.” With hard-hitting coverage like this, it’s no wonder that she will be reelected this November with something like 65 percent of the vote.
Senator Klobuchar is a reliable vote for the Democratic Party line, but she is quiet about it. She doesn’t want to upset anybody. She wants to preside over an era of good feelings — of good feelings about Amy Klobuchar.
If I were Senator Klobuchar, I would be happy as hell to have arrived in the United States Senate largely on the strength of a good name. Her father was a talented sportswriter and daily columnist for the Minneapolis Tribune. Early in her career I had a case with her in federal court in St. Paul. In one court appearance, she identified herself for the record, as did each of the several attorneys appearing on the case. When the court reporter asked her to spell her name, the judge exploded: “Good God, man, don’t you read the newspaper?” Having read the paper over the years, we all knew how to spell Klobuchar.
Like so many Senators, however, Klobuchar has aspirations for higher office. Thus her 2015 book The Senator Next Door: A Memoir From the Heartland. Even the title is warm and cuddly. In the book we learn that “she [has] fashioned her own political philosophy grounded in her belief that partisan flame-throwing takes no courage at all; what really matters is forging alliances with unlikely partners to solve the nation’s problems.” As I say, she has a certain genius.
Yet Senator Klobuchar is a nasty Democratic partisan. The bipartisanship she seeks to convey is purely instrumental to her partisanship. She even fools some of her Republican colleagues with it. I would prefer unanimity on the issues basic to our freedom but, short of that, I’m in favor of frank partisanship. Let one party at least stand for freedom and give the voters a choice.
Senator Klobuchar wears her supposed bipartisanship as a mask. It is the guise under which she shows her public face, as is her related persona (she’s “nice”). Anyone who deals with her or observes her closely knows Senator Klobuchar is a 24-carat phony.
Klobuchar put her qualities vividly on display in her interview with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press yesterday. The full seven-minute segment is posted here along with a write-up by Leigh Ann Caldwell. I was interested in her response to Todd’s questions about Minnesota Attorney General candidate Keith Ellison (clip below).
Ellison is avoiding charges of domestic abuse from a recent girlfriend. It’s not the most serious problem with Ellison’s candidacy — far from it — but it’s the only one Todd appears to know anything about.
Todd asked Klobuchar whether Ellison has sufficiently explained himself to voters on the abuse question. “He is still addressing this to [sic] the people of Minnesota,” she said. (Actually, no.) “And I think it’s being reviewed,” she added. (Ah, the uses of the passive voice!)
But that’s not all. “And I know that he is moving forward,” she said. (I believe that “moving on” is the applicable term of art.)
Then she throws in, “He got the votes in the [August 14] primary.” (Wow! Any port in a storm.)
Would she campaign with Ellison? “He hasn’t asked me to campaign with him,” Klobuchar said. She would “campaign with our ticket when the time comes.” (Translation: she would prefer not to be seen in public with him.)
The 50-second clip gives you just about everything you need to know about Amy Klobuchar.