Klobuchar kicks off

All signs indicate that Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar will announce her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination early tomorrow afternoon at Boom Island Park in Minneapolis. Klobuchar will emphasize the broad appeal she has demonstrated in three impressive statewide wins. Even if all is not as it appears, she has an appealing public persona. I experienced it myself when she called to thank me for something I wrote on Power Line.

In anticipation of Senator Klobuchar’s announcement, national political reporters have taken advantage of opposition research showing the other side of Klobuchar’s face. HuffPost has published “Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s Mistreatment Of Staff Scared Off Candidates To Manage Her Presidential Bid” and, most recently, “Harry Reid Rebuked Amy Klobuchar For Mistreatment Of Staff.” BuzzFeed has also gotten in on the action with “Staffers, Documents Show Amy Klobuchar’s Wrath Toward Her Aides.”

In his Morning Hot Dish newsletter this week, Star Tribune political reporter Patrick Coolican called Klobuchar’s bad reputation as a boss “the worst-kept secret in DFL politics.” The Star Tribune has nevertheless been good about keeping the secret. He added that “no one is a closer reader of her own clips.” On that point one can reasonably infer that he speaks from personal knowledge.

By contrast with the staffers quoted in the current stories about her, Senator Klobuchar is popular among Minnesotans who don’t know her personally. She was just reelected this past November with 60 percent of the vote. She implied during the campaign that if reelected, she would serve her full term. She didn’t need to misrepresent her intentions in order to prevail in the election, but she did.

To build her popularity in office Klobuchar has drawn on her 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.

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 legal career I had a case with Klobuchar 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 summary posted at Amazon, 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.

I’m not sure her genius is in tune with the Democrat times, but she has the NeverTrump constituency among opinion columnists nailed down. Jennifer Rubin and George Will have both signed her dance card.

Klobuchar may well be able to expand her circle of love to Iowa Democrats next door to us. That is certainly what she is counting on. She took time out to visit Iowa even during her 2018 senatorial campaign. Early signs for her in Iowa are good.

Senator Klobuchar gives the appearance of moderation, yet she has already expressed her support of the idiotic Green New Deal resolution released this week (see tweet below). She participated with Cory Booker, Kamala Harris et al. in the Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats’ coordinated disruption of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing. In committee on Thursday she voted the party line against the confirmation of William Barr as Attorney General.

Klobuchar’s moderation is superficial. It is part of a political persona that is a matter of appearances versus reality.