Amy’s complaint

Amy Klobuchar is upset. She had hoped to become the second string non-radical choice for the Democratic presidential nomination behind Joe Biden, who she thought might fall by the wayside. Instead, Pete Buttigieg has grabbed that slot.

How did his happen? Klobuchar declines to give Buttigieg any credit or to accept any blame. Instead, she attributes Buttigieg’s success and her her failure to sexism, expressing doubt that people would take any of the female presidential candidates seriously if running with the same qualifications as Buttigieg.

This may be true, but not in the sense Klobuchar meant. Buttigieg has pulled away from lower tier candidates because (1) he’s a very smart and extremely talented politician, (2) he’s young and engaging, (3) he’s gay and (4) he is able to raise large amounts of money thanks mainly to his sexual identity.

No female candidate in the field possesses all of these characteristics. Indeed, few possess any of them, at least to the same degree as Buttigieg. Klobuchar doesn’t.

The real question is whether a female candidate with Buttigieg’s key characteristics (not just his qualifications) would be taken seriously in a presidential run this year. There’s no way of knowing. I think such a candidate would be taken seriously, but might not be running quite as well as Buttigieg seems to be.