Amy Klobuchar may be stuck in fifth place in most of the polling, but she’s clearly not ready to give up the chase. She just wrapped up a bruising three-day marathon in Iowa with a stop in Nevada thrown into the mix. During one appearance with Reuters, she discussed a variety of issues, focusing on the lack of diversity on the debate stage and among the remaining field in general. She made sure to get in some plugs for Kamala Harris and to show her respect for Cory Booker and Andrew Yang as the only people of color left in the running. (Well, they’re at least theoretically still in the running.)
I miss my good friend Kamala (Harris) very much. … I just saw her this week in the Senate, and I miss her on that debate stage. We became close friends during that campaign. I really, really miss her. And Cory (Booker), I wish he could get on that stage again. Maybe he will, as well as Andrew Yang. There are a number of people still running for this job who are diverse, and I hope they get on the stage…
If I win and become president, I will make sure that … my government reflects this country. That’s one of the problems with Donald Trump. His Cabinet does not reflect where this nation is.
She went on to make the case that she would be a solid performer in the debates against Trump. How? By telling jokes and “ignoring him.” No mention was made of how a candidate manages to ignore their opponent during a debate.
Klobuchar went on from there to say that, as president, she would immediately move to get us back into the Iran nuclear deal. She also pointed out that she has carried some deep red districts in her home state and believes she can do that on a national level. A quick look at her 2018 election results shows that her claim is a bit on the dubious side, despite winning handily in a blue state.
Getting back to the diversity topic, it seems fairly clear what Klobuchar is doing here and there are a couple of components to it. First of all, in order to win both the nomination and the general election as a Democrat, the eventual candidate is going to need some seriously deep support from minority voters. She’s no doubt seen the iron lock that Biden appears to have on black voters, particularly in South Carolina and the way Pete Buttigieg has struggled to gain any traction there. Tossing out some props to Booker and Yang is obviously an attempt to gain some ground in that demographic.
Also, she’s buttering up Kamala Harris harder than a Thanksgiving dinner biscuit fresh out of the oven. She misses her “good friend” so very much. She really, really misses her. As the only black woman in the race who appeared viable at one point, Harris attracted a significant following. And as I said on the day Harris dropped out, she’s got to be seen as one of the top contenders in the veepstakes. Still apparently believing she’s got a shot at the nomination, Klobuchar wants all the primary voters to know that Harris would be on her shortlist for the number two slot.
Amy Klobuchar seriously needs something game-changing to happen or a huge performance at the debates if she expects to move into serious contention. As of this week she’s still stuck in fifth place in Iowa, trailing Sanders by fifteen points. She barely registers with two percent in Nevada and one percent in South Carolina. She does slightly better in New Hampshire, registering six percent, but that still leaves her in fifth place, much the same as in Iowa.
I’ve long felt that Klobuchar could be a dangerous candidate against Trump if she somehow gained some momentum and snagged the nomination. But at this rate, the numbers just don’t bear that scenario out. If she finishes the first four states with no better than a fifth-place showing (or worse), she’s probably going to have to strike her tent and head home. The Democratic base, at least thus far, simply doesn’t seem to be buying what she’s selling.
Edit: The original version of this article referenced Tulsi Gabbard incorrectly instead of Amy Klobuchar in one sentence. This has been corrected.