Her political appeal is apparent. She breezed to her first statewide win in 2006 over Rep. Mark R. Kennedy (R-Minn.). Kennedy had represented a seat in suburban Minneapolis, so he started with strong name recognition from running two competitive races in the state’s dominant media market. 2006 was a Democratic year, but Klobuchar crushed him by a massive 20-point margin, losing only eight counties. She has not had a tough race since, winning last year by 24 percent.
She could only do that by appealing to both swing groups in America’s volatile electorate, blue-collar Trump Democrats and white-collar, anti-Trump Republicans. Democrats in Minnesota are known as the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party because of their 1944 merger with the Farmer-Labor Party. Blue-collar Trumpers can see Klobuchar as a Democrat in that tradition rather than a fan of the identity politics that seems to be sweeping the national party. And white-collar former Republicans can see her as someone like themselves: educated, tolerant, ambitious, conscientious.
Trump’s margin was so thin that any significant defection among either group dooms him. Many anti-Trump Republicans nevertheless voted for him in 2016 because they thought Hillary Clinton was worse. The same was true for a good number of the blue-collar Trump Democrats. Klobuchar will be difficult to demonize because of her manner and her record. If the best nickname he can come up with, based on the recent revelations, is something like “Krabby Klobuchar,” she can start measuring the Oval Office draperies.