In that way, she reminds me of another Midwestern senator who once seemed too ordinary to be president: Harry Truman. In the summer of 1944, an even more perilous time for global democracy than now, Democratic Party grandees chose Truman as vice president with the belief that he would soon be president, given Franklin Roosevelt’s declining health.

Truman was (as Klobuchar is) a loyal Democrat with populist leanings whom many Republicans, both senators and voters, nonetheless felt some affection for. He had a folksy manner and heartland accent. He was also a long shot for the nomination when the process began. The analogy extends to Klobuchar’s best-known weakness: Truman had a temper, too.

Of course, Klobuchar needs to win over millions of primary voters, not just hundreds of convention delegates, which is why she remains an underdog. But the path is the same one that her campaign had always seen: Do well enough in Iowa, which is next door to her home state of Minnesota, and then in New Hampshire to be one of the final two or three candidates standing.