Coming off the last Democrat date, Amy Klobuchar is doubling down and traveling around the state of Iowa as though her candidacy in the Democrat primary depends on it. It very well may.
If Amy Klobuchar doesn’t begin to rise substantially in the polls now, she certainly can’t blame bad press coverage or a lack of press coverage. She’s everywhere. I didn’t watch the Democrat debate but I did see a bit of the coverage by the press afterward as they cornered candidates for interviews in the spin room. The first thing that struck me was the obvious fawning over Amy Klobuchar by the CNN people. Chris Cuomo, Dana Bash, Gloria Borger, and David Axelrod couldn’t say enough complimentary things to her during her interview. Apparently she finally broke out and proved she’s a real contender. I know, I’m as surprised as you.
She was obviously quite pleased with herself. Her message is that she can be progressive and practical at the same time. That says to me that she’s a candidate who wants to be everything to everyone, walking a fine line between the socialism the far-left is hellbent to push onto America and the ideas put forth by more moderate Democrats. She aggressively shut down a squabble between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, which left Biden defensive (“First time I did this!”) and Bernie speechless. She sounded like everyone’s mom breaking up an argument between siblings. She had been called on to answer the question and she wasn’t going to let those two cut into her time. “Whoa, guys. Hey!”)
I find her virtue-shaming lectures a bit much. She acts as though she is trying to be a peacemaker, a person who laments the uncivil times in which we live. It is difficult to take that from any of the Democrat candidates, though, because all of them have viciously spoken about Trump and Republicans during the course of the Democrat primary race. They’ve all called him a liar, many have escalated to calling him treasonous, and most have called him out in the most personal of ways. They cannot criticize the crudeness of President Trump’s words while using some of their own. Amy Klobuchar isn’t running to be Mom-in-Chief.
She has been on several Sunday morning shows today capitalizing on her debate performance. Her message today has been one of stamina and perseverance. I watched her on two shows and noticed that she is spotlighting her ability to work with little sleep and to work long hours traveling around Iowa with many stops each day. Who does that sound like? President Trump is the Energizer Bunny when he is in campaign mode. Also, I’ll note that Bernie Sanders is also known for multiple events in any given day. Trump remains healthy, though, and I fully expect he’ll be back to doing multiple events each day after the Republican convention.
Amy Klobuchar wasn’t the only candidate on the debate stage to tear into Mayor Pete and that is because he is polling in first place in Iowa right now. As of today, Real Clear Politics has Buttigieg at 22%, Sanders at 20%, Biden at 18.8% and Warren at 16%. Klobuchar is in fifth place at 6.3%. That puts her as the sole occupant of the second tier in Iowa. The next candidate is Booker who is at 2.8%. She is closer to the low tier than to the high tier but she is going in the right direction.
So, it’s now or never for her as she hopes to be one of the top three tickets out of the Iowa caucuses. She’s gone all-in and is working it as much as she can before it’s time to go back to her day job as a U.S. Senator. She’s looking for caucus-goers who will commit to supporting her.
“I know Iowa likes to say, ‘You’re in my top three.’ C’mon, we’re in a sports bar,” Ms. Klobuchar said in the back room of the Silver Spur in Sidney, Iowa, as she encouraged voters to back her in the Iowa caucus. “It’s Saturday night—just go for it!”
Ms. Klobuchar, whose bus tour includes stops in 27 counties through Monday, is campaigning at a breakneck pace as her stock rises in Iowa polls, and growing audiences cheer her most recent debate performance. She has visited nearly all of the state’s counties and has maintained a schedule that kept her at public events more than 12 hours a day.
She’s a moderate Democrat who was hoping to be the alternative to the far-left candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Pete Buttigieg, though, caught on with Iowa voters before she did and she has Joe Biden to battle for the moderate lane, too. She reminds voters that the person at the top of the polls at this stage doesn’t always end up winning the nomination. She claims that in the 24 hours after Thursday night’s debate her campaign received over $1 million in contributions.
The Senate impeachment trial will slow down whatever momentum she delivers now. She’s a candidate that you see and realizes that, oh, yeah, she’s still in the race. She has qualified for the next debate and really wants it to happen, as it is just before the Iowa caucuses. She made a point of talking about the importance of the debate during her television interviews Sunday morning.
“I have made it very clear that there should be no excuses,” Klobuchar said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“I’m ready to debate at midnight if that’s what we have to do. We have to have a debate before the Iowa caucuses.”
Klobuchar said it’s her “first belief” that Democrats “have to have the debate” before Iowans choose a candidate. She said the debate may have to take place between trial proceedings to ensure the senators in the race can participate.
We’ll see how successful she is in capitalizing on last Thursday’s debate performance. The next debate is scheduled for January 14, with the Iowa caucuses set for February 3.
I’ll end with this. From a CNN reporter who has spoken with the same group of Iowans after each debate. They all chose Amy as the winner this time, except for one Bernie supporter.