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Mon Apr 1, 2019, 02:48 PM

The Case for Amy Klobuchar - WSJ Editorial (Yes, so what?)

Amy Klobuchar is running for President, and perhaps she can be the Democrats’ consensus candidate. “We are tired—of the shutdowns and the showdowns, of the gridlock and the grandstanding,” the Minnesota Senator said Sunday, standing amid falling snow in a Minneapolis park. “Our nation must be governed not from chaos but from opportunity.” Though Ms. Klobuchar won’t be the first choice of the socialist left, she is running as a candidate who is liberal enough while also a sharp contrast in temperament to President Trump. At 58, she’s a generation younger than Joe Biden, her potential middle-of-the-road competitor. With 12 years in the Senate, she has more experience than Julián Castro or Beto O’Rourke. She’s a Midwesterner, and Democrats need to win back Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio.

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Unlike most 2020 contenders, Ms. Klobuchar hasn’t parroted lefty slogans. Asked last year about abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, she said it would be better to focus on changing its policies, adding: “We are always going to need immigration enforcement.” She advocates letting people buy into Medicare, rather than forcing it on everybody, while still saying universal health-care is the goal.

Ms. Klobuchar once called her approach “pretty pragmatic.” In 2007 she passed a bill tightening safety standards for pool drains, after a few young children were hurt or killed by the suction. In 2011 she stood up for the nutritional value of tomato paste, when the Agriculture Department was debating if school-lunch pizza should continue to count as a vegetable serving. More recently, she has focused on lowering prescription drug prices and boosting privacy online. Critics of her record in the Senate say she plays small ball. Ms. Klobuchar responds that she simply knows how to get things done. Minnesotans clearly take her side. During her re-election last year, she won 60% of the vote, including every congressional district.

(snip)

She is also getting criticism, albeit anonymously, as a tough boss who mistreated her staff. She has had some of the highest staff turnover on Capitol Hill, but the stories would have more credibility if the critics lent their names. Perhaps the Senator is simply less tolerant of millennial demands. The stories are notable mainly because they contrast with Ms. Klobuchar’s Minnesota Nice public persona.

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https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-case-for-amy-klobuchar-11549836532 (paid subscription)

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