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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: Maybe It’s Time to Start Thinking About Amy Klobuchar

The following article by Ruy Teixeira, author of The Optimistic Leftist and other works of political analysis, is cross-posted from his blog:

Sure, the current 538 model gives Klobuchar only a ghost of a chance (less than one percent) of getting the nomination. But that estimate can change rapidly as results come in. Look at what happened to poor Joe Biden after he got hammered in Iowa.

Speaking of Biden and Klobuchar, check out these critiques of Medicare for All at the last debate (from Ryan LIzza’s Politico article):

Here’s Biden hitting Sanders on Medicare for All:

“Look, Bernie says that you have to bring people together and we have to have Medicare for All. But Bernie says — and he says he wrote the damn thing. But he’s unwilling to tell us what the damn thing is going to cost.

The fact that we’re in New Hampshire, a very level-headed group of people, look at the numbers. How much is it going to cost? Who’s going to pay for it? It will cost more than the entire — the entire federal budget we spend now. More than the entire budget. The idea middle-class taxes aren’t going to go up is just crazy.

When they did it in Vermont, what happened? They doubled the state income tax and then had a 14 percent tax on withholding. And they finally did away with it. So how much is it going to cost? When Bernie — you ask Bernie that — I’ll ask him again tonight — sometime — if you ask Bernie that, he says, go figure, ‘I don’t know, we’ll find out.’ I think that was on CBS. He said, ‘We’ll find out’ or something to that effect.

Imagine you’re going unite the country, walking into the Congress, and say, ‘I got this bill. It’s going to provide Medicare for everybody. I can’t tell you how much it’s going to cost, we’ll find out later; it’s likely to be double whatever the — everything we spend in the federal government.’ Who do you think is going to get that passed? I busted my neck getting Obamacare passed, getting every Democratic vote. I know how hard it is.’

Here’s Klobuchar:

“I keep listening to this same debate, and it is not real. It is not real, Bernie, because two-thirds of the Democrats in the Senate are not on your bill and because it would kick 149 million Americans off their current health insurance in four years.

And let me say what else. Elizabeth wants to do it in two years. And, Pete, while you have a different plan now, you sent out a tweet just a few years ago that said, ‘henceforth, forthwith, indubitably, affirmatively,’ you are for Medicare for All for the ages.”

And so I would like to point out that what leadership is about is taking a position, looking at things, and sticking with them. I have long believed that the way that we expand health care to more people and bring down premiums is by building on the Affordable Care Act with a nonprofit public option. That is the best way to do it.

And practically, look at this–the Affordable Care Act is now nearly 10 points more popular than the president of the United States. So why would we talk about blowing it up?

What we need to do is build on it — mental health care, addiction, long-term care — those are the things that would make it better for everyone.”

Whoa–quite a difference! I can definitely see Klobuchar being quite effective against Trump…..Biden, well, less so..

So does she have a shot? As the chart below shows, she’s now within a few points of Warren and Biden. If she had a good night and blew past them to wind up in third….that just might be the beginning of something interesting (though granted her odds would still not be great). We’ll see.

One comment on “Teixeira: Maybe It’s Time to Start Thinking About Amy Klobuchar

  1. Candace on

    I like her but as far as this comparison goes, if Biden were the nominee he isn’t going to be talking about Bernie’s policies and Bernie may win, so I’m not sure how its relevant.

    Repeatedly making this choice solely about who can beat Trump elevates him to this kind of unbeatable status giving us a WWE stage for Democrats to find a performer for, which is what “I can see that person going up against Trump” reminds me of. 🤼
    And unless one of the candidates changes their name, creates a costume and gets a power metal theme song, finding one candidate we’re satisfied with is just not going to happen.

    Who can beat Trump (or weirdly Sanders) on repeat grossly simplifies what the Democratic candidate will be going up against and what the job is going to be like if they win. It ignores the role the Senate has played in keeping dt in power.

    Will it be that all Republicans have to do is to ignore a candidate they want Trump to go up against and then Democrats will believe that candidate has or had the best chance of beating him? What if the many dt/ gop media tentacles continually shift on who they attack? Will Democrats be unable to get behind any of the candidates?
    What if their candidate doesn’t put on an adequate show against Trump at all times? Will voters lose interest in their choice when sources of information are telling them that the mood shifted about the ability of the Democratic candidate to beat Trump?

    Who and what drives the perception of winning the moment? How solid is it and should we really agree to be a passenger?

    Reply

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