The persistent question at this stage of the 2016 presidential
cycle is about what might happen if Hillary Clinton’s burgeoning
controversies remove her as a candidate for the Democratic
The commonplace answer to this question has been that,
after Hillary, there is no truly formidable candidate. The
names of Elizabeth Warren, Martin O’Malley, Joe Biden,
Bernie Sanders. Lincoln Chaffee, Brian Schweitzer, and James
Webb have been put forward, but none of these seem to have
the stature and political skill to be able to confront successfully
the eventual Republican nominee for president in 2016.
“Who is the Barack Obama of 2016?” is what many Democrats
have been asking.
There is a potential candidate, however, that no one has been
talking about --- other than as a possible vice presidential
candidate --- who might be the surprise replacement for Mrs.
Her name is Amy Klobuchar, and she is the senior senator from
Minnesota, and in her second term. Prior to her election to the
U.S. senate in 2006, she was the chief prosecutor (county attorney)
of the largest county in Minnesota (that includes Minneapolis).
Prior to that she was a legal adviser to Walter Mondale. She has
degrees from Yale and the University of Chicago Law School
She is the most popular elected official in the Gopher state,
well-liked by her colleagues in the senate, and is 54 years old.
She is married to an attorney/college professor, and has a
20 year-old daughter.
Although not yet vetted for national office, she seems free of
Her critics cite her careful avoidance of controversial issues in
the senate. Although she has sponsored some legislation, she has
not put forward any major legislation of her own. She has allowed
the junior senator from Minnesota, Al Franken, to be the lightning
rod for most negative political stories in the state. She has a
consistently liberal voting record, although she has carefully
encouraged an image of being a "moderate" Democrat.
Should Hillary Clinton withdraw from the presidential race, or
her standing with Democrats decline precipitously, the leading
alternative, as of this date, would be Klobuchar’s senate colleague,
Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (who has demonstrated
considerable liberal support in national polls). Mrs. Warren has
so far said she is not a candidate for president in 2016, but should
the Clinton campaign falter, she is expected to change her mind.
In spite of her popularity with very liberal Democratic grass roots
voters, Mrs. Warren might be considered too polarizing a left wing
figure to be a successful candidate in November. Senator Klobuchar’s
track record and more moderate image might be a very attractive
alternative to delegates in Philadelphia in the summer of 2016 at
the Democratic convention.
Copyright (c) 2015 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.
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