With Amy Out, Have Democrats Blown It?

by

Monday, March 9, 2020


On the eve of Super Tuesday, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar announced that she is suspending her presidential bid. This decision comes on the heels of Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s announcement that he, too, would be suspending his campaign. These decisions came as a surprise, considering that Buttigieg had placed first in Iowa and Senator Klobuchar was set to win her home state with a sizable lead on March 3rd.

Despite a relatively crowded field of candidates, Senator Klobuchar stood out to many—myself included—as being genuinely different from the rest of the field. While she undoubtedly had a progressive streak, including re-entering the Paris Climate Accord and calling for the implementation of more gun control policies—she had a unique position in the party of standing up to the rise in support for socialism in her party.

While several candidates have attempted to position themselves as being able to appeal to a broader segment of the population than self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders might, one moment in the New Hampshire debate made Klobuchar stand out above the rest: she was only candidate on stage to raise her hand when asked whether she would have an issue with the party’s nominee being a self-described democratic socialist.

Unlike Buttigieg’s relative recent shift from progressive back into a more centrist lane, Klobuchar’s record is one that showed a genuinely bipartisan-natured senator who was willing to work across the aisle to deliver on her vision for the country. For example, she voted to confirm President Trump’s judicial nominations more than any of her Democratic senatorial colleagues, and was ranked as the most effective Democratic senator in a 2019 Vanderbilt study.

If there is one issue that is emblematic of Democrats’ shift to the left in recent years, it is abortion. From “safe, legal, and rare” under President Clinton to the New York legislative assembly cheering as a late-term abortion bill was signed into law, it is clear that the party has undergone a dramatic transformation on the issue. Less than a year ago, Senator Kirstin Gillibrand (D – NY), then still a presidential candidate, effectively declared that society had come to the conclusion that the pro-life movement was illegitimate and equated it with racism: 

“I think there’s some issues that have such moral clarity that we have, as a society, decided that the other side is not acceptable. Imagine saying that it’s okay to appoint a judge who’s racist or anti-Semitic or homophobic. Asking someone to appoint someone who takes away basic human rights of any group of people in America… I don’t think those are political issues anymore.”

Even former Vice President Joe Biden moved further left on the issue by reversing his decades-long position on the Hyde Amendment last year.

Klobuchar, however, took a dramatically different approach to the issue. While decidedly pro-choice herself, she does not cast scorn on those who disagree with her on the issue. She not only has avoided the sort of Gillibrand-esque grandstanding that many have picked up on but went so far as to say that there is room for pro-life individuals in her party. It is little wonder that National Review’s Alexandra DeSanctis wrote an article about this very issue titled “Amy Klobuchar Stands Alone.”

With Democrats rallying around Biden as the last-best-chance to stop Bernie, it is clear that this has become a two-man race. Yet, as mainstream Democrats pile in behind the Biden campaign, I cannot help but wonder whether they have missed their best shot at defeating Trump in November. If so, they very well could be in the process of rallying behind the wrong candidate.

The former Vice President has come under increasing scrutiny for his more-than-frequent gaffes, as well as his underwhelming (to put it generously) debate performances. At time of writing, a video from a Biden rally has just surfaced of him attempting to recite the “all men are created equal” section from the Declaration of Independence. Unable to do so, he trips over his words repeatedly before ending with “you know the thing.”

If the former Vice President has a similar performance on stage with Donald Trump in the general election, the implications could be disastrous for his electoral odds. While Klobuchar undoubtedly struggled to pick up support from black voters in South Carolina, her debate performances—especially in New Hampshire—far surpassed Biden’s. One could be forgiven for thinking that Democrats’ hopes for retaking the White House in November may have evaporated with the end of her campaign.

 

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Kyle Moran is a student at the University of Rhode Island, where he studies political science and history. Outside of class, he serves as Vice Chair for the College Republican Federation of Rhode Island and is both an avid skier and reader.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Kyle Moran

University of Rhode Island

Kyle Moran is a student at the University of Rhode Island, where he studies political science and history. Outside of class, he serves as Vice Chair for the College Republican Federation of Rhode Island and is both an avid skier and reader.

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