David Leonhardt isn't endorsing Amy Klobuchar exactly, but his op-ed in the New York Times makes the case that she deserves a strong look from Democratic voters. Many of them are worried that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are too liberal, and that Pete Buttigieg is too hyped, and they "get nervous every time Joe Biden opens his mouth," writes Leonhardt. "So where are you supposed to find a comfortably electable, qualified candidate who won’t turn 80 while in office?" Enter the 59-year-old Minnesota senator, who might be the frontrunner if party leaders picked nominees. She has a "savvy understanding" of how to campaign against President Trump and of how to draw the swing voters Democrats will need to win the election.
"Her greatest strength is her understanding of how to beat Republicans," writes Leonhardt. "They like to portray Democrats as self-serious elites who look down on ordinary Americans ... but Klobuchar has built her political career on an image that combines working class and middle class." In fact, she reminds Leonhardt of Harry Truman. Klobuchar's hope is to do well enough in Iowa and New Hampshire to stick around as one of the final two or three candidates. The main thing she is lacking in Leonhardt's view is the ability to strike inspirational "grace notes" when speaking. Instead, she often sounds very much like a wonky lawmaker. Still, "many Democratic voters care more about beating Trump than anything else," writes Leonhardt, and he advises those voters not to write off Klobuchar. (Read the full column.)