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Not Klobuchar, Minority Activists Tell Biden

The senator, under consideration for VP, has little support from minority leaders or voters
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2020 9:11 AM CDT

(Newser) – Sen. Amy Klobuchar has many qualities Joe Biden is looking for in a running mate. She's experienced and aligned with the former vice president on the issues. They get along and didn't have any ugly clashes during the primaries and debates. But she won't help him beat President Trump, black and Latino political leaders say. Klobuchar didn't attract the support of minority voters in the primaries, Politico reports. The sentiment that the Minnesota Democrat has ignored black voters is so strong that after a speech in South Carolina in February, the Rev. Al Sharpton publicly told her to address it. "Y'all need to talk to the black press," he told Klobuchar in front of the audience, per the Washington Post, pointing to a journalist in the crowd. In Nevada, just 4% of the Latino votes went to Klobuchar.

Putting her on the Democratic ticket would "risk losing the very base the Democrats need to win," said Aimee Allison of She the People. An op-ed in the Post by a group of black activists and strategists argued that picking Klobuchar would "only alienate black voters." Many see Klobuchar as embodying the party's larger dilemma: whether to focus on getting voters of color to the polls who sat out the 2016 election, or on the white voters in the Midwest who went for Trump. She "represents that tension," Sharpton said. The senator recently has taken steps, working to pass legislation sought by black and Latino groups. And Klobuchar took part in an NAACP town hall about the pandemic's toll on minority Americans. But one activist cautioned that building such relationships takes time. "It isn’t something you can do in a matter of weeks," she said. (Biden's comments on black support didn't go well.)

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