Peter Funt Peter Funt, 2/11/2019 [Archive]

Amy for America

Amy for America

By Peter Funt


There are many metrics for what makes a good president, but being able to deliver a speech in falling snow and mid-teen temperatures without hat or gloves for nearly a half hour isn't one of them.

Fortunately for Americans, there's more to Amy Klobuchar's candidacy than Sunday's wintry scene on the shore of the Mississippi River. The Minnesota Democrat is the real deal.

Entering a crowded field of presidential aspirants, Sen. Klobuchar is not yet a front-runner. Much will transpire over the next 600 days in what is likely to be the most brutally fought and tediously analyzed presidential election since - what? - 2016.

Back in November I suggested that two Democrats have the best shot at winning the presidency: California's freshman Sen. Kamala Harris, and Minnesota's three-term veteran Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Both women have since formally declared their candidacies and each has gotten off to a smooth start. I'm most impressed by Klobuchar.

Face it, the process of picking a president drags on for too long. Incessant polling is pointless. Cable-TV's obsession with daily minutiae is boring. And, yes, early analysis by thumb-sucking opinion writers is often underwhelming.

But, and it's a big but, this campaign is different. Donald Trump rewrote the rules in 2016 and his victory shocked the nation. The Trump presidency is an embarrassment; worse, it is dangerous. To say that 2020 might be the most important election of our lives is not an exaggeration.

So, it's vital that politicians, pundits and the public engage right now.

Amy Klobuchar is a progressive, but drifts closer to the center of liberal politics than, say, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and, to a slightly lesser degree, Kamala Harris. For example, Klobuchar favors repairing the Affordable Care Act and lowering the prices of prescription drugs, but stops short of "Medicare for all." She acknowledges the need for immigration reform, but doesn't advocate abolishing I.C.E. as some progressives have.

Klobuchar seeks to aggressively combat climate change, favors automatic voter registration when people turn 18, and demands mandatory background checks and other measures for tighter gun control.

Candidates with more extreme positions tend to be effective in primaries but not so much in the general election. Democrats would have to go back to 1972, when George McGovern was the nominee, to find a candidate with positions significantly left of center. McGovern won only Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., and lost in the Electoral College 520-17.

If ever there was an election in which Democrats need to rally, early, around a somewhat more centrist candidate, this is it. The singular goal should be retaking the White House.

One negative that has already surfaced in Klobuchar's campaign is the senator's demanding, at times harsh, treatment of her staff. This troubles me, as it should all voters.

Klobuchar concedes that she has been tough. Several reporters, including CNN's Dana Bash, who is well connected on Capitol Hill, note that women in elected office often feel the need to push their employees - and themselves - harder than their male counterparts do. Bash also asks, as many observers have, if a male candidate would be subjected to the same type of scrutiny that Sen. Klobuchar has.

I don't think this will ultimately be a barrier for Klobuchar. She's positioning herself as a Midwesterner with "grit." I like grit, but I don't like a public persona that is contradicted by behavior in private - so I hope we've already heard all there is to hear about Klobuchar's "baggage."

The perfect Democrat to defeat Donald Trump is a center-left, middle-aged, limited-baggage, experienced woman from Mid-America. Like it or not, age and sex are important this time around. The nation needs a somewhat younger president and it needs to break the glass ceiling once and for all.

Lou Grant, the fictional news director, once said to Minnesota up-and-comer Mary Richards: "Mary, you've got spunk."

Then, he added, "And I hate spunk."

Well, Minnesotan Amy Klobuchar has spunk. And it says here that Americans are going to like it.

-

A list of Peter Funt's upcoming live appearances is available at www.CandidCamera.com.

Peter Funt is a writer and speaker. His book, "Cautiously Optimistic," is available at Amazon.com and CandidCamera.com. © 2019 Peter Funt. Columns distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate.

Download Peter Funt's color photo - Download Peter Funt's black and white mug shot photo
Why not run a cartoon with the column? We recommend the cartoons below as a good compliment to Peter Funt's topic.
Click on the thumbnail images to preview and download the cartoons.

Related Cartoons

Anyone Can Run for President
By: Dave Whamond

February 10, 2019

Anyone Can Run for President
By: Dave Whamond

February 10, 2019

Howard Schultz and Democrats
By: Daryl Cagle
Slate.com
February 10, 2019

Howard Schultz and Democrats
By: Daryl Cagle
Slate.com
February 10, 2019

Warren One in 1024th Credible
By: Nate Beeler

February 8, 2019

Elizabeth Warren
By: Nate Beeler

February 8, 2019

Springtime for Democrats
By: Taylor Jones

January 24, 2019

Springtime for Democrats
By: Taylor Jones

January 24, 2019

Presidential Exploratory Committee
By: Bill Schorr

February 4, 2019
 

We do not accept and will not review unsolicited submissions from cartoonists.
Sales & Information: (805) 969-2829 sales@cagle.com
Billing Information: (805) 969-2829billing@cagle.com
Technical Support: support@cagle.com

FREE cartoons for your website if you're already a paying print subscriber!
Artwork and columns are copyrighted by each creator. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service