Senator Amy Klobuchar grew up in Plymouth, MN, just down the road from Garrison Keillor's mythical lake Wobegon, where "all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average."
Plymouth is the epicenter of the heartland … halfway between Portland, OR and Presque Isle, ME. Head west out of Plymouth and you hit Bismark, Billings, Bozeman, and Butte, and not a whole lot more before you come to Portland, OR.
It's safe to say Amy Klobuchar is a country girl. It's also safe to say she hit the Lake Wobegon trifecta.
She's strong. She looks like she could hold up her end on the farm or anywhere else. Politically, she won the four races she's been in … two for prosecutor in the state's largest county, and two for the United States Senate.
In 2012, Minnesota was somewhat of a battleground state. Barack Obama won the state with 52% of the vote. Meanwhile, Amy, in her reelection bid, won the state with 65% of the vote.
She's good looking. Hey, it matters. Look at who wins elections: JFK, Reagan, Clinton, GWB, Obama. They all did better than average in the DNA lottery.
Amy has that open, friendly, unpretentious, upper middle-West look and manner. By senatorial standards, she clearly is not a power dresser.
Her whole manner and bearing seems geared towards putting people she encounters at ease, rather than seeking to overwhelm. She looks totally in her element greeting people at a small-town parade or standing next to a tractor talking to Minnesota farmers.
She's above average. Way above average. Amy was valedictorian of her class at a large regional high school, graduated magna cum laude from Yale, and received her law degree from the University of Chicago, where she was an editor of the Law Review.
In the Senate, Amy has been a workhorse and not a showhorse.
As someone who has been in the Senate for seven years and has demonstrated electoral clout, she could serve on any committee she wanted. If she wanted an ideal spot from which to raise money, the tax-writing Finance Committee would work. If she wanted to be on TV all the time like John McCain, Foreign Affairs or Armed Services would produce those opportunities.
Amy has chosen to serve on the committees where she can get the most done for Minnesota … Agriculture and Commerce. She's always available to the Minnesota press, but a reluctant presence on the national TV shows.
Amy has been mentioned as "someone who could be President" as far back as 2008 in the New York Times. More recently, Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post compiled a list of Democrats with a good chance of getting the 2016 nomination if Hillary Clinton chooses not to run.
He broke his seven-person list down into three tiers: 1. Joe Biden, Andrew Cuomo, Martin O'Malley, and Elizabeth Warren; 2. Kirsten GIllibrand; and 3. Howard Dean and Amy Klobuchar.
In my opinion, Amy is the pick of the litter even including Hillary.
The level of disgust in the country right now towards Washington in general and the right wing of the Republican party in particular gives us insight into what the country will be looking for three years from now.
It's clear the country will want someone who is close to the center of the political spectrum, and is a calming, as opposed to polarizing, political personality … more reassuring Eisenhower, less "give 'em hell" Harry Truman.
In that case, potential candidates like Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and Howard Dean become less appealing. Far too polarizing.
Amy Klobuchar, middle American by birth, temperament, and accomplishment, emerges as someone ideally suited for the times.
For Amy, getting from the realization of opportunity to the Democratic nomination would be a Herculean task, requiring an effort that is, at a minimum, above average.
I will post again on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 (or before, if the news flow dictates) and, for the time being, I will post on the first Wednesday of each month.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Name and town if you wish to opine. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.