Bill Press: Don't forget about Amy

Bill Press: Don't forget about Amy
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It’s like a sequel of the 1989 hit film “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.” Except today we moan, “Honey, I Shrunk the Field of 2020 Democratic Candidates.” From the initial 24 wannabes to the five survivors who will take the stage Jan. 14 in Des Moines, Iowa, for the next debate: former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden alleges Sanders campaign 'doctored video' to attack him on Social Security record Sanders campaign responds to Biden doctored video claims: Biden should 'stop trying to doctor' public record Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger pens op-ed in defense of Biden: 'I stuttered once, too. I dare you to mock me' MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden alleges Sanders campaign 'doctored video' to attack him on Social Security record Sanders campaign responds to Biden doctored video claims: Biden should 'stop trying to doctor' public record The Memo: Sanders-Warren battle could reshape Democratic primary MORE (I-Vt.), former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegThe Memo: Sanders-Warren battle could reshape Democratic primary Environmental activists interrupt Buttigieg in New Hampshire Pence to visit Iowa days before caucuses MORE, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Memo: Sanders-Warren battle could reshape Democratic primary Environmental activists interrupt Buttigieg in New Hampshire Pence to visit Iowa days before caucuses MORE (D-Mass.) and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Sanders defends vote against USMCA | China sees weakest growth in 29 years | Warren praises IRS move on student loans Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire MORE (D-Minn.).

Today, 28 days before the Iowa caucuses, nobody knows who the Democratic nominee will be. It won’t be Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial DNC announces new criteria for New Hampshire debate The Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders, Warren feud rattles Democrats MORE, Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson drops out of 2020 race Bill Press: Don't forget about Amy 2020 Democrats: Iran airstrike 'reckless,' 'could cost countless lives' MORE, Tom SteyerTom Fahr SteyerPoll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire Buttigieg takes dig at Sanders working 'for years' in Washington The Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders, Warren feud rattles Democrats MORE, Andrew YangAndrew YangAndrew Yang's wife, Evelyn Yang, calls for 'big structural change' at 4th annual Women's March DNC announces new criteria for New Hampshire debate Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire MORE or Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardPoll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire Gabbard defeats man in push-up contest at New Hampshire town hall Gabbard on personal meeting with Sanders: 'He showed me the greatest respect' MORE. It won’t be outlier Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergDNC announces new criteria for New Hampshire debate Bloomberg receives 45-day extension for public financial disclosure report with FEC Bloomberg's congressional endorsers grow to three MORE, either. It’s a safe bet it’ll be one of the final five — which has everybody guessing.

Most political strategists agree on one of three scenarios. One, despite uneasiness about his performance on the stump, voters stick with Biden as the most trusted, experienced, steady contrast with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE. Two, voters still looking for a middle-of-the-road nominee but unsure about Biden flock to Buttigieg. Three, Democrats shuck tired, old, centrist, establishment politics for a daring, bold, new, progressive revolution led by Sanders or Warren. Most likely Sanders.

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Any one of those scenarios could happen. Each of the above have enjoyed their moment at the top of the pack. But there’s a fourth possibility nobody’s talking about: None of the above. Instead, Democratic voters turn to the candidate who’s excelled in the last few debates and, against the odds, has maintained a strong, steady, top-tier position in the primary ever since she launched her campaign, outside, in the middle of a blizzard. Why not Amy?

Given that the primary motive of voters in the Democratic primary is not the idealistic measure “Which one do I like the most?” but the more pragmatic “Which one has the best chance of beating Donald Trump?” Sen. Amy Klobuchar has a lot going for her. She’s smart. She’s funny. She’s a former prosecutor. She’s from flyover country. She’s been elected three times, statewide, in Minnesota, a must-win state for Democrats, the last time by a 24-point margin. She’s built an impressive 14-year record in the U.S. Senate. She raised $11.4 million in fourth quarter 2019. And she’s a woman. 

Yes, Klobuchar lacks the foreign policy experience of Joe Biden, but she holds the electoral and legislative experience, as she delights in pointing out, that makes fellow-centrist Buttigieg look like a Cub Scout. And she personifies a realistic, down-home, reach-across-the-aisle, let’s-get-things-done approach to problem-solving that makes Warren look like a brick wall.

As a presidential candidate, Klobuchar has at least two more things going for her. One, she’s quick on her feet. Most political reporters I interviewed believe that, even though called on less often than the front-runners, she won the last two debates. She deflated both Sanders and Warren by pointing out that she knew how to be both “progressive,” and “practical,” at the same time. And she dismissed Buttigieg as a “local official,” who couldn’t get elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee and didn’t even belong on the same stage as those with a combined “100 years of experience.”

Unlike other candidates, Klobuchar also has a wicked sense of humor. Former President Obama once said she was even funnier than Minnesota’s then-junior senator, “Saturday Night Live” comic Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenBill Press: Don't forget about Amy Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Al Franken mocks McConnell: 'Like listening to Jeffrey Dahmer complain about the decline of dinner party etiquette' MORE. Even though we’ve heard it 25 times, it’s still funny to hear her tell how, as a first-time candidate, she raised $17,000 by cold-calling former boyfriends.

Please. This is not an endorsement. This is simply to say: In handicapping the Democratic primary, don’t forget about Amy Klobuchar.

Press is host of “The Bill Press Pod.” He is author of “From the Left: A Life in the Crossfire.”