Daily Reformer: Do or die for Klob in New Hampshire

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) speaks during the Democratic presidential primary debate on Dec. 19, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 19: Democratic presidential candidatte Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) speaks during the Democratic presidential primary debate at Loyola Marymount University on December 19, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Seven candidates out of the crowded field qualified for the 6th and last Democratic presidential primary debate of 2019 hosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Good morning!

Tuesday is the New Hampshire primary. Sen. Amy Klobuchar needs to beat one of the moderates to stay viable. A Sunday tracking poll has her ahead of Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. As per usual, she scored high marks from the national press on her debate performance and is said to have raised more than $2M since. Though thus far she’s had more success wooing centrist pundits than actual Democratic voters. 

Reporting from a rally in the Granite State (another state I’ve lived in), the Strib’s Patrick Condon reports her saying, “Call anyone you want in Minnesota. Five million job references.”

I found this line presumptuous, and I wasn’t the only one: 

“I can confirm her dates of employment only,” tweeted a sister-in-snark @breeminneapolis

Here’s Condon’s dispatch from New Hampshire, where she seems to have some juice, but needs to do better than her fifth place Iowa finish. 

If she can beat Biden or Pete Buttigieg, she has a rationale for staying in, as both have shown significant weakness consolidating support among party moderates and liberals. (As distinct from the party’s left wing, which is Sanders and Warren territory.)  

But even should she beat one of them, the highest polling moderate/liberal will get the biggest media bounce. And the winner — likely Bernie Sanders — will get a bigger bounce still. The next two states after New Hampshire are not Klobuchar states. She is unknown in Nevada and has no obvious bond with Latino voters who comprise a large share of the Dem electorate there. (Yep, I’ve lived there, too.) And she’s equally weak in South Carolina, where Black voters will have a major say. (A reminder: Minneapolis NAACP and Black Lives Matter called on her to suspend her campaign after an AP investigation found significant problems with the prosecution — when she was Hennepin County Attorney — of Myron Burrell.) If there’s even a hint of her being competitive in South Carolina, her rivals will drop an advertising anvil on her head featuring these voices. 

(I have not lived in South Carolina but did spend two weeks there before the 2000 presidential primary, where i saw the Bush campaign crush John McCain with some wild whisper campaigns.)

Still and all, you have to admire Klobuchar’s ability to grind it out — no one will outwork her (or her staff.)

Legislative gridlock is coming

The legislative session starts Tuesday. Send all your tips and inside dope and press releases either to me at [email protected] or to Reformer’s man at the Capitol the next several months Ricardo Lopez at [email protected] 

Here’s the upshot of the legislative session: Not much is gonna happen. They’ll do a major public works package so everyone can bring home a project, but that’s about it. Strib preview with a nice photo from Anthony Souffle. 

The cruelty is the point: Thousands of Lao and Hmong residents here for decades could be deported under Trump administration proposal: MPR via Sahan Journal

Anne Applebaum, who has written award winning books RED FAMINE, GULAG and IRON CURTAIN on Soviet totalitarianism, has an interesting thread after being in Venezuela recently: 

Of course Venezuela is not the US, Trump is not a Bolivarian socialist like Chavez, of course everything is different. But it is amazing how familiar Trump’s behavior seemed to people who had lived through the decline of their own democracy. All of the elements were there: the strongman who made people laugh, who seemed authentic, “different.” the appeal to fear and anger, and the hatred of ‘elites.’ Also, the fact that everyone saw what was happening and described it, in real time.

Origins of the Secret Ballot

With the failure of the Iowa caucus, there’s been some talk about the sanctity of the secret ballot. Back to Jill Lepore’s These Truths, who has an interesting history on balloting:

Many of the reforms proposed by populists had the effect of diminishing the political power of blacks and immigrants. Chief among them was the Australian ballot, more usually known as the secret ballot, which, by serving as a de facto literacy test, disenfranchised black men in the rural South and new immigrants in northern cities….Quickest to adopt the reform were the states of the former Confederacy, where the reform appealed to legislatures eager to find legal ways to keep black men from voting.

Which is not to say we shouldn’t have a secret ballot. But history is grimly fascinating, isn’t it?

Parasite is the Oscar winner, the first foreign film to win Best Picture, and though I haven’t seen it, everyone seems to think they actually chose the best picture this year. (Who wants to babysit my 2 year old so I can go to the movies? He’s trained and goes into his crate without resistance.)

Today at the Reformer: 

Ricardo Lopez collects all the anti-vaxx noise coming out of the Legislature. It’s about a dozen members, and given Minnesota’s shamefully low immunization rates, this is worth your time. 

Davis Senseman, a small business lawyer and former district director for Rep. Ilhan Omar, has some words of advice for fellow progressives about business. I’m proud to say Davis, who is a sharp, committed, no nonsense advocate, is going to be a regular contributor to the Reformer. 

And Rilyn Eischens collects data from HHS and finds half of Minnesota counties don’t have a doctor who can prescribe buprenorphine, a safe and effective way to treat opioid addiction. 

Correspond: [email protected] 

Have a great day all! JPC

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