Dear Democrats: Your winning candidate is staring right at you. Stop being a bunch of dopes. Vote for her and be done with it!
If this call for coalescing around Amy Klobuchar sounds blunt, that’s because it is. That’s because it has to be. That’s because, after a year of kicking the tires, it’s time to close the deal. Now. Today. Yesterday, even. As Gen. George Patton put it, “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
But why choose Amy? Because she’s the good plan. She’s the Goldilocks candidate. She’s young, but not too young. She’s philosophically moderate (for today’s Democratic Party), but won’t lose progressives (OK, she’ll alienate Sandernistas, because they’re alienated by everybody who isn’t Sanders, but normal, Warren-style progs will warm to her).
She has considerably more experience than Mayor Pete, but she hasn’t been languishing in the Senate since the 1970s (like Joe Biden). She’s from middle America and can win middle-American votes. She’d make history, but in a safe, non-threatening way.
And here’s the other thing: This election is about Donald Trump (if Democrats are smart, at least), and Klobuchar has as good a rationale for being able to stand up to him as anyone. That’s because she can neutralize some of Trump’s superpowers—thereby stymieing his normal game plan.
She comes across as likable, moderate, and relatable as your wife/sister/mother/daughter, which means Trump could expect more blowback when he attacks her. Klobuchar would have to resist the urge to prove her toughness and avoid getting sucked into Trump’s game—a game neither she, nor anyone else, can likely win.
Instead, Klobuchar should play to her own superpower: the role of the disappointed mom, who is ashamed of us all for our behavior and knows we can do (and be) better than this.
At the risk of sounding patronizing (or Freudian), I think there’s something to this theory. If Elizabeth Warren is your middle school’s vice principal (as some have said), then Amy Klobuchar is your best friend’s mom, who kicks ass at her corporate job but would still make you a great hotdish. She’ll take you to soccer practice and kick your ass if you get mouthy.
I married a woman like that (substitute spaghetti for hotdish), and—come to think of it—I’m not sure if Trump could handle her in a debate.
What’s the worst thing that Trump can say about Klobuchar? That she didn’t know who the president of Mexico was? Are you kidding? Trump probably has to be reminded before every call.
What else? That she’s a mean boss? I don’t want to dismiss the seriousness of those charges, but if that’s his only ammunition… What you are left with is, at worst, an inoffensive, generic Democrat who isn’t going to start a Marxist revolution, initiate World War III, or mess up a good economy. So then, the election becomes about Donald Trump’s many flaws.
Again, though, the key for Democrats isn’t so much the candidate as it is that it’s time to pull the trigger. As NBC News’ Mark Murray notes, if Democrats want someone other than Bernie Sanders, “you’ve got to pick your fighter by Super Tuesday.”
Failing to choose is choosing to fail. It means you bet on Bernie, a democratic socialist who recently had a heart attack. Or it means Mike Bloomberg, another New Yorker with authoritarian tendencies who is trying to buy the election. Or it means you get a brokered convention where Bernie Bros feel snubbed and take their ball home. Or some combination of the above. This is basically a lose/lose/lose proposition where ultimately Trump wins.
Look, I get it. Big decisions are hard. I was reminded of this again on Sunday, when it was reported that A.E. Hotchner, writer and friend of Ernest Hemingway, had died.
In his terrific memoir, Hemingway in Love, Hotchner quotes something F. Scott Fitzgerald told Hemingway: “A man torn between two women will eventually lose ’em both.”
It was good advice that Hemingway ignored. And, I suppose, it’s advice that Democratic voters—lacking some sort of party boss in a smoke-filled back room—will likely ignore, as well.
If Democrats don’t hurry up and settle on one candidate, they will probably lose them all. The way to avoid this catastrophe is to actually pick one.
Amy’s the keeper. So get off the pot. Put a ring on it. The time to hesitate is through!