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Opinion: Should Amy run? Could Amy win?

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Opinion: Should Amy run? Could Amy win?
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The question of the moment seems to be, will Amy run?

Minnesota’s U.S. Senator, Amy Klobuchar will speak at a Democratic fundraiser in Iowa later this month — and that has fueled speculation about her as a presidential candidate.

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And why not Amy?

She’s just been re-elected to the U.S. Senate, making her a veteran compared to Barack Obama, who had been in the Senate only four years when he vaulted into the White House.

Klobuchar also has real world experience as a county prosecutor.

In this space it doesn’t hurt that Klobuchar’s father was a crackerjack journalist.

But should Amy run?

She’d be a long shot.

Hilary Clinton is widely expected to be in the race. She’s a genuine heavy hitter, of course, with experience in the U.S. Senate and the State Department — and the White House itself, of course. She’s married to Bill Clinton, arguably the last successful chief executive.

A Clinton candidacy would probably rule Klobuchar out.

The other heavy weight potentially in the race is Joe Biden. He’s currently vice president. His resume includes long service in the U.S. Senate.

Klobuchar might be tempted to challenge Biden, who doesn’t have the wide base of voters that Clinton enjoys. He’s also famously loose lipped, and that could be a liability in a presidential race.

Of course, Klobuchar has some liabilities of her own. She’s from a relatively small state. She doesn’t have deep pockets. She’s not immediately identified with any heartfelt issues that could draw support from single interest groups.

She’s also a conciliator who’s proven herself more willing to work than just to score points, and that could turn off the “take no prisoners” wing of the party.

Klobuchar also doesn’t have a lot of national exposure, although Minnesotans clearly love her — so much that Republicans offered only token opposition in 2012. Her landslide re-election victory helped propel her onto the television talk shows and probably was a factor in the invitation to visit Iowa.

Of course, all the television appearances could be due to her consistent quotability and her balanced view of things.

And of course, Iowa isn’t far away. Clear Lake, where she’ll speak, is just inside Iowa and barely two hours away from Minnesota’s State Capitol building.

So maybe Iowans are just being neighborly.

That’s pretty much how Klobuchar spins it. The event she’ll attend is the North Iowa Democratic Wing Ding.

Says Klobuchar, “a wing ding is all it is.”

Well maybe.

But political pundits think otherwise. One of them pointed out, “Nobody visits Iowa who isn’t running for president.”

Given the circumstances, it’s too early — by 1,000 days or so — to say that Klobuchar is definitely a candidate.

It’s safe to assume that she has a message for Iowans, though, and the message is, “Remember me. I’m nearby when the time comes.” — Mike Jacobs for the Grand Forks Herald

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