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Guest Editorial: Klobuchar reflects positive traits of Minnesotans

It's too early to endorse a candidate for president or to even play the odds. The 2020 election is nearly two years away, and the primaries and caucuses are still a year in the future.

But with Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar having declared that she is a candidate for the Democratic nomination, it seems like a good time to reflect on what is being said about our senior senator and the state she represents.

Read or listen to national profiles and commentary about Klobuchar and these words come up again and again: pragmatic, reasonable, civil, common sense, adult-in-the-room. In other words, she's a Minnesotan.

We don't have any idea at this point if Klobuchar will have more success as a presidential candidate than previous Minnesotans who made the run. Everyone from Stassen to Humphrey to Mondale to Bachmann has run, some getting closer to the Oval Office than others.

When someone from your state runs for president, it tends to focus attention not only on the candidate, but on the culture from which they have emerged. So what the national media is saying about Klobuchar they are also saying about Minnesota.

For several years, reports have mentioned Klobuchar's sense of humor, which usually involves making fun of herself. Local reporters who have covered Klobuchar know that, like many Minnesotans, Klobuchar loves to share a funny story — never mean-spirited — about a stuffy colleague or her own foibles.

"Melania (Trump) is Slovenian, just like me," the height-challenged Klobuchar recently told a Vogue magazine reporter. "I say every time I see her it's like looking in a mirror."

By the way, that Vogue reporter came away exhausted from trying to keep up with Klobuchar who, like many Washington officials, works a lot harder and longer than we would imagine. The same could be said of Minnesotans, who generally work long and hard because that's what's expected of them.

Klobuchar comes from a middle-class background and has talked proudly of her upbringing, one that differed little from that of most Minnesotans. It was not without its tribulations — her father is an alcoholic, with all the stress that places on a family.

Yes, we've also heard the reports about Klobuchar being a tough boss, one who can be rough on her staff. She answers by saying she also demands a lot of herself and her fellow citizens. And Klobuchar has yet to be severely tested in the national spotlight. Will she be sure-footed, or will she choke, like so many of Minnesota's sports teams?

To repeat, we're not here this early in the process to endorse Klobuchar's run for the presidency. The coming months will determine how well-suited she is for that high office.

For now, however, we are enjoying how the positive things being said about Klobuchar reflect well on where she comes from: Minnesota.

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