Amy Klobuchar and what I look for in a candidate

Since I’ve liked Amy Klobuchar — based on her appearances and commentary on MSNBC and during the Kavanaugh hearing — I was bothered by the New York Times article about her character as an employer.

Sort of turned my stomach, actually, not because of Klobuchar’s alleged “boss” behavior, but (1) because all of the ex-staffers quoted or referred to in the article were anonymous; (2) because I don’t know what force or entity reached the Times with these rumors; and (3) because it echoed the Times’s coverage of Hillary Clinton. Which I’m still not over. And I don’t mean just the email business. I started disliking the way the Times covered the Clintons back at the 1990’s “Whitewater” “scandal.” (Let’s not get me started on that.)

The Times Klobuchar story hit none of my How to Get the Facts of Life buttons.


I’ve been waiting to see some names attached to any personnel critiques of Klobuchar. Today, we got them. Medium has published a short letter with a long list of named ex-staffers to Klobuchar, in praise of her.

I’m both glad and sad: glad for the letter which greatly amplifies the Times’s story, and sad that anonymous sniping at Democratic candidates (especially women?) has already begun.

I like almost all of the candidates. They fulfill my personal qualifications for high electoral office. They are very smart. They have law degrees and experience in government. They have excellent ideas. Some of those ideas are brilliant. Most of them have senses of humor. They all value democratic government. They are realistic about the distinctions between ideals and pragmatism.

They agree with my values. Which, generally, is a government that puts into practice the goals stated in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Adding “with equal rights for all,” after “more perfect Union…”

I personally never become too enamored of a candidate this early. I may not be entirely thrilled with the eventual decision by the demos, but I live in the demos, and respect the process, which pretty much always includes some compromise. And I do like the method Tom Perez has described to conduct the campaign in a way that’s fair and responsible to the candidates, to Democratic voters and to those of us who donate money in a grassroots sort of way.

While I myself don’t really care about “charisma,” I do realize I’m affected by it, since, after all the values stuff is settled, whether I get moved and excited by a candidate does fall into the undefinable charisma category, and I do recognize that a candidate has to excite the demos in order to win support.

But I do not look for a perfect person, a god-lette, a best friend forever in a presidential candidate. I may not even want to invite a candidate to dinner. I consider political promises as statements of intention, not vows carved into stone.

What I care about is: can a candidate support most of the ideals I hold dear and give me a notion of how she’s going to accomplish progressive legislation in a government consisting of maybe about 1000 active characters — a slew of whom drive me into fits of rage?

I probably left something out.




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