Senator Amy Klobuchar has been campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination for nearly nine months, but on Monday Nov. 4, 2019 she paid her first visit to the Philadelphia. She held a gathering at a La Colombe cafe in the heart of Fishtown.
Klobuchar is the senior senator from Minnesota and has been serving in the senate since 2007. She broke ground doing so, being the first female elected to the senate from her home state. Klobuchar has been in all of the four Democratic primary debates, and has qualified for the Nov. 20 debate. She is en route to being the sixth candidate to qualify for the December debate in Los Angeles.
At the beginning of her campaign Klobuchar was not taken seriously and was seen as the centrist, midwestern senator who was only on stage to make mom jokes. Now, in a New York Times and Siena College poll that surveyed likely Iowa Democratic caucus-goers, she placed in fifth with four percent— pulling ahead of Andrew Yang and Kamala Harris. With the Iowa caucuses being held on Feb. 3, Klobuchar will look to take advantage of good polling in the first state to jump start her voter turnout.
Senator Klobuchar’s surge in the polls has come out of her confrontational performances in the last two debates. In the third debate she was placed on the far left flank of the stage, but she still threw jabs at her progressive rivals who were center stage.
When discussing Medicare for All, she said, “While Bernie wrote the bill, I read the bill.” She followed this up with how she believes that it would be bad to get rid of private insurers, as stated on page eight of Sanders’ bill.
In the fourth debate, she made Elizabeth Warren seem disingenuous about how she planned to pay for Medicare for All after the Massachusetts senator was not clear on saying that taxes would go up for the middle class. These performances have pinned her against progressive voters but they are bringing her closer to the center of the stage.
The Senator’s event at La Colombe was scheduled to start at 6 p.m., but like all presidential town meetings, there were delays and setbacks. When walking in ten minutes before the event, the coffee shop did not look packed. It had the usual amount of people that would normally preoccupy the coffee shop, but there were random Amy for America posters scattered around as well. People started to gather toward the back of La Colombe where Klobuchar was going to speak, and by 6:30 p.m. the number of people had doubled.
Philadelphia Councilman Allan Domb tried walking through the crowd unnoticed to a room in the back where Senator Klobuchar was, but he was called out by a member of The Triangle. He shook people’s hands and continued to sneak his way to the back.
Madison Growe, one of the senator’s campaign members, did not take the stage until quarter after seven. This meant that the crowd had more than an hour to mingle and discuss their political beliefs. For a quick reference, back in 2016 the polls favored Hillary Clinton to win the Democratic primary race in Pennsylvania against progressive Bernie Sanders by getting 55.6 percent of the vote. In that same election, Secretary Clinton won 62.6 percent of the votes from Philadelphia County.
Growe took the stage and the crowd was thrilled that the event was going to start. Senator Klobuchar came out walking next to Pennsylvania Democrats President, EJ Carlson. Carlson had the privilege of introducing the senator.
Senator Klobuchar took the microphone and the whole room began to cheer. She started off by thanking Carlson and the Crowd, and she reminded people in attendance that there was a general election the next day for state and local officials. She told the crowd to vote for the two Democrats running to be judges of the superior court, and she also said to vote for Domb to keep his seat on City Council.
Klobuchar then went on to talk about her grandfather, who was a miner, and how community college was the path her father took to become a sports writer. After mentioning her father, she poked fun at her hometown team — the Minnesota Vikings — and how the Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl after beating them. The crowd laughed even more when she revealed that her husband, Jim, wrote a book titled “Will the Vikings Ever Win the Super Bowl?” back in 1977.
Senator Klobuchar also talked about how she has many good memories of Pennsylvania. She recounted times that she has visited the Keystone state in order to campaign for Barack Obama and Senator Bob Casey. She told the crowd a story about a time that she and Senator Casey bonded on their first day in the senate building. They had just been sworn in on Jan. 3, 2007, and they were both lost walking through the hallways when a group of Minnesotans walked by and said, “Look, Amy has a bodyguard.” Casey followed up by pretending to be wearing a security earpiece, just to keep up the act.
Once Klobuchar ended her speech the swarm of people wanting a selfie was unstoppable, and she stayed for another forty minutes to take pictures with anybody who wanted one. She took a minute after taking so many selfies to catch her breath and drink some water. After the crowd left she then came back out to answer questions from the press and she even commented for The Triangle. She was first asked to comment on recent head-to-head polls that show other high polling candidates defeating President Trump. She started off by saying “I think eighty to ninety percent of voters are still not locked in.”
Endorsements from Pennsylvania have all gone to either Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren, however, the only officials who have endorsed Senator Warren in the state are Philadelphia’s mayor Jim Kenney and District Attorney Larry Krasner.
At the end of the day, Senator Klobuchar has a lot of catching up to do in the state of Pennsylvania if she wants to make a splash. In a recent Franklin & Marshall College Poll, she is tied at two percent with Colorado Senator Michael Bennet. However, we are a long way from Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary, set for April 28, 2020. A lot can happen in five and a half months, so time will have to tell for Klobuchar.