On February 6th, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) tweeted a short video asking everyone to come to Boom Island on Sunday for a “little announcement” she said she wanted to make:
Since that time, it’s been expected that today at 1:30 pm Central time she’ll officially throw her hat into the already-crowded presidential ring.
The biggest surprise to come out of Klobuchar’s teaser announcement is how much negative press she’s gotten in the aftermath. She’s quickly morphed from being widely known as “Minnesota Nice” to a tyrant who terrorizes her staffers:
The run-up to Klobuchar’s expected presidential campaign launch on Sunday has been sidetracked by former aides, speaking anonymously for fear of retribution, who described a toxic office environment including demeaning emails, thrown office supplies and requests for staff to perform personal chores for the senator. It’s a sharp departure from the public brand that Klobuchar has built to get to this moment: a pragmatic, aw-shucks Minnesotan who gets things done and wins her state by landslide margins.
As Red State‘s Donna Jones noted last week, someone clearly wants Amy Klobuchar out of this race. So who could be behind these hit pieces?
It’s possible, but the first person I thought about when I started reading the negative stories was Senator Kamala Harris (CA).
Harris has gotten a lot of fawning press coverage since she announced her candidacy. She’s raising a lot of money. At this point, she’s the perceived frontrunner (barring a Biden, Sanders, Hillary, or Beto entry into the race).
Compare and contrast: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s (HI) campaign is flailing. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s (NY) campaign so far has been a snoozer – and she may have to soon answer to longstanding accusations that she’s nothing more than a political opportunist. Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) can’t seem to escape her lies about her (non-existent) Native American heritage.
As far as female candidates are concerned, Harris is at the top of the hill at this early stage and wants to keep it that way. She may view Klobuchar as someone who could have a more mainstream appeal in the heartland. Plus, the Minnesota Senator has the ability to make inroads with mainstream Democrats who have made clear that “electability“, not hard-left in-your-face ideology, is what they’re looking for in a nominee.
And there is also the Willie Brown affair issue, which will always loom in the background for Harris even though it’s something the candidates themselves wouldn’t dare bring up.
What do you think? Is it Harris – or someone else?
–Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–