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Hey Democrats, Klobuchar could be The One

Ruben Navarrette Jr. on

SAN DIEGO -- Hello, Amy Klobuchar! Where have you been all my life? Or at least -- the whole Democratic presidential primary?

It's not often that someone comes in third in the New Hampshire primary, and then gives what amounts to a victory speech. And it all sounds pitch perfect.

"My heart is full tonight," she told supporters. "We have beaten the odds every step of the way. We have done it on the merits. We have done it with ideas. And we have done it with hard work."

I've been slow to give the Minnesota senator her due. That's partly because my first impression was not a positive one.

In September 2018, Klobuchar was marketed as a feminist warrior who battled white male privilege and the creeps whose boorish behavior led to the #MeToo movement. Still, you would think that a former prosecutor who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee would know that defendants have the right to be treated fairly. When Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh was nominated, that did not happen. As someone who knows her way around a courtroom, Klobuchar is adept at drawing pictures. And the picture she tried to draw of Kavanaugh was not flattering - or based on evidence.

But now, I feel better about Klobuchar. A lot better.

 

For one thing, as she noted in her remarks Tuesday night from New Hampshire, she can pull herself off the mat when life knocks her down.

"America deserves a president who is as resilient as her people," she told the cheering crowd.

When Klobuchar launched her campaign for president -- as a moderate from a purple state in a crowded field of Democrats darting to the left -- not many political experts gave her a chance. And I can't imagine anyone back then thought that, once Democrats started voting, she'd be doing as well as she's doing now. At first, she didn't raise a lot of money, and her poll numbers were dismal. But slowly she began to rise.

What turned things around? The debates. Klobuchar is extremely strong in that forum, taking jabs and telling stories and pouring her heart out while

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