Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.

Great River Energy generously supports MinnPost's D.C. Memo. Learn why.

D.C. Memo: Klobal warming

Klobuchar’s New Hampshire finish; interview with Stephanie Schriock of Emily’s List; Rep. Angie Craig gets a bill passed; and more.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar
REUTERS/Gretchen Ertl
Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaking to supporters at her New Hampshire primary night rally in Concord on Tuesday.
The D.C. Memo is a weekly recap of Washington political news, journalism, and opinion, delivered with an eye toward what matters for Minnesota. Sign up to get it in your inbox every Thursday.

Welcome to this week’s edition of the D.C. Memo. This week from Washington, a third place finish for Klobuchar in New Hampshire, former congressional candidate Clay Aiken picks a new candidate for president, and the Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party resigns. Let’s get on with this.

The surge is real

In December, one prominent Iowa state legislator declared: “The surge is real.” But now, just over a week after a fifth place finish in Iowa for Sen. Amy Klobuchar, there is a surge. It’s just in New Hampshire. Sen. Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary. And former Mayor Pete Buttigieg got second place.

But Klobuchar’s success was well beyond most people and poll’s expectations. She sailed past both Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden, earning a third place spot. Her fundraising is on an uptick as well: after Friday’s debate last week, she raised $3 million. After polls closed in New Hampshire, another $2.5 million.

“Thank you, New Hampshire,” she said closing out her rally, the night of the primary. “We are on to Nevada, because the best is yet to come.”

Article continues after advertisement

Schriock on the DFL

Stephanie Schriock is the President of Emily’s List, the largest political action committee supporting pro-choice Democratic female candidates for office. This year, the organization plans to spend $20 million of 500 state legislative races around the country, including in Minnesota. On Thursday, they announced several endorsements: Rita Albrecht (SD-5), Sara Flick (SD-25), Bonnie Westlin (SD-34), Ann Johnson Stewart (SD-44), Lindsey Port (SD-56), Amanda Matchett (HD-37B), Kelsey Waits (HD-54B).

I spoke to Schriock about her roots working in DFL politics, being trained to work on a Minnesota congressional campaign by Emily’s List, and a bit about her time in Mankato. You can read more at MinnPost.

Here’s a bit from the interview:

Emily’s List was there fighting for Betty McCollum in her first election. We’ve been with Angie Craig every step of the way. We endorsed Amy Klobuchar for U.S. Senate, even over another woman, which was not an easy thing for us to do. And we’re on the phone with Tina Smith getting her to say yes, which I’m so grateful for. And, and so I just feel like the Emily’s List and Minnesota story is tied together and it goes all the way into the legislature and it’s going to continue for a long time.

A bill becomes a law?

Rep. Angie Craig will soon have a bill on President Donald Trump’s desk — the first bill in the current Congress sponsored by a member of the Minnesota delegation to make it anywhere near being signed into law. The bill, The Payment Integrity Information Act of 2019, aims to curb billions of dollars of improper payments made by federal agencies to government contractors.

Craig told me it fits in a much larger portfolio of bills she’s working on that aim to increase public trust in government.

Article continues after advertisement

“I literally had a former member of Congress come pull me off the House floor once to try to get me to meet with his clients after I’d turned down the meeting,” Craig said.

“And you know, that kind of crap, is what makes my constituents not have faith in this place.”

Read more at MinnPost.

By the numbers

  • 58,796: The number of votes cast for Amy Klobuchar in New Hampshire, more than twice the amount of votes cast for either Sen. Elizabeth Warren or Joe Biden.
  • 50: The number of staff a Klobuchar staffer says the campaign has in Nevada.
  • 9: The number of days until the Nevada Caucus.

The president next door

Clay Aiken wants you to vote for Sen. Amy Klobuchar. In an op-ed for USA Today, the early 2000s American Idol runner-up says: “It was difficult for me to move my support from Joe Biden. But Amy Klobuchar is simply a better candidate for the 2020 race against Donald Trump.”

Klobuchar has had several memorable exchanges this week. For example, after being booed at an event in New Hampshire, when she took the stage, Klobuchar exclaimed: “Hi, Bernie people!”

There’s also this exchange with The View’s Sunny Hostin, who told Klobuchar that the Myon Burrel case was botched: “It gives me no pleasure to say this because as you know, I was a prosecutor as well … it is one of the most flawed investigations & prosecutions that I think I have ever seen.”

Article continues after advertisement

On a similar note, as people are digging up candidate’s past statements and actions as they relate to black Americans, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in the spotlight this week for comments he made in 2015: “People say ‘Oh my god, you are arresting kids for marijuana that are all minorities.’ Yes, that’s true … because we put all the cops in minority neighborhoods … because that’s where all the crime is.”

Bloomberg is also trying to “move past” his legacy with stop and frisk, saying he’s disavowed the practice. But his entire tenure as mayor reflected differently.

Finally, one Nevada poll. In this recent USA Today/Suffolk poll of 500 likely voters, Biden maintains a lead within the margin of error. The poll was taken before Yang dropped out.

  • Joe Biden: 19%
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders: 18%
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren: 11%
  • Tom Steyer: 8%
  • Pete Buttigieg: 8%
  • Andrew Yang: 4%
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar: 4%
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: 1%

In other news

Quote of the week

This whole exchange with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota.

ALISYN CAMEROTA: So there’s Klobusurge. There’s Klobucharge, and there’s Klomentum.


CAMEROTA: Which one?


CAMEROTA: What do you go with?

KLOBUCHAR: I just want people to vote for me, so I don’t really care.

What I’m reading

Isabella Grullón Paz for the New York Times: Meet the Latinos Trying to Get Latinos to the Polls

Short profiles of Latinx leaders whose job it is to engage a record 32 million voting age Latinx voters this cycle. Edwin Torres, the outreach director for Senator Amy Klobuchar, gave his reason for supporting the candidate: “As an undocumented and unafraid DACA recipient, and as a gay Latino man in America, I want our next president to be able to unify our country.”

Taylor Lorenz for The New York Times: The Original Renegade

Great profile on who owns viral TikTok crazes. In this case, and in many other cases, black creatives are left behind when their dance is taken on by someone else and spreads without credit.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for sticking around. Until next week, feel free to send tips, suggestions, and sound advice to: Follow at @gabemschneider. And don’t forget to become a MinnPost member.