This is pretty dumb, and I did something similar a month ago when the presidential odds-makers at Vox upgraded their view of Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar as a possible 2020 candidate, but our senior senator got another upgrade in her presidential chances this week, this time from CNN, which moved her from seventh most likely Democratic nominee for president in 2020, to sixth mostly likely.
Klobuchar is heavily favored to win a third Senate term this year, generally deflects questions about any presidential aspirations, and is relatively less known nationally than some others on the list (but she did get a fair bit of generally favorable national exposure during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings). She got the promotion from CNN based on this:
Unlike her Senate colleagues Warren, Harris and even Gillibrand, the Minnesota Democrat isn’t one of the first names on most Democrats’ lips when the conversation turns to 2020. But during the Kavanaugh hearings, Klobuchar distinguished herself in ways no one else mentioned as a Democratic presidential candidate did. Her questioning of Kavanaugh’s drinking past became a huge moment — and one in which Klobuchar shone. If you are looking for a dark horse, you could do worse than Klobuchar.
This is still dumb, but if you’re curious, the five on the list ahead of Klobuchar, in order, are:
Massachusetts Sen Elizabeth Warren; California Sen. Kamala Harris; former Veep and Delaware Sen. Joe Biden; New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand; and Vermont Sen Bernie Sanders.
And maybe this is less dumb: For an old guy like me — born under President Harry Truman, when there was exactly one female in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, Republican of Maine; one of Hispanic heritage, and zero black senators — it’s pretty amazing, and evidence of a great deal of progress, that a list like this could get all the way to the sixth spot and have only two white males in the top five.
That made me want to look up a good quote from the great Sen. Smith, whom I recall from my childhood, that will help recall how much things have changed since she sought her first Senate term in 1948. The excerpt below is from Smith’s Wikipedia article; it refers to her race in the primary leading to her election for her first Senate term:
When the wife of one of her opponents questioned whether a woman would be a good Senator, Smith replied, “Women administer the home. They set the rules, enforce them, mete out justice for violations. Thus, like Congress, they legislate; like the Executive, they administer; like the courts, they interpret the rules. It is an ideal experience for politics. On June 21, 1948, she won the primary election and received more votes than her three opponents combined. In the general election on September 13, she defeated Democrat Adrian H. Scolten by a margin of 71%–29%.