The Joe Biden campaign reportedly warned Minnesota’s Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), one of Biden’s former competitors for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, that she should prepare for a full vetting, like the kind associated with being offered the running mate slot on Biden’s presidential ticket.
But not every Democrat is crazy about the thought of a Biden-Klobuchar campaign, and they’re warning the Democratic National Committee that Klobuchar, who has a difficult time with minority voters, won’t bring much to Biden’s table.
Politico reported Monday that “more than a dozen black and Latino strategists and activists warned in interviews that selecting Klobuchar would not help Biden excite black voters — and might have the opposite effect.”
“Klobuchar,” activists say, “would ‘risk losing the very base the Democrats need to win,’” according to the outlet.
The problems seem to stem from Klobuchar’s time as a prosecutor in her home state and from her time as a presidential candidate – which, they say, did not involve much outreach to voters of color. Klobuchar is also a moderate, running afoul of some of her state’s more vocal Democrats, including Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who is clearly a progressive – and already skeptical of Joe Biden.
Activists contend that it’s not Klobuchar’s color that makes her a poor choice for Biden – after all, they are willing to entertain the thought of vice president candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) – its about Klobuchar’s priorities.
“It comes from her performance in the primary — her weakness in being able to motivate them,” the head of BlackPAC, which is pressing for a minority vice presidential pick, added. “The engagement and the enthusiasm of black voters is going to be a difference-maker in this election, and the concerns about her in this role stem from the degree to which she resonated or not with those core constituencies.”
Activists say that, if Biden selects Klobuchar, it sends the message that the campaign is more concerned with winning over Trump voters in Rust Belt and midwestern states than keeping minority voters in the coalition.
Biden does not appear to have much difficulty with minority voters; they were the group that put him over the top in South Carolina, giving him the momentum he needed to overcome a series of losses to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
But after a recent gaffe, in which Biden insisted that black voters who might think twice before casting a ballot for him in the general election, in his words, “ain’t black,” he certainly could use some clear, public support from minority Democrats. And then there’s the contingent of Democrats pressing for a black female candidate, some of whom have gone so far as to suggest Biden pick up failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams or controversial Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).