Is Amy Klobuchar Seeing Her Vice Presidential Bid Going Up In the Flames of the Minnesota Riots?

AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez

 

Her prospects might be dwindling in the kindling.

Even following the announcement of the arrest of the Minneapolis police officer directly involved with the death of George Floyd the tensions on the streets of Minnesota are unlikely to subside anytime soon. The damage on the streets across this Great Lakes city is looking to also produce some political collateral damage. One of the state’s own favored leaders is likely to suffer significant PR damage.

As I wrote earlier the press is in full-throated outrage over the killing of Floyd, but their desire to stoke anger the media is running into a problem; all the leadership they can point at for blame in Minnesota is from the Democratic Party. In the rush to accuse institutional racism people are looking at the institutions in the state and only finding leadership on the left. Now Senator Amy Klobuchar is finding her name mentioned more frequently, and not in favorable terms.

Klobuchar had already struggled in her campaign to make the needed connections with black voters, and now black leaders are responding to her comments in the wake of the Floyd controversy. After issuing a markedly boilerplate statement about the controversy many black voices have taken a position of opposition to Klobuchar.

Apart from being hit with being tone-deaf on the issue now her record in Minnesota prior to being a Senator is being looked at closer. While she was a Hennepin County prosecutor one of the officers involved in the George Floyd death was part of a group of officers involved with the death of another citizen.

The Floyd case has put the national spotlight back on Klobuchar’s days as a prosecutor, particularly as it became clear Derek Chauvin, the officer involved in Floyd’s death, was involved in the death of another citizen while Klobuchar was prosecutor. Chauvin was one of six officers who fired on and killed Wayne Reyes in 2006 after Reyes reportedly aimed a shotgun at police after stabbing his friend and girlfriend.

Beyond that one case involving Chauvin, activists have pointed to more than two dozen other instances of police-caused citizen deaths which she did not take action on during her tenure. As the Floyd case percolates these instances seem to make Klobuchar even more toxic.

Joe Biden has much at stake in this running mate selection. His entire campaign hinges upon his favorability with black voters. It is what launched him to the party nomination, and as his grasp on stability is growing more tenuous he needs to shore up those dependable voters. His recent racist comments made on a black radio program only heighten the need to preserve the black vote. Amy Klobuchar could be viewed now as no so much an asset to his campaign but a possible wedge with those voters.