Welp, as if we didn’t need any more indications showing that Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) won’t be Former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate, his campaign all but confirmed that she is out of the running. The Daily Beast spoke with members of Biden’s team, who indicated that the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer might have sealed her fate.
Since dropping out of the Democratic primary race earlier this year, the senator has been vying for the VP spot, acting as a surrogate for Biden’s campaign. But now, with the unrest over Floyd’s killing, her record as the state’s former top prosecutor has come under renewed scrutiny.
According to The Daily Beast, one of Biden’s campaign advisors stated that Klobuchar’s decline is “vertiginous.” In fact, the senator’s chances of being chosen decreased so sharply that Dr. Jill Biden, the former vice president’s wife, canceled a digital event with Klobuchar and coronavirus first-responders. A source on Biden’s team said that this decision was made “partly because we need to avoid her.”
Much of the anger towards Klobuchar stems from an incident in which Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who killed Floyd, was involved in the shooting of a civilian in 2006. Some reports indicated that the then-prosecutor refused to prosecute the officer. However, these reports seem to be inaccurate as Mike Freeman, who succeeded Klobuchar, put out a statement explaining that it was his office that was responsible for Chauvin’s case.
Klobuchar responded to the criticisms in a Friday appearance on MSNBC in which she said, “this idea that I somehow declined a case, which has been reported on some news blogs and then sent out on the Internet, against this officer is absolutely false.” However, despite questions over the accuracy of the reports against the senator, it is clear that this incident has reminded people of her somewhat controversial stint as a prosecutor, especially when it comes to the incarceration of black residents.
One of Klobuchar’s most glaring weaknesses is her inability to appeal to black voters. Along with Mayor Pete Buttigieg, she struggled to appeal to the African American community, which gave Biden a distinct advantage. However, it seems that Biden’s team has finally recognized that choosing the senator would cause many on the left to give the former vice president the side-eye.
Since he became the presumptive nominee, progressives have been pushing Biden to choose a minority running mate. Last week, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) suggested that a nonwhite VP candidate could help to increase Biden’s low voter enthusiasm numbers.
The truth is that Omar is right. At this point, the candidate must choose a minority or risk alienating a sizeable chunk of Democratic voters, and it is not likely that this reality is lost on his campaign team. In light of these factors, and the consternation over George Floyd’s death, it seems to be a given that Klobuchar will be disappearing from the spotlight soon.
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