I’ll Vote For Amy

I’ll Vote For Amy


Leonard Zwelling


         I believe that early voting for the Texas primary starts on Tuesday. As usual, I will be there bright and early, ready to cast my ballot in the Democratic primary. I have voted in the Republican primary in the past because in Texas you need not register with a party beforehand to vote in its primary. This year, it is the Democratic primary that matters, so I will vote in it.

         In the above piece from The New York Times, Tom Friedman makes a compelling case for supporting Mike Bloomberg as the one person who can defeat Donald Trump. I am going to disagree.

         First, Bloomberg hasn’t won anything yet, hasn’t even competed yet, and will not until Super Tuesday. He hasn’t debated yet either, and I don’t think he is very effective in that format. He’s not even giving a whole lot of interviews. His presence is mostly in canned commercials and rallies.

         Second, Mike has lots of baggage and a lot of it ain’t good. In particular, “stop and frisk” will never go over well with black Americans who were the focus of that policy when it was implemented in New York City under then Mayor Bloomberg and whose votes are crucial for any Democrat hoping to beat Trump. There are claims that “stop and frisk” actually worked, but it surely did target men of color more than anyone else.

         Finally, like it or not, Mike is old. We really need some younger blood in the White House, but maybe not quite as young as the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

         Tuesday night’s victory by Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire was somewhat overshadowed by several key facts.

         First, Bernie cannot beat Trump as Tom Friedman points out. He’s too far left and too whacky to attract the centrist voters who will decide this election.

         Second, Bernie is old plus just had a heart attack. What is the U.S. crazy? I wouldn’t even sell Bernie a four-year life insurance policy let alone give him the nuclear codes.

         Third, I staffed the committee in the Senate of which Bernie was a member (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions). Never once did I see Bernie make a cogent argument for anything except drug importation from Canada. Hillary says no one liked him in the Senate. I doubt they respected him either. Bernie was not a leader of anything in the Senate.

         According to Steve Kornacki on MSNBC, over half of the people voting in the New Hampshire Democratic primary and deciding at the last minute chose either Mayor Pete or Amy Klobuchar. It is pretty clear then that the centrist lane of the Democratic Party, the one harboring Mike Bloomberg, has at least two other players in it.

         Mayor Pete is articulate and bright. He may make a great president some day. That day is not in 2020. He needs to run for the Senate in Indiana and win. Then he can gain the gravitas needed to be his party’s choice.

         To my mind, and to that of The New York Times editorial board, that leaves Ms. Klobuchar in the center lane. I will be voting for her next week. Why?

         She’s from the part of the country the Democratic nominee needs to carry, the Midwest.

         She’s plain spoken and makes a lot of sense. Her policies are bathed in realism and she has the experience of working with senators from both parties to get things done.

         She is as tough as nails and has lived a bit and been elected a lot. She’s a former prosecutor and a mother. She is everything that Hillary Clinton was not and the senator Hillary Clinton was.

         I have been wrestling with the choice for weeks now, knowing that I would be voting for a centrist as I cannot vote for the lefties (Sanders and Warren). It was down to Bloomberg and Klobuchar, but Amy has been in the arena. She is fighting the good fight and that matters to me. Mike would be a great Vice President and surely a great funder of the Democratic push to upend Donald Trump.

         Finally, I want to see Donald Trump on a debate stage with Senator Klobuchar. The first time he makes a derogatory, misogynistic comment, she will politely put him in his place in a way Hillary just never could.

         To all my fellow Texans and everyone reading the blog who can vote in a primary, please consider voting for Amy. If nothing else, she would inject some dignity into this race and do so without having to buy it.

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