Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has never faced significant opposition in her home state. Never in the person of a formidable political opponent for office. Never a local media willing to hold her proverbial feet to the fire. Never the majority of Minnesota voters. Never. Not once.
But if Sunday evening's scheduled rally at St. Louis Park High School was any indication, it's not surprising that Klobee's first experience of substantial opposition within the state of Minnesota caused her to wilt like a hothouse flower.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar returned to Minnesota on Sunday hoping to pivot to Super Tuesday after a distant sixth-place finish in the South Carolina primary.
But while hundreds of supporters gathered for her homecoming in a St. Louis Park High School gymnasium, dozens of protesters streamed in, chanting for her to exit the race over her handling of the case against Myon Burrell, a black teenager convicted in a 2002 child slaying when Klobuchar was Hennepin County attorney.
As protesters took over the stage shouting “Myon!” Klobuchar supporters shouted “Amy!” back. Klobuchar was not in the gymnasium as the protest unfolded, disrupting the start of a program of campaign speeches. The ongoing protest eventually forced the campaign to cancel the rally. “The campaign offered a meeting with the senator if they would leave the stage after being on stage for more than an hour,” a campaign spokesman said. “After the group initially agreed, they backed out of the agreement and we are canceling the event.”
Protest leaders said the campaign would not meet their demand to publicly acknowledge Burrell during the rally.
For the record, I typically oppose the tactics of protestors who seek to disrupt someone else's free assembly. But when Klobee continued to duck the local black community in the aftermath of Burrell's conviction being called into serious question (so serious that the Associated Press provided thorough coverage of the story), the protestors felt as though they had no alternative then to confront her at this rally. Normally the motivation for protests of this type are little more than to cause utter chaos. But not this particular one.
The Burrell case has become a rallying cry for Twin Cities’ civil rights activists who believe he was wrongly convicted. Klobuchar has called for any new evidence to be reviewed.
So if I am understanding this correctly, the protestors would have been more than placated had Klobuchar taken to the stage and conveyed that very sentiment. But there's no way Klobee was going to risk losing face in a public forum, especially since in her initial U.S. Senate run and current POTUS campaign she used the story of her prosecution of Burrell to prove that she is tough on violent crime.
With Super Tuesday fast approaching, Klobee was hoping to regain some of that "Klo-mentum" she foolishly thought was happening after a third place finish in New Hampshire. Now it's a strong possibility she may not even win her home state.
Oh well, she'll always have the coveted endorsement from the Minneapolis Star Tribune to fall back on.
UPDATE: Within about 15 minutes of initially posting this, I got an alert that Klobee is dropping out of the race and will endorse Joe Biden. My oh my.