Amy Klobuchar's closing statement in the New Hampshire debate was near-perfect

Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar talks with CNN's John King about her "surge of support" ahead of the New Hampshire primary.

Posted: Feb 10, 2020 8:40 PM
Updated: Feb 10, 2020 8:40 PM

One of the things we have lost -- or forgotten -- during the presidency of Donald Trump is empathy. Understanding that we are all, at root, far more alike than we are dissimilar and that caring for one another -- at a basic human level -- is something that transcends our political parties. Or should at least.

Which brings me to Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar's closing statement Friday night in the eighth Democratic debate in New Hampshire. Which, if you missed it, well, you shouldn't.

Here's the key chunk (it's long but worth it):

"And I will tell you this, there is a complete lack of empathy in this guy in the White House right now.

"And I will bring that to you. If you have trouble stretching your paycheck to pay for that rent, I know you, and I will fight for you. If you have trouble deciding if you're going pay for your child care or your long-term care, I know you, and I will fight for you. If you have trouble figuring out if you're going fill your refrigerator or fill your prescription drug, I know you, and I will fight for you."

"I do not have to biggest name up on this stage, I don't have the biggest bank account. I'm not a political newcomer with no record, but I have a record of fighting for people. I'm asking you to join us at amyklobuchar.com. I'm asking you to believe that someone who totally believes in America can win this, because if you are tired of the extremes in our politics and the noise and the nonsense, you have a home with me."

That's really, really powerful. And a remarkable antidote to Trumpism, which, to paraphrase its belief system, goes something like this: It's a kill or be killed world. The strong -- or the most cunning -- survive. Everybody else is relegated to "loser" status. And if you don't like that, well then you are one of the precious snowflakes who belongs in the "loser" pile.

Klobuchar's reminder is one about our common humanity, and the idea that the President of the United States is supposed to lead us on a moral front -- to remind us how we are all in this together.

Trump has, in his first three years in office, totally abandoned the idea of the presidency as a beacon of moral leadership. That abandonment is most obvious in his assertions that there were good people on both sides of the Charlottesville, Virginia, race riot but it's obvious in dozens of other ways too -- attacking Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a Purple Heart recipient, looking the other way after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of the Saudi government, attacking a Gold Star family during the 2016 campaign. The list goes on and on (and on).

To be clear: Klobuchar's closing argument in a debate that aired on a Friday night just days before the New Hampshire primary isn't any sort of guarantee that her numbers -- whether in the Granite State or anywhere else -- will suddenly surge. (Tracking polls in New Hampshire do seem to suggest some Klobuchar momentum, however.)

And even if she experiences an uptick in Tuesday's Democratic primary, she still has a very tough road to the nomination.

But none of that changes this basic fact: If you were searching for an encapsulation of the opposite of Trumpism, Klobuchar did it better than any Democrat I have yet seen. Which matters, whether or not it fundamentally alters her trajectory in this race.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 490011

Reported Deaths: 6618
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1016821593
Ramsey43388811
Dakota36714394
Anoka33545392
Washington22247262
Stearns18847202
St. Louis14915265
Scott13445107
Wright12635116
Olmsted1187890
Sherburne879474
Carver790941
Clay696288
Rice678691
Blue Earth604435
Kandiyohi582274
Crow Wing523682
Chisago502945
Otter Tail487171
Benton451890
Winona419749
Mower411931
Douglas395068
Goodhue390169
Nobles387347
Polk345363
McLeod341950
Beltrami339151
Morrison328147
Itasca315346
Becker315143
Lyon314045
Isanti310056
Steele304311
Carlton300649
Freeborn287124
Pine283616
Nicollet263341
Todd250330
Brown249137
Le Sueur238620
Mille Lacs230047
Cass221424
Waseca211217
Meeker208534
Martin190829
Wabasha18733
Roseau181017
Hubbard161041
Houston158214
Dodge15464
Renville152940
Redwood147127
Fillmore14029
Pennington139816
Chippewa137035
Cottonwood136120
Wadena131520
Faribault125017
Aitkin119233
Sibley118310
Watonwan11838
Rock116314
Kanabec109120
Pipestone101924
Yellow Medicine97817
Murray9548
Jackson94710
Swift87818
Pope8185
Marshall78715
Stevens7478
Lake74318
Clearwater72014
Lac qui Parle68816
Wilkin67711
Koochiching62111
Big Stone5173
Lincoln5122
Grant4928
Norman4808
Unassigned45368
Mahnomen4437
Kittson41121
Red Lake3615
Traverse3115
Lake of the Woods2231
Cook1190

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 337836

Reported Deaths: 5500
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk52116562
Linn19519317
Scott17180213
Black Hawk14973294
Woodbury13858214
Johnson1317875
Dubuque12452196
Dallas1023593
Pottawattamie9899146
Story965445
Warren515176
Clinton502884
Cerro Gordo501483
Webster495888
Sioux480469
Marshall465473
Des Moines428661
Muscatine426493
Buena Vista413337
Wapello4059110
Jasper388167
Plymouth369178
Lee354653
Marion341772
Jones285355
Henry279837
Bremer270655
Carroll266848
Crawford253435
Boone244830
Benton241554
Washington239247
Mahaska215846
Jackson210339
Dickinson204340
Tama203165
Kossuth198655
Delaware186340
Clay184525
Winneshiek183729
Fayette179535
Page178119
Buchanan178029
Wright174531
Hamilton173942
Cedar172923
Hardin170339
Harrison167870
Clayton160154
Butler159331
Mills148520
Floyd148141
Poweshiek148030
Cherokee146336
Lyon145741
Allamakee144948
Madison143318
Iowa140723
Hancock138030
Grundy132530
Winnebago130531
Calhoun129711
Cass129751
Jefferson128534
Appanoose123447
Louisa122644
Mitchell120740
Chickasaw119915
Union119331
Sac118818
Shelby117634
Emmet115440
Humboldt113925
Franklin109719
Guthrie109728
Palo Alto101721
Howard99722
Unassigned9790
Montgomery97036
Clarke95220
Keokuk92429
Monroe90028
Ida82132
Adair81630
Pocahontas80919
Davis76623
Monona76527
Greene73110
Lucas72321
Osceola68315
Worth6678
Taylor64112
Decatur5719
Fremont5619
Van Buren53818
Ringgold50720
Audubon4769
Wayne47521
Adams3194
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