Klobuchar Campaign Press Release - Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Boards Endorse Amy Klobuchar for President

February 21, 2020

"Klobuchar is a pragmatic and authentic progressive who wants to make actual progress"

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Today, the editorial boards for the Seattle Times and the San Francisco Chronicle announced their endorsements of Senator Amy Klobuchar for President.

The endorsements come on the heels of endorsements from the Houston Chronicle, Mercury News/East Bay Times, Las Vegas Sun, Seacoast Media Group, the Keene Sentinel, the New Hampshire Union Leader, the New York Times, the Quad-City Times, and the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

Read what they wrote:

Seattle Times -- Endorsement: Amy Klobuchar for president

For Washington state, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is the best choice to advance to the general election in the crucial effort to unseat President Donald Trump.

She is an effective third-term senator with a strong track record of leading initiatives whether her party was in power or not, working across the aisle when it served her state and the nation. The Minnesotan is no demagogue, titillating voters with political impossibilities like Medicare for All.

Rather, Klobuchar is a pragmatic and authentic progressive who wants to make actual progress on many issues especially important to Washington, such as immigration and trade.

While Wednesday's Democratic Presidential Primary debate had all the drama and blood of a Pay-per-view boxing match, the format favors snake oil, fancy footwork and those skilled at throwing verbal punches. The most battered candidate, Michael Bloomberg, probably had it right when he declared Trump the debate's winner. Regardless, debates do not favor the detail-oriented wonk or nuanced policy position. On that score, Klobuchar deserves a closer look by voters.

Where opponents lavish promises of free! free! free! four-year college degrees, she supports free community college and vocational training, which can lift students into in-demand careers like plumbing and nurse assisting, as well as launch them into four-year college and beyond.

Where Sen. Bernie Sanders promises Medicare For All, glossing over where the money will come from, Klobuchar refuses to upend the current health plans of 149 million Americans. Rather, she would improve on the Affordable Care Act and offers plausible plans for how to pay for her efforts to lower costs and premiums. And she's the only candidate so far to have the guts to serve up some veggies alongside the sweets — reminding people of the peril of the looming national debt. And, yes, she has a plan

Washington and Klobuchar's home state of Minnesota have much in common, including sophisticated international export relationships. She supported the United States-Korea Trade Agreement, which greatly benefited Washington, and recently voted for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. (Sen. Elizabeth Warren voted for USMCA also. Sanders was among 10 senators who did not.)

A new president could wade back into the economic and diplomatic opportunity missed when Trump canceled the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Revived negotiations could produce higher standards for labor and environmental rules, Klobuchar said in an interview with the editorial board.

Klobuchar has worked for years toward immigration reform. In 2013, she was among a bipartisan group of senators who proposed legislation with a comprehensive approach that included a path to citizenship for immigrant workers without permission to be in the United States.

"It is an economic imperative to see immigrants as part of our economy," she said. " ... Immigrants don't diminish America, they are America."

The former county prosecutor has taken heat for her previous support for the ill-conceived War on Drugs, "broken windows" policing and prosecutions of nonviolent offenses from 20 years ago. While widely held at the time, they exacerbated ethnic disproportionality in the criminal justice system. A recent Associated Press investigation revealing new evidence and inconsistencies in her office's prosecution of then 16-year-old Myon Burrell for the 2002 murder of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards gave us pause.

However, Klobuchar's more recent record demonstrates an authentic, if cautious, commitment to righting those injustices. In 2018, she co-sponsored the bipartisan First Step Act reforming federal drug sentencing laws and tackling recidivism. She has called for further reform of the country's "broken" criminal justice system, specifically citing impacts of racial disparities. As a presidential candidate, her criminal justice reform plan includes reducing the prison population by 20% over the next decade. If elected, she would create a clemency advisory board to speed up the clemency process and a White House adviser outside the Department of Justice to advise on criminal justice reform.

And the daughter of a former newspaperman is an unabashed supporter of the free press, government transparency and the role the U.S. plays as a model for supporting the press around the world. She wants to look at how antitrust laws could help ensure a robust and independent free press providing local news in communities.

Our goal with this endorsement is not to predict the election. Sanders, Warren, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg are far ahead of Klobuchar in raising money from Washington donors, according to the Federal Elections Commission. Rather, this endorsement comes after considering the candidates' experience, records and issue positions — especially how they relate to significant Washington issues.

While Klobuchar might seem like a longshot so early in the process, she is a Democrat for whom moderates of both parties and independents can vote. The prospects of early delegate leader Sanders having such broad appeal are not so clear. Buttigieg's intelligence and military service make him a compelling candidate, but his experience as mayor of a small Indiana city does not give him the foundation for the presidency. Bloomberg, well, he's got problems — and not just about what he suggested were merely offensive "jokes."

Vote for Amy Klobuchar.

San Francisco Chronicle -- Editorial: Chronicle recommends Amy Klobuchar in the Democratic primary

This nation desperately needs a change in course. For all the metrics that suggest the United States is on the right track — economy booming, crime falling — all is not well. Our international stature is declining, our gap between rich and poor is widening, our respect for the rule of law and individual rights is under siege, our sacred obligations to give future generations a chance at the American dream and to defend the planet against the ravages of climate change are all but evaporating.

Pervading all of these dispiriting realities are the words and actions of a 45th president who has exploited and inflamed our divisions to create a political firewall for him as he dismisses and disparages the institutions — the judiciary, congressional oversight, free elections, the free press — that undergird our democracy. President Trump routinely and blatantly misrepresents facts, and urges his followers to believe his disinformation, in a most authoritarian manner.

The 2020 presidential election may be the last best chance for this nation to course correct. It's hard to fathom the damage a re-elected Trump would do for another four years.

Any of the major Democratic contenders would reverse the trajectory that has bred so much cynicism at home, and puzzlement abroad among our erstwhile foes and allies. While their differences have been accentuated in a long series of debates and town hall meetings over the past year, the fact of the matter is the remaining candidates share much common ground.

None would waste billions on a southern border wall or separate families and lock children in cages. All would guarantee our promise to the "Dreamers" and push for an immigration reform plan that recognizes that millions of immigrants are here to work and follow our laws, and deserve a path to citizenship. All would allow science to guide regulatory decisions on the environment, rejoin the Paris climate accord and move this nation toward a lower-carbon future. All would pare back the Trump-era tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy and provide more middle-income tax relief. All support abortion and LGBT rights and would take those values into consideration when appointing judges. All would support expanded child care and family-leave policies. All support campaign reforms to tamp down the influence of money in politics. All have vowed, unlike the current occupant of the Oval Office, to give the judgment of our intelligence community more weight than that of a foreign adversary such as Vladimir Putin whose mission is to sow antipathy within America and with its European allies.

Even on the issue that most divides them — health care — all are headed in the right direction, toward expansion of coverage. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have pushed a government-run Medicare for All approach, while the others (Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg) have called for more incremental (and far more likely to achieve) extensions of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

All but Bloomberg endured a grueling primary season that sifted out some gifted leaders: Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Julián Castro among them. Billionaire Bloomberg skipped most of that vetting, and his shaky performance in his coming-out debate Wednesday exposed his serious vulnerabilities, though the Democrats will welcome his near-bottomless checkbook in the general election.

So the choice comes down to which candidate has the experience, the toughness, the sensibility to maintain the party's base and appeal to independents and disenchanted-with-Trump Republicans in November.

Amy Klobuchar is the one Democrat who checks all the essential boxes. She is seasoned (13 years in the U.S. Senate, lead Democratic sponsor on more than 100 passed bills) with a history of winning Republican strongholds and solid on the party's baseline issues while pragmatic enough to avoid the promises (free four-year college regardless of income, erasing all college debt) that are easy to make and impossible to fulfill.

Front-runner Sanders has been building a passionate following, but his unbending democratic-socialist agenda and strident tone is likely to all but lock in a polarized nation, leaving the November race a toss-up. Warren has been effective in articulating her wonkish plans in kitchen-table terms, and shows more potential than Sanders to pivot toward the center in a general election, but the price tag of her ambitions (including Medicare for All and free college and forgiving of student debt) may be too much for voters too swallow even if they were politically plausible. And they are not.

Biden, in his third presidential campaign, has seemed befuddled at times and out of gas at others. Buttigieg, the ascendant star of 2020, has an impressive mastery of the issues and an inspiring message of inclusion. At 38, and having the mayorship of South Bend, Ind., as the high point of his resume, Buttigieg scores heavier on rhetoric than applicable record. Same with Steyer, a successful businessman, philanthropist and Democratic benefactor whose ability to succeed in the rough-and-tumble of Washington politics is an open question.

Meanwhile, Amy Klobuchar repeatedly has shown under fire in the debates and town halls that she is a listener with a wickedly quick sense of humor that can make her point effectively and with civility. She has the skills to unite the Democratic Party after this nomination fight — no small task — and, if elected president, restore the integrity, discipline and dignity that the office deserves.

She gets our endorsement in the March 3 primary.

Amy Klobuchar, Klobuchar Campaign Press Release - Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Boards Endorse Amy Klobuchar for President Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/365922

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