Political notebook: Klobuchar for president?

December 23, 2018
Senator Amy Klobuchar May 19,2018

Will U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar run for president?

Klobuchar declined to reveal her plans during a trip to Rochester in November, but it’s clear the Minnesota senator’s profile has been rising in Iowa. A new poll has the Democrat pulling 10 percent of potential Iowa caucus-goers, according to Politico.

That put her in fourth place among potential Democratic presidential hopefuls, led by former Vice President Joe Biden with 30 percent, Sen. Bernie Sanders with 13 percent and Rep. Beto O’Rourke with 11 percent.

“While Biden continues to dominate what figures to be a sprawling 2020 field — he also led in a Des Moines Register poll published Saturday — Klobuchar’s performance stands out in a field filled with better-known contenders,” Politico reports.

• State GOP Sen. Dave Senjem of Rochester has been busy batting down rumors that he’s being considered for a post in the administration of DFL Gov.-elect Tim Walz. Senjem said he’s handled a couple of calls from media and other people wanting to know whether the rumors are true. Senjem said they are not.

“I don’t think that’s probably going to happen,” Senjem said.

But then, Senjem said he doesn’t close the door to anything.

“I learned a long time ago, if you say never, why, you live a life of never. Never say never,” Senjem said.

• Although a federal judge in Texas struck down the Affordable Care Act, the decision does not affect MNsure’s open enrollment period, which runs through Jan. 13.

So far, there have been 7,039 enrollments in Southeast Minnesota, which includes Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Steele, Wabasha and Winona counties, officials say.

More than 74 percent of those enrollees qualify for tax credits, which is higher than the 56 percent statewide average. The average tax credit for Southeast Minnesota households is $774, compared to $467 statewide.

• Earlier this month, Sen. Tina Smith announced that she will retain her membership on the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor Pensions), Agriculture and Indian Affairs committees. She will also take on a new assignment on the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

“My committee assignments in the new Congress will allow me to continue to press to bring down health care costs, give students a world-class education, make sure farm policy works for our state, and help ensure that families, communities and tribes have the resources to fight the opioid crisis,” she said.

• Although some are calling 2018 “The Year of the Woman,” that won’t necessarily be the case for the Minnesota Legislature when it convenes in January. There will be 64 female legislators in 2019 — two fewer than in 2018. In fact, female representation has been on a downward slide in the Minnesota body since 2009, when there were 70 women. Contrast that with Nevada, which becomes the first state in the country to have a female-majority legislature.

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