FALLS CHURCH, Virginia — Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar made her final pitch to northern Virginia voters in a mid-sized theatre on the main drag of Falls Church Friday.
The latest RealClearPolitics aggregation of polls shows Klobuchar in fifth place in Virginia, behind former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former Vice President Joe Biden, and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Audience members cheered as Klobuchar spoke on health care, foreign policy, and education. The Midwestern candidate pointed out the crowd seemed awfully aware of the political issues, noting she knew she was in Virginia because the people were responsive to and interested in her foreign policy talking points. The audience seemed well-versed in the political issues of the day.
At the beginning of the rally, Klobuchar introduced the sister-in-law of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the army lieutenant who testified against President Donald Trump in the 2019 House impeachment hearings. The audience cheered as Vindman’s name was announced.
Only two names solicited “boos:” Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Klobuchar promised to “fire” DeVos if she were elected president. Even the mention of Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah excited the audience for his “courage” in voting for Trump’s impeachment. According to Virginia voters, it’s all about getting Trump out of office.
“I want someone to beat Trump,” said Vera Richards, an immigrant living in the Falls Church area. But, when asked about whether or not she’d vote for Klobuchar, she demurred. “I don’t know. I really don’t know, but [Klobuchar] can do the job, she’s presidential.”
Klobuchar pitched herself as a moderate option by telling the crowd a story about a cattle rancher who voted for Trump in 2016, but plans to vote for Klobuchar in 2020. She believes there are many other voters who would find themselves in a similar situation if she were the Democratic nominee.
The finale of the rally was focused on Klobuchar’s ability to return to sanity and find empathy in politics. She discussed the “five R’s” that guide her campaign.
- Renewing our leadership around the world
- Repairing American alliances
- Renegotiating America back into international agreements — namely, the Paris Climate Accord
- Responding “appropriately” to threats around the world
- Returning to sanity
The audience cheered loudly as Klobuchar made a pitch for “a return to sanity.” One Virginia voter said returning to sanity meant returning to Obama’s ideals.
“[Trump] has basically rolled back all the good that Obama has done and I really think we need someone who can stand up for Obama, and I think that might be Amy,” said Nina Richards.
Klobuchar concluded by dubbing herself as the most empathetic candidate.
“That is what a president should do, be able to have that sense of empathy, and then take that empathy and put it into leadership to unite our nation,” Klobuchar said.