U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar got a third chance to make her case on the nationally-televised Democratic debate stage Thursday night. The Minnesota Democrat used her roughly 10 minutes of airtime to pitch herself as a moderate choice for voters tired of “extremes."
With just 10 candidates qualifying for this go-round, the debate in Houston marked the first time Democratic rivals who made the cut shared one stage. That scenario raised the stakes for candidates like Klobuchar, who are struggling to break out of a crowded field.
How’d it go? Here’s a look at what people across the political spectrum (and Twitterverse) are saying about Klobuchar’s performance.
The Minnesota Senator won praise from some pundits for a strong showing:
“[She] issued powerful calls for leadership that would seek to heal and unify the country.”
Jim Geraghty at the conservative National Review thought she had some “slightly better-than-usual moments,” but didn’t shine:
“[It’s] the same story as the previous two debates. She’s soft-spoken, pleasant, a little corny with her jokes . . . and completely forgettable."
NBC News’ Jonathan Allen had a similarly mixed review:
"Her best moment of the night came in her closing when she described fighting for longer guaranteed hospital stays for new mothers in her home state. She opened aggressively, alluding to Warren's refrain of "I've got a plan for that" and saying "I've got a better way." But Klobuchar didn't get much air time and didn't distinguish herself much from the pack."
In the early voting state of New Hampshire, a trio of political analysts agreed Klobuchar had her best night yet:
“She gave a clear rationale for why she should be the nominee,” said [New Hampshire University Professor Dante] Scala, “as a Midwestern moderate. She seemed to find her place in the race.”
The New York Post, meanwhile, wasn’t impressed:
“Being all the way at the end of the row can be tough and she couldn’t work her way into the discussion all night long. She can stay in, but why?”
Klobuchar’s approach to healthcare, including zingers criticizing colleagues for supporting Medicare for All, stood out to many:
But other viewers on the political left thought she was too moderate:
The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake wrote that Klobuchar, along with U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, “faced brutal questions about their records — particularly when it comes to racial justice.”:
“She did okay with the question, pointing to black kids whose killers she prosecuted. But it was anecdotal, and it wasn’t great.”
Her response also got mixed reviews on Twitter:
And, on a lighter note, some of Klobuchar's quips and jokes on stage sparked...more jokes on Twitter:
What did you think of Klobuchar’s performance in the debate? Weigh in using the comments field below!