Politics with Jennifer Brooks

Klobuchar in N.H.; budget day in Minnesota

Sen. Amy Klobuchar campaigned in New Hampshire on Monday, aiming to distinguish herself from the Democratic Party’s most liberal candidates by striking a moderate tone, Patrick Condon reports. She met with voters at a Goffstown tavern before appearing at a CNN town hall in Manchester and declined to endorse Medicare for all and tuition-free college.

Here’s how it played elsewhere:

MPR said Klobuchar “is trying to make the case that she’s the best choice for Democrats to put up against Trump because she wins elections with support from not only Democrats but Republicans and Independents, too.”

Axios said she “drew applause … for a blunt answer” when she said, “I am not for free four-year college for all, no.”

The New Hampshire Union Leader said that Klobuchar “hopes to use her Midwestern purple state credentials as a way to gain favor among the party’s more moderate wing.”

And the Boston Globe said that New Hampshire voters gave Klobuchar “high marks for the way she handled a tense exchange with Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing.”

The New York Times reports that former President Barack Obama has met with several 2020 presidential candidates. The story says that Klobuchar was among those who auditioned at a secret meeting of Obama’s top financial backers this month. Longtime Obama adviser David Axelrod said that the former president has no plans to endorse a candidate during primary season. Neither does former First Lady Michelle Obama.

The presidential candidate who originated some of the proposals Klobuchar declined to endorse, Sen. Bernie Sanders, announced this morning that he’s running again. “We’re gonna win,” he told “CBS This Morning.” He launched a litany of labels for President Donald Trump, calling him a pathological liar, a racist, sexist and a xenophobe. Sanders, an independent from neighboring Vermont, won the 2016 New Hampshire primary over eventual Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, 60 to 38 percent.

Budget day: Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan unveil their budget proposal at noon today. The news release said the plan “will prioritize education, health care, and community prosperity.” Members of the Cabinet will be there to answer questions; so will Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans. Keep an eye on startribune.com for all the breaking news.

Stephen Montemayor reports that Minnesota joined 15 states Monday to ask a California federal judge to halt Trump’s national emergency declaration, which he announced last week in an effort to build a border wall. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison called Trump’s move “a clear overreach of the power of the executive branch that hurts the people of Minnesota and every state by manufacturing a crisis.”

Randy Furst has a poignant story about Clyde Bellecourt, a founder of the American Indian Movement. The activist, who is 82, spoke about planning to lead a protest rally when the Washington Redskins come to Minneapolis to play the Minnesota Vikings in the next NFL season. “I’ll be there, and even if I’m not there, I’ll be there,” he said. “My spirit will be leading the charge.”

The Buffalo News published a story about Buffalo Sabres head hockey coach Phil Housley and his wife, Republican state Sen. Karin Housley, who lost her bid last fall to oust U.S. Sen. Tina Smith. They talked about their long-distance marriage and bouncing back from losses, both political and on the rink. The story notes that Sen. Housley once considered running for Minnesota governor and the prospect that she’ll challenge Smith again in 2020. “I’m still listening and weighing and seeing where things go politically,” she said. Her husband sounded wary. “I just don’t know if it’s doable,” he said of the prospect of another U.S. Senate campaign.

I’ll be here again tomorrow morning (yes, even if we get 9 inches of snow), so please send tips and ideas to judy.keen@startribune.com.

-- Judy Keen

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