Sen. Amy Klobuchar looked to build on her strong October performance in Wednesday's Democratic debate, sticking to her message of midwestern pragmatism as she took swipes at South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a rival rising in the polls.
As Pat Condon reports in today's Star Tribune: "Klobuchar vied for attention among 10 other candidates — landing a few laugh lines and mounting her argument that she will unite the country with achievable goals that independent and Republican voters can support."
So how did it land? And was it enough to boost the Minnesota Democrat, who's been locked in the single-digits in the polls for months, in the final months ahead of the Iowa Caucuses? Here's a look at what pundits and political journalists are saying about Klobuchar's performance in Atlanta:
The Washington Post's Aaron Blake put Klobuchar in the "winner" column:
"She’s shown perhaps less momentum in Iowa, but she’s rising slightly. She repeatedly, and effectively, argued that she has won in a swing state, including in red areas, and her sometimes-corny jokes finally seemed to land."
Chris Cillizza at CNN's The Fix did, too:
"The Minnesota senator has been desperately searching for a moment over the first four debates -- and she might just have found one Wednesday night. ... Klobuchar's biggest issue is that the pragmatic center lane has been dominated by Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden. Her performance on Wednesday night might just change that."
Over at Fox News, Mary Anne Marsh wrote that Klobuchar "had her best performance by emphasizing her experience, productivity, electoral successes."
"Klobuchar isn’t a front runner and this debate won’t make her one. But, the senator will get another look from voters due to it and that puts her in a better position coming out of the debate than going into it."
The New York Times' Opinion writers gave her a 6.4 out of 10 -- a score that landed her in the top three. But ratings from individual writers varied:
"Like Booker and Harris, Klobuchar stood out from the pack, making a strong pitch for her Midwestern centrism. The Democratic donors and elites behind Deval Patrick and Mike Bloomberg may want to give her a second look." - Janelle Boule
"Her lukewarm policy ideas and weak one-liners have no staying power in this race." - Bianca Vivion Brooks.
Some political reporters described the debate as her best night yet:
So what worked? Klobuchar got kudos for her answer on gender and sexism in presidential campaigns:
But the one line that really caught the attention of Twitter? Klobuchar's quip on raising cash from ex-boyfriends for her first U.S. Senate race - a data point she's been using here in Minnesota for years:
What did you think about Klobuchar's debate performance? Weigh in using the comments field below: