Klobo-cop vs. Yes Man and the masters of the universe

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Amy Klobuchar makes it official; Dems' trail of tears gets muddier

Over the weekend, Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar became the first Democrat officially running for the US Senate seat Mark Dayton will vacate next year. The party's money people are already anointing her candidacy with their checkbooks. Earlier this month it was reported that Klobuchar had raised nearly $600,000 in five weeks. Even GOP frontrunner Mark Kennedy hadn't raised as much at that point. He is, however, a leading water-carrier for the Bush administration in the House, and there's no question the full resources of Team Rove, the Republican Senate Campaign Committee, and aligned 527s will be thrown his way when the time comes.

An optimist could call the race a toss-up at this point. Klobuchar is not exactly galvanizing or memorable--but it's Mark Kennedy she's running against, so no great deficit there on the face of things. The trouble is that, in a race between two rote and uninspired figures, GOP cash and tactical expertise carry the day nine times out of ten. Klobuchar's talking about a "populist" campaign, and it's the right notion--but I'll be surprised if she's got the vision or the nerve to run one. The inertial tendency of the national Democratic party and of rank-and-file party functionaries is to keep tacking right: witness the example of Hillary Clinton in recent months.

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