Judging by the dejected look on this kid's face, you might assume that the Minnesota Senator had thrown a binder at his head, or something. In fact, Amy Klobuchar had merely declined to furnish him with the big government fantasy he was hoping to hear regarding "free" college. The presidential hopeful began her answer by endorsing more government intervention and more freebies for those pursuing two-year degrees, but stopped short of a sweeping declaration that the federal government should massively expand its spending and guarantees on this front. After walking through her initial response, moderator Don Lemon followed up by asking Klobuchar for the simple 'yes' or 'no' answer the young man had requested. "Would you support free college for all?" he pressed. Response? "No, I am not for free four-year college for all. No." She even invokes a 'magic genie,' to drive home her point. Via the Free Beacon:
Oh well, young Griffin Sinclair-Wingate have plenty of other candidates willing to pander to him from atop the magical money tree, including the latest official entrant into the 2020 race:
I'm running for president. I am asking you to join me today as part of an unprecedented and historic grassroots campaign that will begin with at least 1 million people from across the country. Say you're in: https://t.co/KOTx0WZqRf pic.twitter.com/T1TLH0rm26— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 19, 2019
What's interesting about Klobuchar, aside from her apparently remarkable ability to hide her volcanic temper and staff abuse from outside observers, is her strategic decision against embracing the insane fantasyland economics that so many of her competitors are clamoring to endorse. Perhaps she's just more clear-eyed and realistic when it comes to the nation's shaky finances than others politicians. Or perhaps she recognizes that the left lane of her party's primary is already very crowded, and there may be a more viable path up the middle -- especially if Joe Biden bows out or gets eaten alive for his past heresies. Is she right?
According to Gallup, a slim majority of Democratic voters want to see the party take a more moderate turn. Will that actually play out in practice, once the voting begins? Klobuchar has tapped the breaks on "Medicare for All," has described the "Green New Deal" as an aspirational document whose specific goals she's not prepared to support, and she's candidly rejected a huge new "free" college entitlement. Will telling the base 'no' pay off for her, or is any nod to fiscal restraint and reality now just the subject of snarky punch lines?
Klobuchar vying for the coveted Simpson-Bowles lane of the primaryhttps://t.co/4YR33Pnyb8— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) February 19, 2019
For what it's worth, the general electorate may not be thirsting for ever more government and bureaucracy, even though individual programs and statist projects tend to poll well -- especially when trade-offs are ignored. A recent Fox News poll showed that by a healthy margin, more voters would ask the government to leave them alone than lend them a hand. And then there's this new survey:
Gallup poll: Record number of Americans say government is greatest problem https://t.co/nQktBNI2NV— UPI.com (@UPI) February 18, 2019
Generally speaking, polls showing lots of people considering the government to be the country's top problem are good news for conservatives, but there's definitely some anti-Trump sentiment contributing to this stew of public disenchantment. You'd think that being horrified by the leader of the federal government might cause some liberals to rethink whether or not concentrating ever-greater power in Washington is a healthy idea, but they'll snap right back into place once a Democrat is in office. And that day may come sooner than Trump would like, based on the public's reactions to a number of his latest decisions and gambits. In any case, we're in an era of ends-driven, hypocritical politics all the way down. Count me skeptical that Klobuchar's attempts to grapple with real math will help her.