Despite a high-profile appearance in Iowa Friday night, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar says she's not interested in running for president.
Klobuchar was the featured speaker at the 10th annual North Iowa Democratic Wing Ding, put on by several county Democratic parties. It was held at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, the last place Buddy Holly performed before dying in a plane crash.
In the previous presidential election cycle, Republicans, including former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann traveled extensively in Iowa, ripping President Obama.
In her Iowa appearance, Klobuchar took aim at the Republican-controlled House.
"Unfortunately a group of ideologues in the House of Representatives is right now holding this country back," Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar talked about several pieces of Legislation that have passed the Senate only to linger in the House. She said it's as though some Republicans have the bills locked in their desks right along with post-it notes and paper clips.
"It's time to tell the Republicans in the House that the people of this country want the keys to that desk drawer," Klobuchar said. "They want representatives coming to the negotiating table to hammer out a comprise that works for the American people, they want representatives who are there for them not ones that have taken a pledge to uphold a rigid ideology."
Six years ago then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama was on stage at the Wing Ding in Clear Lake.
CSPAN broadcast Klobuchar's speech live and leading up to her Iowa appearance there were plenty of news stories speculating about Klobuchar and presidential politics.
During her speech Klobuchar joked that Minnesota supplies the nation with vice presidents like Walter Mondale and Hubert Humphrey.
Afterward, she said she was only in Iowa to help neighboring Democrats.
"It's a wing-ding, Mark!" she told this reporter.
Klobuchar reiterated her claim that she wants to continue representing Minnesota in the Senate.
“I myself feel like she could be running for president sometime,”Ron Luker
"I'm serious about that. We haven't had anyone stay in the job, sometimes because of tragedy sometimes because voters make a decision one way or the other but I really like my work in the Senate," Klobuchar said.
But plenty of people at the fundraiser said Klobuchar could have a political future beyond the Senate.
"I myself feel like she could be running for president sometime," said Ron Luker of Mason City.
Luker was impressed with Klobuchar's modest background and concern for working and middle-class Americans. She had told the crowed about her working-class roots, her school-teacher mom and Iron Range miner grandfather.
Klobuchar also spoke about about how the birth of her daughter led to her political career; her experience with a too brief hospital stay as a new mom inspired her to work for change.
"She's working for the American public and she's sincere and you can just feel the authenticity coming out of her as she speaks," said Jane Nagy of Forest City, Iowa.
ON THE SHORT LIST
Cook Political Report Senior Editor Jennifer Duffy said presidential campaign buzz too often accompanies politicians' visits to early nomination states.
"A lot is read into every trip to Iowa and I'm not necessarily sure it should be," Duffy said.
Duffy said Klobuchar is known in Washington as a hard worker who wins big come election time back in Minnesota. And Duffy said that reputation does have the Minnesota senator on a very short list of women considering a 2016 presidential run.
"If Hillary Clinton decides that she's not going to run I think there are, you know, two or three other women who are mentioned. One is Sen. [Kirsten] Gillibrand from New York, Sen. Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts and then Sen. Klobuchar's name comes up," Duffy said.
But Duffy said Gillibrand and Warren are much better positioned for presidential politics than Klobuchar. They have stronger fundraising networks and, Duffy said they would be more likely to appeal to the Democratic base than Klobuchar, who is more a moderate populist than a left-wing fighter.
Klobuchar said she has no additional trips planned to Iowa, or to New Hampshire for that matter.