U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar brought her Democratic presidential campaign home to Minnesota on Thursday with a new message: Don't count me out.
She used a football metaphor in brief remarks at the DFL Party booth at the State Fair and later at her own booth across from the Dairy Building.
Noting that she has met more stringent standards for participating in this fall's debates, Klobuchar said that if friends ask her audience why that's important, "You tell them I have made the playoffs.
"You tell them that six times, the wild-card team has won the Super Bowl," she said.
The Minnesota senator has been mired in single digits in national polls and those in Iowa and New Hampshire, which vote first next year.
Two candidates with better ratings are making moves to challenge the three-term senator in Minnesota. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren drew thousands of people to a town hall in St. Paul, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will be at the State Fair on Saturday. He won the 2016 presidential caucuses in the state.
"This is a long journey. We have months to go," Klobuchar said at the DFL booth. To give her room to speak, a stand with tubes representing each of the candidates was moved off to the side. Fairgoers were asked to deposit a soybean in their favorite candidate's tube. At midday Thursday, Warren's appeared to have more than Klobuchar's.
In her remarks, Klobuchar made no references to her Democratic rivals. She aimed her fire at President Donald Trump instead.
"We have had it with the guy who's putting his cronies in place. He's selling out, and it is time to bring some dignity and decency back into the White House," she said.
She also made a reference to the president's recent failed bid to purchase Greenland from Denmark. She recently tweeted, she said, asking what's the difference between Trump and Greenland: "Greenland's not for sale."
When she spoke to dozens of supporters at the DFL booth, she used a microphone, but when she got to her own booth, where mics are banned, she had to yell to a large crowd on Judson Avenue.
She was introduced by DFL Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, who said she was excited to be there and would be even more excited when Klobuchar "is president of the United States."
Klobuchar seemed to have geography on her mind, too. When she asked, "Are you ready to turn this state blue?" someone at the DFL booth yelled, "And Wisconsin."
The senator asked followers to "talk to all your friends and relatives in Iowa, for starters." A top-tier finish in the neighboring state is considered essential to her chances.
She didn't take sides on an issue that came up during her visit to the Iowa State Fair. "I'm not going to say which one is better," she said then.
But on Thursday she remarked that the Minnesota Fair is the nation's largest. The actual largest, in Texas, doesn't count, Klobuchar said, because it lasts 30 days.
After the final speech of the day, she headed to the Dairy Barn to pay her respects to Princess Kay of the Milky Way.
Judy Keen • 612-673-4234