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Handicapping 2016 ... President Klobuchar?

Most people have had enough of presidential politics for a while. But Washington Post political columnist Chris Cillizza can't help himself – and on his list of 13 possible candidates is Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., fresh from collecting 65 percent of the vote in her re-election bid.
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Really, already?

Four years seems like a long way off, but pundits and kingmakers are already ruminating about the 2016 presidential campaign. Among them is Washington Post political columnist Chris Cillizza, who throws out 13 names of people to watch in what will be an open race. On his list of possible Democratic contenders is Minnesota's own Sen. Amy Klobuchar, citing her popularity in Minnesota (she got 65 percent of the vote compared to Obama's 53 percent).

CNN today also mentions Klobuchar in a story that notes that it's never too early to start talking about 2016.

Klobuchar has not said a word publicly about wanting the job, but prognosticators are reading the tea leaves.

They point to a breakfast during the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina in September, hosted by Iowa's convention delegation, where Klobuchar and two others – Virginia Sen. Mark Warner and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley - spoke, CNN reported. Among political insiders, the breakfast is considered a debut of sorts for the 2016 race, with possible candidates politely introducing themselves to the Iowans – but without actually mentioning any inkling of interest in the race. The odd little ritual drew almost two dozen national and Iowa reporters.

Klobuchar had the Iowans on their feet and applauding from the first line of her short speech, the the Des Moines Register reported. "It’s great to be here with my neighbors from Iowa. As you know, I can see Iowa from my porch." (It was a dig at Sarah Palin.)

But when asked by reporters if she’s interested in the White House herself, Klobuchar gave a flat no, without hesitation, the Register says.

“I love my job right now,” Minnesota's first female U.S. senator said.

She repeated that Monday, in a Star Tribune story: "Right now I am focused on my job as the senator from Minnesota. No matter what I do in the Senate, my number one goal is representing Minnesota. ... I love my job."

Klobuchar, fresh from winning 65 percent of the vote in her re-election, is considered one of the most popular lawmakers in the country, the Star Tribune notes. "Somebody who wins that decidedly will be looked at for national office," Dennis McGrann, a longtime Washington lobbyist told the Star Tribune. "Amy Klobuchar's name is going to have to be front and center."

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