Amy Klobuchar's presidential campaign had its most prominent platform since the day she announced, as she joined nine other Democratic frontrunners in Thursday's live national debate.
Klobuchar entered the debate with little to lose, with the latest polls putting her at around 2 percent, way behind leading candidates including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
We'll get to the meat of what she said shortly, but among the outlets praising her performance was The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin, who said she had "one of her best moments of the campaign" via her opening and closing remarks, and also "shined" as she presented a moderate take on the healthcare debate.
That said, the title of the Rubin's article, "Moderates stood out in the third debate. Too bad it won't make a difference," a nod to the increasing popularity of progressive candidates like Warren and Sanders, suggests that Klobuchar's campaign is ultimately doomed to fail.
During the debate, one of her standout moments was when she challenged Bernie Sanders' Medicare-for-All bill, making a quip at Sanders' oft-repeated reminder that he "wrote the damn bill."
"And while Bernie wrote the bill, I read the bill. And on page 8, on page 8 of the bill, it says that we will no longer have private insurance as we know it. And that means that 149 million Americans will no longer be able to have their current insurance. That's in four years.
"I don't think that's a bold idea, I think it's a bad idea. And what I favor is something that what Barack Obama wanted to do from the very beginning, and that is a public option. A nonprofit choice that would bring down the cost of insurance, cover 12 million more people and bring down the prices for 13 million more people. That is a bold idea.”
In total, Klobuchar got 10 minutes, 13 seconds of speaking time during the debate, putting her eighth out of the ten candidates, ahead only of Beto O'Rourke and Andrew Yang.
On other topics, Klobuchar was critical of the Trump Administration's trade war, which she says is costing American jobs.
She also had a prominent moment talking about gun control, pledging support for a voluntary buyback of assault weapons (not compulsory, as O'Rourke proposed), before issuing a strong message to U.S. Senate leader Mitch McConnell over the gun safety bills that he refuses to hold hearings and votes on.
Klobuchar also found herself defending her record as a prosecutor in Hennepin County, with one of the ABC moderators suggesting she backed the police in officer-involved shooting cases.
She claimed that she "took a stand" to allow officer-involved shooting investigations to be handled by independent investigators and grand juries.
During her opening speech, Klobuchar once more tried to strike the moderate tone in a Democratic campaign season that has skewed progressive.
After criticizing President Trump for "literally running our country like a game show," noting "he would rather lie than lead," she once again made a plea for realism in Democratic policies.
"So you’re going to hear a lot of ideas up here. Some will be great, but if you see that some of them seem a little off track, I’ve got a better way," she said.
"If you feel stuck in the middle of the extremes in our politics and you are tired of the noise and the nonsense, you’ve got a home with me. Because I don’t want to be the president for half of America – I want to be the president for all of America."
Nonetheless, she said this of her Democratic rivals: "I believe that what unites us up here, the ten of us, is much stronger than what divides us. And I think that's true of our country, too."