"Faith in our democracy." "Encourage more people to get involved." "Common ground."
Now, a bit more context. Klobuchar, who was elected in 2006 and won a massive 34-point victory in her 2012 reelection race, has been to Iowa four times since the summer of 2013, including an address to the state party's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner last fall. Now, you should know that one of the first Fix rules of politics is: No politician goes to Iowa by accident. Ever. And just to prove that rule, here's a quote about Iowa from Klobuchar on her last visit: "I feel at home here. Maybe people from other states don't feel at home here. I feel at home here."
What exactly is Klobuchar up to? No, she is not plotting some late-breaking challenge to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary. Klobuchar didn't get to be as successful as she has been in politics -- two-term senator, and before that eight years as the Hennepin County attorney -- by making stupid decisions. She's not even in Clinton's ballpark in terms of resume, name ID or fundraising ability at this point in her career. Klobuchar would be fodder for the Clinton buzzsaw and, in the process, ensure that the entirety of Clintonworld would work actively against her in any future national races.
The last three words of that last paragraph are the key when it comes to understanding what Klobuchar is up to: "Future national races." She is decidedly ambitious and it's not all that hard to imagine her, at some point down the line -- 2020 or 2024 --inserting herself into the presidential/vice presidential conversation. (Klobuchar could also be doing a bit of spadework in the event Clinton wants to go with an all-female ticket in 2016.) You can easily imagine this line coming from Klobuchar at some event in Cedar Rapids in four or five years time: "I am not some new arrival here in Iowa. I have been coming to this state for the better part of the last decade." [Cue applause]
To be clear: I don't think Klobuchar is executing some long-range plan to get elected president. (Not every politician is Frank Underwood.) But what she does have is a plan about how to boost herself into that tier of politicians who are part of the great mentioning when it comes to running for president or being selected as a vice presidential nominee.
Given that I have just dedicated an entire blog post to that subject, I would say: Mission accomplished, Senator Klobuchar.