WASHINGTON, D.C. — Former state legislator and Obama administration ambassador Swati Dandekar, an influential player in Democratic politics in Iowa — a crucial caucus state for all presidential candidates — has endorsed Minnesota’s U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
At a time when the majority of Indian-American Democrats are either supporting Indian American U.S. Senator Kamala Devi Harris of California — because of her Indian origins — or Rep. Tulsi Gabbard — because she’s Hindu-American — although privately many have told India Abroad that in the final analysis they would support anyone who can defeat President Donald Trump, Dandekar said that she was supporting Klobuchar “because she understands the pressing issues we are facing right now.”
She said that Klobuchar, who has visited Iowa several times, “understands the trade issues the farmers are facing, she understands the issues that are important to Iowans, and she understands the importance of new immigrants.”
Dandekar, who was the first Indian-American female lawmaker when she was elected to the Iowa House in 2002 and later went on to be elected to the state Senate in 2008, told India Abroad that “if you follow Sen. Klobuchar’s statements and posts on Facebook and Twitter, she always says that it’s immigrants who make America great and who have made what America is today.”
She said Klobuchar has always maintained that “immigrants don’t diminish America, they are America,” and added, “unlike our current president, Amy respects immigrants and has worked to ensure our country’s immigration policies are compassionate.”
Dandekar said, “I am not going to compare her with the other Democrats (who are running for the Democratic presidential nomination), because we are all Democrats and that is an argument among our Democratic family.
“But, I feel that Amy Klobuchar is really that one candidate who really understands the issues that are facing us when it comes to equality, including women’s equality, trade issues, and being from the mid-West, the candidate that wins the mid-west wins the White House.”
Klobuchar, unlike several of the other Democratic presidential candidates, who have staked out a far left progressive position and said they support Medicare for all, and free college for all students, has campaigned on a centrist position that she believes is what will sell in the mid-West, particularly in states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — blue states that Trump won over Hillary Clinton that helped him clinch the presidency.