Senator Amy Klobuchar is running for president in 2020.
The 58-year-old Minnesota Democrat made the announcement Sunday in front of hundreds of supporters at Boom Island in Minneapolis and said, “We are tired of the shutdowns and the showdowns, the gridlock and the grandstanding. Today on this snowy day on this island, we say enough is enough.”
Klobuchar is in her third six-year term as U.S. Senator and was formerly a prosecutor and a corporate attorney. Recent reports have claimed that she has mistreated her staff in the past and she responded, “Yes, I can be tough, and I can push people, and I know that, but in the end there are so many great stories of our staff that have been with me for years that have gone on to do incredible things.” She added that she has high expectations for herself, for the people who work for her and for the country.
Thousands braved the cold, snow and slippery conditions to show support, including Jackie Kerry from Minneapolis. She said of the mistreatment allegations, “As a supervisor in previous employment, I know for certain that strong expectations of a female supervisor is different than the strong expectations that a strong male supervisor has.”
Gina Ann from Shakopee calls Klobuchar “balanced” and said she’ll be a great candidate for president–despite recent allegations that Klobuchar is mean to her staff, “Because we are Minnesota nice and she is very direct, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing and that’s also a coachable thing, so I don’t have big concerns about that.”
Also responding to the claims, Martha from Minneapolis said, “I think she has a lot of integrity if the worst we’re digging up about her is a couple employees who are dissatisfied. You know, if that’s her worst area that needs improvement God Bless America-that’s what we need.”
Klobuchar is the fourth Democratic senator to announce a bid for the White House, following Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. She said she wants to focus on an optimistic agenda for the country because, “I think if we spend this entire election time fighting with each other and going after each other, we are never going to bring this country where we need to go. I’ve always viewed my job as not only representing the people who voted for me, but also the people who didn’t vote for me.”
Tom traveled from Chicago, Illinois to support Klobuchar and said what he admires most about her is that she’s, “Honest, very bright, tough, hardworking and integrity.”
“What makes me unique is that I made this announcement speech in the middle of a blizzard and I think we need people with grit, and I have that grit and it’s really important that we hear from all parts of the country and have someone in the White House that has people’s back,” she Klobuchar said in her announcement. That set up this Twitter exchange between Klobuchar and President Donald Trump:
State Republicans are seizing on those reports that Klobuchar has a long history of mistreating staff members. State GOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan asked, “How is a person who fails to successfully maintain her staff and run an office supposed to successfully run a country? It seems to me a bad boss would lead to a bad leader.”
Republicans are also criticizing Klobuchar for running for president when, “Not even six months ago, [Klobuchar] told Minnesota voters she was committed to serving her full term in the Senate if re-elected.”
Carnahan said Klobuchar has tried to be the “middle-of-the-road, Minnesota-nice senator” while the Democratic Party moves farther to the left and, “Senator Klobuchar is gonna have to take a position, instead of playing the middle of the road, and I think she will find very quickly that there’s no space for someone playing the middle of the road within her party.”
Klobuchar won’t get far because she doesn’t have national name recognition, Carnahan said, and added even if Klobuchar ended up being Democrats’ nominee, there would be no contest against the president. “President Trump will do very, very well in 2020. He’s energized and inspired the American people. He’s stood up for our country in many different ways and his popularity is growing, especially in our state,” she said.
Hamline University political analyst David Schultz said Klobuchar, facing a field of better-known Democratic rivals, has a formidable fundraising challenge and, “What she probably has to do between now and Election Day is raise about one million dollars a day, every day for that time period, to be a credible candidate and that includes also raising just tens of millions of dollars to be ready for Iowa, Texas and California (caucus and primaries).”
He added that to capture national attention, Klobuchar needs a clear argument for why she should be president. He said being against President Trump is not enough because all the Democratic contenders will be against him. Schultz said beyond that, “She’s gonna be facing a challenge just in terms of the fact that she’s more of a Clinton Democrat in a party that’s moving more in the Bernie Sanders direction.”