During her 12 years as a Senator in Minnesota, Amy Klobuchar has built a reputation for pragmatic insightful, keen minded: the "senator next door".
Now, Klobuchar is running for president, officially announcing a nomination for the Democratic Party in 2020 on Sunday, February 10th. There are good reasons to consider her as a serious candidate.
Klobuchar is popular with voters. At age 58, she is in her third term in the Senate – elections that she has won by sliding margins. She was reelected in 2018 with 26 points ahead of her Republican opponent Jim Newberger, including in 43 counties that President Donald Trump had won in 2016.
She is good at retail politics – a skill that has served many candidates well in early caucuses and major states. She travels every year to 87 counties in Minnesota, a fact that she is quick to tell reporters. And she can raise money; once she was lucky that her ex-boyfriend donated $ 17,000 to her campaign.
But she also faces challenges. On issues that the Democratic Party's base gives priority – Medicare for all, tuition-free university, a minimum wage of $ 15 – Klobuchar is particularly silent. Although other hopes in 2020, such as Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) have made a point of adhering to the major legislation on health care and inequality, Klobuchar has not done so yet. She has earned a reputation as a moderate and has always been willing to stay out of the struggles that will probably dominate the 2020 Democratic primary.
She has also recently made headlines for her alleged mistreatment of staff, which has persisted for years. In 2018, Politico used staff turnover data to include it in a list of "worst bosses of Congress". Last week, HuffPost and Buzzfeed cited anonymous staff members describing his dubious and erratic behaviors, such as late-night e-mails criticizing them for small mistakes or misunderstandings. . In an email, Klobuchar threatened to fire a staff member and included several colleagues in the chain. According to a HuffPost report, three members removed their name from the campaign's leadership race because of his past treatment of staff.
Klobuchar will face many of his Senate colleagues, including brands like Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who enjoy national recognition, which she lacks. If her career in the Senate is indicative of the kind of campaign she plans to conduct, Klobuchar's candidacy will give voters a choice: do they want a pragmatist or a revolutionary?
Amy Klobuchar, briefly explained
Klobuchar has the biography of a presidential candidate from 2020. She grew up in Plymouth, Minnesota, then at Yale University and at the University of Chicago's Faculty of Law. His family is of Slovenian origin. Yes, just like Melania Trump, and yes, she's going to joke about it. She is the daughter of a school teacher and a famous Minnesota columnist – Jim Klobuchar.
Prior to the Senate, she had been elected Hennepin County Attorney, the Minnesota equivalent of a state prosecutor, where she had fought to conduct state – of – the – art conduct. drunk a crime. (His father has publicly treated alcoholism all his life.)
In 2006, she won her first 20-point Senate campaign to become Minnesota's first female senator. Six years later, when Republicans swept the elections all over the country, she was re-elected with 65% of the vote and even in the conservative district of the mob, Michele Bachmann. His candidacy for re-election in 2018 was not even considered a real contest.
Now she is the highest senator on the Rules Committee and has been instrumental in making the changes so that Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), the first Senator to give birth while occupying a position, can bring his newborn son in the Senate.
But before Klobuchar's colleague, former Minnesota Senator Al Franken, leaves his seat in the Senate following allegations of sexual misconduct, Klobuchar was known to be the other Minnesota senator – the one who was not in post. Saturday Night Live.
His national moment came during the testimony of Supreme Court Senate Brett Kavanaugh about allegations of sexual assault against him. Klobuchar, who sits on the Judiciary Committee of the Senate, had a personal speech: his 90-year-old father is still with Alcoholics Anonymous, she told the then-nominated candidate, and she wanted to know if Kavanaugh had already stopped drinking.
Kavanaugh angrily returned the question. Klobuchar, shocked, responded directly that she did not have an "alcohol problem," which prompted Kavanaugh to apologize later for his behavior before the Senate committee. She accepted and went ahead, making this moment one of the most memorable exchanges of confirmation hearings.
Klobuchar stayed out of the fight for big problems
Klobuchar is the kind of politician who likes to advocate bipartisanship, even in a hyperpartisan era. Americans may feel more divided than ever before, but she likes to boast of having 24 bills signed under Trump law.
The bills deal with issues such as the opioid crisis and consumer protection, including the ban on lead in toys. Recently, she has created a space on privacy issues on the Internet. She says Trump is making a lot of noise and she's going to do the work.
Klobuchar has a fairly standard record of democracy. The American Civil Liberties Union and the groups defending the right to abortion gave him the highest marks. The National Rifle Association awarded him the grade F.
In her presidential announcement, she declared that she would "re-establish clean energy consumption rules and gasoline consumption standards and introduce radical legislation aimed at investing in green infrastructure and jobs." During his first 100 days in office and join the international climate agreement on the first day. She advocated for common sense firearms laws and the closing of tax loopholes for the rich.
But in a Democratic party that spent two years listening to a progressive and strong base calling for big commitments like single payer health care and the elimination of law enforcement in the areas of immigration and Customs, Klobuchar was remarkably quiet.
She did not join the $ 15 minimum Medicare-for-all or Senator Bernie Sanders proposal. It supports universal health care and lower prices for medicines in general. His opinions on the trade are more in the center of the road. His answer to the question of accessibility to college was not to make the courses free, but rather a student loan refinancing proposal called RED Law. In immigration matters, she was part of a group of bipartisan senators who tried to reach a compromise with Trump. And while Sanders, Warren, Harris and Booker compete with progressive bills to fight inequality, Klobuchar boasts a proposal that she has sponsored with Republican Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), which would allow people to use tax-advantaged savings accounts to pay for their education expenses. like vocational training.
His candidacy will probably aim to defend pragmatism. The question is whether his vision, or that of the progressive wing in the making, is the path that the voters of the Democratic Party want to go.
"I do not have a political machine," Klobuchar said in the final minutes of his announcement. "I do not come from money. But what I have is this: I have courage.