Caught In A Bind: A Cold Amy Klobuchar Announces 2020 Campaign In Blizzard

Posted: Feb 10, 2019 4:52 PM

Today, Sen. Amy Klobuchar officially added her name to the growing list of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, announcing her campaign in the midst of a snow blizzard barring down on her home state of Minnesota. 

Klobuchar, like many of her Democratic colleagues, called for unison and bipartisan approaches for federal governance in her speech.

via Fox News

"We worked across the aisle to get the federal funding and we rebuilt that I-35W bridge — in just over a year," Klobuchar said in her speech with the Interstate 35 bridge over the Mississippi River as her backdrop. "That's community. That's a shared story. That's ordinary people doing extraordinary things," she said in her prepared remarks.

She added: "But that sense of community is fracturing across our nation right now, worn down by the petty and vicious nature of our politics. We are all tired of the shutdowns and the putdowns, of the gridlock and the grandstanding. Today on this snowy island, we say enough is enough. Our nation must be governed not from chaos but from opportunity. Not by wallowing over what's wrong, but my marching inexorably toward what's right."

The senator started her speech by thanking her staff for their assistance in setting up the event. This appreciation comes just three days after reports surfaced saying at least eight staffers admitted Sen. Klobuchar regularly abused staffers by hurling objects and yelling at them. As Matt reported, this abusive behavior has deterred several individuals from running her campaign:

At least three people have withdrawn from consideration to lead Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-Minn.) nascent 2020 presidential campaign — and done so in part because of Klobuchar’s history of mistreating her staff, HuffPost has learned.

Klobuchar, who plans to make an announcement about a potential presidential bid on Sunday in Minneapolis, has spent the past several months positioning herself to run for president. She’s beloved in her state as a smart, funny and personable lawmaker and has gained national attention for her lines of questioning at high-profile hearings.

But some former Klobuchar staffers, all of whom spoke to HuffPost on condition of anonymity, describe Klobuchar as habitually demeaning and prone to bursts of cruelty that make it difficult to work in her office for long. 

It is common for staff to wake up to multiple emails from Klobuchar characterizing one’s work as “the worst” briefing or press release she’d seen in her decades of public service, according to two former aides and emails seen by HuffPost.

Although some staffers grew inured to her constant put-downs (“It’s always ‘the worst,’” one said sarcastically, “‘It was ‘the worst’ one two weeks ago”), others found it grinding and demoralizing. Adding to the humiliation, Klobuchar often cc’d large groups of staffers who weren’t working on the topic at hand, giving the emails the effect of a public flogging. 

Nonetheless, the senator told the crowd today, "I don’t have a lot of money. have grit. I have family. I have friends, and I have you," and plans to depend on that support to win her party's nomination for president.

A full backgrounder on Sen. Amy Klobuchar can be found here