Amy Klobuchar Casts Herself as Heartland Democrat in First Campaign Swing
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — Amy Klobuchar cast herself as the candidate from the heartland Saturday in the first campaign trip of her presidential run, visiting a state Hillary Clinton narrowly lost in 2016 and emphasizing her deep Midwestern roots, her knowledge of rural America and her record of bipartisanship while drawing sharp contrasts to President Trump on issues from climate change to immigration. ...
In an already crowded Democratic primary field, Ms. Klobuchar was eager to highlight what her campaign hopes can set her apart: her Midwestern base and her electoral dominance in many rural, red counties in Minnesota populated by the kind of voters who have largely deserted the Democratic Party. She campaigned in Iowa later in the day.
“We’re going to look at each other and look at the challenges we face in this country,” she told an enthusiastic crowd jammed into the Shift Cyclery and Coffee Bar. “The challenge that we see in both Minnesota and Wisconsin is about the rural-urban divide. What I’ve decided to do in our state is to go to places that maybe we didn’t focus on enough in the last few years. That includes our rural areas.” ...
She worked quickly to establish her Wisconsin bona fides and to list her engagement with rural issues in the Senate and as a presidential candidate.
“I am so pleased to be in Wisconsin, the state where my mother was born,” she said to cheers. Her great-grandparents were cheesemakers, she said, and she visited the state every year of her childhood. She pledged to expand broadband access and demonstrated her knowledge of rural arcana like the margin protection program, which is billed as a safety net for dairy farmers.
New York Times
Adding:Amy Klobuchar defends her staff treatment, says toughness needed when dealing with Putin
Sen. Amy Klobuchar's nascent presidential campaign has been dogged by allegations that the Minnesota Democrat mistreated her Senate staff. In an interview with CNN's Poppy Harlow on Thursday, the senator admitted she "can always do better" with her staff, but said her toughness would be an asset on the world stage.
Klobuchar cast the reports of staff mistreatment as a positive for her ability to operative on the international stage as president, namely when dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"If you are a boss, you have to have high standards, and that is what I have always had. And that doesn't mean it's a popularity contest all the time," she said. "And so I've had high standards for myself, high standards for our staff, and mostly I'm going to have high standards for the country."
She added: "One can always do better, and that means you want to be sure that you are listening to people if they felt that something was unfair, or they felt bad about something. But I still think that you have to demand good product. When you're out there on the world stage and dealing with people like Vladimir Putin, yeah, you want someone who's tough. You want someone that demands the answers and that's going to get things done, and that's what I've done my whole life."
The Hill: Klobuchar: ObamaCare a 'missed opportunity' to address drug costs
San Francisco Chronicle
Klobuchar taking a centrist path to the White House in a field of left-leaning candidates
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is a liberal Democrat by her voting record, but compared with some of her more left-leaning competitors running for president, she passes for a centrist. Medicare for All? She supports it — as an “aspirational” goal. But as president, she would focus first on enabling more people to buy into Medicare or Medicaid as a way to have every American covered by health insurance. The Green New Deal? Sure, Klobuchar is a co-sponsor of the nonbinding proposal backed by first-term Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., that calls for the U.S. to run on 100 percent renewable energy within 10 years.
But when headlining a climate change roundtable Tuesday in San Francisco, Klobuchar focused on the more immediate actions she would take if elected — starting with returning the United States to the Paris climate change accords that President Trump withdrew the nation from in 2017. Then she would reinstate Obama-era regulations on clean power and automobile mileage standards that the Trump administration scaled back. “I would push those because you could get some immediate gains from that,” Klobuchar told The Chronicle Tuesday on the “It’s All Political” podcast.
She isn’t worried that her more pragmatic approach will be overshadowed by her rivals proposing major overhauls of the nation’s health care and industrial systems. “I support bold moves, I’m also being honest about trying to find common ground where we can,” Klobuchar said. “That doesn’t mean the bold things won’t happen. It doesn’t mean that you won’t get there. But right now we’re at a standstill. The only way we get action is by getting there to begin with.” “It is not economics versus the environment,” Klobuchar said of how climate change doubters frequently try to cast the debate. What will resonate with skeptical Americans is explaining how more frequent wildfires and floods are contributing to skyrocketing insurance rates. “If we do nothing, we have major economic problems.” ...
“Among the six Democratic presidential candidates serving in the Senate, only Klobuchar of Minnesota was rated as bipartisan,” according to an annual bipartisan index ranking released Tuesday by the Lugar Center, led by former Sen. Richard Lugar, an Indiana Republican, and Georgetown University’s law school. Overall, the study ranked Klobuchar at 23rd out of the 100 senators it scored. The index measures how often a member of Congress introduced bills that succeeded in attracting co-sponsors who belong to the other party, and how often they co-sponsor legislation introduced from the other side of the aisle. Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney was the most bipartisan candidate in the Democratic field, according to the index.
WaPo - Paul Waldman
Adding:First infrastructure plan of 2020 campaign: What it is and why it matters ...
No one who knows even the slightest bit about this topic thinks this isn't an urgent need. So here are the basics of Klobuchar's plan:
As of now, none of the other Democratic candidates have put out a comprehensive infrastructure plan, though many of them are on record talking about how critical the issue is (see here or here or here). Bernie Sanders introduced a bill in 2015 that is similar in many ways to what Klobuchar is proposing, but he hasn't yet updated it for this campaign.Focuses on road, highway and bridge repair; flood protection and upgrades to airports and seaports; expanding public transit and repairs rail infrastructure; rebuilding schools; connecting every American home to the Internet; spurring green development; and ensuring clean water.
Spends $650 billion in direct federal funds.
Establishes an infrastructure bank to guarantee loans for states and localities.
Pays for the investments by increasing the corporate tax rate from 21 to 25 percent and closing loopholes.
Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if what the other candidates come up with pretty much follows these contours.
Think Progress: 2020 Democrat Amy Klobuchar to White House: This is what an infrastructure plan should look like
How Sen. Amy Klobuchar would regulate big business
Sen. Amy Klobuchar is pledging to beef up antitrust oversight and consumer protection in her presidential campaign’s latest round of policy proposals, issues that have animated her during her tenure in the Senate. She also floated the possibility of investigating tech company mergers that have already happened, like Facebook. “That’s one example,” Klobuchar told POLITICO in an interview, adding that there are also “huge competitive issues” with drug and online travel companies.
“We want to be a capitalist society that works for everyone, and that means real competition that brings down prices, brings in new products and ideas, and that’s not going to happen if we have a few big guys dominating various industries in the United States,” Klobuchar said. “We have to look at it going forward, and then we also have to look at it looking backwards.” ...
The plan also reiterates Klobuchar’s commitment to rural broadband, a subject she’s talked about frequently on the campaign trail and in her first campaign policy release on infrastructure. She calls for connecting all Americans to broadband by 2022 and restoring net neutrality rules. Klobuchar’s plan also calls for updating the tax code to support “gig workers” by establishing a national paid leave program, mandatory sick leave and portable retirement savings accounts, funded by employers. ...
Elements of Klobuchar’s plan overlap with several other 2020 contenders. Sen. Elizabeth Warren proposed breaking up major tech companies, like Facebook and Amazon, in her regulatory proposal earlier this year. Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a one-time brewpub owner, has also called for strengthening antitrust enforcement and ban employers from asking employees to sign non-compete agreements.
Klobuchar accuses Trump of treating farmers like 'poker chips' at his 'bankrupt casinos
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), a 2020 presidential candidate, lashed out against President Trump Sunday over his recent trade spat with Mexico and its impact on American farmers, calling Trump the “threatener-in-chief.”
“They’re like poker chips basically at one of his bankrupt casinos. I think it’s wrong,” Klobuchar said in an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” ...
Klobuchar called for a more reliable trade policy that would not have unexpected repercussions for farmers or other American industries.
“I think that we should have a consistent strong trade policy that works for everyone in America,” she said.
The Minnesota Democrat also said she was happy to be polling in the top six Democratic 2020 candidates among Iowa voters and touted her “strength” as a “proven” and “effective” senator and candidate.
Klobuchar backs impeachment proceedings 'beginning now'
Sen. Amy Klobuchar shifted further into the pro-impeachment camp, saying Friday she would support the House beginning proceedings to remove the president “beginning now.”
Klobuchar had previously been more ambivalent on the issue, as recently as several weeks ago reiterating that she saw impeachment as “one way to investigate and hold this administration accountable if the White House keeps stonewalling.” ...
“I would support an impeachment proceeding beginning now, but I also understand they may be wanting to do investigations leading up to it and I think they should be given the time to do that,” she said, calling the move a “possibility” in the House.
The Minnesota Democrat is just the latest 2020 Democrat to back impeaching the president, and her shift comes days after Trump said in an interview he would likely accept dirt on a political opponent from a foreign national or government, and wouldn’t necessarily alert the FBI about it.
But while the senator said she had seen evidence that could lead to Trump’s impeachment, she emphasized that the House is on the right path with its investigations into Trump. She appeared hopeful that Hope Hicks, former White House communications director and one of Trump’s greatest confidantes, had agreed to testify behind closed doors to the House Judiciary Committee, where impeachment proceedings would initiate.
New York Times
Amy Klobuchar to Outline Plans for Her First 100 Days as President
WASHINGTON — Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota plans on Tuesday to unveil a list of well over 100 actions she would take in her first 100 days as president if she were elected, a show of policymaking force that is intended to provide a crystal-clear view of the early days of her administration.
The list of plans, addressing issues such as voting rights, prescription drugs and antitrust enforcement, is meant to demonstrate the breadth and ambition of a Klobuchar White House, regardless of the balance of power in Congress.
A vast majority of the items on Ms. Klobuchar’s list — which stretches 18 pages — are ones she can pursue with executive power, her campaign said. That is a critical consideration because Republicans may well retain their Senate majority, and even in the minority would be positioned to stymie a new president’s legislative agenda.
“After four years of Donald Trump, a new president can’t wait for a bunch of congressional hearings to act,” Ms. Klobuchar said in a statement. “The urgent problems our country is facing require immediate action.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar raises nearly $3.9 million, keeping her competitive
Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar raised nearly $3.9 million for her presidential bid over the past three months, lagging far behind the leaders in the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination, but tallying enough cash to keep her on the campaign trail.
Klobuchar also announced that her campaign now has more than 100,000 “unique donors,” closing in on the 130,000 needed to qualify for the third Democratic debate in September. She has surpassed the 2% polling requirement in three of the four national or early state polls needed to get on the debate stage after this month, but has shown weakness in one recent South Carolina poll.
She also landed 7th in new New Hampshire primary poll, at 2.7%, good enough to edge out back-of-the-pack rivals Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Beto O’Rourke.
Amy Klobuchar has been the most productive 2020 candidate in Congress
While Sen. Elizabeth Warren is the presidential candidate who's known for her robust set of policy plans, Sen. Amy Klobuchar is the one who's been the most prolific at her day job, introducing the most bills of any senator or House member running for president, according to data from Quorum.
The big picture: She's also introduced more bills than any senator, whether they're running for president or not. But that hasn't worked to her benefit in a primary that has incentivized maximum resistance and bold ideas that likely wouldn't become law in a divided government. She is polling at just 1%.
Amy Klobuchar's mentor, a former vice president, sees a path forward -- and a Plan B
Amy Klobuchar is no stranger to the vice president's office.
In the late 1970s, she arrived in Washington as a college intern hired by her father's old friend, Walter Mondale. The former senator, vice president and presidential candidate still recalls Klobuchar's excitement at "being in the big town for the first time," even if her day-to-day responsibilities were menial.
Forty years separate Klobuchar's college internship and her campaign for the presidency. At each interim step, Mondale, now 91, has been by her side. ...
Now, as Minnesota's senior senator struggles to gain traction in a crowded field of Democrats, her long-time mentor concedes that her path to the White House is uncertain. But he sees hope in neighboring Iowa, and a potential off-ramp if she fails to capture the attention of voters.
"Amy's race has gotten off to a somewhat slow start," he said, but predicted her popularity in the heartland would give her a chance in the all-important Midwest.
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Her re-elect isn't until 2025 so I'm happy about that, I like her. Not the fire it seems voters want to see, but she seems really cool and knowledgeable. Cabinet position?
What she does now: Klobuchar is the senior U.S. senator from Minnesota. She was first elected as a Democrat to the Senate in 2006, re-elected in 2012 and again in 2018. Her current term ends Jan. 3, 2025. She serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee and the Joint Economic Committee. She also serves as ranking member of the Rules and Administration Committee. In the Democratic party, she serves as chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee.
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Star Tribune Editorial
Voters should give Klobuchar a look
Pragmatic ideas and unifying tone could be a winning formula, and a way of governing.
The Senator Next Door is finally getting some momentum. Granted, it’s not the “Big Mo” that candidates dream will propel them to the top and secure their spot there. But it is, appropriately enough, moderate mo’ for U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, whose case for the presidency rests on an unflinching commitment to pragmatic ideas with bipartisan appeal.
In the face of a Democratic lineup where all the energy seems to be on the leftward end of the spectrum, Klobuchar has had difficulty getting a purchase. Ideas that would have seemed progressive a few years ago — a public option on health care, universal background checks and “red flag” laws to curb gun violence, refinancing of student loan debt — have been overtaken by Medicare for All, by gun control proposals ranging up to outright confiscation, and by free college.
Champions of such supersized ideas may yet win the day among Democratic primary voters. But Klobuchar is a serious candidate and a solid Democrat whose more measured — and perhaps more doable — policy approaches deserve stronger consideration than they’ve received to date.
The Star Tribune Editorial Board is far from making an endorsement in the Democratic contest. But as we join voters in taking the measure of candidates, we would like to see a more thorough airing of ideas that at least have a chance of winning over disaffected independents and Republicans searching desperately for an alternative to a second term for a president who may well be heading into a re-election bid marred by House impeachment.
WaPo (VIDEO) - Jennifer Rubin
Is this Klobuchar’s breakout moment?
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is out with a new ad ...
This is part of her push in Iowa and beyond to capitalize on her solid debate performance and qualify for the next debate, which requires four polls at 3 percent (or alternatively, two early-state polls at 5 percent). On Wednesday, she got her third poll at 3 percent in a national CNN poll. What is especially noteworthy is that 43 percent still don’t know enough about her to offer an opinion, meaning she has significant room for improvement. In addition, by a 54 percent to 39 percent margin, primary voters want someone who is electable rather than someone who shares their positions on major issues. As a moderate from the Midwest, Klobuchar plainly is aiming for the electability moniker. In her own state, which Donald Trump narrowly lost, she leads Trump in a Star Tribune Minnesota Poll by 17 points, the most of any candidate.
Media outlets have “discovered” her, so coverage of her campaign has increased, as have her bookings on cable and network TV news programs.
Klobuchar? We could see it from our angle ...
She can see Iowa from her front porch in Minneapolis, she says in Sigourney, a flyspeck of coffee and antique shops amid vast acres of corn. She can see Canada from it, too, she adds, in a pop at Sarah Palin, between listing her center-left policies. Klobuchar is for making Medicare more available but not free for all. She is for expanding access to public college, but not free four-year degrees. She is for banning assault weapons but not forcibly buying back the millions in private hands.
Midwesterners like their politics unthreatening, realistic and with a touch of humor to smooth over disagreements, she believes. The facts back her up. Some of the Democrats’ biggest gains in last year’s midterms were made in the Midwest by pragmatic candidates who argued, as Klobuchar does, that “to be progressive you have to make progress.” She also has a record of outperforming her party in Minnesota by wooing independents and moderate Republicans. Last year she won re-election by 24 points in a state Hillary Clinton won by two. ...
So why is she not doing better in the polls? She points to the early stage of the race, the congested field and greater name-recognition for the front-runners. A pithier response would be: Joe Biden. The former vice president has dominated the primary’s moderate lane despite his familiar shortcomings as a campaigner and more recent doubts about his mental acuity. Having decided he would be likeliest to beat Trump, his supporters have been forgiving. Yet Biden’s seat-blocking candidacy has made it hard for lesser-known though perhaps more compelling moderates to get attention. It persuaded U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio not to enter the race, has put paid to Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana and pushed U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris further left than she otherwise might have gone. ...
In straightforward Midwestern style, she also seems to know who she is — unlike Buttigieg, Harris or even Warren, all of whom can seem torn between leftist idealism and reality. “I’m a dose of sanity,” Klobuchar says. “If you’re tired of the noise and the nonsense, tired of the extremes, you’ve got a home with me.” Anxious Democrats might yet consider that to be good enough.
Klobuchar on Bloomberg bid: We don't need anyone coming in and telling us we 'aren't good enough'
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) was the latest Democratic presidential candidate to weigh in on billionaire Michael Bloomberg's possible entrance into the 2020 Democratic primary race Friday at a campaign stop in Iowa.
"Anyone can get into a presidential race, almost everyone has," Klobuchar told supporters.
Klobuchar continued, saying that she respects the other candidates in the race because "at least they're just saying their piece."
Bloomberg, however, Klobuchar asserts, would enter the race because he thinks that "the rest of the candidates aren't good enough," adding that Bloomberg's mindset isn't what the primary race needs.
"We don't need anyone coming in and telling us that none of [the candidates], with all of the work people have done for our country, are good enough," Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar Makes 1st Hires in Nevada With Ex-O’Rourke Staff
Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar makes her 1st campaign hires in early voting Nevada, scooping up staffers who worked for Beto O’Rourke’s campaign.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar (KLOH'-buh-shar) is making her first campaign hires in early voting Nevada, scooping up staffers who worked for Beto (BET'-oh) O’Rourke’s campaign.
Klobuchar’s campaign announced Friday the Minnesota senator had hired Marina Negroponte to serve as state director and Cameron Miller to serve as Nevada political director. Both held similar roles in the state for O’Rourke’s campaign, which ended this month.
Negroponte helped organize the Hispanic community for the civil rights nonprofit We Are All Human Foundation and spent a decade working in international development for the United Nations.
Miller has worked on several state legislative campaigns in Nevada.
The state is third in line to vote next year on the Democratic presidential field.
Klobuchar on Trump's ask to Ukraine: 'This is the global version of Watergate' ...
The presidential candidate told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week” that she has seen enough evidence in the inquiry so far to take the president to trial in the Senate.
“I made this very clear that I think this is an impeachable offense,” she said.
The Minnesota senator compared Trump’s ask to the Ukrainian president for information on political opponent former Vice President Joe Biden to Nixon’s actions during the Watergate controversy, saying people “can’t just close your eyes to this.”
“When you think back to Watergate, they didn’t close their eyes when a paranoid president, who was up for election and looking for dirt on a political opponent, got involved with having people break into an office and steal information on their opponents from a filing cabinet,” Klobuchar told Stephanopoulos.
“Well, this is the global version of Watergate where a president is trying to get dirt on a political opponent from a world leader,” she added.