DFL Sr Senator (MN); Democratic presidential contender
Father was a popular columnist at Minneapolis Star Tribune
Three-term Sen. Amy Klobuchar opens her 2024 reelection year in an enviable position for an incumbent because she has no formidable Republican opponent. The election isn't until November so there's still time, but a raft of reasons make it unlikely this
race will ramp up. Klobuchar had $4 million remaining on hand [in her campaign warchest] as of last fall.
Klobuchar has been a heavy hitter from the beginning, owing in part to the goodwill attached to her name. Her late father, Jim Klobuchar, was a
longtime columnist at The Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Republicans would like to find a solid opponent with mainstream views. "What we need to avoid is hurtful unforced errors on the down ballot," [a GOP spokesperson] said. Absent a solid candidate, she
said the party's better off not challenging Klobuchar.
In 2018, Klobuchar's last reelection campaign, she won all eight Minnesota congressional districts, beating Republican state Rep. Jim Newberger 60% to 36%.
Klobuchar's theory seems to be that the polarization of the United States is overstated and that there's a middle ground to recapture, powered by distaste for the other options on offer. "If you are tired of the extremes in our politics,
of the noise and the nonsense, you have a home with me," Klobuchar said in New Hampshire. If there's a base out there with a passion for political compromise, she'll find it.
Source: Slate e-zine on 2020 Veepstakes
, Feb 22, 2020
Will bring rural and suburban voters together to win
I think the path is a high voter turnout. I'm the one on this stage that had the highest voter turnout of any state in the country when
I led the ticket, as well as bringing in rural and suburban voters. I'm the only one with the receipts to have done that in Republican congressional districts over and over again.
Source: 9th Democrat 2020 primary debate, in Las Vegas Nevada
, Feb 19, 2020
Need a president with heart, unlike Trump
You need someone that has the heart to be the president. They were talking a lot about heart conditions up here. We have a president that doesn't have a heart. I love the people of this country. I ask for the vote of the people of Nevada,
because this state gets it. They get that maybe you don't agree with every single thing that's said on this debate stage, but we understand that the heart of America is bigger than any heart that guy has in the White House.
Source: 9th Democrat 2020 primary debate, in Las Vegas Nevada
, Feb 19, 2020
Watching president speak used to be important for citizens
I remember the old days, you look about being proud to be an American. You remember--I do--when my parents would put the TV on because the president was giving an address. And it might not be a president that they had voted for or
even terribly liked, but they felt it was important to watch because they wanted to know what the president was saying, because they wanted to, as a citizen, understand that.
Source: CNN Town Hall on eve of 2020 S. C. primary
, Feb 18, 2020
OpEd: Reputation for screaming & demeaning staff
Klobuchar developed a reputation for the consistent and extreme abuse of her staff. Her rages "regularly left employees in tears," BuzzFeed News reported. Former staffers say she screamed at them, demeaned them, threw objects at them.
Before she revised it, her parental-leave policy forced new parents to "remain with the office for three times as many weeks as they had been gone," sources told the New York Times.
Source: WorldNetDaily blog on 2020 Veepstakes
, Feb 14, 2020
President focusing on personal interests risks democracy
Q: You've said that you support the impeachment inquiry but you want to wait for a Senate trial to hear the evidence and make a decision about convicting the president?
KLOBUCHAR: I have made it very clear that this is impeachable conduct and I've
called for an impeachment proceeding. I just believe our job as jurors is to look at each count and make a decision. But let me make very clear that what this impeachment proceeding about is really our democracy at stake. This is a president that not
only with regard to his conduct with Ukraine, but every step of the way puts his own private interests, his own partisan interests, his own political interests in front of our country's interest, and this is wrong. This is a pattern with this man.
And it goes to everything from how he has betrayed our farmers, to sucking up to Vladimir Putin every minute of the day. That is what this guy does. And I think it is very, very important that we have a president that's going to put our country first.
This election is a value, decency, and patriotism check
I want us to remember that I have bold ideas. But this is also a patriotism check, a value check, a decency check. And when you look at the people that turned out in Kentucky and turned out in Virginia, people turned out that didn't vote in 2016,
African-Americans are turning out like we didn't see before. Let's get those independents and moderate Republicans who cannot stomach this guy anymore. This is how we build a coalition, so we don't just beat Donald Trump.
Source: November Democratic primary debate in Atlanta
, Nov 20, 2019
Trump's actions make Russia great again, not America
I'm waiting to find out how making that call to the head of Ukraine and trying to get him involved in interfering in our election makes America great again. I'd like to hear how leaving the Kurds for slaughter, where Russia then steps in to protect
them, makes America great again. I would like to hear from him about how coddling up to Vladimir Putin makes America great again. It doesn't make America great again, it makes Russia great again. That is what this President has done.
Source: October Democratic Primary debate on impeaching Trump
, Oct 15, 2019
What unites us is bigger than what divides us
While we have had major debates about policy, we have to remember that what unites us is so much bigger than what divides us.
And we have to remember that our job is to not just change policy, but to change the tone in our politics, to look up from our phones, to look at each other, to start talking to each other.
Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate
, Oct 15, 2019
I'm the street-fighter from the Iron Range
KLOBUCHAR: I stand before you today as a granddaughter of an iron ore miner, as the first woman elected to the Senate from Minnesota. Yes, I have bold ideas, but they are grounded in reality.
Sen. Elizabeth WARREN:
We're not going to solve the urgent problems that we face with small ideas and spinelessness.
Q: Is Senator Warren correct? For example, Medicare-for-All: do you just not lack the will to fight for it?
KLOBUCHAR: That is incorrect.
I just have a better way to do this. In one of my first debates, I was called a street fighter from the Iron Range by my opponent. And when she said it, I said thank you. So this is what I think we need to get done. We need the public option.
That's what Barack Obama wanted, and it would bring health care costs down for everyone.
I passed over 100 bills because I listen and I act
I listen to people and that's how I get things done. That is my focus. I have a track record of passing over 100 bills where I'm the lead Democrat. And that is because I listened and I acted.
And I think that's important in a president. Everything else just melts away. I am not the establishment party candidate. But I can promise you this. I am going to govern with integrity.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami)
, Jun 26, 2019
Heartland Amy: an experienced bipartisan pragmatist
Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota defended her presidential candidacy as one that could appeal to both moderate and liberal voters, calling herself a "proven progressive" and casting her record as one of bipartisan accomplishment. Ms. Klobuchar
described herself as "Heartland Amy," an experienced pragmatist who could win over independent voters and, if elected, work with Republicans to break the gridlock in Washington.
While she is hardly a conservative, Ms. Klobuchar has distinguished
herself in the campaign by breaking from the new liberal orthodoxy that has dominated the primary. She does not favor a "Medicare for all" health care system, preferring a more graduated approach; she has called the Green New Deal "aspirational"; and
she has said the country cannot afford to fund free tuition for students at public colleges and universities. Ms. Klobuchar said she backed legal marijuana, but would leave the decision to individual states rather than endorsing federal legalization.
Hold president accountable with investigations & election
The most-important thing is to hold this president accountable. There are many ways to do that. One is with the process through Congress, which includes these investigations, which the president is already stonewalling.
The second is other investigations that are going on right now, including in the state of New York. And the third is pretty straightforward. That is defeating him in 2020. And that's what I intend to do and will do.
Source: Meet the Press 2019 interview of 2020 presidential hopefuls
, Apr 28, 2019
[In 2016], Klobuchar coasted to a third Senate term, clobbering her Republican opponent with 60 percent of the vote in a state that President Trump nearly won in 2016. Now Minnesota's most popular politician is weighing whether her home state appeal--
forged through carefully cultivated bipartisanship in Washington & an aw-shucks-I'm-just-like-you persona--will translate on a national stage.
As Democrats look ahead to 2020, do they need a calm, reasoned, reliable (but not flashy) Democrat from the
American heartland to provide a stark contrast to the president--in short, Amy Klobuchar?
"I don't agree with, 'When they go low, we go low,' but I do agree that when they go low, we have to respond," Klobuchar said, referring to the intraparty
debate over Michelle Obama's 2016 mantra: "When they go low, we go high."
"But," she went on, "responding doesn't mean just going down a rabbit hole everywhere Donald Trump goes. I don't think we want to tweet caustic comments every morning."
Nicknamed "The Senator of Small Things," but some are big
In the Senate, Ms. Klobuchar is not in the forefront on divisive issues like immigration, but she has led efforts to curb the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs, expand voting rights, address sexual harassment and protect online privacy after
revelations of Facebook's data mining.
Early in her tenure, she carved out a niche in consumer protection, shepherding passage of bipartisan bills to ban lead in toys and improve swimming pool safety after several highly publicized child deaths,
measures that Republican strategists in Minnesota said have earned Ms. Klobuchar a derisive nickname: "The Senator of Small Things."
Ms. Klobuchar has heard the "small things" criticism, and resents it. "Not for a minute do
I view these as small things," she said sharply. "They're big things for the people whose kids' lives were saved."
Minnesota Nice: Disagree without being disagreeable
Outwardly, Ms. Klobuchar is the embodiment of "Minnesota nice"--polite and intent on being able to "disagree without being disagreeable," as she wrote in her 2015 memoir, "The Senator Next Door." In an era of Twitter rants and senatorial showboats, she
is the worker bee in the background, tallying up how many of her bills get signed into law: 24, she said, since Mr. Trump became president.
Although she is hardly a centrist, Ms. Klobuchar departs from progressive orthodoxy on several fronts.
She has not signed onto Mr. Sanders's single-payer health care bill, commonly called Medicare for All; she said it "should be considered," but prefers "a sensible transition" such as allowing people to buy into Medicare, or expanding it to cover those
55 and older. Her push to make college more affordable is not as expansive as the left would like. While she has denounced Mr. Trump's border policies, she has not joined the movement to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
From Slovenian immigrants; "Klobuchar" means "hatmaker"
The immigrant experience was central to my dad's life, His grandparents on both sides came to this country from Slovenia--a small country surrounded by Austria, Italy, Croatia, and Hungary--around the turn of the last century. Like so many others from
that part of the world, they made their way to Minnesota to work in the underground mines. Klobuchar means "hatmaker" in Slovene, indicating that at some point in centuries past, my ancestors were in the haberdashery business.
Back in the old country,
Slovenians worked as miners and farmers and woodworkers. But for my ancestors, America brought the promise not only of steady work but of better lives for their children. In America, the Austrians (who, for centuries, ruled Slovenia as part of the
Hapsburg Dynasty) would no longer be able to tell them which of their kids could go to school. In America, they would be paying taxes to THEIR country, not foreign monarchs, and every child would get a good education.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), was scored by the Washington Post on the percentage of votes on which a lawmaker agrees with the position taken by a majority of his or her party members. The scores do not include missed votes.
Their summary: Voted with Democratic Party 94.1% of 324 votes. Overall, Democrats voted with their party 88.4% of the time, and Republicans voted with their party 81.7% of the time (votes Jan. 8 through Sept. 8, 2007).
Source: Washington Post, "Congress Votes Database" on 2008 election
, Sep 8, 2007
This election is about change; crowd in charge won’t do it
Whoever I talk to, they say the same thing. They’re tired of these gas prices. They’re tired of health care premiums up 60% in just the last 6 years. They want fiscal responsibility in Washington. And they want a change of course in Iraq.
That’s not going to happen with this crowd in charge. I believe this election is about change, and together we can do it.
Source: Minnesota 2006 3-way Senate Debate, sponsored by LWV
, Oct 30, 2006
Question Trump on Emoluments clause.
Klobuchar signed questioning Trump on Emoluments clause
Excerpts from Letter from 17 Senators to Trump Organization: The Trump Organization`s continuing financial relationship with President Trump raises concerns about whether it is a pass-through for income that violates the Constitution`s two Emoluments Clauses: Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 on foreign Emoluments; and Article II, Clause 7 on domestic Emoluments. Please answer the following questions to help Congress understand:
When the Trump Organization receives income from a government agency, how is that income segregated & reported?
How does the Trump Organization determine if income is derived from foreign governments?
Trump promised to `donate all profits from foreign government payments made to his hotels to the US Treasury.` Has the Trump Organization created a mechanism to make such payments?
What is the estimated value of the 38 Chinese trademarks recently awarded to the Trump Organization? And the reported 157 pending trademark applications in
Legal Analysis: (Cato Institute, `Emoluments Clause vs. Trump Empire,` 11/29/16): The wording of the Emoluments clause points one way to resolution: Congress can give consent, as it did in the early years of the Republic to presents received by Ben Franklin. It can decide what it is willing to live with in the way of Trump conflicts. If it misjudges public opinion, it will pay a political price at the next election.
FOIA argument: (ACLU Center for Democracy, `FOIA Request,` 1/19/17): We filed our first Freedom of Information Act request of the Trump Era, seeking documents relating President Trump`s conflicts of interest relating to his business connections. When Trump took the oath of office, he didn`t take the steps necessary to ensure that he and his family`s business interests comply with the Constitution. Some have even argued that upon taking the oath of office, the new president is already violating the Emoluments Clause.
Source: Letter from 17 Senators 17LTR-EMOL on May 18, 2017
Certify 2020 Presidential election as fully & fairly counted.
Klobuchar voted NAY blocking certification of the Electoral vote
Explanation of 1/6/21 Electoral Certification, by Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner:Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar led an objection to counting Electoral College votes from the state of Arizona, the first formal objection to state results in a series of moves that will delay the certification of Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election over President Trump. Cruz is advocating for an `emergency 10-day audit` of election returns in disputed states. The usually ceremonial joint session of Congress that convenes to count and accept Electoral College votes will be put on hold as the House and Senate separately debate the objection.
Timeline of 1/6/21 by Wikipedia:
1:12 PM: Gosar and Cruz object to certifying the votes. The joint session separates into House and Senate chambers to debate the objection.
1:35 PM: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) warns that refusing to certify the results of the
presidential election under false pretenses would push American democracy into a `death spiral`.
2:12 PM: The first rioter enters the Capitol through a broken window, opening a door for others
2:24 PM: President Trump tweets, `Mike Pence didn`t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify.`
4:17 PM: Trump denounces the riots, but maintaining the false claims that the election was stolen
Around 5:40 PM: As the interior of the Capitol is cleared of rioters, leaders of Congress state that they will continue tallying electoral votes
8:06 PM: The Senate reconvenes, with Vice President Pence presiding.
10:15 PM: The Senate votes 93-6 against the objection (Senate rollcall #1).
11:30 PM: The House votes 303-121 to reject the objection (House rollcall #10).
Create Commission to investigate Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
Klobuchar voted YEA creating a January 6th Commission
Bill summary:The select committee must (1) conduct an investigation of the relevant facts and circumstances relating to the attack on the Capitol; (2) identify, review, and evaluate the causes of and the lessons learned from this attack; and (3) submit a report containing findings, conclusions, and recommendations to prevent future acts of violence, domestic terrorism, and domestic violent extremism, and to improve the security of the U.S. Capitol Complex and other American democratic institutions.
CBS News summary, by Grace Segers on June 30, 2021:H.R. 3233 would have created a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate the root causes of the breach of the U.S. Capitol, modeled after the 9/11 Commission.
On May 28, the House passed the bill by a vote of 222 to 190, including 35 Republican votes. It then failed in the Senate, where it received an insufficient number of Republican votes to advance.
In response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on June 24 that the House would establish a select committee [appointed by House Democrats, instead of a bipartisan independent commission] to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection and general security issues related to the incident. Pelosi said its leadership and members would be announced later. The House passed the resolution to form the committee on June 29, 2021, by a vote of 222-190.
OnTheIssues note: The Senate voting record refers to the earlier rejected bill H.R. 3233, and the House voting record refers to the later bill H.Res.503. The later bill had no Senate vote (but the two House votes were almost identical).
Source: Congressional vote 21-HR503 on May 28, 2021