Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota senator who is known for her prolific policymaking and willingness to co-operate with Republicans, has officially launched her 2020 presidential bid.
On Sunday, Klobuchar addressed voters at a Minneapolis park, as heavy snow fell, the Associated Press reported. “For every American, I’m running for you,” she said. “And I promise you this: As your president, I will look you in the eye. I will tell you what I think. I will focus on getting things done. That’s what I’ve done my whole life. And no matter what, I’ll lead from the heart.”
Klobuchar is a third-term Minnesota senator and the state’s first elected female senator. She made headlines last fall when she grilled Brett Kavanaugh about his drinking habits during the Senate Judiciary Committee, asking him whether he had ever drank so much that he couldn’t remember what happened on a given night. “Have you?” he responded, later apologizing for the comment. Even before entering into the national spotlight, Klobuchar earned a reputation for her willingness to effect change through bipartisan co-operation, which helped her pass more laws than any of her colleagues in the Senate, according to a 2016 analysis cited by the New York Times. Among the issues she has championed are reducing the cost of prescription medication, ensuring election security and combating sexual harassment.
Klobuchar has proved popular across Minnesota’s rural and urban areas, including counties that voted for President Trump in 2016. She defeated her Republican opponent with a hefty 60 percent of the vote last November, and supporters hope that her popularity will carry over into other Midwestern states, like Wisconsin and Michigan, which typically vote Democrat but swung Republican in the last election. But whether Klobuchar’s popularity in Minnesota will translate into success during the Iowa caucuses remains uncertain.
“She starts out perhaps with a better understanding of Midwestern voters, but I think she faces the same hurdles every one of them face, which is: Are Iowans going to find them either the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump or the candidate that most aligns with their ideologies and issues?” Iowa-based Democratic strategist John Norris tells the AP. “I don’t know that coming from Minnesota gives her any advantage with Iowans.”
Granted, during her campaign launch in Minneapolis, Klobuchar did more than stress Midwestern values. She honed in on the global issue of climate change, and promised that under her presidency, the United States would rejoin the Paris agreement.
“For too long, leaders in Washington have sat on the sidelines while others try to figure out what to do about our changing economy and its impact on our lives, what to do about the disruptive nature of new technologies, income inequality, the political and geographic divides, the changing climate, the tumult in our world,” she said, according to the Times. “Let’s stop seeing those obstacles as obstacles on our path. Let’s see those obstacles as our path.”