(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., formally entered the race for the Democratic presidential nomination on Feb. 10 in a snow-covered Minneapolis, on the banks of the Mississippi River.
“I’m running for every parent who wants a better world for their kids,” Klobuchar said in front of an estimated crowd of 9,000 people. “I’m running for every student who wants a good education. For every senior who wants affordable prescription drugs. For every worker, farmer, dreamer, builder. For every American. I’m running for you.”
Klobuchar opted for an outdoor rally at Boom Island Park, near the site of the 2007 Interstate 35W bridge collapse, and told supporters, “I don’t have a political machine. I don’t come from money. But what I do have is this: I have grit.”
In her announcement, she outlined an agenda including universal health care, a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision, rejoining the international climate agreement, gun control legislation and advocating for criminal justice reform.
Within hours of her speech, Klobuchar sparred with President Donald Trump on Twitter over climate change. Trump mocked the senator’s snow-covered announcement on Twitter, calling her a “Snowman(woman)” and writing that it was “bad timing” that she talked “proudly of fighting global warming while standing in a virtual blizzard of snow.”
Well, it happened again. Amy Klobuchar announced that she is running for President, talking proudly of fighting global warming while standing in a virtual blizzard of snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Bad timing. By the end of her speech she looked like a Snowman(woman)!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2019
Klobuchar turned the jab into an opportunity to bring up her stance on environmental issues.
“Science is on my side, @realDonaldTrump,” she wrote. “Looking forward to debating you about climate change (and many other issues).”
Science is on my side, @realDonaldTrump. Looking forward to debating you about climate change (and many other issues). And I wonder how your hair would fare in a blizzard? ☃️
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) February 10, 2019
The former prosecutor rose to prominence in her time in the Senate as a key Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee. During the hearing to confirm now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Klobuchar challenged the judge on his beer drinking during a hearing about an accusation of sexual misconduct by Christine Blasey Ford. In a contentious moment during the second hearing, Kavanaugh turned the questioning on Klobuchar and asked if she ever blacked out from drinking. He later apologized for the question.
Klobuchar told ABC’s The View that she believed Kavanuagh’s behavior wasn’t “dignified.”
Her announcement came on the heels of a recent report by the Huffington Post claiming three people have withdrawn from consideration to lead Klobuchar’s campaign because of an alleged history of mistreating her staff.
Following her campaign announcement, the senator responded to reports of mistreating her staff following her speech, admitting she can be tough.
“I can be tough and yes, I can push people, I know that. But in the end, there are so many great stories of our staff that have been with me for years and have gone on to do incredible things,” she said.
With her announcement, she became the fifth woman currently serving in Congress to confirm a 2020 bid.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Name: Amy Klobuchar
Date of Birth: May 25, 1960
Hometown: Plymouth, Minnesota
Early life: Klobuchar has “always embraced the values she learned growing up in Minnesota,” according to her official biography. Her father, Jim Klobuchar, was a newspaperman, and her mother, Rose Klobuchar, was an elementary school teacher. Her grandfather was an iron ore miner in northern Minnesota.
Klobuchar attended public schools in Plymouth and was the valedictorian of her high school. She completed her undergraduate degree at Yale University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1982. She earned her law degree in 1985 from the University of Chicago, where she also finished Magna Cum Laude.
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.
What She Used To Do:
Prior to serving in the Senate, Klobuchar practiced law in Minnesota. She was a partner at two law firms before being elected Hennepin County attorney in 1999. Most notably, she helped pass Minnesota’s first felony DWI law and worked with the Innocence Project to put in place measures to protect against false convictions.
What you may not know about her:
She is the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from the state of Minnesota. Shortly into her tenure as a senator, an eight-lane bridge in Minneapolis collapsed in Aug. 2007, killing 13 people. In only thirteen months after the Interstate 35W bridge collapse, the structure was rebuilt with full funding secured by Klobuchar.
In 2016, Medill News Service ranked her as the senator who sponsored or co-sponsored the most bills that were enacted into law.
According to FiveThirtyEight, Klobuchar has voted with Trump almost a third of the time.
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