Amy Klobuchar: Minnesota nice or Minnesota ice?

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Amy Klobuchar, former Hennepin County attorney and current United States Senator from Minnesota, made the announcement of her run for presidency a little over a year ago on a freezing February day. But the Senator is not focused on being Minnesota nice in this presidential election. Scandals, rivalries with other candidates such as Pete Buttigieg, and a strong presence on the debate stage have proven Klobuchar is a newsworthy presidential prospect.

Klobuchar, having spent 13 years as Senator, has a platform consisting of mostly typical progressive ideals. She opposes Medicare For All, supports the idea of a $15 an hour minimum wage, and would hope to consider a ban on assault weapons. She hopes to slash the defense spending budget, raise corporate income taxes, and support broad paid leave for families for up to 12 weeks.

The fact that she opposes Medicare For All makes her more attractive towards centrist Democrats, while candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren put their full support behind the approximately $30 trillion plan putting all Americans under the same healthcare plan. Klobuchar also takes a more “conservative” Democrat approach on abortion, saying there should be some restrictions when it comes to the termination of the third trimester of a pregnancy.

On the topic of scandals, Senator Klobuchar has been accused by former employed assistants of being on the verge of abusive towards them. The New York Times reports of an aide being berated by Klobuchar after they forgot to get a fork for her salad. She allegedly proceeded to pull out a comb and use it to eat her food.

Along with this situation, more than a dozen former employees have come forward to tell-all about Klobuchar’s dehumanizing treatment. The Senator has defended herself, saying that she is tough towards her employees and pushes them to be their best. But this seems to go too far for some, as Klobuchar has one of the highest employee turnover rates in the US Senate. She has been accused of throwing objects towards employees as a result of frustration, and forcing aides to do demeaning tasks such as cleaning. Whether or not these accusations prove true or not, Klobuchar does not deny having a high-strung personality and taking her staff very seriously.

Klobuchar is popularly considered one of the more “centrist” Democrats, bearing in mind that more radical candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren join her on the debate stage. Former Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has clashed with Klobuchar on multiple occasions during Democratic debates. Recently, Klobuchar failed to remember the name of the President of Mexico in a Telemundo interview. Buttigieg used this slip-up to attack her during the February 20th debate, saying that since she’s on a committee overseeing border security as well as another committee overseeing trade and should be informed on the basics, such as the name of the President of Mexico.

Klobuchar snapped back, asking if Pete sees her as stupid, blaming her mishap on a momentary lapse of memory. Buttigieg has been shot down by Klobuchar about his lack of experience, but he retorted with, “You don’t have to be on Capitol Hill for your work to be significant.”

In the past, Klobuchar has shined on the debate stage. Pegging herself as a “tell-it-like-it-is” Midwesterner, she brought a strong female perspective to the presidential race. While originally not being taken very seriously, she has asserted herself into the race by attacks on Buttigieg and Sanders. After the December 19th, 2019 debate, Klobuchar saw the biggest boost in polling numbers (4% following the debate), while Buttigieg took a hit after her attacks on his reputation.

When it comes to comparing the two most popular female Democratic candidates, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Klobuchar, Klobuchar is the less radical of the options. It’s fair to say every candidate has their fair share of scandals, but Warren’s main issue is the fact that she blew her Native American “heritage” way out of proportion for personal gain.

On the other hand, Klobuchar’s staff accusation’s follow her down the campaign trail. Despite these things, Senator Klobuchar presents a more budget-friendly approach to healthcare and a more pragmatic approach on immigration in comparison to Warren. Klobuchar presents as a typical level-headed Democrat, but is not afraid to withhold the Minnesota Nice.