Sign of Things to Come? Klobuchar Announces Presidential Candidacy During Grueling Snowstorm

It was an odd spectacle in Minneapolis, Minnesota Sunday morning when Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) dragged her staff and supporters out into the middle of a snowstorm to announce her candidacy for the 2020 presidential race.

“I don’t have a lot of money,” she said during her speech. “I have grit. I have family. I have friends, and I have you.”

She certainly has enough grit to withstand the grueling conditions. The speech was a bizarre spectacle:

The backdrop for the speech, according to Fox News, was the I-35 bridge across the Mississippi River, which collapsed in 2007 just after Klobuchar took office, killing 13. She bragged about working “across the isle” to get the bridge rebuilt in “just over a year.”

“We worked across the aisle to get the federal funding and we rebuilt that I-35W bridge — in just over a year,” she said. “That’s community. That’s a shared story. That’s ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”

Apparently, the bar for “extraordinary” is rebuilding a collapsed bridge.

Klobuchar went on to trash America as it exists today – a requirement of Democratic Party presidential candidates.

“But that sense of community is fracturing across our nation right now, worn down by the petty and vicious nature of our politics,” she said. “We are all tired of the shutdowns and the putdowns, of the gridlock and the grandstanding. Today on this snowy island, we say enough is enough. Our nation must be governed not from chaos but from opportunity. Not by wallowing over what’s wrong, but my marching inexorably toward what’s right.”

Klobuchar, known for her nasty questioning of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh at his confirmation hearings last year, and particularly for her apparent disdain for his enjoyment of beer (ironically, she held a pre-announcement party with her staff at a local brewery Saturday night) has been embroiled in a bit of controversy for acting abusively towards her Senate staffers.

“At least three people have withdrawn from consideration to lead Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s nascent 2020 presidential campaign — and done so in part because of the Minnesota Democrat’s history of mistreating her staff,” a Wednesday report said.

The report continued:

But some former Klobuchar staffers, all of whom spoke to HuffPost on condition of anonymity, describe Klobuchar as habitually demeaning and prone to bursts of cruelty that make it difficult to work in her office for long.

It is common for staff to wake up to multiple emails from Klobuchar characterizing one’s work as “the worst” briefing or press release she’d seen in her decades of public service, according to two former aides and emails seen by HuffPost.

Although some staffers grew inured to her constant put-downs (“It’s always ‘the worst,’” one said sarcastically, “‘It was ‘the worst’ one two weeks ago”), others found it grinding and demoralizing. Adding to the humiliation, Klobuchar often cc’d large groups of staffers who weren’t working on the topic at hand, giving the emails the effect of a public flogging.

It seems likely that those staff members who declined to work on her 2020 campaign made the right decision, avoiding today’s snowy, 16-degree announcement speech.

Follow Peter D’Abrosca on Twitter: @pdabrosca

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