Don’t Mourn for Amy Klobuchar

Don’t Mourn for Amy Klobuchar


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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The contest for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination will be remembered for the record-breaking number of strong, intelligent and eminently qualified women who competed within the crowded field to take on Donald Trump.

That a woman isn’t going to make it to the finish line certainly is a reason to give women everywhere at least some pause to remember the female candidates who fell along the way, and wonder, “If, not now, when?”

Certainly, many of the women who ran deserve recognition for their path-breaking, and to mourn, “What could have been?”

However, one woman who deserves less praise than her sisters in the fight would be Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

No, this call out has absolutely nothing to do with her policy positions or her campaigning out on the trail.

Rather, it’s what’s apparently been going on with the senator behind the scenes for some years now.

Klobuchar became known in her run for president for her plucky Midwestern smile, for her “Minnesota nice.”

It seems like that smile will fade, however, when the cameras are turned off, or she walks off stage.

Specifically, Klobuchar’s staff spoke up more than a year ago about a nasty temper that the senator has.

More Than Just Being a Tough Boss

The senator likes to chalk it up as just “being a tough boss,” or a sexist complaint, because somehow a male boss becoming so enraged at the staff would be given a pass.

But as all of this came out, word leaked that the senator threw a binder in anger (apparently among other things).

“I’ve always been taught that your true character shows in how you treat those with less power than you, especially behind closed doors,” a former staffer told BuzzFeed News. “The way Sen. Klobuchar behaves in private with her staff is very different than when she’s in the public eye, and that kind of cruelty shouldn’t be acceptable for anyone.”

If we are going to have zero tolerance for sexual harassment and assault in the workplace–as we should–then we hold equally zero tolerance for rage in the workplace, particularly from an employer directed at an employee.

Throwing anything in a professional setting is never acceptable. It cannot be explained or excused.

Yes, some of Klobuchar’s staff have defended her.

But I’ve heard too much, from too many of her staff members.

Even before Klobuchar dropped out of this year’s campaign, I decided that there was no way that I could vote in good conscience to give her the nomination. It had nothing to do with her politics; it had everything to do with her character.

I found her unprofessionalism and cruelty disqualifying.

If, somehow, she had won the nomination, I would have had to held my nose and voted for her over Donald Trump and hoped that she would get her anger issues under control quickly.

I’m fortunate that I’ll never have to worry about that now.

But as I think back to the women I could thank for their effort in the 2020 election, those would include Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris.

But Amy Klobuchar?

I’m quite pleased she won’t be making it to the White House.

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  • comment-avatar
    Rory Fellowes March 9, 2020

    This is interesting to me as a UK citizen as it applies to the current UK Home Secretary Priti Patel who has been accused by several people of having a vile temper and she also threw a folder at one of her staff. I should add that Prime Minister Johnson has said he is standing up for her. It seems good manners are no longer required of public servants.

  • comment-avatar
    Irvin Klein March 9, 2020

    Interesting, but you didn’t tell us anything about how she is cruel, so how can I make an opinion?

  • comment-avatar
    Elizabeth March 9, 2020

    I heard about that temper. It absolutely turned me off to supporting her. I have lived with a “rager” and it is awful and damaging to anyone around that person. I am disgusted by any adult who rages, throws things and cannot control themselves.

    During one of the debates, that snide, childish anger seeped out from her Minnesota Nice veneer when she said sneeringly and with contempt to Pete Buttigieg, “Not everyone can be as perfect as you.” That was so ugly and childish. I was revolted, and I still am. I see who she is, and it’s not compatible with compassionate leadership.

  • comment-avatar
    Patricia March 9, 2020

    What a hit piece. No specifics. Just bashing.

  • comment-avatar
    Jill Friedman March 11, 2020

    I don’t see anything to be gained by this attack on another Democrat or another woman in politics. It’s not helpful or necessary. She endorsed Biden so attempting to invalidate her at this point doesn’t help Biden; it’s just divisive and mean-spirited.

  • comment-avatar
    Elizabeth Csicsery-ROnay March 13, 2020

    I agree. But I also have been turned off by Elizabeth Warren. It was uncalled for to accuse Bernie on air of sexism, saying that a women couldn’t be elected. Bernie said he didn’t say it. I believe him. I didn’t like the way she kept after Bloomberg. She’s a nasty piece of work too. Woman or not. And I’m outraged that she hasn’t endorsed Bernie. What a shithead! Women aren’t perfect, either.