Amy Klobuchar Announces Presidential Bid After Reports Of Abusive Workplace Behavior

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has officially announced her campaign to seek the 2020 Democratic nomination on Sunday during a speech in Minneapolis’s frigid Boom Island Park.

With her announcement, Klobuchar has become the fifth Senate Democrat to announce her presidential bid, joining Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand.


Having served in the Senate since 2007, Klobuchar is reportedly hoping to establish herself as a bastion of centrism. She easily won re-election to a third term last year. Though her record in recent months has been more mixed, with the Senator focused on lower prescription drug prices (while being non-commital about Medicare for All), she supported Trump’s farm bill and plans for increased election security. But also endorsed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal.”

And though it has been long expected, the rollout is happening against a backdrop of scandal, following the publication earlier this week of an expose into her alleged chronic mistreatment of those in her employ. Buzzfeed described Klobuchar of running an office where her staff were subjected to “bouts of explosive rage and regular humiliation.”

Amy Klobuchar has laid the grounds for a presidential run on an image of “Minnesota nice.”

But behind the doors of her Washington, DC, office, the Minnesota Democrat ran a workplace controlled by fear, anger, and shame, according to interviews with eight former staffers, one that many employees found intolerably cruel. She demeaned and berated her staff almost daily, subjecting them to bouts of explosive rage and regular humiliation within the office, according to interviews and dozens of emails reviewed by BuzzFeed News.

That anger regularly left employees in tears, four former staffers said. She yelled, threw papers, and sometimes even hurled objects; one aide was accidentally hit with a flying binder, according to someone who saw it happen, though the staffer said the senator did not intend to hit anyone with the binder when she threw it.

“I cried. I cried, like, all the time,” said one former staffer.

Which of course cuts against Klobuchar’s image as a progressive Senator who is embodies the spirit of what it means to be “Minnesota nice.” Her reputation as a boss is so bad, that three potential staffers reportedly declined to take jobs on her campaign staff.

While some former staffers went on the record with Buzzfeed to defend their former boss (after being referred to Buzzfeed by Klobuchar’s office for the story), the fact remains that her office has one of the highest turnover rates on Capitol Hill – at 36% annually.

But even her detractors conceded that she “gets sh*t done” for Minnesota, and she has continued to enjoy enormous popularity in her home state, even in its more conservative reaches.

But though she is planning to run as a moderate, as the Democratic field becomes increasingly crowded, while tilting further and further to the left, how long until Klobuchar joins the competition for who can come up with the best tax policy to “soak the rich?”