Klobuchar enters presidential race, running ‘for every American’ in ’20
Minnesota senator suggests she could f lip Midwest vote
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar on Sunday joined the growing group of Democrats jostling to be president and positioned herself as the most prominent Midwestern candidate in the field, as her party tries to win back voters in a region that helped put Donald Trump in the White House.
“For every American, I’m running for you,” she told an exuberant crowd gathered on a freezing, snowy afternoon at a park along the Mississippi River with the Minneapolis skyline in the background.
“And I promise you this: As your president, I will look you in the eye. I will tell you what I think. I will focus on getting things done. That’s what I’ve done my whole life. And no matter what, I’ll lead from the heart,” the three-term senator said.
Klobuchar, who has prided herself for achieving results through bipartisan cooperation, did not utter Trump’s name during her kickoff speech. But she did bemoan the conduct of “foreign policy by tweet” and said Americans must “stop the fearmongering and stop the hate . ... We all live in the same country of shared dreams.”
And she said that on first day as president, she would have the U.S. rejoin an international climate agreement that Trump has withdrawn from.
Asserting Midwestern values, she told a crowd warmed by hot chocolate, apple cider, heat lamps and bonfires: “I don’t have a political machine. I don’t come from money. But what I do have is this: I have grit.”
Klobuchar, 58, who easily won a third term last year, has pointed to her broad appeal across Minnesota as she has discussed a 2020 run. She has drawn support from voters in urban, suburban and rural areas, including in dozens of counties Trump won in 2016.
She has said that success could translate to other Midwestern states such as Michigan and Wisconsin, reliably Democratic in presidential races for decades until Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton.
The list of Democrats already in the race features several betterknown senators with the ability to raise huge amounts of money — Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
The field soon could expand to include prominent Democrats such as former Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
A Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom poll conducted by Selzer & Co. in December found that Klobuchar was largely unfamiliar to likely Iowa caucusgoers, with 54 percent saying they didn’t know enough about her to have an opinion, while 38 percent had a favorable opinion and 8 percent had an unfavorable opinion.
In the Senate, Klobuchar’s focus in recent months has included prescription drug prices, a new farm bill and election security. She supports the “green new deal,” a Democratic plan proposed last week to combat climate change and create thousands of jobs in renewable energy.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., spoke at a snowy rally Sunday at Boom Island Park in Minneapolis. She urged Americans to “stop the fearmongering and stop the hate . ... We all live in the same country of shared dreams.”