“We are all tired of the shutdowns and the putdowns, the gridlock and the grandstanding.”

Photo of Amy Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator representing Minnesota, since 2007; former Hennepin County attorney, 1999-2006

Amy Klobuchar, (KLOH’-buh-shahr) who touts herself as a gritty pragmatist, criticized the way Washington usually works in her announcement video: “We are all tired of the shutdowns and the putdowns, the gridlock and the grandstanding.” She has prided herself as someone who works across the aisle in the Senate and has amassed an impressive record of helping to pass legislation.

Accomplishments: A graduate of Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School, Klobuchar was the chief prosecutor for Minnesota’s most populous county before winning election to the Senate in 2006. Klobuchar recently has been criticized by some Senate staff members for being an abusive boss who frequently humiliated employees and once even threw a binder in a fit of pique. Klobuchar has responded by saying that she “can be tough,” but – despite frequent turnover in her office – she has many staff members who have worked for her for many years.

Foreign policy: She voted to condemn President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, and in support of allowing state and municipal governments to punish companies that boycott, divest from or place sanctions on Israel.

What sets her apart: In a crowded field, Klobuchar is hoping that her Midwestern roots and more moderate views can help her stand out in a party that is leaning left and attract moderate and independent voters. The Midwest Rust Belt played an important role in Trump’s victory in 2016, and Democrats are hoping they can make big gains in the region. Klobuchar won her latest Senate re-election in November with 60 percent of the vote, earning the support of many rural voters and independents.

Platform: Supports universal health care but not “Medicare-for-All,” favors raising the minimum wage, vows to immediately authorize the United States to rejoin an international climate agreement that President Donald Trump withdrew from, and supports the framework of the “Green New Deal” – a Democratic plan to combat climate change.