Amy Klobuchar announces her presidential race in a snowstorm
Senator Amy Klobuchar chose an outdoor rally — in Minneapolis in the middle of February — to announce her candidacy for president. Since there are plenty of indoor venues available, almost certainly, she wanted to stand out from the rest of the field and project an image of toughness, albeit leavened by the legendary "Minnesota nice" mode of personality on which she relies for image purposes. It does raise the question of if she knows enough to come inside out of the rain (or snow).
She certainly gets points for resistance to cold and snow — the white stuff visibly accumulated on her head, the podium, and the microphones as she spoke for 11 minutes:
She promises to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord that would impoverish Americans while allowing China and India to build huge numbers of coal-fired electricity generating stations for many years, and she came in for mockery from President Trump for the contrast between warmism and the facts on the ground in Minneapolis in February. In her response, she laid claim to a Minnesotan version of machismo, implying that others lack the strength to endure blizzards.
CNN screen grab via YouTube.
Science is on my side, @realDonaldTrump. Looking forward to debating you about climate change (and many other issues). And I wonder how your hair would fare in a blizzard? ☃️— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) February 10, 2019
Everyone else can join my team and contribute at https://t.co/Hz91NGE8hB https://t.co/Xjjz9I2Fw7
It's pretty clear that Klobuchar will be running as a moderate, in contrast to the extremism that has gripped her party's base. The odds are against her. As The Economist sympathetically notes:
Is she a strong enough [sic] for this spark to spread? Just as it is hard to kindle a fire in wet snow, she could struggle to generate much heat or light in a busy Democratic field. She is not from a rich family and nor [sic] is she backed by big donors, most of whom are found in cities on the coasts. In a brief chat with The Economist, she says "I don't pretend that I'm the one with all the money right now", but [...] "we will raise the money that's necessary — once people see me out in the snow I don't know how they can't help but give me money."
Money is not her only problem. As a quietly industrious toiler, and sometimes dull speaker, she is not widely known.
She has another problem: the Minnesota nice stuff is just a pose. The Huffington Post last week, in anticipation of her announcement, outed her reputation as a terrible, abusive boss of her staff and her consequent difficulty in recruiting staff for her presidential campaign.
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, HuffPost has learned. ...
[S]ome 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.
Perhaps the worst offense is one relating to her allegedly using staff for personal errands:
Three former staffers said Klobuchar has tasked them or their co-workers with performing personal errands, such as making her personal appointments, washing dishes at her home or picking up her dry cleaning.
Senate staff are generally prohibited by Senate ethics rules from performing personal duties for members.
She might want to look southward, toward Chicago, for a way to handle this. A police commander there has a creative explanation (hat tip: Peter von Buol). Via the Chicago Tribune:
Facing allegations that officers under him were baby-sitting his special-needs son, the Chicago police commander gave a novel explanation: He was conducting a secret study.
Grand Central District Cmdr. Anthony Escamilla acknowledged he had on-duty officers pick up his teenage son, who has autism, but insisted he worked as a volunteer in the community policing office.
Pressed by investigators from the city's inspector general's office, Escamilla said he wanted to watch how his son did the work and interacted with his officers, taking mental notes he planned to share with the officers later.
"I kind of wanted to just leave it to them, acting out in their job roles, and then him being a volunteer and seeing how it would go," Escamilla told an investigator. "It's not about my son and someone keeping an eye on him. This is about kids with his kind of disability and what we can do as a department to help them."
Americans do face a crisis in getting personal errands done, so research would be a valuable contribution to the national welfare.