Meeting Klobuchar Supporters at Her Campaign Launch

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) launched her campaign for the Democratic Party nomination in 2020 on Sunday, amid a snowstorm.

By the time Senator Amy Klobuchar took the stage at Boom Island Park, the snow had obscured the view of Minneapolis, Minnesota, behind her. It could not have been a more perfect Minnesotan moment as thousands of people gathered to watch their senator announce her run for the presidency.

Klobuchar opened her speech by drawing on the Mississippi River that rolled behind her as a key metaphor for the ties that bind Americans together despite our differences, and then laid out her campaign themes. She promised to fix the economy for the people left behind by technological change. She vowed to restore voting rights and voting equality to all Americans. She talked about privacy and net neutrality, but touted her belief in basic science as she discussed the looming threat from climate change. (Minnesotans, unlike President Donald Trump who tweeted on the matter, know that, even when it’s snowing, climate change is a real threat.)

Throughout, she punctuated her promises with stories from her own family and those of modern Minnesotans struggling with the challenges of the 21st century. As she finished, she drew strong applause for her line: “I’m asking you to join us on this campaign. It’s a homegrown one. I don’t have a political machine. I don’t come from money. But what I do have is this: I have grit.”

The question of whether Klobuchar would run had been looming as one of the great unknown factors in the 2020 Democratic Party primary. Klobuchar is wildly popular in her home state and can run as a sensible moderate Democrat able to win in the Midwest. That’s not just critical for the primary—the Iowa Caucus sets the tone for the whole race—but for the eventual general election. Klobuchar’s supporters will argue that she’s best situated (other than perhaps Joe Biden, who has yet to announce if he’s seeking the nomination) to take Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania back for the Democrats.

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