Amy Klobuchar, (D, MN) Senator
Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota announced that she is running for President today in a snowy appearance from Minneapolis, where it was 16 degrees. She is among the other female candidates (5 others by last count) who have thrown down the gauntlet, but she is the first one to announce while hatless, in a blizzard. By the end of her announcement today, snow had accumulated on Ms. Klobuchar’s nose; she looked fairly well frozen, as did about 100 hardy supporters clutching signs and occasionally chanting “Amy!”
Here were some of the themes that Klobuchar hit during her announcement:
Alluding to the collapse of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis, she said, “A bridge just shouldn’t fall down in the middle of America, but it happened. In that day, America saw in a very visceral way that everyone matters—everyone.” Klobuchar went on to praise the heroism of a man who gave up his own life to insure that a school bus full of children did not plunge into the abyss and also praised the heroics of divers who took part in the rescue and recovery mission. She went on: “Later, we worked across the aisle to fund that I35 bridge. That’s community. That’s ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”
She continued, “But that vision is wearing down, worn down by the petty nature of our politics. We are tired of the gridlocks and the grandstanding. Today, on this snowy day, we say enough is enough! Our nation must be governed not through chaos but through opportunity.”
A crash course in Amy’s biography came next, with the information that her parents “arrived in this country with just a suitcase. They arrived with nothing. It was cold—Okay, maybe not as cold as this.” (Biggest laugh line). Klobuchar said that her 90-year-old father was present this day and that he had gotten a 2-year degree after arriving in Minnesota, followed by a degree from the University of Minnesota in Journalism, after which he worked for the Associated Press. She described her father as having interviewed everyone from presidents to Ginger Rogers.” Her mother, “a proud union member, taught second grade until age 70.”
“I am running for this job for every person who wants their job recognized and rewarded, for every parent that wants a better world for their kids, for every student who wants to be able to afford a good education, for every senior who wants affordable drugs. I am running for every American. I am running for you. 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 and, no matter what, I’ll lead from the heart.”
At this point, there were numerous chants of “Amy!” from the chilled spectators.
“Let me be blunt: for too long, leaders in Washington have sat on the sidelines.” She went on to cite the inactivity on climate change and the tumult in our world. “Did we view snow as an obstacle? No, we did not. Let’s see those problems as obstacles in our path. Insidious forces trying to make it harder to vote mean it is time to organize. It is time to galvanize. It is time to take back our democracy. We must overturn Citizens United and get the dark money out of our politics. We must restore the voting rights act. It is time to pass my bill to automatically register every young person to vote when they turn eighteen.”
Klobachur acknowledged that there were obstacles, but said, “That is also our patch. They are how we organize.”
On climate change, Klobachur said, “The people are on our side when it comes to climate change. Why? Because, like you and I, they believe in science. That’s why, in the first 100 days of my administration, I will restore the gas mileage standards and put in sweeping legislation to invest in green jobs and infrastructure. On Day One we will rejoin the International Climate Agreement (Paris Accord).”
Moving on to the subject of computer literacy, Klobuchar said, “Way too many politicians have their heads stuck in the sand when it comes to the digital revolution. If you don’t know the difference between a hack and a slack, it’s time to pull off the digital highway. We need to put some digital rules of the road into law when it comes to people’s privacy. For too long the big tech companies have been telling us, ‘Don’t worry. We’ve got your back,’ when they have been mining your data.” She promised to guarantee net neutrality. I promise to connect every household to the Internet by 2022. And that means you, rural America. We need to train our workers today for the jobs of tomorrow and strengthen our economy by planning ahead. Making it easier for people to get 2 year degrees is part of that plan. Comprehensive immigration reform is part of that plan. It is time, America.”
Klobuchar moved on to medical questions with the story of a young Minneapolis man who was forced by the high cost of the drug to ration his insulin and, as a result, died.
“We’re going to harness the negotiating power of 43 million seniors and lift the ban on negotiating cheaper prices for prescription drugs. They (big pharma) don’t own me.”
“I will continue to advocate for criminal justice reform. In a state where we still enjoy hunting, universal background checks and common sense gun legislation will be voted into law. It is time, America.”
“A safer world isn’t judged by what we do here at home. Even if we want to isolate ourselves, the rest of the world won’t let you. We need to stand strong and consistently with our allies. We need to be clear in our purpose. We must respect our front line troops, diplomats, and intelligence officers, who are there every day risking their lives for us. They deserve better than foreign policy by tweet!”
Summing up, Klobuchar urged those who support her to text 91990 to AmyKlobuchar.com and added, “Stop the fear-mongering and stop the hate. We may come from different places, but we all live in the same country of shared dreams. In Minnesota we have the biggest Somalian population in the country, and we are proud of that country.” She proceeded to tell a story about a man who told a family of 4 to “go home,” causing their small daughter to protest that her mother had said they could eat out that night. “That little girl only knows one home, and that is the United States of America.”
E PLURIBUS UNUM
Klobuchar quoted Walt Whitman: “Walt Whitman once wrote, ‘I hear America singing the very carols I hear.’ For Whitman those were the songs of the masons, carpenters, the shoemakers, and those carols are still being sung today. A chorus of different colors and creeds. E Pluribus Unum: Out of one, many. It is the North Star of our effort, of our democracy. It’s time to take back our democracy. I am asking you to join our campaign. I don’t know if you can even see our number because of the snow. I don’t have a political machine. I don’t come from money. But what I do have is grit. I have family, friends, neighbors, and all of you who are willing to come out in the middle of winter, all of you who are willing to stand up and say, ‘People matter!’ I’m asking you to look up and to look at each other and to look at the future before us. Let us rise to the occasion and meet the changes of our day. Let us cross the river of our divides and walk across the bridge to the sturdy land of higher ground. To pursue the good, we must believe that good will prevail, so let’s join together as one nation to pursue the good.”
Thank you, and God bless America!