Julia Mantey, Contributor
Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, may seem like it can’t come soon enough, and the bid for the Democratic nomination is well underway. I had the opportunity to work as an intern for Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar in the fall of 2018 in Washington, D.C., and could not have been more content with the time I spent working in her office. Not only was I there when she took front stage during the Kavanaugh hearings, but I was able to help with her work on the new Farm Bill which was eventually passed by the end of the legislative session.
As part of my job, I worked with constituents from Minnesota while also fielding phone calls from those all over the United States who wanted to voice their opinion on the Senator’s work. As was to be expected, there were many critiques of the Senator. There were people from all over saying she didn’t support the minority vote in Minnesota, she had little pushback about the PolyMet mining in northern Minnesota and an abundance of gender-based “negative feedback.” I can say with great confidence that the kind and positive words from her supporters all over the country, especially after the Kavanaugh hearings, far outweighed the negative.
Even though she is a Democrat, Klobuchar is highly respected by both sides of the aisle in Minnesota and surrounding states. With the abundance of small talk that was initiated with other Congressmen, staffers and fellow interns either in the elevators or Capitol subways, I heard very little negative talk about Senator Klobuchar. Since serving as Senator since 2006, she is highly respected on Capitol Hill. Even while visiting museums on my breaks, many local National Park department employees seemed to hold her work in high regards after I told them who I work for.
The biggest downfall I could see for Klobuchar as she begins her run for President is name recognition. I’ve been told by friends, even here in Minnesota, that many don’t even know she is their Senator. Or, if they have heard of her name, she is known as the Senator who “was asked if she had ever blacked out” and was given a sketch on “SNL.”
It is still extremely early in the race, but I feel as though Klobuchar may be the best person for the job to beat Trump in 2020. She isn’t extremely far left in her policies and has made it known that she is the Senator on Capitol Hill that dominates in creating legislation that works across party lines. She seems like the best shot to gain and dominate the independent vote if she received the nomination but only if she can get her bipartisan track record nationally known. Klobuchar makes it a priority to visit all 87 counties in Minnesota while representing our state, and I know she will take the same time and care into running our country. I can honestly say it was an honor to work in Senator Klobuchar’s office, even if I was just an intern. I look forward to seeing how her campaign evolves in the months to come.
This article was originally published in the March 1, 2019 issue.