Much like failed 2016 Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton, congresswoman and potential 2020 contender Sen. Amy Klobuchar has a reported habit of treating people like garbage. So much so, that she’s been unable to retain a campaign chief, according to HuffPost.
“At least three people have withdrawn from consideration to lead Sen.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,” the left-wing news purveyor reported Wednesday.
According to former Klobuchar staffers with whom HuffPost spoke, the 13-year Senate veteran is demeaning, prone to outbursts, difficult to work with and just plain mean.
For instance, it’s common for her to describe her staffers’ efforts/work as “the worst,” be it “the worst” press release they ever wrote, “the worst” press briefing they ever held, etc. She’s also known to demand that staffers perform personal errands for her.
To make matters worse, she has a habit of publicly humiliating her staffers by using the cc function to email a copy of her “public flogging[s]” of individual staffers, as HuffPost described them, to everybody working on her campaign — and no matter how slight the purported mistake.
At least three people withdrew from consideration to lead Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s nascent presidential campaign — in part because of Klobuchar’s history of mistreating her staff. https://t.co/qhWMiodmSB
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) February 6, 2019
One of the former staffers with whom HuffPost spoke described a time that Klobuchar prepared tardy slips — as in the type handed out in high school — for her staffers after they arrived late to the office for reasons that remain unclear (bad weather? lots of traffic?).
“The staffer recalls incredulous bursts of laughter as her co-workers arrived one by one to find the notes, but Klobuchar was deadly serious. An aide whom she called into her office walked back out in tears,” HuffPost reported.
“She was constantly lighting new fires,” one former staffer said. “When you have people who don’t want to work for you, you can’t be as effective.”
The Minnesota senator’s campaign has of course denied all this.
“Senator Klobuchar loves her staff ― they are the reason she has gotten to where she is today,” a campaign spokesperson said to HuffPost. “She has many staff who have been with her for years ― including her Chief of Staff and her State Director, who have worked for her for 5 and 7 years respectively ― and many who have gone on to do amazing things …”
But the evidence paints a different picture. Between 2001 and 2016 she boasted the highest staff turnover rate in the Senate. And according to other former staffers with whom HuffPost spoke, the senator has struggled for years with filling key roles in her Senate office.
Klobuchar’s defenders have pushed back against the criticism by, one, citing the testimony of those few former staffers who found it beneficial to work for her, and two, playing the woman card.
“Some people who worked for Klobuchar say they valued the experience: Klobuchar has an unrivaled command of details, puts in long, enthusiastic hours, and simply demands that her office meet those same high standards, several former staffers maintained,” HuffPost reported, adding that these former staffers “question whether former co-workers who thought she was abusive were falling for sexist stereotypes about female leaders with high standards.”
Her defenders on social media have echoed the same rhetoric:
Also, If She… I don’t know, what are the words I’m looking for… oh right, if she had a set of balls, a hairy back and collection of Vintage Scotch and leather bound books I don’t think this would even be an issue. Give me a break.
— JamieChambery (@jamie_chambery) February 6, 2019
filed under: you’ve never read this story about a male politician https://t.co/WX55frZRAh
— Tim Dickinson (@7im) February 6, 2019
Wouldn’t even make the news if she wasn’t a woman. #sexism
— Miss E (@goteamgreene) February 7, 2019
The pile on of Amy Klobuchar today is sexism at its finest. If her name were Bruce, this wouldn’t be a thing.
— Ross. (@OnceUponARoss) February 7, 2019
What an incredibly sexist attack on an awesome senator who does great work for the people of her state. Sen. @AmyKlobuchar would be being applauded for her work ethic were she not a woman. https://t.co/MyTs2OPeyC
— Giovanni Hashimoto (@VanniHashimoto) February 7, 2019
— Patti Solis Doyle (@PattiSolisDoyle) February 7, 2019
Just to be clear, the piece by HuffPost was written by two women, Molly Redden and Amanda Terkel. Moreover, anecdotes about her indecent behavior haven’t just been limited to this report.
Have heard this about Klobuchar from independent sources https://t.co/FtSCKWArWH
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) February 6, 2019
While I don’t normally like to vouch for hearsay, I lived in DC for six years and definitely heard my fair share of horror stories about Amy Klobuchar’s office. Exactly how much of this is really bad abuse or somewhat unconscious sexism I can’t tell you, but it wasn’t good.
— Phil Ryan 🌐 🇪🇺 (@therealphilryan) February 7, 2019
This was a pretty open secret in DC and I’m glad it will make things harder for Klobuchar. Don’t do this to your staff. https://t.co/MdDJVd4OR3
— fittoprintdc (@fittoprintdc) February 7, 2019
To many, the “sexism” allegation sounds like a cop-out.
Like one Twitter user noted, “Do not try to make Amy Klobuchar’s abuse of her staff about sexism. Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Kirsten Gillibrand are all women and all treat their staffers with much more respect and have significantly lower turnover in their offices.”
The senator is expected to issue an announcement Sunday about whether or not she will indeed be running for president in 2020. It’s unclear whether she’s found a campaign chief yet.
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