A cold, snowy Sunday afternoon made Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s announcement she was running for president characteristically Minnesotan — then the Northeast RiverKeepers skied up.
“Definitely, Amy is a gal to support,” said Dale Peterson, co-founder of the Mississippi River advocacy group, as he dusted snow from his wooden skis. “What she could do for this country is tremendous.”
Klobuchar hopes to do what no Minnesotans has before — win the White House. In her speech, she recognized the challenge ahead.
“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,” she told the cheering crowd.
Thousands of supporters packed into Boom Island park in Minneapolis because they think Klobuchar is the real deal.
“Amy represents integrity and democracy and something we’ve lost,” said Mary Newell of Maplewood. “She’s got a solid platform and I believe in her and think she’s real.”
Many supporters recognized Klobuchar’s tendency to work across the political aisle as a key reason she will stand out in the growing field of Democrats running to challenge President Trump in 2020.
“Amy is definitely a front runner,” said Thomas Trehus, of Spring Grove. “I like the bipartisan nature she’s been able to present in Washington. We can’t have this bickering back and forth and government shutdowns. We got to work together. Amy wants to do that.”
Klobuchar is known for traveling to all of Minnesota’s 87 counties and meeting with constituents to learn about issues that concern them. On one of those trips she might run into people like Geri Hohn, of Isanti, a former postal worker worried about the future of the agency.
“I’m interested in her stand on the current administration’s attempts to privatize the Postal Service. The job cuts, wage cuts and elimination of retiree benefits,” Hohn said, hoping that Klobuchar would treat the agency differently. “She’s got a good head on her shoulders and lots of experience.”
Before she gets to use those years of experience — she just won a third term in the U.S. Senate — Klobuchar needs to convince fellow Democrats across the country she’s the one who can beat Trump.
Larry King, of Minneapolis, thinks she’s got the best chance.
“Amy’s got a great message,” said King, who took his dog Rocky to the announcement. “I think she could win. She’s center-of-the-road with broad-based appeal.”