Amy Jean Klobuchar has served since 2007 as a U.S. senator from Minnesota. Initially the state’s junior senator, Klobuchar has served as Minnesota’s senior senator since Democrat Al Franken’s controversial defeat of incumbent Republican Norm Coleman in 2008. A member of the Democratic Party — or, more specifically, the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party — Klobuchar previously served as county attorney for Hennepin County, Minnesota. Although hardly centrist by recently historical, Bill Clinton-era Democratic Party standards, Klobuchar now seeks the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination by orienting herself as centrist-inclined and possessing a vague aura of Midwestern sensibility. In current 2020 Democratic presidential nomination polling, Klobuchar currently gets national support in the low single digits.
Klobuchar, a Minnesota native, has a bachelor degree from Yale University and a law degree from the University of Chicago. Earlier in her legal career, Klobuchar worked as a corporate attorney before becoming a local prosecutor. Her name was sometimes floated as a possible U.S. Supreme Court nominee during President Barack Obama’s presidency. Klobuchar serves on the influential U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where her tone and demeanor during the inflammatory Brett Kavanaugh nomination saga placed her, alongside Committee member Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), firmly on the less hysterical wing of the raucous Senate Democratic caucus. Klobuchar still voted against Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Klobuchar is married to fellow attorney and legal academic John Bessler. They have one daughter, Abigail.
Electoral History: Klobuchar first entered the public sphere in 1994, where she initially declared a run for county attorney of Hennepin County before dropping out. She successfully sought the same position in 1998, winning narrowly. In 2002, she was easily re-elected to the local prosecutor perch.
In 2006, Klobuchar announced her U.S. Senate run for the seat vacated by incumbent Sen. Mark Dayton (D-MN). She won the DFL Party primary in a landslide and easily won the general election. Klobuchar was subsequently re-elected by huge margins in both 2012 and 2018.
Klobuchar now seeks the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination.
On The Issues: Klobuchar’s prosecutorial background, gentle public (though perhaps not private) demeanor, and background from a largely rural state combine to make her somewhat more centrist-oriented than many of her 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination rivals. However, Klobuchar can still be fairly characterized as a full-spectrum leftist/progressive. Her 2020 presidential campaign emphasizes universal/socialized medicine and climate change, among other issues.
Constitution: Klobuchar consistently supports a leftist/progressive view of the Constitution and rule of law. She supports Roe v. Wade and opposes Citizens United v. F.E.C., the Supreme Court’s landmark political speech-affirming ruling in 2010. Klobuchar is generally defensive of Fourth Amendment-inspired civil liberties, although she had a more centrist record on the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs earlier in her Senate career. She supports gun control measures that would restrict Americans’ Second Amendment rights. Klobuchar supports the Equality Act, which would expand LGBT protections at the behest of private property rights and religious conscience rights alike. Her expansive view of the federal government’s role in regulating the economy is consistent with legal progressivism.
Economy: Klobuchar supports a robust role for the federal government in matters pertaining to economic regulation and, more generally, her views on economics reflect those of modern progressivism. Klobuchar’s 2020 campaign website touts her belief in the need for “shared prosperity,” and supports a greater governmental role in child care. Like many of her 2020 Democratic presidential rivals, she supports increasing the federal minimum wage to $15. Klobuchar supports greater governmental investment in infrastructure. She supports strong labor unions and opposes “right to work” laws that would increase worker freedom.
Health Care: Klobuchar supports “universal health care,” which effectively would amount to socialized medicine in America. Earlier in her Senate career, Klobuchar voted for Obamacare. She has recently co-sponsored legislation that would expand Medicaid access across the 50 states.
Immigration: Klobuchar has taken a hard line in support of the DREAM Act and other amnesty legislative initiatives that would undermine America’s sovereignty and empower brutal Mexican cartels and human trafficking rings. She supports a full pathway to citizenship for the vast majority of America’s illegal alien population. She has been a consistently harsh critic of the Trump administration’s attempts to secure our border amidst a hitherto unprecedented influx there of Central American migrants. Klobuchar has been harshly critical of Immigration and Customs Enforcement during the Trump administration. She has been very skeptical of the utility of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Foreign Policy: Klobuchar’s 2020 campaign website seems to pinpoint China and Russia as America’s two top national security threats. More generally, throughout her Senate career, she has taken a harder line on China than have many of her Democratic colleagues. Klobuchar was an Iraq War skeptic earlier in her Senate career, and has supported arms reductions measures with Russia. Klobuchar supported President Obama’s 2011 intervention in Libya, which resulted in Libya turning into a destabilized jihadist stronghold. She supported President Obama’s 2015 Iran nuclear deal and opposed President Trump’s decision to remove the U.S. from the non-binding accord. In February 2019, she voted for Senate Republicans’ introduced anti-BDS legislation.
Abortion: Klobuchar is emphatically pro-abortion, vigorously supports Roe v. Wade, and opposes restrictions on late-term abortion. Like many of her 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination rivals, she supports overturning the Hyde Amendment, which has historically proscribed taxpayer funding of abortion.
Guns: Despite her representation of a largely rural state, Klobuchar has a historically poor record on Second Amendment issues. Klobuchar supports “universal” background checks, which often serve as a rhetorical euphemism for the government serving as an intermediary in all private firearms transfers. She supports a ban on the undefinable sub-class of firearms referred to as so-called “assault weapons” — a line of thought that, if taken to its logical conclusion, could lead to the banning of all semi-automatic firearms in America.