Amy Jean Klobuchar is a Minnesota-based senior senator from the United States and a lawyer. She formerly held the position of Hennepin County attorney and is a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL), Minnesota's Democratic Party affiliate. She has held this position since 2007.
Klobuchar, who grew up in Plymouth, Minnesota, is a Yale and University of Chicago Law School graduate. Before being chosen as Hennepin County's county attorney in 1998, she was a consultant at two Minneapolis law firms. As a result, she had control over all criminal charges in Minnesota's county with the highest population.
First elected to the Senate in 2006 as Minnesota's first female senator, Klobuchar was re-elected in 2012 and 2018. In 2009 and 2010, she was considered a "rising star" in the Democratic Party. She announced on February 10, 2019, that she would seek the Democratic Party's presidential candidacy for the 2020 election. She ended her candidacy and endorsed Joe Biden on March 2, 2020. In 2021, she was chosen as chair of the Senate Rules Committee.
Born in 1960, Klobuchar was reared in Plymouth, Minnesota. She earned a J.D. from the University Of Chicago Law School in 1985 and a B.A. from Yale University in 1982. Klobuchar worked as a vice president's intern while attending Yale (D).
Before entering politics, Klobuchar was a partner in the legal offices of Dorsey & Whitney and Gray Plant Mooty. She won 50.4 percent of the vote to become the Hennepin County attorney in 1998 and was re-elected without any challengers in 2002. Until 2006, when she was initially elected to the U.S. Senate, she was the county attorney.
In 2014, Klobuchar was appointed chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, which works with intergovernmental organizations, academic institutions, and advocacy groups to formulate policy positions. Klobuchar earned 58 percent of the vote in that election, and she was re-elected in 2012 and 2018 with more than 60% of the vote. The Senator Next Door: A Memoir from the Heartland, a memoir by Amy Klobuchar, was published in 2015, and uncovering the Dome, a book based on Klobuchar's senior thesis at Yale on the politics of the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome, was published in 1986.
Personal and Family Life
In 1993, Klobuchar married John Bessler, a private practitioner and law professor at the University Of Baltimore School Of Law. They have a child who attended Yale University and served as Keith Powers' legislative director in New York. In addition to being Zola Jesus' cousin, Klobuchar is a United Church of Christ member.
In September 2021, Klobuchar disclosed that she had received a Stage 1A breast cancer diagnosis in February 2021, that a successful lumpectomy had been performed, and that a course of radiation therapy had been successfully finished in May. Her physicians concluded that all the treatments had been successful, and she was cancer-free in August.
The White Carniola area of Slovenia was the source of Klobuchar's grandparents' immigration. Amy's maternal grandparents moved to America from Switzerland. On Minnesota's Iron Range, her paternal grandpa worked as a miner.
Klobuchar worked as a business attorney following law school. She was a consultant at the Minnesota legal firms Dorsey & Whitney and Gray Plant Mooty, where she focused on "regulatory work in telecommunications law." In addition to practicing law, Klobuchar worked as a prosecutor before running for governor. After giving birth and being compelled to leave the hospital 24 hours later, Klobuchar made her first venture into politics.
This was made more difficult by the reality that Klobuchar's daughter, Abigail, was born with a condition that prohibited her from swallowing. Following the incident, Klobuchar testified before the Minnesota State Legislature to support a law ensuring that new moms would spend 48 hours in the hospital. President Clinton eventually signed the proposal into law when Minnesota passed the legislation.
When she stood for Hennepin County attorney in 1994, Klobuchar became a contestant for public office for the first time. However, she had promised to withdraw if the incumbent, Michael Freeman, entered the race again after being rejected for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party's (Minnesota) endorsement for governor. Klobuchar backed Freeman's reelection after withdrawing from the contest in June 1994.
Klobuchar actively supported DFL candidates before she entered politics, notably Freeman in 1990. Even though the race for county attorney is nonpartisan, Freeman is a Democrat like Klobuchar. Attorney for Hennepin County since 1998, Klobuchar was unopposed in his reelection in 2002. Minnesota Lawyer named her "Attorney of the Year." Klobuchar presided over the Minnesota County Attorneys Association from November 2002 until November 2003.
After she had left her position, the matter was finally heard. Following the death of George Floyd while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police, Klobuchar came under fire for her failure to hold officers accountable for their actions, especially in the instance of Officer Derek Chauvin, who was eventually convicted guilty of Floyd's murder.
The county seat of Hennepin is Minneapolis, where Klobuchar was chosen as an attorney in 1998, and she was in charge from 1999 until 2006. At the time, she served as the Minnesota County Attorneys Association's president. Mark Dayton would not seek reelection in 2006; she decided to compete for his position. She ran for office under the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party banner (DFL).
In 2007, she comfortably defeated her Republican opponent and won a seat in Congress. After winning the Senate seat, Klobuchar established a reputation as a democratic liberal who regularly supported her party. However, she also showed that she was open to bipartisan compromise. She secured a significant funding package for the Mississippi River crossing of a highway bridge that had collapsed in August 2007.
She backed numerous agriculture bills since they helped an agricultural state and was particularly interested in veterans' affairs. She also participated in legislation that improved secondary and postsecondary STEM education funding and a significant overhaul of the Senate's ethical standards. These issues included international commerce and STEM education. Klobuchar got high marks for her office's openness. She successfully won reelection in her home state in 2012 and 2018.
In the following year, 2020, Klobuchar announced her desire to seek the Democratic Party's presidential candidacy. In March 2020, Klobuchar withdrew from the race after finding it difficult to get momentum in the crowded field as a centrist candidate. Later, she was considered a potential running mate for Joe Biden, the presumed contender.
On Election Day, November 3, Biden defeated Trump. Trump and other Republicans challenged the results and asserted widespread election fraud despite the lack of evidence to back them up. The gathering of Klobuchar and other senators to ratify Biden's win took place on January 6, 2021, but it was momentarily disrupted by a Trump supporter invasion of the Capitol.
The horrifying siege went on for several hours. After receiving several accusations that he had incited the revolt, the House impeached Trump on January 13-one week before his term was up. In the Senate trial that took place in February, Klobuchar chose to convict Trump, but he was ruled not guilty by a vote of 57-43.
Role in the Democratic Party
On March 30, 2008, Senator Amy Klobuchar declared her support for Senator Barack Obama in the Democratic primary, giving him her superdelegate vote in exchange. She emphasized her "independent judgments" in addition to his performance in the Minnesota caucuses, which he won with 66% of the vote. She initially backed Hillary Clinton's second offer for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.
Since 2015, Klobuchar has presided over the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee of the U.S. Senate. In 2017, she was elected the community's steering chair, with Bernie Sanders serving as the outreach chair. In a 2017 CNN broadcast discussion about healthcare reform and the potential replacement of the Affordable Care Act, both spoke on behalf of the Democratic Party.
In the Biden Administration in 2020, Klobuchar was designated a candidate for either Secretary of Agriculture or Attorney General of the United States.
Klobuchar authored three novels. She released Uncovering the Dome in 1986 as a case study of Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome's 10-year political battle. Her book, The Senator Next Door: A Memoir from the Heartland, was released in 2015. Antitrust: Taking on Monopoly Power from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age, a comprehensive 624-page historical survey of American antitrust law up to the present regulatory challenges facing Big Tech, the American people, and the rest of the globe, was released in 2021.
Awards and Honors
Throughout her career, Klobuchar has won a lot of accolades. Her advocacy for the successful adoption of Minnesota's first felony DWI statute earned her the title of "Attorney of the Year" in 2001 from Minnesota Lawyer, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving presented her with a leadership award for her efforts. For her work on behalf of working families, she was designated a 2008 "Best in Congress" by Working Mother and a "woman" by The American Prospect.