Standing on a snow-covered stage in Boom Island Park in Minneapolis, where the temperatures had dipped to a freezing 14 degrees, Klobuchar announced her candidacy while invoking her family’s deep roots in the Midwest, a key battleground for Democrats as they look to rebuild their blue wall in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
“Today on an island in the middle of the mighty Mississippi … I stand before you as the granddaughter of an iron ore miner, as the daughter of a teacher and a newspaperman, as the first woman elected to the United States Senate from the state of Minnesota, to announce my candidacy for president of the United States,” Klobuchar announced to a cheering crowd of onlookers.
The three-term senator laid out her vision for the country in a number of policy areas. She pledged to “take on the gun lobby,” root out corporate money in politics, commit to environmentally friendly policies, lower health care costs, restore voting rights and implement privacy protection laws.
She did not mention Trump by name, but alluded to him when she declared the country deserved better than “foreign policy by tweet.”
“Our sense of community is fracturing across our nation, warn down by the petty and vicious nature of our politics,” she said. “We are tired of the shutdowns and the showdowns, of the gridlock and the grandstanding. Today, on this snowy island, we say enough is enough.”
With her announcement, Klobuchar also became the second presidential candidate to hail from the Midwest.
Klobuchar has been considering a presidential campaign and was seen as signaling a likely bid when reports came out that she’ll be headlining a local Democratic banquet in Iowa on Feb. 21.
South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) has also announced his intention to seek the presidency and has made his ties to the Midwest a central part of his campaign.
The Democratic field for 2020 is expected to be the biggest in history — and its most diverse — reflecting a party base eager to oust Trump, but one that remains wide open as the Democratic Party continues to move farther to the left.
“But responding doesn’t mean just going down a rabbit hole everywhere Donald Trump goes. It means doing a response but continuing to push your own agenda. I don’t think we want to use those same tactics and tweet caustic comments every morning.”
Klobuchar began 2019 with $3.9 million in her Senate campaign account, according to the most recent Federal Election Commission filings.
While she can transfer that money to her presidential campaign, Klobuchar goes in a bit behind Warren and Gillibrand, who each have north of $10 million.
Klobuchar’s nascent campaign will need to overcome some recent negative headlines about her treatment of staffers.
HuffPost reported that three potential candidates to lead her presidential campaign declined the job, citing the mistreatment of staff.