Sen. Amy Klobuchar leapt into the 2020 presidential race Sunday, becoming the first Midwestern state official to join the field taking on President Donald Trump.
The three-term Minnesota Democrat announced her campaign amid driving snow at Boom Island Park with a call to rebuild a “sense of community” in America, against the backdrop of the Interstate 35 bridge that collapsed in 2007, killing 13, spurring Klobuchar and lawmakers from both parties to secure funding to rebuild the span in a year.
“We are tired of the shutdowns and the showdowns, the gridlock and the grandstanding,” Klobuchar said in a speech to supporters. “Our nation must be governed not from chaos but from opportunity. Not by wallowing over what’s wrong, but by marching inexorably toward what’s right.”
Klobuchar used the nearby Mississippi River as a symbol for her “homegrown,” heartland campaign, and she has prepared a playbook for 2020 focusing on the type of Midwestern voters who have abandoned the Democratic Party — though not Klobuchar herself — in recent years. Klobuchar was reelected to a third term in 2018 with more than 60 percent of the vote, winning 42 counties Trump had carried two years earlier.
“I don’t have a political machine. I don’t come from money. But what I do have is this: I have grit,” Klobuchar said in the speech. “I have family. I have friends. I have neighbors. I have all of you who are willing to come out in the middle of the winter, all of you who took the time to watch us today, all of you who are willing to stand up and say people matter.”