I’ll admit straight up I’d like to see Klobuchar as president, and I’m a lifelong Republican. She’s got a proven track record, she listens, she’s got self-control, she understands nuance as well as finance—something most of the people in the race, including the president, seem to lack.
Richard J. Sherry
St. Paul, Minn.
I am a former member of Senator Klobuchar’s staff and have not previously been contacted by the media. I didn’t really want to get involved in this, but I have been dismayed by the hyperbolic columns that have followed the media coverage of her relationship with her staff and felt compelled to respond in some small way after reading Ms. Flanagan’s piece.
Senator Klobuchar is a very demanding boss. No one disputes that, and she herself has said so. But the charges made in this column, that she is “unstable,” engages in “despicable” behavior, and is constantly driven by uncontrolled rage, do not reflect my experience over the course of three years in her office, and it is troubling that such charged terms are being leveled in an opinion column by an author with no personal knowledge of her subject. This is simply not a description that squares with what I know.
Brian M. Burton
As a former staff member in Amy Klobuchar’s Senate office, I was disappointed to read your piece on the senator.
The stories that served as the basis of your piece were based on anecdotes from a handful of anonymous former aides. Those reports in turn served as the basis for your sweepingly broad armchair psychoanalysis of Amy Klobuchar and indictment of her management style.
What you failed to do was listen to, or at least acknowledge, the more than 60 former Klobuchar staffers who continue to view Senator Klobuchar as a mentor and friend and who drafted a public letter to share their positive experiences of working in her office. Taking a few anonymous stories and opinions at face value and completely ignoring the experience of 66 staffers resulted in a one-sided and unfair analysis.
Erick Garcia Luna
As a young woman, having grown up in Minnesota, I originally championed Amy Klobuchar’s candidacy. I have seen the good she has done firsthand in my community, as well as countless others across the state. She has made it known that she genuinely cares about her constituents from both sides of the aisle, taking time to thoughtfully listen and talk to them about their issues (a seemingly small feat, but rare in today’s political climate). I have seen the bipartisan support she garners in the state and the way she strives for compromise. I was excited to watch her performance at the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, and I was proud to call her my senator.
When the recent accounts of her treatment of staffers came out, I was taken aback. Since I only knew her to be publicly caring, I found this fact hard to grapple with. I think these actions are not ones to defend, but I also think it is unfair to speculate as to why she is so hard on her staff. The article references her childhood and past, almost as a way to explain and write off the way she acts. Just because she was brought up by an alcoholic father and has a family history of alcoholism does not mean it is fair to assume this is the reason she is aggressive. Through these assumptions, a generalization is made about not only her experience and the way her character is shaped, but also about the experiences of countless other people who have grown up in similar situations.