Generally speaking, things have not been rolled out particularly well for the Democrats who’ve already announced presidential campaigns for 2020. Now, there are reports that a probable candidate is facing serious difficulties just getting a campaign going in the first place.
A Wednesday report alleged that at least three contenders have already withdrawn from consideration for the role of leading Democratic Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s 2020 campaign, allegedly due to a bad reputation the senator has earned among former staffers.
Klobuchar is expected to formally announce her candidacy this coming weekend, but if this report from the Huffington Post holds merit, the senator may not have anyone lined up to take charge of her campaign.
Citing former staffers who wished to remain anonymous, HuffPo reported that Klobuchar has a rather different persona behind the scenes than in front of constituents and the general public.
While she tries to live up to her self-described “senator next door” persona in public, behind closed doors, Klobuchar was described as being “habitually demeaning and prone to bursts of cruelty” that made it exceptionally difficult for some staffers to work in her “grinding and demoralizing” office for very long.
“Prone to bursts of cruelty”
The senator was also accused of routinely calling her staffers “the worst” she’d seen in her career and making other demeaning comments, sometimes singling out her employees in large group emails.
Some former staffers also complained of being assigned menial chores and personal errands to complete for the senator — a practice that is reportedly commonplace on Capitol Hill, despite being explicitly in violation of Senate ethics rules — such as picking up her dry cleaning and even washing dishes at her home.
In years past, Klobuchar has struggled to find a replacement chief of staff and maintained one of the highest turnover rates among senators’ staffs.
Mistreatment, or just a tough boss?
But while some say that Klobuchar can be “demoralizing,” others had nothing but praise for their boss and even suggested that critics of her leadership style may be sexist.
Meanwhile, Klobuchar herself has admitted to being a demanding boss with “high expectations” for those who work for her.
In a statement provided to HuffPo, a spokesperson for the senator maintained that she “loves her staff — they are the reason she has gotten to where she is today.”
“She has many staff who have been with her for years — including her Chief of Staff and her State Director, who have worked for her for 5 and 7 years respectively — and many who have gone on to do amazing things, from working in the Obama Administration (over 20 of them) to running for office to even serving as the Agriculture Commissioner for Minnesota,” Klobuchar’s spokesperson added. “She is proud of them and the work they have done for Minnesota.”