Though Sen. Amy Klobuchar's much-anticipated "big announcement" — which is expected to kick off a presidential campaign — is still days away, it's already competing with rumors of alleged staff mistreatment.
On Wednesday, the Huffington Post published a report saying Klobuchar (D) has had trouble finding a campaign manager for her would-be presidential bid, as a reputation for "cruelty" toward her subordinates has "scared off candidates."
The news site claims multiple former staffers, albeit ones who spoke anonymously, describe the senator as "habitually demeaning" and given to humiliating some underlings.
For its part, Klobuchar's office refuted the report, as did a number of ex-staffers, one of whom told Huffington that Klobuchar is "probably the most brilliant, hardworking person I’ve had the privilege to work for.”
However, the senator has been noted multiple times for the high turnover rate in her office, with one survey of legislative offices finding hers had the highest turnover of any in the U.S. senate from 2001 to 2016, New York Magazine observes.
And as a New York Times report from November notes, Klobuchar's reputation on Capitol Hill "is not all sweetness and light," with Politico giving her "prominent mention" in a March 2018 article called “The ‘Worst Bosses’ in Congress?”
"She acknowledged that she is demanding," the paper adds, quoting her as saying, “I have high expectations.”
But there's a controversy to the controversy, with some observers — including Tim Dickinson of the Rolling Stone — wondering if the reporting of such rumors reflects a sexist double standard:
Nonetheless, though her candidacy isn't official yet, it's already meeting with warm reactions, with a Washington Post op-ed saying she has "a lot going for her" as a Democratic presidential candidate:
If she enters the race, she’d be the first candidate in the so-called moderate lane. She favors expanded health-care coverage but declined to sign onto Sen. Bernie Sanders’s Medicare-for-all bill.She won’t pound the table to eliminate Immigration and Customs Enforcement nor to slash the defense budget.
Klobuchar will make her 2020 announcement Sunday at Boom Island in Minneapolis.