Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is having a rough go on the 2020 presidential campaign trail and a lot of the heat is coming from her side of the political aisle over the abusive treatment of her aides. She’s been nailed by the New York Times, the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed News. James Woods got it right: “She’s done. Stick a comb, uh, fork in her…”
This time the story goes that an aide, who had gotten a salad for Klobuchar but lost the requisite eating utensils in an airport terminal, prompted Klobuchar to petulantly eat the salad with a comb she pulled from her bag, then she instructed the aide to clean the comb. That’s just one of the dozens of stories highlighting abuse by Klobuchar.
From the Conservative Tribune:
“According to the report, a staffer prepared a salad for Klobuchar to eat during a flight in 2008, but the aide dropped the senator’s fork and was unable to find a new one.
“What happened next was typical: Ms. Klobuchar berated her aide instantly for the slip-up. What happened after that was not: She pulled a comb from her bag and began eating the salad with it, according to four people familiar with the episode,” The Times reported.
That explains Woods’ “stick a comb, uh, fork” comment, but the story gets worse.
“Then she handed the comb to her staff member with a directive: Clean it.”’
The New York Times interviewed approximately 25 former staffers and got a hold of internal emails from Klobuchar. The aides claimed that working for the senator was dehumanizing. Evidently, she was also very vindictive and went out of her way to destroy the chances of former aides to find another job. She would make it a point to speak with prospective employers to sabotage their job chances. For the record, Klobuchar denies this.
The turnover under Klobuchar is massive:
“For years, Ms. Klobuchar has had among the highest rates of staff turnover in the Senate, according to a review of congressional offices from the website LegiStorm. Over much of her Senate career, no one outpaced Ms. Klobuchar on this score; in 2017, two freshman senators, John Kennedy of Louisiana and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, surpassed her.”
She’s done . Stick a comb, uh, fork in her… https://t.co/mbf9oZMCme
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) February 23, 2019
Not only is this woman one of the ‘mean girls’, but she also has not curried favor within her own party it would seem. In historic fashion, many of the aides who were interviewed said that before they left the staff, they saved emails from Klobuchar in case they needed to prove her pattern of abusive behavior. One can hardly blame them for that.
The Times noted, “She was known to throw office objects in frustration, including binders and phones, in the direction of aides, they said. Low-level employees were asked to perform duties they described as demeaning, like washing her dishes or other cleaning — a possible violation of Senate ethics rules, according to veterans of the chamber.” In other words, they are treated like servants, not political aides.
Members of Klobuchar’s staff said if they took paid leave they were required to remain with the office three times as much time as they had taken off. I’ve never heard of such a rule anywhere.
The Huffington Post stated, “Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s mistreatment of her office staff began more than a decade ago and eventually caused such concerns that in 2015, then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) spoke to her privately and told her to change her behavior.” One wonders why more aggressive actions against her weren’t taken.
Buzzfeed also reported at that time, “… behind the doors of her Washington, DC, office, the Minnesota Democrat ran a workplace controlled by fear, anger, and shame, according to interviews with eight former staffers, one that many employees found intolerably cruel. She demeaned and berated her staff almost daily, subjecting them to bouts of explosive rage and regular humiliation within the office, according to interviews and dozens of emails reviewed by BuzzFeed News.” Wow, she really ticked someone off.
One former staffer told Buzzfeed, “I’ve always been taught that your true character shows in how you treat those with less power than you, especially behind closed doors. The way Sen. Klobuchar behaves in private with her staff is very different than when she’s in the public eye, and that kind of cruelty shouldn’t be acceptable for anyone.” Another recent report said Klobuchar often criticized staffers and directed them to “only speak when spoken to” at events.
Erikka Knuti, a former communications aide for Klobuchar, said that while her boss could be tough, she was also contrite after lashing out. Gee, then that makes the abuse all okay then right? We don’t let abusive husbands use that excuse, why should Klobuchar get away with it?
Klobuchar herself has told the comb story to fellow Democrats. Sounds to me as if the Democrats are using this to cull Klobuchar from their crowded presidential candidate herd. The bizarre salad scandal is just the tip of the iceberg for this woman but it is viral enough to end her presidential ambitions.