Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) announced that she is joining the 2020 presidential race, telling a crowd gathered in frigid and snowy weather in Minneapolis that she will "focus on getting things done".
She's pointed to her broad appeal across Minnesota - where she's drawn support from voters in urban, suburban and rural areas, including in dozens of counties Trump won in 2016 - and says that success could translate to other Midwestern states such as MI and Wisconsin, reliably Democratic in presidential races for decades until Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton.
Ms. Klobuchar gained national attention in 2018 when she sparred with Brett Kavanaugh during Senate hearings on his Supreme Court nomination.
A former prosecutor, Klobuchar is looking to run on her legislative record in Congress, where she is known as a moderate who is willing to work with Republicans to achieve policy goals.
She said leaders in Washington "for too long" have "sat on the sidelines", rather than address tough problems such as income inequality and climate change. But what I do have is this: "grit", Klobuchar said, seemingly proving it by speaking for almost a half hour in a snowstorm with the temperature at minus 9 degrees Celsius. The third-term senator joins a crowded field of Democrats hoping to unseat President Donald Trump. "By the end of her speech, she looked like a snowman", said trump. "In fact, he may not even be a free person".
It is this approach that has given her a reputation for being "Minnesota nice" - but it also, in her early years, reportedly earned her the unflattering nickname "Cotton Candy Amy" in some circles.
The backdrop for her rally was the Interstate 35 bridge over the Mississippi.
She has said that success could translate to other Midwestern states such as MI and Wisconsin, reliably Democratic in presidential races for decades until Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton.
The Minnesota Democrat becomes the eighth major candidate - and the fifth Democratic senator - to announce a bid for president or the formation of an exploratory committee.
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After that, forecasters will be focused on a "quick, nearly clipper like system" that will likely bring more snow. Snowfall from Sunday and Monday lingered into the week as below-freezing temperatures gripped the area.
She offers a steady, sensible political outlook that could attract the majority of Democratic voters who are more interested in electability than ideological purity. The stories of traumatized former staffers is at odds with her public image.
In the days leading up to her launch event, Klobuchar has faced allegations that she's mistreated staff in her Senate office for years.
Klobuchar, 58, served as a county attorney before before she was elected to the Senate to represent Minnesota in 2006.
"It's a very unfortunate way to start a presidential campaign", Iowa Democratic strategist Jerry Crawford told Politico.
Media captionKlobuchar asks Barr about obstruction What are her views?
Klobuchar delivered a message centered around unity and shared values, frequently referencing Minnesota's history and her family's ties to it. The president, however, saw this as an event worthy of his mockery. Kirsten Gillibrand and Massachusetts Sen. Instead, she's been behind bills that cover everything from toy safety to human trafficking.
"Today, on this snowy day on this island, we say 'Enough is enough.' our nation must be governed not from chaos but from opportunity, not by what's wrong, but by marching toward what's right".
Ms Harris, and likely opponent Mr Sanders, both support making college tuition nearly entirely free.