Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar looks to be officially getting in the 2020 Democratic race for president this weekend, but despite being long tipped as a candidate to take on Trump, the three-term senator has reportedly had trouble securing someone to manage her campaign. HuffPost reports that at least three potential candidates to lead her campaign have withdrawn citing, in part, Klobuchar’s history of staff mistreatment. The reports of demeaning and cruel treatment of her staff outlined by former staffers to HuffPost clash with Klobuchar’s public persona, extreme popularity in her home state, and her growing profile in the Democratic Party on the back of her clear-headed questioning during recent high-profile Senate hearings.
“It is common for staff to wake up to multiple emails from Klobuchar characterizing one’s work as ‘the worst’ briefing or press release she’d seen in her decades of public service, according to two former aides and emails seen by HuffPost,” the site reports. “Adding to the humiliation, Klobuchar often cc’d large groups of staffers who weren’t working on the topic at hand, giving the emails the effect of a public flogging.” The experience of staffers in Klobuchar’s office is not universal by any stretch and her press office pointed to staffers current and former who had positive experiences working for an admittedly demanding boss, and wondered aloud if the criticism of Klobuchar’s management style wasn’t sexist.
Klobuchar, however, has had trouble retaining staff, compiling the highest rate of staff turnover in the Senate over a decade. The reputation for a bruising work environment has made staffing a challenge in the past for the former prosecutor, including, at one point, filling the role of chief of staff. “A staffer in another Hill office recounted losing interest in a job opening with Klobuchar when a current staffer, the one conducting the interview, conveyed that avoiding Klobuchar’s anger was a significant part of the job,” according to HuffPost. “One morning several years ago, when most of the office staff was running late—the ex-staffer couldn’t remember the reason—Klobuchar wrote out tardy slips and placed them on each missing aide’s desk. The staffer recalls incredulous bursts of laughter as her co-workers arrived one by one to find the notes, but Klobuchar was deadly serious. An aide whom she called into her office walked back out in tears.”