Stiehm: ‘A Klobuchar presidency would be good for Austin’

Published 7:15 am Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Austin Mayor Tom Stiehm was clear about his thoughts on Sen. Amy Klobuchar (DFL-Minn.) running for president.

“I think she’d be a good president,” he told the Herald. “She has been very attentive to Austin. (A Klobuchar presidency) would be good for Minnesota and it would be good for Austin.”

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On Sunday, Klobuchar announced she was launching her 2020 campaign for president during a speech at Boom Island Park in Minneapolis.

Mayor Tom Stiehm

“Our nation must be governed not from chaos but from opportunity. Not by wallowing over what’s wrong, but by marching inexorably toward what’s right. That’s got to start with all of us,” she said in her speech. She also addressed issues of climate change, immigration reform and health care/prescription drug costs.

The three-term senator has been to Austin several times while in office, most recently visiting Riverland Community College and the Spam Museum.

With the announcement, Klobuchar joins a growing number of Democratic presidential hopefuls that have announced their candidacy, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who announced on Saturday, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro.

If Klobuchar wins the Democratic Party primaries, she would join former Vice Presidents Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale as the only Minnesotans to receive a party nomination for president.

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Rep. Michele Bachmann both sought the GOP nomination in 2012, but dropped out early in the race.

Amy Klobuchar

GOP leaders responded to Klobuchar’s announcement, with President Donald Trump tweeting, “Amy Klobuchar announced that she is running for President, talking proudly of fighting global warming while standing in a virtual blizzard of snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Bad timing.” Republican Party of Minnesota Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan accused Klobuchar of trying “to position herself as a moderate from heartland USA in a party that is rapidly embracing Socialism.”

The announcement also drew criticism from a small group of individuals who supported Bernie Sanders in 2016, saying they wanted a more progressive candidate on the ballot in 2020, according to a MPR News report. Stiehm, however, feels Klobuchar’s reputation as a more moderate Democrat will help her in the coming campaign.

“Admittedly, she’s a bit of a dark horse candidate, but she’s a moderate; she’s not on the far fringes,” he said. “That may not be what the parties want, but I think that’s what the people want.”