Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) returned to Iowa over the weekend to address members of the Iowa Farmers Union while she considers a possible run for the presidency in 2020.
During her address, Klobuchar touted her experience on the Senate Agriculture Committee and its work to negotiate a new farm bill, MPR reports. With 2020 aspirations on her mind, the Minnesota senator made numerous attempts to make herself relatable to the rural community.
“And in fact I would ride my bike with my best friend Amy—that was her name, too—to her family’s dairy farm, and if I was really lucky we got to milk a cow,” Klobuchar said while discussing her childhood.
According to The Des Moines Register, Klobuchar laid out a vision for “heartland economics,” which includes a strong farm bill as well as improvements to job training programs and addressing the problems caused by consolidation in the agriculture industry.
“I believe that kids that grow up in rural America should be able to stay in rural America and build a life in rural America,” the senator reportedly said to applause from the audience. “Minnesota matters, Wisconsin matters, Nebraska matters, Ohio matters—and, yes, Iowa matters.”
She later addressed the “urban-rural divide” and said that one of her “goals as being someone who grew up in the metro area” has been to “bridge” the gap.
“Because I think it’s damaging for our country to have that divide. I think it’s damaging for our heartland economy, and it’s certainly damaging for our spirit as Americans,” she said.
Saturday’s visit marked Klobuchar’s second trip to the key caucus state in recent months, the first being an October visit in which she campaigned alongside Democrats before the midterms.
“Obviously, people have been talking to me about this, including down here,” she said, acknowledging rumors about a presidential campaign. “But I don’t have any announcements to make today… I don’t have a timeline at this point except listening to people.”
Former Vice President Walter Mondale has become a lead supporter of a Klobuchar bid, and told MPR to pay attention to her schedule for cues about what her decision might be. In November, he told The Star Tribune that he urged Klobuchar to run for the presidency several months ago.
– – –