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Amy Jean Klobuchar ( , born May 25, 1960) is the senior United States Senator from Minnesotamarker. She is a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, an affiliate of the Democratic Party. She is the first elected female senator from Minnesota and is one of seventeen female senators serving in the 111th United States Congress.

Formerly county attorney of Hennepin Countymarker, Klobuchar was the chief prosecutor for the most populous county in Minnesota. She was a legal adviser to former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale and partner in two prominent law firms. She has been cited by the New York Times as one of the seventeen women most likely to become the first female President of the United States and by MSNBC as a possible nominee to the U.S.marker Supreme Courtmarker.

Klobuchar served as Minnesota's only senator between January 3, 2009 and July 7, 2009, due to the contested senatorial election in Minnesota the previous year.

Family and education

Born in Plymouth, Minnesotamarker, Klobuchar is the daughter of Jim Klobuchar, an author and retired sportswriter and columnist for the Star Tribune, and Rose Katherine Heuberger, who retired at age 70 from teaching second grade. Jim Klobuchar's grandparents were Slovene immigrants to the U.S. and his father was a miner on the Iron Range; Klobuchar's maternal grandparents were from Switzerlandmarker. Amy's husband, John Bessler, is an attorney in private practice. A native of Mankatomarker, Bessler attended Loyola High School, and is a graduate of the University of Minnesotamarker. Klobuchar and Bessler were married in 1993, and have a daughter, Abigail Klobuchar Bessler, who was born in 1995.

Klobuchar attended public schools in Plymouth and was valedictorian at Wayzata High Schoolmarker. She received her bachelor's degree magna cum laude in political science from Yale Universitymarker in 1982, where she was a member of the Yale College Democrats and the Feminist Caucus. Her senior thesis is now a college textbook that is still widely used. Published as Uncovering the Dome, the 150-page history describes the ten years of politics surrounding the building of the Hubert H.marker Humphrey Metrodomemarker in Minneapolis. Klobuchar served as an associate editor of the Law Review and received her J.D. in 1985 at the University of Chicago Law School.

Career

Klobuchar was elected Hennepin County county attorney in 1998 and re-elected in 2002 with no opposition. In 2001 Minnesota Lawyer named her "Attorney of the Year". Klobuchar was president of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association from November 2002 to November 2003. Besides working as a prosecutor, Klobuchar was a partner at Dorsey & Whitney, where former Vice President Walter Mondale also works, and a partner at another top Minnesota law firm Gray Plant Mooty before seeking public office.

2006 Senate election

In early 2005 Mark Dayton announced that he would not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate seat he had won in 2000. Klobuchar was recognized early as a favorite for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nomination for the 2006 election. EMILY's List endorsed Klobuchar on September 29, 2005. Klobuchar won the DFL's endorsement on June 9, 2006.

Klobuchar gained the support of the majority of DFL state legislators in Minnesotamarker during the primaries. A poll taken of DFL state delegates showed Klobuchar beating her then closest opponent, Patty Wetterling, 66% to 15%. In January, Wetterling dropped out of the race and endorsed Klobuchar. Former Senate candidate and prominent lawyer Mike Ciresi, who was widely seen as a serious potential DFL candidate, indicated in early February that he would not enter the race; that removal of her most significant potential competitor for the DFL nomination was viewed as an important boost for Klobuchar. The only other serious candidate for the DFL endorsement was veterinarian Ford Bell, who dropped out of the race in July and also endorsed Klobuchar.

In the general election, she faced Republican candidate Mark Kennedy, Independence Party candidate Robert Fitzgerald, Constitution candidate Ben Powers, and Green Party candidate Michael Cavlan. Klobuchar consistently led Kennedy in the polls throughout the campaign. She won with 58% of the vote to Kennedy's 38% and Fitzgerald's 3%, carrying all but eight of Minnesota's 87 counties. This landslide victory was the widest U.S. Senate election margin in Minnesota since the 1978 special election.

Klobuchar became the first elected female Senator from Minnesota. (Muriel Humphrey, the state's first female senator and former Second Lady of the United States, was appointed to fill her husband's unexpired term and not elected.)

Committee assignments

For the 111th Congress, Amy Klobuchar is assigned to the following committees:

U.S. Senate

In March 2007, Klobuchar went on an official trip to Iraq with Senate colleagues Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), John Sununu (R-NH), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Klobuchar noted that U.S. troops were completing their job and working arduously to train the Iraqis, but voiced her frustration with Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki.

Within days after the collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River bridgemarker, Klobuchar introduced and succeeded in passing legislation to appropriate $250 million to Mn/DOT to quickly build a replacement bridgemarker.

As of September 2009, 58% of Minnesotans approved of the job she was doing, with 36% disapproving.

From January to July 2009, Klobuchar was the only senator from Minnesota, until the resolution of the disputed 2008 Senate election in favor of Al Franken.

Political positions

As a Democrat, Klobuchar's political positions have generally been in line with modern liberalism in the United States. She is pro-choice, supports LGBT rights, favors federal social services such as Social Security and universal health care, and is critical of the Iraq War.

Klobuchar opposed President Bush's plan to increase troop levels in Iraq in January 2007. After president Bush vetoed a bill that would fund the troops, but would impose time limits on the Iraq War, (which Klobuchar voted for) and supporters failed to garner enough congressional votes to override his veto, in May 2007 she voted for additional funding for Iraq without such time limits, saying she "simply could not stomach the idea of using our soldiers as bargaining chips".

Klobuchar opposes free trade agreements that some perceive to cause a loss of jobs in the U.S. However, she has wavered on her opposition on such trade agreements since her election. A current trade agreement with Perumarker may achieve her support on grounds of expanded labor and environmental protections, even though they contain the same language of past trade agreements.

In August 2007, Klobuchar was one of only 16 Democratic Senators and 41 Democratic House members to vote in favor of the controversial "Protect America Act", which was widely seen as eroding the civil liberty protections of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and posing difficult questions relative to the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. She did, however, vote against granting Immunity from prosecutionlegal immunity to telecom corporations that cooperated with the NSA warrantless surveillance program.

Klobuchar voted in favor of the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2008 which included a provision to ban the use of waterboarding by the United States.

2008 Presidential election

On March 30, 2008, Senator Klobuchar announced her endorsement of Senator Barack Obama in the Democratic Party presidential primary, promising her unpledged superdelegate vote for him. She cited Obama's performance in the Minnesota caucuses, where he won with 66% of the popular vote, as well as her own "independent judgment".

Electoral history

Note: The ±% column reflects the change in total number of votes won by each party from the previous election.

Footnotes

  1. and
  2. [1]
  3. 1
  4. 1982 Yale Banner, p. 394.
  5. The Fix — The Friday Line: Can Democrats Get to 6? Accessed October 2, 2006
  6. Full list of poll results at Minnesota United States Senate election, 2006#Polling
  7. http://klobuchar.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=271041
  8. http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=e6a365a1-f86e-489d-804d-0828ab4d4eb3
  9. U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote
  10. Senator Amy Klobuchar
  11. Microsoft Word - Document27


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