SHELDON—Amy Klobuchar hopes to tie a record long held by James Madison: Shortest president of the United States.
The 5-foot-4-inch U.S. senator from Minnesota shared that bit of presidential trivia with about 40 people in Cook’s Cafe in Sheldon bright and early Monday morning, Dec. 23, as part of her O’Brien County Breakfast meet, greet and, in some cases, eat event.
“It’s a pretty good height for a president,” Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar is one of more than a dozen Democrats seeking her party’s nomination for president. She touted her credentials and answered a few questions for about an hour in Sheldon before heading north to Ashton.
After being asked about directly challenging President Donald Trump, who tends to directly insult his opposition, Klobuchar hammered home to her audience that she is tough enough to take him and would not be afraid to mix it up with him on the debate stage.
As an example, Klobuchar cited some of her exchanges with Trump on Twitter as evidence.
She noted when she announced her candidacy, it was in the middle of a blizzard and snow was piling up on her hair as she delivered her speech. Seeing the image, the president tweeted that Klobuchar “looked like a Snowman (woman)!” and questioned why she was discussing climate change as it was snowing.
“I wrote back to him, a few hours later, and I said the science is on my side Donald Trump and I’d like to see how your hair would fare in a blizzard,” Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar also questioned Trump’s ability to lead after sharing a story about Minnesotans who did their best to help others out during the Interstate 35 Mississippi River bridge collapse in 2007, which killed 13 people and injured 145 others.
“That is what America is about; having people’s back,” she said. “That’s what this president destroys every single day. He does it when he sends his mean tweets, he does it when he goes after immigrants, when he goes after people of color, when he belittles people that don’t agree with him and we are better than that as a country.
“So the reason I am looking forward to debating him is because he and I are so different in many ways.”
Klobuchar, who sits on the agriculture, nutrition and forestry committee in the Senate, also touted her bona fides in the ag world, ability to work across the aisle to get things done and her passion for rural America.
If elected, something she has vowed do in the first 100 days is eliminate the small-refinery waivers given oil companies, which has been a hindrance to the biofuels industry.
Iowa is the country’s top biofuels producer and Minnesota is in the top five and that industry is important to the economy in both states.
“I’m from the Heartland; it’s not flyover country to me. I live here,” Klobuchar said, followed by a joke about seeing Iowa from her porch, a nod to former vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s infamous remark about Russia.
Elly Grond of Hull has been using her winter break from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls to see some of the candidates. She saw U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) on Saturday, Dec. 21, in Sioux Center and attended Klobuchar’s event in Sheldon.
“Stuff has to change in our country and we need to figure out the best option to elect a better candidate,” Grond said.
Grond noted this was her second time seeing Klobuchar — she attended her Nov. 8 event in Sioux Center — and calls herself a big fan.
“I like that Amy is more moderate and she has small steps to take big action rather than changing everything at once,” Grond said.