Amy Klobuchar's political life
Growing up in suburban Plymouth
Klobuchar is born to parents Rose Katharine and Jim Klobuchar. She spent her childhood in suburban Plymouth, Minn. Her father was a local columnist and her mother was a elementary school teacher.
Interning for then-Vice President Walter Mondale
Klobuchar interns for Vice President Walter Mondale in the last year of the Carter-Mondale administration. Mondale became a key mentor and supporter throughout her political career.
She graduates from Yale University magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Her senior thesis was a 250-page history of the politics of constructing the Metrodome in Minneapolis that was later published as her first book, “Uncovering the Dome.”
Joining a law firm
after law school
After Yale, she attends the University of Chicago, graduating with her juris doctorate. She joins the Dorsey & Whitney law firm in private practice four months after graduating from law school. At Dorsey, Klobuchar carves out a niche for herself working on regulatory work in telecommunications law.
Marrying John Bessler,
leaving Dorsey & Whitney law firm
After meeting a year earlier at the Coyote Cafe in Minneapolis, Klobuchar marries John Bessler. Klobuchar leaves Dorsey & Whitney for Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty & Bennett, where she continues her work with telecommunications clients.
Chance for running for
Hennepin County attorney
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman seeks the endorsement for governor, so Klobuchar decides to run for his job as county attorney. But Freeman doesn’t get the party nod for governor and runs instead for another term as county attorney. Klobuchar backs out of the race.
Giving birth to her daughter, Abigail
Klobuchar gives birth to her daughter, who has a rare condition where she cannot swallow. Klobuchar must leave the hospital 24 hours later, an experience that prompts her to testify before the state Legislature in support of a bill that allows mothers to stay in the hospital for 48 hours. It’s now a federal requirement.
Hennepin County attorney
Klobuchar is elected Hennepin County attorney, beating her Republican opponent, Sheryl Ramstad Hvass, by less than 1 percent.
Leading effort to change charge for repeat drunken driving
As county attorney, Klobuchar leads the effort to change state law that made it possible to charge a felony crime for a repeat drunk driving offender.
with no opposition
She is re-elected to the job of top county attorney with no opposition.
Prosecuting Kirby Puckett
for sexual assault
In one of the most high-profile cases during her career, Klobuchar’s office prosecuted Kirby Puckett, a retired Minnesota Twins player and hero in two world championships. He faces an allegation of dragging woman into a restroom and groping her, but the jury acquits Puckett on multiple charges.
Serving as surrogate of
John Kerry's campaign
Klobuchar is a surrogate of Sen. John Kerry’s campaign for president. She travels the state to speak to groups and voters on his behalf.
Deciding to run for
Mark Dayton announces he will not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate. Klobuchar considers running for attorney general, but she decides on the Senate instead after encouragement from her mentor, Mondale. She is recognized early as a favorite for the DFL nomination.
Becoming first Minnesota woman
elected to U.S. Senate
Klobuchar earns the DFL Party’s backing for the Senate and wins the general election, defeating Republican Mark Kennedy and three other candidates. She becomes the first woman elected to the United States Senate from Minnesota.
Passing bill to fund
rebuilding I-35W bridge
The I-35W bridge collapses in the middle of rush hour traffic on a hot August day. She returns to Minneapolis, saying, “A bridge just shouldn’t fall down.” Two days later, Klobuchar and other members of the state delegation secure passage of a bill that waives a federal funding limit to start rebuilding the bridge.
Endorsing Barack Obama in Democratic presidential primary
Visiting Iraq as
Bush's troop surge gets underway
Giving a high-profile speech
at Democratic National Convention
Serving as the only senator
Klobuchar serves nearly half of the year as the only senator representing Minnesota while the courts conduct a recount in the Al Franken-Norm Coleman race. Franken eventually joins her in the Senate.
Her national profile rising,
but staying in the Senate
Leading measure to create
a new bridge over St. Croix river
A Klobuchar-led measure to allow creation of a new bridge over the St. Croix river near Stillwater, Minn., becomes law.
Securing her second term
in the Senate
Klobuchar defeats Republican opponent Kurt Bills with more than 65 percent of the vote, sending her to her second term in the Senate.
Dismissing presidential ambition on a trip to Iowa
Publishing a memoir,
'The Senator Next Door'
Making national waves at Kavanaugh hearing
Re-elected to her third term
in the Senate
Announcing intention to seek Democratic Party's president nomination
On Sunday in Boom Island Park in Minneapolis, Klobuchar announces her intention to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, joining a field of a half dozen Democrats who already announced or launched exploratory committees.
Jiwon Choi | MPR News graphic