Amy, your campaign had barely launched when you lost my vote because of your alleged bad managerial behavior. Yet after the Iowa and New Hampshire contests, you show promise as a viable candidate to replace America’s current CEO, whose immature impulses are documented daily. What’s a voter to do?
You ate lunch with a comb, the story goes, to humiliate a staffer who failed to deliver a fork with your salad. You have not denied throwing things at employees, which raises question about your temperament and self-control, issues that have no place in any executive suite, much less the White House. Yet you were emotionally intelligent enough to make highly praised remarks in the New Hampshire debate — and again after the results were tallied — causing me to give you another look.
Speaking for the millions of employees who have been mentally abused by bad bosses, I know firsthand how much America needs a good one right now. I have seen excellent colleagues cruelly berated in front of others. In my 35 years of work, I have been lied to, gaslighted and had reasonable ideas summarily dismissed by incompetent supervisors whose true colors were later revealed, but only after the damage had been done.
Over the past three years, Americans of all political persuasions have witnessed what happens when the president takes frustrations out on subordinates. We have seen his unconstructive, often vengeful criticism all over Twitter. We need a candidate who will return dignity and respect to the White House.
To be sure, women are held to different standards than men. That comb-for-a-fork routine and the throwing of binders would hardly make a ripple in a male-focused campaign. And despite Bernie’s alleged declaration that a woman cannot win the presidency — a sentiment that, sadly, my 88-year-old mother and others share — research shows that gender is irrelevant to leadership. It’s not your XX chromosomes that concern me.
“We win by bringing people with us,” you said after your strong showing in New Hampshire. You communicated genuine empathy for people who are choosing between food, rent, medicine and child care, people who have not flourished from our “terrific” economy. These sentiments speak to me.
But I need a strong, proud mea culpa. I need to hear you say, “I screwed up ...” and detail what you have learned since these skeletons emerged from your congressional closet. We all make mistakes. Admitting them, something our current president is unable to do, and pledging to do better will enable voters who also have taken missteps to connect with you. There are many “how-to” guides to help you say “I’m sorry and I promise to do better.”
Currently, I am in Elizabeth Warren’s camp, but if she is not viable by the time the campaign buses roll into my state, I’ll need another choice. You could be it.
“Hello, America,” you said. “I’m Amy Klobuchar and I will beat Donald Trump.”
Appreciate your staff. Lead America back to respectability again. Bring me with you.
Denise Mattson, an executive communication specialist, writes from Illinois.