The Senator Next Door: A Memoir From the Heartland

Holt. Aug. 2015. 368p. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9781627794176. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781627794183. POL SCI
When constituents meet Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Dem., MN) at local events, they feel they know her personally and can't place how they're acquainted. If they ask: "Are you sure you don't live down the street?" she replies, "I don't exactly live on your block, but you can think of me as the senator next door." In a revealing and often entertaining telling of her life story, Klobuchar shows readers that being accessible makes it easy for her to focus on what's important. She ran a shoe-string financed, hands-on contest to win her first election as Hennepin County Attorney by an average of fewer than nine votes per precinct. The experience taught her the importance of door-to-door canvassing and maintaining personal connections. She won election to the U.S. Senate using the same strategy. As a wife and mother, Klobuchar explains how she struggled to balance public and private commitments. Important prosecution successes and legislative efforts are described, and it's understood that for Klobuchar, bipartisan cooperation is her preferred method of governing. Through her narrative, readers come to know Klobuchar and may even wish from time to time that she were their neighbor.
VERDICT A full and open reflection on Klobucher's life and outlook for governing. Readers interested in knowing more about the senior senator from Minnesota and how women attain and hold powerful elective office will be rewarded with the details provided in her story.
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