Senior News Reporter
Students in Dr. William Bendix’s class had the opportunity to listen to democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar in their classroom.
Klobuchar is a senior United States senator for Minnesota and is a presidential candidate in the 2020 election.
“For a United States politics course, it’s an extraordinary opportunity. It seemed like a great opportunity for students studying U.S. politics,” Bendix said.
“I decided to take this course because I know about politics, but not to the degree I’d like to,” sophomore Julia Guidi said.
The class moved to Rhodes 212 to host Klobuchar for the day.
“I’m in this U.S. politics course because I’m interested in politics. I’ve heard about Amy Klobuchar before, but not that much because there are so many candidates, it’s hard to read up on all of them,” sophomore Shawn Belden said.
KSC political science professor Dr. Philip Barker introduced Klobuchar to the students. Klobuchar shook hands with students in the first row when she entered the room.
“Thank you everybody. It’s really good to be here and I got to see the beautiful fall trees which is really nice,” Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar then explained her past history in politics and talked about the policy platforms of her campaign. She explained her career in law and the cases she worked on as the first female district attorney in Minnesota.
“I worked in the private law firms for quite awhile and then ran for my first office which was the DA. I did that for eight years, I ran an office of about 400 people,” Klobuchar said, “and then the senate seat opened up and I ran against a republican congressman.”
“I kept working in the senate, passing a lot of bills. I passed over a hundred bills, where I was the lead democrat. So that’s been a really important part of what I’ve done,” Klobuchar said.
“I did like Amy a lot. I did think that some of her policies are a little bit weak and she needs to do more explaining when she’s campaigning,” student Joshua Lacaillade said.
“I decided when Donald Trump got elected that I should run for president,” Klobuchar said, “a lot of my decision was based on the fact that I think we have a president that does the opposite of what I’ve tried to do as a leader. What I’ve tried to do is bring people together.”
After Klobuchar left for her next speaking engagement, Dr. Barker led a class discussion on Klobuchar’s speech. Dr. Barker regularly introduces political speakers at Keene State and spoke to the students about some things that happen when planning a speaking engagement for a presidential candidate.
Students disliked that Klobuchar brought up Trump instead of talking about her own policies.
“I felt like it wasn’t direct attacks, just side jabs. She just kept mentioning him without saying what he did wrong,” a student said. “I’m not here for Trump, I’m here to hear about her.”
Other students said that she seemed genuine and that the speech didn’t feel rehearsed.
“I thought she was very personable so it helped me get to know her as a person. I personally don’t think I’d vote for her, because I don’t think she has a chance,” student Atong Chan said. “I think she has more to do in the senate. Stay in your lane, there’s people who shouldn’t run.”
“I liked it. I’m pretty libertarian or moderate. I like her because she’s probably the most moderate democrat running,” student Autumn Ciardelli-Zaryckyj said.
Bendix said that he didn’t plan for Klobuchar to speak to his class.
“Phil Barker was speaking to the Keene democratic group and someone in that group mentioned that Amy Klobuchar was coming into town and looking for a small speaking venue,” Bendix said. “I would make my classroom open to any sitting member of congress.”
“This is really unusual to have a senator, a presidential candidate in your classroom,” Barker said.
Kelly Regan can be contacted at