WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar will soon publish a memoir that is fueling further speculation about the veteran politician’s ambitions for higher office.
Titled, “The Senator Next Door: A Memoir from the Heartland,” the book will be released Aug. 25.
Klobuchar, D-Minn., says the book will talk candidly about childhood, her father’s alcoholism and recovery, Washington gridlock and her rise on Capitol Hill.
First elected to the Senate in 2006, Klobuchar joins the ranks of ambitious politicians who have penned memoirs about their upbringing and life in the Senate chamber — often as a means of raising their national profile and testing the waters for higher office. Klobuchar worked with the same editor as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., at Henry Holt and Co. in New York.
Klobuchar declined to be interviewed for this story, but on Thursday issued a statement saying she has been working on the book for years.
“I wrote ‘The Senator Next Door’ because I want more people to have faith that our democracy can get things done for the people of this country,” she said. “I hope my story will encourage more people to get involved and practice politics the way I think it ought to be practiced — always looking for common ground and truly enjoying the people you meet along the way.”
The memoir is sprawling, reportedly covering Klobuchar’s childhood, her father’s struggles with addiction, her career as a prosecutor and her first 2006 campaign to be a senator. Her father, Jim Klobuchar, was a longtime columnist for the Star Tribune.
The senator writes extensively, according to her publisher’s release, about how she became a moderate Democrat and why she favors setting aside “partisan flame-throwing” to work with the other side.
Klobuchar tells the story of getting kicked out of the hospital while her infant daughter was still in intensive care, and how that inspired her to fight for a law guaranteeing new mothers and babies a minimum hospital stay of 48 hours at a time when some hospitals were trying to push mothers out a day after birth or less.
Born in Plymouth, Klobuchar was valedictorian of Wayzata High School and went on to Yale and the University of Chicago. She was elected Hennepin County attorney in 1998 and re-elected four years later.
Openly ambitious, Klobuchar always declines to say what she hopes to do next, saying she relishes serving Minnesota in the U.S. Senate. Her name has started popping up in lists of potential presidential candidates and Thursday’s announcement led to Washington Post political blogger Chris Cillizza to write a column titled, “What Exactly is Amy Klobuchar Up To?
Whatever she’s up to, the timing of Klobuchar’s book release is politically fortuitous. It will land in bookstores just a few weeks after the Iowa Republican Straw Poll and ahead of Labor Day, when the 2016 presidential hopefuls will be aggressively working to appeal to voters.
Jennifer Duffy, senior editor of the Cook Political Report, said the timing of the book’s release probably has more to do with August congressional recess than with political doings in Iowa.
“It probably isn’t a coincidence that it comes during the August recess when Klobuchar will have time to promote it at book signings and through media appearances,” Duffy said.