Klobuchar on reports that she mistreated staff: I can be a tough boss

Via the Free Beacon, I wouldn’t call this a “good answer” so much as the only answer she can plausibly give to questions about reports that she’s The Boss From Hell. I’m a perfectionist. I expect a lot from my subordinates. If demanding results for the people of Minnesota is a crime, I plead guilty.

Make sure you read those reports if you missed them on Friday, though, bearing in mind that there have been rumors flying on political Twitter for days of worse/weirder stuff still to come. There’s nothing unusual about a member of Congress being overbearing behind closed doors; John McCain, who’s now attained the status of secular saint among the political class, was legendary for his temper. Americans cut a lot of slack to very successful people on how they run their shops, believing that there’s no arguing with results. But that’s what makes the report of Harry Reid pulling Klobuchar aside and telling her to cool it so arresting. Given how domineering baseline congressional behavior must be towards staff, what the hell was Klobuchar doing that required the intervention of the caucus’s leader?

I’ve been thinking about this line, from a document Klobuchar’s staffers prepared for one of her aides, all weekend:

“Especially while in the car during a busy day: if she is EXTREMELY upset about something, let her rant through it, DON’T interupt [sic] her unless ABSOLUTELY necessary and be careful when trying to calm her down,” the memo reads.

Needing to “be careful” when calming down a person prone to blind rages implies something darker than a “demand for excellence” or whatever. Klobuchar’s fans spent the last 48 hours crying sexism, alleging that the “mean boss” reports were something a man would never have to face. Oh? Try to imagine a male senator throwing a binder that reportedly hit a staffer in the head and erupting with anger so extreme that the people around him had to “be careful” in how they calmed him down. To the extent there’s sexism in the stories about Klobuchar, it’s the fact that it took her running for president to finally push this stuff, which has allegedly been going on for many years, out into the open. If Ted Cruz throws a binder at someone, it won’t take a decade for the media to report it, I promise.

The fascinating thing about the Crazy Amy stories, though, is how sharply they contradict her public persona. McCain was irascible in public at times so it wasn’t hard to imagine his temper. Klobuchar is never irascible. Not only have I never heard her raise her voice, I have difficulty imagining it. American voters have a strange affinity for “authenticity” in politicians, believing that they’re all phonies and crediting those who seem less susceptible to that criticism. Until this past week, Klobuchar had a very low “phony score.” Suddenly it’s gotten higher. It’ll get higher as more comes out. That may hurt her as much as the actual abuse allegations as this drags on.