Sen. Klobuchar's treatment of staff was so bad that Harry Reid 'spoke to her' in 2015

The hits keep coming. Just a few hours ago Buzzfeed posted a story about the harsh conditions for staffers in Sen. Klobuchar’s office. Now, HuffPost reports that the situation became so bad that Senator Harry Reid stepped in to admonish Klobuchar back in 2015:

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s mistreatment of her office staff began more than a decade ago and eventually caused such concerns that in 2015, then-Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) spoke to her privately and told her to change her behavior, multiple sources have confirmed to HuffPost.

Harry Reid was contacted for the story and said, through a spokesperson, that he doesn’t recall any such discussion. The remainder of the story includes evidence that Klobuchar’s shoddy treatment of staff goes back to her first campaign for Senate. Her aides wrote an 8-page document on the duties of her “body person” which gave advice on not-interrupting her when she was in a mood and how to clean up her dirty laundry:

“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. “Often she just needs to talk things out in the open and is not interested in other people’s opinions―this is something that you will become used to and adjust to―its just a note for the first time this happens.”…

A former longtime advance man who reviewed the Klobuchar campaign memo for HuffPost said it contained duties that he felt crossed a line, and that the memo at times is jarring, such as when it reads, “Only speak when spoken to at events,” so as not to unnecessarily prolong a conversation.

The section that troubled him most was titled “Personal Preferences & Needs at Home.” It described what the body person ought to do “During free time or when waiting in her room (dressing area/bedroom)”:

  • Hang up clothes she leaves laying on the floor & her chair
  • Pick up dirty clothes & place in a basket (in the hallway between room & bathroom)
  • Organize clothing in the closet so she can find items easily (separate into shirts, suits, etc)
  • Throw away any garbage in the dressing area
  • Make sure nylons/socks/etc are in drawers are arranged for easy retrieval

“Staff are staff, they’re not maids,” he said.

Again, the pushback on this seems to be that a man wouldn’t receive such criticism for the same behavior, but former staffers quoted by Buzzfeed disagreed that sexism was the problem in this case.

Finally, as I mentioned earlier, Klobuchar’s office had the highest staff turnover rate in the Senate from 2001 to 2016. Now she has dropped back to the third worst. So maybe Harry Reid’s 2015 intervention worked, albeit slowly and marginally? We’ll find out Sunday if all of this bad press has had any impact on Klobuchar’s thinking.