DERRY — Democratic presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar took on a conversational tone as she addressed the crowd at the Blue Moon Rising Gala at Brookstone Park on Wednesday night. While she discussed her stances on a variety of issues, she spent most of her time telling stories from the campaign trail and her time as a senator.
The Minnesota senator was introduced by Jim Smith, a former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who struggled to maintain a steady volume in the microphone.
When Klobuchar took to the podium, she positioned the microphone into its designated spot on the lectern which allowed the microphone to pick up her voice properly.
“There you go. There is always a solution.” Klobuchar smiled and laughed with the audience. “That’s how I will be as president.”
She started her speech in front of just over 200 people by discussing her trip earlier in the day to Concord where she filed paperwork at the Statehouse to be put on the ballot in New Hampshire.
“We are dealing with a president who is constantly pushing at the limits of our democracy, who does not respect our laws or our constitution,” Klobuchar said during her 17th visit to the Granite State. “To be able to file the day after the country pushed back and said ‘No, you are not a king—’” She smiled and nodded her head.
The presidential candidate also praised the efforts of Democrats who have dedicated themselves to grassroots activism, something she said has played a huge role in multiple elections across the country. She cited the Laconia mayoral race, where a Democrat defeated the Republican incumbent, as evidence of the importance of grassroots campaigning.
But the majority of the event was focused on one thing.
“I want to focus on, today, the one thing that we haven’t been talking enough about,” Klobuchar said. “And that is changing the tone of our politics.” There was an applause and hooting from the audience.
The senator told several stories about how she has worked with people on the opposite end of the political spectrum, including one about meeting a former Trump supporter in a New Hampshire cafe earlier on Wednesday.
Klobuchar also reminisced about a trip she took to Ukraine and Eastern Europe with former Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham, both Republicans. She gave high praise to McCain, who died in 2018.
“He has always stood up for democracy, and he got the peril that we were walking into,” the presidential hopeful said about McCain.
Klobuchar made a case for her electability, explaining that she represents the Midwest, a region which supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
“The heartland is not flyover country to me, I live here! “ she said. “I don’t think about these farmers and workers in the middle of the country as poker chips in a bankrupt casino like [Donald Trump] does as [he] bankrupts this country. These are my neighbors and my friends.”
The presidential candidate also highlighted a few of her policy positions, saying that pharmaceutical companies will pay for the opioid crisis which has rocked New Hampshire and other states, that she will bring down the cost of prescription drugs, and that gun safety laws won’t affect deer hunters.
Patrick Quin, a Republican who spends part of the year in Salem, N.H., said that Klobuchar’s history of passing bipartisan legislation appealed to him, and that he would vote for her in an election.
“I can’t stand the president, so that’s caused me to look in other areas for a candidate,” he said. “I can’t vote for anybody else on the Democratic side.”
Klobuchar was the first 2020 presidential candidate that Kannan Sasi heard speak in person, and he said the experience was more impactful than he thought it would be. While Klobuchar was not on his radar prior to the gala, the New Hampshire resident says he will now pay attention to her campaign.
“You have to excite people to come out and vote,” he said. “It’s not just about what great ideas you have. You have to make people feel that and it looks like she has some of that spark.”
Klobuchar said that she has noticed lots of similarities between New Hampshire and her home state of Minnesota.
“But what really sticks out to me is how involved the people are in politics, and how much they care,” she said about the people of New Hampshire. “They feel this obligation and this duty to make a decision not just for New Hampshire, but for the nation.”
As for the casual tone? Klobuchar said she felt that she had plenty of time to meet with voters during the event to answer questions. Before and after her speech, she was conversing with people and taking selfies with voters.
“It’s more how I speak. It was a nice opportunity to do that,” she said. “This is actually what I’m like when I speak.”
The event was sponsored by the Coalition of Southern New Hampshire Democrats.