Amy Klobuchar can abuse her staff, so … she'll abuse Putin?

Written by on March 15, 2019

If there’s one thing outsiders need to know about Washington, D.C. but don’t, it is that employees are loyal. To a fault.

People just don’t talk to the media about their bosses’ anger or bad habits. And they don’t just keep silent because of the professional consequences. The typical person working anywhere in Washington’s political culture — on or off the Hill — remains loyal out of strong feelings. Disputes and complaints stay within the family — at most, you’ll hear vague rumors that no one can confirm. And if someone from the outside ever drags your boss, you actually might not speak to that person again.

So when you see D.C. employees speak out about their own boss, as they did recently about Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., you know you have an exceptionally bad human being on your hands. I mean, think of your worst boss ever and multiply that by a large number. Think of a boss who belittles you and writes you emails in ALL CAPS at 4 a.m. to complain about how lousy you are. (Yes, we have the emails.) A boss who makes female employees dry-shave her legs under the desk while she takes a phone call. (For the record, Klobuchar denies that one.)

But give Klobuchar credit. Her presidential bid has probably been strangled in its crib by this story, but she is doing her level best to turn it into a positive. She might be trying too hard, in fact, in this CNN story, brilliantly titled, “Amy Klobuchar defends her staff treatment, says toughness needed when dealing with Putin.” I’m not sure if the juxtaposition was deliberate on the part of the headline writer, but it’s too good to think it wasn’t.

“If you are a boss, you have to have high standards, and that is what I have always had,” she told CNN. She went on: “And so I’ve had high standards for myself, high standards for our staff, and mostly I’m going to have high standards for the country.”

So I guess we can all expect to be angrily berated and disparaged in late-night emails once she takes office. But it’s the part about Putin that takes the cake: “When you’re out there on the world stage and dealing with people like Vladimir Putin, yeah, you want someone who’s tough. You want someone that demands the answers and that’s going to get things done, and that’s what I’ve done my whole life.”

The thing is, you can have high standards and be tough without being a jerk toward the little people who work for you.

Moreover, being an a–hole toward subordinates doesn’t actually make you tough. It doesn’t make you a leader. It just makes you a bully. And in Washington, it takes quite a bit of bullying to get your own staff to turn against you.

Source: Washington Examiner – Politics

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