Sen. Amy Klobuchar: “I have grit!”

What is this “grit” that she’s talking about?

Announcing her presidential candidacy (in a snow storm), Sen. Amy “Minnesota Nice” Klobuchar declared:

“I don’t have a political machine. I don’t come from money. But what I do have is this: I have grit,” 

I doubt that Klobuchar was intentionally trying to channel Donald Trump, but …

You may remember that In his first SOTU, President Trump gave a shout-out to “American grit.”:

Together, we can reclaim our building heritage.

We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land.

And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit.

So, what is this “grit” that they’re talking about?


Well, psychology professor Angela Lee Duckworth has researched successful students, athletes and business managers.

She concludes that talent and intelligence will get you only so far.

Prof. Duckworth says the characteristic that separates successful people from the also-rans is, in a word, grit”.

Grit is tenacious spirit that keeps certain people dedicated to their goal (whether it involves their studies, their projects, their clients, or something else) for the long haul, determined to accomplish what they set out to do.

Grit is working with intensity and  stamina over long periods of time to incrementally chip away at some goal.

Prof. Duckworth says schools & companies should recruit people who are not only smart, but also demonstrate “true grit”.

Maybe she’s onto something.


Here’s a TED talk in which Prof. Duckworth summarizes her findings.


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One Response to “Sen. Amy Klobuchar: “I have grit!””

  1. Vidian Tolka Says:

    Hello Prof. Homa,

    I often read your posts/articles and I find them very informative. I wander if you have heard of Andrew Yang (he is running for president (D) in 2020. I recently listen to him in a podcast with Joe Rogan, where he outlines his platform, primarily built around universal basic income (UBI) and found his ideas compelling. I would very much like to read your thoughts on UBI. Is this something you have looked at?

    Thank you
    Vidian, MSB Clas of 2010

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