Klobuchar departure sends a strong message

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Sen. Amy Klobuchar will end her presidential bid and endorse former Vice President Joe Biden on the eve of Super Tuesday, a campaign aide tells CNN.

Posted: Mar 3, 2020 12:00 AM
Updated: Mar 3, 2020 12:00 AM

A year ago, I went to a park on the Mississippi, met a bunch of very good dogs, drank hot cocoa, stood by a campfire and watched Sen. Amy Klobuchar announce her run for president. The snow was falling in perfect big fluffy flakes. My inner dad voice kept worrying about all the people -- including the candidate -- who weren't wearing hats. Klobuchar delivered a powerful speech, touting her grit and sensible solutions to America's many problems.

I didn't think she had a real chance, but I acknowledged then and still believe now that she was an extremely effective politician with a track record of impressive victories fueled by persuading moderate Minnesota Republicans to join Democrats in voting for her.

When she declared, I didn't think Democrats wanted a moderate, let alone one with an alleged history of mistreating her staff and troubling allegations about her time as a prosecutor. But if they did want a moderate, Klobuchar was clearly a better bet than the handful of other contenders in that lane.

But on the day before Super Tuesday, she joined fellow moderate and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg in dropping out of the race and endorsing Joe Biden for president. These seem like moves calculated to stop Bernie Sanders before he can take advantage of a divided field to rack up an insurmountable delegate lead.

They also indicate a tacit acceptance by the two departing candidates that their failures in Nevada and South Carolina showed them unable to win over voters of color. Meanwhile, even as many pundits are arguing we're in a three-man race -- Sanders, Biden and Michael Bloomberg -- Elizabeth Warren might feel differently. I think she should.

I was very surprised by Klobuchar's departure. As a Minnesotan, I certainly thought she'd want to stay and try to win this state (as polls suggested she would), but instead we're seeing center-left Democrats very much in lockstep, trying to organize their slice of the party faithful behind Joe Biden.

Four years ago, Republican candidates like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich waited until far too late to try and consolidate their support in opposition to Donald Trump. Center-left Democrats are not going to be caught napping this time, it's clear, giving the voters a clear choice of Joe Biden as their standard bearer.

And yet that's the key --- it's still the voters' choice, and the panicked calls from some Sanders supporters for Warren to quickly likewise drop out and back Sanders are premature and insulting. Buttigieg's supporters seem more or less evenly split among the remaining candidates.

It's too soon to tell where Klobuchar's backers will go. Only four states have had the chance to vote, with over 95% of all delegates still up for grabs. Can we not wait 24 hours?

The Klobuchar news made me decide once and for all to vote for Elizabeth Warren in the Minnesota primary. Warren would be the best president of the remaining candidates, and ultimately, if we all just voted for who we think is the best option -- which is what a primary is all about -- we'd be in a better place as a nation.

Can she win? I don't know, but I know that her support remains intense and genuine. Last August, on a day as opposite as could be from Klobuchar's snowy launch, I joined 12,000 people on the lawn of a local college to hear Sen. Warren speak. Afterward, I interviewed the people in the back of a long line of hundreds of people who were waiting for photos with the senator, happy to stay for as many hours as necessary.

Until the candidate changes her mind and decides not to run, those people who waited four hours, even just for a selfie, deserve to be able to cast their ballot for the senator from Massachusetts.

Let's stop playing pundit with our votes and just vote for the candidate we like, count the results, and move forward from there.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 250869

Reported Deaths: 5481
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16841171
Hinds15890312
Harrison13037191
Rankin10439205
Jackson10128177
Lee8721135
Madison8071160
Jones6166108
Forrest5870117
Lauderdale5724177
Lowndes5238109
Lafayette486192
Lamar475363
Washington4734122
Bolivar3941106
Oktibbeha388179
Panola360475
Pontotoc358752
Monroe3487103
Warren337895
Union337457
Marshall336065
Neshoba3325150
Pearl River319492
Leflore2980104
Lincoln293385
Sunflower277569
Tate266659
Alcorn260651
Itawamba258858
Pike258176
Hancock253557
Prentiss242450
Scott241043
Yazoo237754
Copiah237449
Tippah236246
Simpson232367
Leake227864
Coahoma223154
Grenada215770
Covington208871
Marion206171
Adams201666
Winston198061
George197438
Wayne196130
Attala191658
Newton186542
Chickasaw181243
Tishomingo179659
Holmes167867
Jasper165134
Clay156732
Stone140218
Tallahatchie138234
Clarke136460
Calhoun133321
Smith118823
Yalobusha113834
Walthall111136
Noxubee109622
Greene108929
Montgomery108134
Carroll103721
Lawrence101217
Perry99131
Amite96425
Webster90624
Claiborne85125
Tunica84521
Jefferson Davis83825
Humphreys81524
Benton80323
Kemper75720
Quitman6758
Franklin65315
Choctaw59613
Wilkinson58125
Jefferson53019
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1586
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 417528

Reported Deaths: 6030
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61313888
Mobile29768542
Madison26637185
Tuscaloosa20580268
Montgomery18696304
Shelby18310113
Baldwin16002179
Lee12261101
Morgan12093112
Etowah11604157
Calhoun10982200
Marshall10108107
Houston8474129
Cullman7960104
Limestone790174
Elmore7723101
DeKalb764697
St. Clair7460120
Lauderdale745183
Talladega6102108
Walker5852174
Jackson574441
Blount526483
Colbert525670
Autauga510355
Coffee434256
Dale391081
Franklin363445
Chilton333565
Covington326167
Russell323810
Escambia312442
Dallas300296
Clarke278233
Chambers277869
Tallapoosa2599107
Pike245829
Marion240549
Lawrence240447
Winston223835
Bibb213047
Geneva197431
Marengo197329
Pickens195231
Hale173742
Barbour171236
Butler167958
Fayette166026
Cherokee159630
Henry151119
Monroe144417
Randolph138535
Washington136526
Clay125246
Crenshaw118044
Lamar116619
Cleburne116023
Macon113335
Lowndes108735
Wilcox101221
Bullock98128
Perry95419
Conecuh92920
Sumter88726
Greene75323
Coosa60414
Choctaw51224
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