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: 307332

Reported Deaths: 7095
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20757248
Hinds19869408
Harrison17475302
Rankin13307275
Jackson13095243
Madison9886210
Lee9854169
Jones8289160
Forrest7522146
Lauderdale7185237
Lowndes6261144
Lamar610284
Lafayette6026117
Washington5279132
Bolivar4769129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4440103
Pearl River4418139
Warren4277118
Marshall4267100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4056132
Union403575
Neshoba3984176
Lincoln3869107
Hancock371985
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322681
Pike3177104
Scott310472
Yazoo304268
Alcorn297664
Itawamba296776
Copiah292965
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284668
Prentiss275659
Marion265679
Wayne261341
Leake260973
Grenada254882
Covington254380
Adams245882
Newton244859
George237647
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213273
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182354
Stone179131
Clarke176676
Tallahatchie175240
Calhoun163130
Yalobusha158636
Smith158534
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126223
Noxubee125833
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite119941
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105332
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95126
Humphreys94332
Franklin81723
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518588

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753351487
Mobile37698798
Madison33829494
Tuscaloosa25245443
Montgomery23942565
Shelby23094238
Baldwin20617300
Lee15510165
Calhoun14277311
Morgan14137268
Etowah13660345
Marshall11952219
Houston10379278
Elmore9988200
Limestone9806147
Cullman9467188
St. Clair9422234
Lauderdale9208227
DeKalb8745181
Talladega8042171
Walker7087275
Jackson6753110
Autauga6715103
Blount6480135
Colbert6200130
Coffee5397112
Dale4766110
Russell428238
Franklin419882
Chilton4080109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3892146
Escambia387574
Dallas3526149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305475
Lawrence295295
Winston272272
Bibb256258
Marengo248561
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218675
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176741
Monroe171240
Washington163838
Macon154348
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58624
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