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.

Confirmed Cases: 115763

Reported Deaths: 3263
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7973177
DeSoto703979
Harrison522384
Jackson457884
Rankin394086
Madison383194
Lee357380
Forrest304678
Jones292484
Washington258399
Lafayette250443
Lauderdale2478135
Lamar225538
Oktibbeha202454
Bolivar201677
Neshoba1849111
Lowndes179962
Panola170040
Leflore167187
Sunflower162349
Warren154855
Monroe150673
Pontotoc147220
Marshall143129
Lincoln140157
Pike138456
Copiah137536
Scott125429
Coahoma124937
Grenada122638
Yazoo122234
Simpson121549
Union118825
Tate116839
Leake115041
Holmes114760
Itawamba113925
Pearl River113660
Adams108544
Prentiss106120
Wayne101722
Alcorn100112
George99218
Covington97527
Marion95042
Tippah90322
Newton86627
Chickasaw85526
Tallahatchie84526
Winston84121
Hancock84028
Tishomingo81241
Attala79426
Clarke75851
Clay69321
Jasper68717
Walthall63927
Calhoun62612
Noxubee59817
Smith59416
Montgomery54923
Yalobusha54514
Claiborne53716
Tunica53517
Lawrence51814
Perry49423
Carroll49312
Greene47818
Stone47514
Humphreys43816
Amite42513
Quitman4206
Jefferson Davis41011
Webster37613
Benton3416
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32615
Sharkey28514
Jefferson27610
Franklin2423
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 158701

Reported Deaths: 2680
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23292377
Mobile16916315
Tuscaloosa10345140
Montgomery10250197
Madison935096
Shelby739063
Baldwin665869
Lee654665
Calhoun459961
Marshall439550
Etowah428551
Houston417034
Morgan416435
DeKalb342629
Elmore320853
St. Clair295542
Limestone287230
Walker279492
Talladega266435
Cullman248024
Lauderdale229442
Jackson215915
Autauga205931
Franklin205531
Colbert202132
Russell19493
Blount193225
Chilton188432
Dallas186627
Coffee177111
Dale176351
Covington174729
Escambia172730
Clarke135217
Chambers135044
Pike134113
Tallapoosa132987
Marion108129
Barbour10339
Marengo101922
Butler101140
Winston92913
Geneva9067
Lawrence85832
Pickens85218
Bibb84014
Randolph82716
Hale76830
Washington74912
Clay74412
Cherokee73814
Henry7176
Lowndes71328
Bullock64917
Monroe64610
Crenshaw60830
Perry5926
Fayette57713
Cleburne5698
Wilcox56812
Conecuh56113
Macon53620
Lamar4965
Sumter47221
Choctaw39212
Greene34216
Coosa2043
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