Klobuchar ends bid, will en­dorse Bi­den

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - FRONT PAGE - By Sara Bur­nett

Min­nesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar ended her Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial cam­paign on Mon­day and plans to en­dorse ri­val Joe Bi­den in an ef­fort to unify mod­er­ate vot­ers be­hind the for­mer vice pres­i­dent’s White House bid.

She is fly­ing to Dal­las and plans to join Bi­den at his rally Mon­day night, ac­cord­ing to her cam­paign.

Klobuchar was the third pres­i­den­tial can­di­date to drop out of the race in less than 49 hours, fol­low­ing Pete But­tigieg’s de­par­ture late Sun­day and Tom Steyer’s exit late Satur­day. Their de­ci­sions re­flect an ur­gent push among mod­er­ates to con­sol­i­date be­hind Bi­den as a counter to pro­gres­sive ri­val Bernie San­ders.

Klobuchar out­lasted sev­eral bet­ter-known and bet­ter-funded Democrats, thanks to a bet­ter-thanex­pected third-place fin­ish in New Hamp­shire. But she couldn’t turn that into suc­cess else­where, as she strug­gled to build out a cam­paign that could com­pete across the coun­try and had poor show­ings in the next con­tests.

The three-term sen­a­tor had one of this cy­cle’s more mem­o­rable cam­paign launches, stand­ing out­side in a Min­nesota snow­storm last Fe­bru­ary to tout her “grit” and Mid­west­ern sen­si­bil­i­ties. Klobuchar ar­gued that her record of get­ting things done in Wash­ing­ton and win­ning even in Repub­li­can parts of her state would help her win tra­di­tion­ally Demo­cratic heart­land states like Wis­con­sin and Michi­gan that flipped in 2016 to give Don­ald Trump the pres­i­dency.

She was hop­ing to own the mod­er­ate lane of a Demo­cratic field that grew to some two dozen can­di­dates. But that got much tougher when Bi­den joined the race in April, start­ing as a front-run­ner and re­main­ing there. Klobuchar also was quickly over­shad­owed by But­tigieg, a fel­low Mid­west­erner who shot from be­ing the largely un­known mayor of South Bend, In­di­ana, to a top con­tender on a mix of in­tel­li­gence, strong ora­tory and youth­ful op­ti­mism. But­tigieg dropped out on Sun­day, say­ing he no longer had a vi­able path to the nom­i­na­tion. Klobuchar en­tered the race with low name recog­ni­tion com­pared with many of her ri­vals, a dis­ad­van­tage she was still cit­ing a year into her cam­paign. Out­side Min­nesota, the lawyer and for­mer pros­e­cu­tor was best known for her ques­tion­ing of Supreme Court nom­i­nee Brett Ka­vanaugh dur­ing a 2018 Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee

hear­ing.

Klobuchar asked Ka­vanaugh, who was ac­cused of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a fel­low teenager when both were in high school, if he ever had so much to drink that he didn’t re­mem­ber what hap­pened. Ka­vanaugh re­torted,

“Have you?” Klobuchar con­tin­ued, un­ruf­fled, and Ka­vanaugh later apol­o­gized to the sen­a­tor, whose fa­ther is re­cov­er­ing from al­co­holism.

Even be­fore she got into the race, Klobuchar was hit with news sto­ries claim­ing she mis­treated her Se­nate staff, and she had a high­erthan-usual turnover rate in her of­fice.

She also face ques­tions over her pros­e­cu­tor past. In Jan­uary, The As­so­ci­ated Press pub­lished a story about Klobuchar’s of­fice in Min­neapo­lis hav­ing pros­e­cuted the case of a black teenager ac­cused of the 2002 shoot­ing death of an 11-yearold girl. Klobuchar has cited the story to show her tough­ness on crime. But an AP/ APM Re­ports in­ves­ti­ga­tion un­cov­ered new ev­i­dence and myr­iad in­con­sis­ten­cies, rais­ing ques­tions about whether Myon Bur­rell was rail­roaded by po­lice.

PA­TRICK SEMANSKY — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE

Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates, for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., par­tic­i­pate in a de­bate in Charleston, S.C.

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