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Senator Amy Klobuchar drops presidential bid, plans to endorse Biden

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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 presidents White House bid.

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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 Buttigiegs departure late Sunday and Tom Steyers 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-than-expected third-place finish in in New Hampshire. But she couldnt 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 cycles 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. He has not endorsed anyone.

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 didnt 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 higher-than-usual turnover rate in her office. Klobuchar said she is a “tough boss” but countered that she has several longtime employees, including the manager of her presidential campaign.

She also faced questions over her prosecutor past. In January, The Associated Press published a story about Klobuchars office in Minneapolis having prosecuted the case of a black teenager accused of the 2002 shooting death of an 11-year-old 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. The issue followed Klobuchar on the campaign trail, with protesters forcing her to cancel a rally in suburban Minneapolis days before Super Tuesday.

Klobuchar campaigned on her productivity in Washington, where she led more than 100 bills that were signed into law. And she criticized the more liberal candidates in the field, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Sanders, for running on promises she said they couldnt keep.

Rather than advocate for “Medicare for All,” for example, Klobuchar favored expanding the Affordable Care Act and working to reduce prescription drug costs — changes she said had a chance of passing and would make a significant impact. She supported making community colleges free but said she wouldnt promise to do the same for four-year colleges and universities because the U.S. cannot afford it.

“Ive got to tell the truth,” she said during a CNN town hall at a college campus, where she acknowledged her position may be unpopular with younger voters.

Klobuchar was one of the first candidates to outline a plan for addressing addiction and mental health, an issue she described as personal because of her fathers longtime struggle. Her accounts of growing up with a father suffering from alcoholism and watching him be forced to choose between prison oRead More – Source