Daily Reformer: Klobuchar out

Comeback Joe? Photo by Andrew Roth / Michigan Advance.

The Establishment Strikes Back 

Good morning. 

Another wild day in both Minnesota and national politics, as former Vice President Joe Biden seemed to consolidate much of the non-Bernie wing of the party. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who was forced to cancel a Sunday night rally here, abruptly dropped out of the race and endorsed Biden. (Ricardo Lopez reporting.)

Recall that about a week ago I noted how quickly the race was being decided in favor of Sen. Bernie Sanders unless something changed, and fast. 

And it’s happened. Biden showed an ability to win Black and other southern Democrats in a dominating fashion in South Carolina Saturday. And then in a last minute attempt to help him, a gaggle of moderate Dems backed him when Biden needed it most. 

The polls, organization and enthusiasm still favor Sanders, but Biden is suddenly back in the race. Depending on Tuesday’s results, Democrats have a decent chance of going into their Milwaukee convention without a candidate with a majority of delegates. 

An icy “congratulations,” if you wanna call it that, for Klobuchar, from Attorney General Keith Ellison: 

Thanks for your run @amyklobuchar. Congratulations on your participation.

Reformer contributor Javier Morillo replied that Ellison’s tweet was “beneath him.” 

In California, Sanders says he’ll legalize marijuana by executive order and expunge records of those who have been convicted. 

We’re pretty A-OK with cannabis legalization around Reformer HQ, but I’m not sure you can do it by executive fiat. I’m no lawyer so maybe I’m wrong.  

Amy Walter is the very smart national editor for the Cook Political Report who has a great insight about how Dems wound up with two 75+ year old white guys are duking it out: 

“Lotta finger pointing as to how Ds got to this place where the moderate/establish wings of party have to rally around Biden….Here’s what I see: Elections are all about meeting the moment. For Ds, what set the tone and template for 2020 wasn’t DNC or primary calendar. It was the single minded focus on ‘electability.’ The fact that ideology or policy (took) a back seat to a proven ability to beat Trump was supposed to simplify things. Ds wouldn’t focus on age or gender or ideology, only on merit. Instead, this singular focus on electability has actually paralyzed voters and candidates. It’s easier to point out reasons someone will lose (too old, too young, too liberal…), than focus on ways they can overcome their flaws and win. The search for the ‘perfect’ candidate has prevented many qualified Ds from getting to the starting gate. So, this is how we ended up in the place where the party of young people, people of color and women, are going to choose between 2 white, old guys to be their nominee.”

This is related to Aaron Brown’s Monday Reformer piece on how too many Democrats this year are voting based on their own amateur punditry.  

Today’s Reformer: 

Ricardo Lopez and new Kaufman Scholar Madeline Deninger report on what Minnesota state government and public health authorities are doing to prep for coronavirus. Wash your hands, people! And welcome, Madeline! 

Anne Borgendale, who works for Clean Up the River Environment, has a piece on Senate Republicans’ attempt to prohibit the Walz administration from adopting the clean car standards that have been adopted by California and 13 other states. She argues there’s plenty of rural Minnesotans who want better choices when it comes to hybrid and electric vehicles. The bill is up in Senate Transpo today. 

Here’s the full legislative schedule

Chris Matthews is out at MSNBC. I remember him being a petulant, haughty TV personality during the 2000 race, ordering his producer to get him a steak at the New Hampshire bar where I met him. I’m sure it only got worse over time as his fame and fortune grew, especially for women guests and staff. 

Can everyone just be normal!?!!?!?!

Correspond: [email protected] 

Have a great Super Tuesday all!

J. Patrick Coolican
J. Patrick Coolican is Editor-in-Chief of Minnesota Reformer. Previously, he was a Capitol reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune for five years, after a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan and time at the Las Vegas Sun, Seattle Times and a few other stops along the way. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and toddler son.