Klobuchar: Biden’s Running Mate Should Be A Woman Of Color

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) removed herself from consideration to be former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate in the 2020 presidential election Thursday night saying the veep candidate should be a woman of color.

From NBC News:

“America must seize on the moment and I truly believe — as I actually told the VP last night when I called him — that I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket,” she told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell in an exclusive interview Thursday night. “And there are so many incredible, qualified women. But if you wanna heal this nation right now, my party yes, but our nation, this is a helluva way to do it.”

Biden responded in a tweet late Thursday saying that when she first announced her presidential bid, it “wasn’t hard to see you had the grit and determination to do anything you set your mind to” and that with her help, “We’re going to beat Donald Trump.”

Klobuchar’s announcement was no doubt based, in part, on the weeks of protests in her home state of Minnesota after the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. But also, Klobuchar’s tenure as chief prosecutor for Hennepin County has received renewed scrutiny, specifically in cases of police brutality.

Biden has said he expects to announce his running mate by August 1. Pundits say Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are among the front-runners.

Amy Klobuchar Ends Her Campaign For Democratic Nomination

ABC News reports that Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is suspending her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination and will endorse former Vice President Joe Biden.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, has suspended her campaign Monday following an underdog third place finish in the New Hampshire primary and two sixth place finishes in Nevada and South Carolina — two states with substantially more diverse electorates.

The Klobuchar campaign confirmed to ABC News that the senator is flying to Dallas to join former Vice President Joe Biden at his rally Monday night where she will suspend her campaign and endorse him.

Hours before news of her dismal finish in South Carolina, Klobuchar told reporters following a Super Tuesday rally in Richmond, Virginia, that her campaign had been approaching the race “state by state” because of lack of funding.

Sanders Staffer Fired For Homophobic, Misogynistic Twitter Attacks On Opponents

Photo of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Photo of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg
L-R Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Mayor Pete Buttigieg

If you follow politics on Twitter, you know folks can be absolutely brutal lobbing shade about this or that political candidate.

For some time now, some have noted that a cadre of supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) can be rather vicious in their comments.

While Sanders has attempted to tamp down accusations that his supporters are any more sharp-tongued than other candidates’ followers, The Daily Beast reports one Twitter account that has spent months smearing Sanders’ opponents in a particularly ugly vein.

It turns out the account was being run by Sanders’ regional field director in Michigan, Ben Mora. As The Daily Beast’sScott Bixby wrote, “At least some of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ most toxic support is coming from inside the house.”

Using the Twitter handle @perma_ben, Mora was particularly ugly in going after openly gay Pete Buttigieg tweeting the former mayor of South Bend “is what happens when the therapist botches the conversion.” He also called Buttigieg “psychotic” for deploying to Afghanistan.

In another tweet, Mora told his followers he could “never trust Buttigieg because he combined the natural devious disposition inherent in gay men with a bloodthirsty careerist drive.”

The Sanders staffer also went after Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten, tweeting, “Chasten Buttigieg has the vibes of a housewife whose slow burning repression is leading to an inevitable psychotic break, mark my words in 10 years he will go missing and then resurface in Ft Lauderdale after getting busted for running a meth racket w a bunch of Guatemalan twinks.”

Mora dragged Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) writing, “When [Sen. Elizabeth] Warren talks about how she knows she’s Native American because of her ‘high cheekbones’ where sis? Another lie. You look like shit.” He also accused her of being “an adult diaper fetishist.”

He mocked Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) comparing her face to “that optical illusion where it’s an old lady but also a young woman depending on how you look at it but with her it’s just two different old ladies.” Mora also said Klobuchar “looks like her name: pained, chunky, [and] confused origin/purpose.”

Mora didn’t keep his attacks limited to just his boss’s opponents.

He trolled the cast of Netflix’s Queer Eye as “neoliberals,” and said openly gay statistician Nate Silver “starts to make a lot more sense when you realize he is probably the ugliest gay man to ever live.”

Another tweet about Buttigieg seemed to allude that Mora might have been running a Twitter account with the username @FagsAgainstPete, which has since been shut down.

According to Bixby, screenshots of the tweets were shared with The Daily Beast by one of Mora’s followers hoping their publication would help Sanders to understand how ugly folks on his team can be.

Mora apparently joined the Sanders campaign last fall. He locked his Twitter account nearly six months ago so only folks who were already following him could see his tweets. But the avatar for the account clearly shows his face and links to his personal Instagram account.

Prior to the publication of the story, Bixby reports the Sanders campaign did not respond to requests for comment on the report.

The Sanders campaign has since announced Mora has been fired. A statement from Mike Casca, Sanders’ communications director, read, “We are running a multiracial, multigenerational campaign for justice where disgusting behavior and ugly personal attacks by our staff will not be tolerated.”

Sanders was asked about the tone of some of his supporters on Twitter last week during the Democratic debate in Las Vegas.

“I’m not going to tell you we don’t have some jerks out there,” Sanders said. “I do want to say to those folks: We do not want your support. If you think that what our campaign is about is making ugly attacks on other candidates, we don’t want you.”

Since the report went up on The Daily Beast, Bixby has tweeted he’s been on the receiving end of thousands of attacks.

Thoughts On Democratic Debate In Las Vegas

I’m late getting to this but I wanted to put out a few thoughts about last night’s Democratic debate in Las Vegas.

First, welcome to the debate stage billionaire and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg. After spending nearly half a billion on campaign ads, he finally got on the debate stage and had to face some heat.

And boy did he.

Within seconds of the beginning of the date, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (who really, really needed a good night) ripped Bloomberg a new one.

“I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: a billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said. “And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.”

Warren followed that up later when the issue of women who had sued Bloomberg were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements. Warren was unrelenting.

Needless to say, Warren had that ‘good night’ she was shooting for. Over the next 24 hours, she reportedly raised over $5 million for her campaign.

Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg landed some blows on both Bloomberg and Sen. Bernie Sanders for their ‘polarizing’ personas as well as not really being Democrats.

The other ‘big’ clashes of the evening were between Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Buttigieg. When Klobuchar was asked about a recent ‘oopsie’ in an interview when she couldn’t name the president of Mexico, Buttigieg pointed out she sits on important Senate committees that deal with Mexico. And, then Klobuchar started to unravel.

I’ll admit I was surprised to see Amy get so rattled, so unnerved. In the video below, her body language and voice really hyper-up as Buttigieg remains calm. At one point, Amy offered a snarky, “I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete.”

At another turn, she informed him that he hasn’t ‘been in the arena,’ apparently inferring the work mayors do isn’t important.

In reading other outlets today, I came to realize Klobuchar has a particular distaste for Buttigieg. She sees the attention he’s received and his rise in the polls as unfounded, and the result of white, male privilege.

I actually have my own idea as to why Buttigieg garnered the attention he did from the start of the race.

He was the new unknown. An openly gay, Rhodes scholar, Afghanistan veteran unknown who not only is well-spoken but speaks seven languages. He was a new story for folks to lean in to.

Buttigieg turned in good debate performances. And did well in Iowa and New Hampshire.

In any case, I think Klobuchar didn’t handle the moment well last night. She could have chosen to take a breath before responding. But, instead, she went on a rant that looked frantic. As an alternative, she could have just stated, in regard to the name of the Mexican president, “I was tired and the name slipped my mind. It happens to everyone.” And then, STOPPED TALKING. She would have served herself better, in my opinion.

Along the way, as no one was attacking former Vice President Joe Biden, he had one of his best debates of the primary season. It may help him do fairly well in Nevada and then next week in South Carolina. If Biden comes in second in Nevada, then wins South Carolina, he may recover some of his momentum.

Sanders entered the debate as the newly-anointed front-runner for the nomination and nothing in the debate changed that.

It’s worth noting that NBC News sent out a press release announcing the event was the most-watched Democratic debate ever, averaging nearly 20 million total viewers across the two networks, according to Nielsen Fast National Data.

The one take-away I have from last night that I think is important is about ‘big-picture.’

There are four moderate Democrats currently competing for the same moderate Democratic voters. And as such, they are getting only about 12-15 percent support each.

Meanwhile, Warren kind of faded after her poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire leaving the progressive lane to just Sanders. Thus, his rise in the polls.

Each state’s contests divide up delegates proportionately according to the votes received. BUT – delegates are proportionately allocated to candidates getting 15% or more in a primary or caucus.

If you don’t get to at least 15% you get nothing. If only one candidate gets 15%, the allocation is effectively winner-take-all.

If no candidate meets the 15% threshold, Democratic Party rules state the minimum to receive delegates will be 50% of the vote received by the front-runner.

Check out the delegate count below after two states’ contests. Only five candidates have earned delegates to date. Buttigieg and Sanders have nearly 3x the number of Warren or Klobuchar.

According to reports, Klobuchar’s surprise third-place finish in New Hampshire was great news for her campaign, but she apparently hadn’t invested in any campaign infrastructure in Nevada having focused on Iowa and New Hampshire.

So, many don’t expect her to do well this week.

MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki looked at the polling in upcoming states and it looks pretty grim for many of the remaining candidates other than Bloomberg (who’s literally spending millions and millions), Biden, and Sanders.

Notice that Harris and Klobuchar aren’t even registering in double-digits. And Buttigieg seems stuck at the 11-12 percent level. That means no delegates from those states if these numbers are even in the ballpark.

Take a look at the California numbers. If Sanders walks away with 32% of the delegates, and Warren, Buttigieg, and Bloomberg fail to even be viable gaining zero delegates – Sanders begins to amass a delegate count that could be insurmountable.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg has been spending in other states like North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Arkansas – and it’s paying off for him. Now, after last night, we’ll have to see how those numbers stack up on Super Tuesday.

Finally, check this last graphic – Bloomberg is virtually the only Democrat with ads up in Virginia.

 

Needless to say, when you don’t win delegates, the campaign donations dry up. The next two weeks could very well boil this race down to two or three candidates.

We shall see.

Houston Chronicle Endorses ‘Electable’ and ‘Pragmatic’ Amy Klobuchar

The editorial board of the Houston Chronicle endorses Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in the upcoming March 3 Democratic primary in Texas:

From supporting a $15 federal minimum wage to her very personal pledge to invest in research, prevention and treatment of addiction and mental illness, Klobuchar seems driven to improve Americans’ daily lives.

She eschews “Medicare for All” for a pragmatic public option. She has a strong record on combatting gun violence, and has prioritized universal background checks, funding research and closing the ‘boyfriend loophole’ — all commonsense reforms that she says won’t hurt responsible gun owners such as the oft-mentioned “Uncle Dick in his deer stand.”

She supports California-style mileage standards and opposes a fracking ban, instead seeing natural gas as a “transition fuel,” but her goals on climate change are aggressive: 45 percent reduction of carbon emissions by 2030 and carbon neutral by 2050.

Above all, Klobuchar has the secret sauce many Democrats prize most: electability.

A candidate whose presidential election would make history, her crossover appeal in and of itself packs a powerful punch. Democrats need someone who can stare down a bully while keeping an eye out for the little guy, someone who can grow the ranks, not divide them. Klobuchar is the woman for the job.

Klobuchar Becomes 8th Democratic Candidate To Qualify For Next Debates

Sen. Amy Klobuchar

NBC News reports eight of the current Democratic presidential contenders have qualified for the next round of debates coming up in September.

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is the latest to meet the increased donor threshold her campaign said early Friday morning. She had previously reached the higher polling qualification of polling at least 2 percent in four major surveys.

Pundits predict the current field of Democrats could be cut in half by debate time rolls around.

In addition to Klobuchar, the other seven candidates to qualify are:

• Former Vice President Joe Biden
• New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
• Mayor Pete Buttigieg
• California Sen. Kamala Harris
• Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke
• Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
• Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren

According to NBC News, it may have been what Klobuchar didn’t do in this week’s debate that stood out and that was to avoid attacking her opponents by name or take part in the ‘bloodsport’ that some resorted to.

One Night, Five Democrats, Five Town Halls

CNN held five back-to-back town hall events with five Democratic presidential contenders last night – Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Good stuff from everyone, they all had strong moments at times.

A few takeaways:

While I appreciate the moderate lane Klobuchar has staked out for herself, it came across a bit timid and noncommittal in some of her answers. I’ll admit that a lot of issues can’t be truly addressed in a couple of minutes on a stage, but she was notably more cautious than her fellow candidates.

I really like Kamala Harris. She’s clear about what she stands for, and she has a strong decisive energy about her.

When asked about impeachment proceedings for Donald Trump, she said Congress should take steps towards impeachment but added Democrats must be “realistic about what might be the end result.”

One of Harris’ best moments came when she was asked about the issue of gun violence in the country and what she would do about it. Here’s what she said:

I have to say I almost became emotional as Mayor Pete took to the stage. As a gay man, to see this 37-year-old mayor take to the stage as a real player and handle himself so well was uplifting and energizing.

Mayor Pete had one of the biggest moments of the night when he was asked about the back and forth he’s had with Vice President Pence, and a comment made by Trump ally and homocon Richard Grennell, the current ambassador to Germany.

Buttigieg’s response: “I’m not a master fisherman, but I know bait when I see and I’m not going to take it.” And the crowd went wild.

A new talking point emerged throughout the night after Sen. Sanders said even the Boston bomber deserved to be able to vote. Sen. Harris concurred saying, “We should have that conversation.”

But Buttigieg was clear and concise in his opinion that prisoners should not be allowed to vote. “While incarcerated? No, I don’t think so,” the South Bend mayor said.

CNN has recapped each of the candidate’s hour-long turns onstage.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Sen. Bernie Sanders

Sen. Kamala Harris

Mayor Pete Buttigieg

A few more moments from the night: