Rivals no more, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg united behind Joe Biden‘s presidential bid on Monday as the Democratic Party’s moderate wing scrambled to boost the former vice-president just hours before voting began across a series of high-stakes Super Tuesday states.
The urgency of the moment reflected deep concerns from the Democratic establishment that Bernie Sanders, a polarizing progressive, was positioned to seize a significant delegate lead when 14 states, one U.S. territory vote on Tuesday.
Klobuchar suspended her campaign and endorsed Biden Monday, a day after Buttigieg announced his exit. Both Klobuchar and Buttigieg, who had been Biden’s chief competition for their party’s pool of more moderate voters over the last year, declared their public support for Biden at evening events in Dallas. They were joined by another former competitor, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who also backed Biden on Monday.
“I’m looking for a leader, I’m looking for a president, who will draw out what’s best in each of us,” Buttigieg said alongside Biden. “We have found that leader in vice-president, soon-to-be president, Joe Biden.”
Speaking at a Biden rally later in the night, Klobuchar called for unity: “If we spend the next four months dividing our party and going at each other we will spend the next four year watching Donald Trump tear apart our country,” she said. “We need to unite our party and our country.”
The dramatic developments came at a key crossroads in Democrats’ turbulent primary season as the party struggles to unify behind a clear message or messenger in its urgent quest to defeat President Donald Trump. Yet as a field that once featured more than two dozen candidates shrinks to just five, the choice for primary voters is becoming clearer.
On one side stands Biden, a 77-year-old lifelong politician who represents a pragmatic approach to governing that emphasizes bipartisanship and more modest change. He’s clearly relishing the swift improvement of his political fortunes in recent days. On the other stands Sanders, a 78-year-old democratic socialist who has for decades demanded aggressive liberal shifts that seek to transform the nation’s political and economic systems. He is working to maintain the momentum he built coming out of the earliest voting states.
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