Two Yalies — Tom Steyer ’79 and Sen. Amy Klobuchar ’82 — ended their bids for the Democratic presidential nomination ahead of Super Tuesday.
The Yale graduates’ decisions to end their campaigns comes as the Democratic field narrows ahead of Tuesday, which will assign more than one-third of all delegates for the Democratic National Convention. Steyer, a former hedge fund manager and Yale College graduate, dropped out of the race after a third-place finish in the South Carolina primary on Saturday. On Monday evening, Klobuchar similarly announced her decision to suspend her presidential campaign after her sixth-place finish in both the Nevada caucuses and South Carolina primary. They join other Yale alums — Cory Booker LAW ’97 and Michael Bennet LAW ’93 — who dropped out of their race.
“I didn’t get in this race and start talking about things to get votes,” Steyer told his supporters as he announced that he was leaving the presidential race. “I was in this race to talk about things that I cared the most about.”
Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg have endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden at his campaign rally in Dallas, TX, providing what many expect to be a boost in support for the candidate who is coming off of Saturday’s win in South Carolina.
Steyer ended his campaign after stating that he did not see a clear path to victory. Despite spending nearly $200 million on national advertising and focusing his attention on South Carolina, his campaign consistently polled in the low single digits and failed to gain traction.
On campus, Steyer was a member of Ezra Stiles college and studied both economics and political science. He was a walk-on addition to the soccer team, ultimately serving as team captain. Although the University did not initially recruit him to play in college, he was a hard-working and charismatic defender, respected by his teammates for his leadership style.
One of his classmates, Margaret Desjardins ’79, recalled knowing Steyer during her time at Yale in an email to the News.
“He was a truly decent guy — always nice and respectful to everyone at a time [when] there was less emphasis on that than there is today,” Desjardins said.
Another classmate, Muhit Rahman ’79, also expressed similar sentiments in an email to the News, describing Steyer as courteous and pleasant. He specifically recalls his classmates long, blonde hair.
Klobuchar dropped out of the race on Monday, one day before her home state of Minnesota’s primary on Super Tuesday.
“If we spend the next four months dividing our party and going at each other, we will spend the next four years watching Donald Trump tear apart this country,” Klobuchar said. “We need to unite our party and our country. And to do it not just with our words but with our actions. It is up to us, all of us, to put our country back together, to heal this country and then to build something even greater. I believe we can do this together. And that is why, today, I am ending my campaign and endorsing Joe Biden.”
During her time at Yale, Klobuchar was a member of Jonathan Edwards College and studied political science.
As an undergraduate student, she worked for Jimmy Carter’s campaign and served as a member of the Yale College Democrats.
“I certainly am disappointed that she didn’t make it all the way to the White House, but at the same time, her incredible campaign and her grit and her substance really changed the face of the campaign so far.” Maggie Jackson ’82, an author and former classmate of Klobuchar told the News. “I think she made an impact on the country, even though she is leaving the campaign now.”
Similarly, moderate candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the race after earning just above eight percent of the vote in the South Carolina primary.
On Sunday evening, he addressed supporters in his home town of South Bend, Indiana and cited concerns about the impact that his presence may have on the race in terms of further dividing the field of moderate candidates.
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