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Amy Klobuchar drops out of presidential race, will endorse Biden

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By Amanda Golden and Dareh Gregorian  with NBC News Politics
Image: Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaks at a forum in Concord, N.H., on Feb. 8, 20
Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaks at a forum in Concord, N.H., on Feb. 8, 2020.   -   Copyright  Drew Angerer Getty Images file

Amy Klobuchar is dropping out of the presidential race, a campaign official confirmed on Monday.

The Minnesota senator, who campaigned as a moderate Democrat who would "get things done," surprised early with a third-place finish in New Hampshire, but her campaign had sputtered in the weeks since.

Klobuchar, 59, launched her campaign in her home state of Minnesota during a snowstorm in February of last year. While she leaned into her "Minnesota nice" persona on the campaign trail, she was dogged by reports soon after she jumped into the race that she'd been abusive to staff members. One report said she'd berated an aide in 2008 for forgetting to bring utensils for her salad, and then proceeded to eat her salad with a comb that she directed the staffer to clean afterwards.

Klobuchar acknowledged that she could be "tough" on staff at times. "I have, I'd say, high expectations for myself. I have high expectations for the people that work for me, but I have high expectations for this country. And that's what we need. We need someone who is focused on getting things done for the country," she's said.

On the campaign trail, Klobuchar painted herself as a pragmatist who would be a more effective leader than progressive candidates Sens.Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren She told audiences she could bring the "receipts," citing the over 100 bills she'd gotten passed in the Senate.

Klobuchar also touted her record of winning in Trump districts in Minnesota, a practice she vowed to continue on the national stage. "I have won every race, every place, every time," she would tell voters repeatedly at campaign events.

Her campaign saw its biggest bump as she pulled off a surprise third place finish in the New Hampshire primary, having a strong debate performance just before shebarnstormed the state.

But she had trouble maintaining what campaign staffers had dubbed her "Klomentum," coming in sixth in both the Nevada caucuses and the South Carolina primary.

Her campaign tried to reset with a $4.2 million ad buy in Super Tuesday states, targeting smaller and less diverse states as part of herplay for delegates towards the nomination. She also repeatedly butted heads on the debate stage with the other moderate from the Midwest, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. "I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete,"she said in one testy exchange in the Las Vegas debate.Buttigieg's exiting the race ramped up pressure on her to end her campaign rather than risk cutting into support for the race's leading moderate, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Klobuchar was once of four female senators seeking the Democrat nomination. Her withdrawal leaves Warren as the last female senator standing.