Dems Rally Behind Jay Inslee Following His Decision to Drop Presidential Bid

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced on Wednesday that he is dropping out of the 2020 presidential race amid reports indicating he plans to seek a third term as governor.

Inslee, who launched his campaign in March with a singular focus on fighting climate change, announced he was suspending his campaign during an appearance on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show on Wednesday. That's not to say that Inslee is entirely wrong about the bad format - I've written about that myself - but that wasn't Inslee's problem.

The withdrawal came after Inslee failed to qualify for a September 4 CNN town hall on the issue he ran on: climate change.

The irony is thick that the candidate in the Democratic field inextricably linked to climate change and with the most vigorous climate agenda could be a no-show at an event in his political wheelhouse.

"I've been fighting for climate change for 25 years and I've never been so confident of the ability of the America now to reach critical mass to move the ball. I'm not going to carry the ball but we're going to make sure somebody is".

"Yeah, I think we've complimented the aspirations of the Green New Deal. which, by the way, I think has been very helpful to the cause", Inslee explained.

In announcing his re-election run, Inslee highlighted his failed presidential campaign, saying "It has been a profound honor to represent our state on the national stage in the presidential race".

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"Congratulations to @JayInslee on his impactful campaign to bring the climate crisis to the forefront of the national conversation", Senator Bernie Sanders, another candidate still in the race, wrote in a tweet Wednesday night.

Painfully, perhaps, for a candidate who staked his bid on climate change, Inslee's polling numbers of around 1 percent also appeared on track to exclude him from a televised town hall on climate issues to be held by CNN.

"As we turn to the future, I will have more to say about what comes next for me in the days ahead". The bigger question Democrats have to ask is why governors like Inslee, John Hickenlooper, and Steve Bullock (so far) are getting pushed to the margins while Beltway establishment candidates have gained all the attention.

In an message to his supporters, Inslee thanked them for helping change the "entire national dialogue" on climate change.

Inslee joined activists to pressure the DNC into holding a debate exclusively focused on climate change, resulting in two climate forums this fall.

Inslee reportedly ended his exit email to supporters with the words, "So early to bed, early to rise, work like hell, and organize".

"Together we have put the climate crisis front and center in the 2020 race", he said.

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