Tom Steyer ended his bid for the Democratic nomination Saturday night after his distant third-place showing in South Carolina's primary. In an emotional speech he promised South Carolina he wasn't leaving, signaling that he may be putting his resources and on-the-ground contacts toward voter registration and get-out-the-vote operations in that state to defeat Lindsey Graham.
"I'm not leaving," he vowed. "We're already figuring out ways in fact to make sure that we stay in South Carolina. And our -- I have loved the people and I feel as if their fight is my fight and I want to make sure that's true going forward," he vowed, just before announcing that he was leaving the campaign trail.
After telling everyone he didn't see a path forward to the presidency, Steyer talked about his love for the people in South Carolina and his determination to stay active.
"Lindsey Graham's a disaster," he said to loud applause and cheers. "He's a disaster for the people here. So, of course I'll be working on that."
"When the lord closes a door, he opens a window," he added. "I will find that window and crawl through it with you."
I'm so relieved. I can like Tom Steyer again. After interviewing him in 2015 at the California Democratic Convention, I genuinely liked the soft-spoken yet determined guy who was looking to raise the tobacco tax in California to keep vaping products out of the hands of kids after his mother died of lung cancer. He has always been a passionate advocate for climate change policy and is really, genuinely a good guy.
But now is not the time to put another novice at the helm of the ship of state. And his presence in the campaign made it virtually impossible for truly qualified candidates to continue by driving the price of admission up too high. So I'm glad to see him drop out and gladder still to being able to go back to liking the happy warrior for climate policy that I first met in San Jose.