Header Ads

Breaking News

What the Delayed Iowa Results Tell Us About the 2020 Race

This has been an extraordinarily bizarre Iowa caucus process, the kind that I don’t think anybody who has participated in presidential politics has ever seen before. “You’ve probably heard we don’t know the results.” “Very, very frustrating.” “And when those results are announced —” “Get them straight.” This state has just been frozen in uncertainty. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg both seem to have had a pretty good night. And not so much for Joe Biden. “Let’s hear it for the Biden people. You guys look good.” But there was nobody there sort of holding a trophy over their head in the way the candidates go in expecting to be able to do.” “Anybody with an S to Z last name?” “L to R. L to R.” “Anybody want a sign?” [Whistle] So the winner of Iowa is supposed to be able to go out on the night of the caucuses and in national prime time give a soaring victory speech that introduces themselves to a larger swath of the country, and claim a burst of energy and momentum that carries them forward into the next round of primaries and caucuses. “55, 56, 57, 58 —” But the end result was so deeply unsatisfying to virtually everybody involved. “There is no name on it.” “O.K., I need his name and his number.” “And then this is actually Bernie Sanders’ card. I don’t know why the card ended up Biden.” Some of the issues included technical problems with an app that was supposed to help caucus precinct leaders report the results, failure of a backup system that was supposed to step in if the app failed, inconsistencies in the data that the app did produce, and sort of a technical understanding gap with some of the precinct leaders who tend to be on the older side. After a significant delay, we have some results in Iowa. “Welcome, Mayor Pete.” Pete Buttigieg staked essentially his entire campaign on Iowa. He poured resources and time into this state. And his polling numbers gradually rose here, even as they stayed pretty modest nationally. So he has needed a win here and a jolt of momentum early in the process. “The biggest risk we could take is to try to recycle the same Washington playbook and mindset and fights that got us to this point, and expect a different result.” He’s arguing that he’s a unifier of both the progressive and moderate wings of the party. “Let’s not choose between boldness and unity.” For Pete Buttigieg, Iowa means that he’s going to be a real player in this race. And it means that he’ll stay in through to Super Tuesday, which had been a question in his campaign. Bernie doing well in Iowa means that he is in a really strong position going into New Hampshire. “Today marks the beginning of the end for Donald Trump.” Bernie’s had the same message for about 50 years. “The rich are getting richer.” “The most unfair distribution of wealth —” “Two percent of the population that owns one-third of the entire wealth of America —” The fact that Bernie has had the same positions and talked about them the same way is what appeals to a lot, a lot of people. “And almost all new income and wealth goes to the top 1 percent.” Bernie doing well in Iowa may also catapult him into the other early states. I’m thinking Nevada and after that California. “Let us transform this country. Thank you all very much.” [Cheering] “Hello, Des Moines, Iowa.” [Cheering] “Hello, Warren Democrats.” Elizabeth Warren has not been able to overcome the squeeze from the Bernie Sanders left and the Buttigieg moderate wing. “Are we ready to do New Hampshire?” Elizabeth Warren finished probably about where we thought she would. This is a candidate who over the summer and the fall looked like she could become the runaway favorite in Iowa. That did not happen. “Yes!” Elizabeth Warren’s argument has been about corruption. “End lobbying as we know it.” And, of course, plans and policy. “And I got a plan for that.” “Big structural change.” We’re hearing a lot about unity. “We have one job. Right? Number one job. And that is, beat Donald Trump. Are you in on that?” When we go outside of Iowa, her numbers don’t look as great. She’s not doing as great in South Carolina. She’s not doing as great as her rivals in Nevada. “But maybe that’s old fashioned. Hi, how are you?” “So my grandmother has a huge crush on you.” Joe Biden doing poorly in Iowa means renewed questions about whether the candidate who has spent so much time focused on this question of electability … “If I can unify the country — the character of the nation —” … is, in fact, able to win. “We need a president who can bring the country together.” Biden made the argument that before any kind of progressive change could be made, first Democrats have to beat Trump, and that he is the candidate who stands the best chance. “They’re trying to smear me to try to stop me, because they know if I’m the nominee, I will beat Donald Trump.” Iowa has presented a number of challenges for Joe Biden. This question of enthusiasm. That was the message from voters, that they like Joe Biden, they respected Joe Biden, but this was not a candidate who excited them. For Iowa Democrats, this has been nothing short of a humiliation. There is no question that Iowa’s status as the first in the nation caucus state is in mortal jeopardy. If you talk to any senior Democrat in the country right now, they will tell you, never again. Never again certainly to a caucus in Iowa. And maybe never again to Iowa starting a presidential process, period. How do I feel? On to New Hampshire! [Laughter]

Source link

No comments