Friday, April 19, 2024

After Losing Iowa, Biden’s Campaign Is Beginning to Drown

‘We can’t be in fourth place. That just cannot be right…’

Biden Defends His Interactions with Women
Joe Biden/IMAGE: ABC News via YouTube

(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is scrambling to make up for lost ground after Biden lost the Iowa Democratic caucus.

On Friday, his campaign announced that it was reorganizing in the wake of the underwhelming performance, which some staff members described in more colorful terms, such as “s***show” and “clusterf***.”

Biden’s team had tried to temper expectations, saying it was prepared to lose to Bernie Sanders—maybe even Elizabeth Warren—but Iowa’s results, which placed Biden in fourth with 16% of the vote, shocked his campaign aides and surrogates.

“We can’t be in fourth place. That just cannot be right,” one Biden staffer remembers thinking when Iowa’s results began to trickle in.

With deep lingering anxieties about the outcomes in the coming New Hampshire primary and Nevada caucus, Biden elevated Anita Dunn, a seasoned Obama campaign manager, to the what was, effectively, the top spot in his campaign, the Associated Press reported.

Biden had previously relied on younger leaders to manage the campaign, whose vision was often at odds with his “old guard” of trusted advisers, the AP reported.

The campaign also cut ties with its Iowa field director, Adrienne Bogen, in order to appease donors who had begun to worry about the durability of Biden’s candidacy.

“We had precinct captains who didn’t know how to run a caucus. And a few didn’t even show. We lost friggin’ people on the second ballot of voting in the caucus. Someone’s head had to roll,” a top-level Biden campaign staffer explained.

Even Biden has admitted that Iowa did not work out the way he had expected.

“I expected to do better,” he said during a CNN town hall. “And I expected that our organization would perform better. We took a gut punch.”

Biden’s numbers don’t look much better in New Hampshire. Sanders is still in the lead and Pete Buttigieg is quickly gaining on him. This has left Biden staffers hoping that things change in South Carolina, where Biden enjoys a considerable amount of African American support.

“We believe South Carolina is our firewall and it is,” said a Biden adviser. “But if we lose three straight in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, the fire can jump the wall.”

But other aides aren’t so sure that relying on South Carolina is a good idea.

“Nevada is crying out for resources and we should give it to them, but some of us think we can rely on South Carolina and that’s a big mistake,” another adviser said. “Bernie is on the move in Nevada. It’s a caucus state. We just got crushed in a caucus state. Do the math.”

Biden’s deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, said that at the end of the day, Biden’s familiarity will help him win the Democratic nomination.

“What voters are seeing is somebody who can take Trump’s punch because he’s known, because people have a sense of who he is,” she told the Atlantic. “That’s the way to beat Trump. That’s the key. You’ve got to put somebody up against him who’s impervious.”

But the problem is that as the Democratic Party moves further to the left, toward Sanders, voters once considered moderate are leaving Biden behind, explained Dave Nagle, a former Iowa Democratic Party chairman.

“[Biden] has got to get his message right and his message out here wasn’t right. His presentations were not focused. They were rambling. They were stories about what his father told him and what his mother told him,” Nagle said. “I think the Biden campaign got his message from the ’80s, when it is totally different now.”

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