PoliticsCan Anyone Catch Joe Biden?

05:35  10 august  2019
05:35  10 august  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

Biden braces for fight as Democrats turn against one another

Biden braces for fight as Democrats turn against one another Joe Biden knows the attacks will be coming. The question for the former vice president in Wednesday's Democratic presidential debate will be whether he handles them in a way that restores confidence to his anxious supporters. © Provided by The Associated Press Workers get the stage ready for the Democratic primary debate hosted by CNN Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) With his party turning against itself on core issues, Biden will be forced to defend his record as nine eager rivals fight to knock him from his front-runner perch in the increasingly combative primary.

If a rival to Joseph R. Biden Jr. is to emerge in the Democratic primary it is likely to happen in Iowa.Credit Erin Schaff/The New York Times.

Tara Reade worked as a staff assistant in Joseph R. Biden ’s Senate office in 1993, helping manage the office interns.Credit Max Whittaker for The New York Times.

DES MOINES — The pack of cheering voters, sweating reporters and snapping cameras surrounding Joe Biden made its way through the Iowa State Fair like a pulsating amoeba, consuming everyone and everything in its path.

Can Anyone Catch Joe Biden?© Erin Schaff/The New York Times If a rival to Joseph R. Biden Jr. is to emerge in the Democratic primary it is likely to happen in Iowa.

“Do you like being the front-runner?” a reporter shouted Thursday afternoon. “What about calling President Trump a white supremacist, like Senator Elizabeth Warren did?”

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Cory Booker scores points for 'Kool-Aid' jab at Joe Biden during Democratic debate

Cory Booker scores points for 'Kool-Aid' jab at Joe Biden during Democratic debate U.S. Sen. Cory Booker scored points, at least with people on Twitter, during a showdown with former Vice President Joe Biden in the second hour of the Democratic debate on Wednesday. The two contenders for the Democratic nomination in 2020 traded barbs on immigration and criminal justice policy, but two lines that Booker delivered to Biden during the exchange are going viral. After Biden said that Booker employed stop-and-frisk tactics during his time as mayor of Newark, N.J., while Biden "was trying to reverse," Booker hit back.

Remember, this is Joe Biden , who is fearless when it comes to taking someone else's words and making them his own. Joe Biden and Barack Obama are all for bloodying the proverbial noses of those that knocked down those buildings in Manhattan.

Joe Biden declared last night that he is willing to subject hundreds of thousands of Americans to economic destitution if it means a greener economy. In 2016, Hillary Clinton proudly declared that her administration would put a lot of coal miners out of work.

“You just want me to say the words so I sound like everybody else,” Mr. Biden said, a flash of anger in his voice. “I’m not everybody else. I’m Joe Biden. I’m staying the way I am.”

This summer has been full of predictions about an early Biden demise as a presidential candidate, be it from a poor debate performance or some gaffes, like his comment Thursday that “poor kids” are just as bright as “white kids.” But Mr. Biden has rebounded repeatedly, maintaining a commanding, crowd-drawing position in the contest.

Now, as he works to solidify that lead, a new political dynamic is energizing and clarifying the purpose of Senator Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Kamala Harris and the rest of the Democratic field: To emerge as the leading rival to the former vice president.

Who said the most words during Wednesday's debates? Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

Who said the most words during Wednesday's debates? Joe Biden and Kamala Harris According to a transcript analysis by FiveThirtyEight, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris spoke the most during the second Democratic presidential debate. Biden spoke 3,819 words during the debate, closely followed by Harris, who spoke 3,816 words. Biden and Harris had sparred about issues like Medicare for All and criminal justice reform throughout the debate. Andrew Yang spoke the fewest words during the debate, with 1,710 words spoken over the course of the entire debate. The most-searched candidate, according to Google Trends, was Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, who has focused her campaign on antiwar issues.

@llerer @melbournecoal Who is the Democratic alternative to Biden ? Ask people in Iowa, and they say Warren has the best organization and the most grass-roots support. Ask them who would win the caucuses if they were this month, and they say it would be Warren.

“ Joe Biden fought to earn every vote in South Carolina, a state where he has deep relationships and a long history,” T.J. Ducklo, Biden ’s national press secretary, told Yahoo News. “You saw that on display all week, but especially during Jim Clyburn's powerful endorsement

Nowhere is that more apparent than the state fairgrounds this week in Iowa, home to the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses. Nearly two dozen Democratic presidential hopefuls are descending on the fair for a packed schedule of cattle calls, bus tours and America’s best selection of fried food on sticks.

Can Anyone Catch Joe Biden?
Can Anyone Catch Joe Biden?
Can Anyone Catch Joe Biden?
Can Anyone Catch Joe Biden?
Can Anyone Catch Joe Biden?
Can Anyone Catch Joe Biden?

If a formidable rival is to emerge to Mr. Biden, political watchers say, it is likely to happen in Iowa. Many of the state’s most influential Democrats remain highly skeptical of Mr. Biden, with county chairs, activists and other officials questioning the depth of his support and the breadth of his campaign presence in the state. Other candidates are increasingly spending time and resources here, in hopes of laying groundwork to damage the front-runner early in Iowa, like Hillary Clinton experienced with her surprise third-place finish here in 2008.

Fact check: CNN's Democratic debate, night 2

Fact check: CNN's Democratic debate, night 2 The Facts First team spent the night fact-checking candidates' claims from the stage in Detroit. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Wednesday's debate featured heated exchanges between former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris of California over health care and criminal justice reform. Several candidates, including businessman Andrew Yang and former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, debated the effects of US immigration policies.

Can Anyone Catch Joe Biden ? By Lisa Lerer, Sydney Ember and Reid J. Epstein. Joe Biden Says ‘Poor Kids’ Are Just as Bright as ‘White Kids’.

“Crazy Uncle Joe Biden , just being Biden .” So, what are Biden ’s priorities? He’s a moderate Democrat and is likely to focus on: expanding health care “His call demand is, I am sure of this, higher than anyone else’s, because I get calls all day every day saying, ‘Hey, this person says they haven’t talked

The most recent Iowa poll showed Mr. Biden on top but Ms. Warren surging to second and Ms. Harris also gaining support. At the same time, Mr. Sanders, who parlayed a near-win in Iowa into fuel for his insurgent primary campaign in 2016, has fallen into the single digits as others in the crowded field seize the mantle of his message.

The strengths of the leading alternatives to Mr. Biden are coming into sharper view this summer in Iowa. Ms. Warren, by nearly all accounts, has the strongest and most active political organization, having started building her operation during the 2018 midterm elections. Ms. Harris has benefited from a much-lauded performance in the first debate; Iowa polls show she has high favorability numbers, an indication that people may be open to shifting their support to her.

And despite recent disappointing polls, Mr. Sanders is well-established as a grass roots force, continuing to command respect among plenty of progressive Democrats — but certainly not all — because of his 2016 campaign’s success.

Still, Mr. Sanders’s decline, such a contrast from his unexpected support in Iowa in 2016, underscores just how fluid the race remains in the state — and how voters here are still searching for their Democratic standard-bearer.

Biden: 'Bizarre' that Democrats attacked Obama's policies at debate

Biden: 'Bizarre' that Democrats attacked Obama's policies at debate "I was a little surprised at how much incoming there was about Barack, about the president," Joe Biden said.

Can anyone catch Joe Biden ? Just focus on the bad guy. Joe Biden might be corrupt, a little senile and freakishly perverse, but like he said don’t look into him, look over there instead.

We found that the best way to hunt for Joe Biden was to act like Joe Biden , so we started to sniffed away. This is a Comedy, funny political satire, and

Ed Fallon, a climate change activist who backed Mr. Sanders three years ago, said he questioned whether the Vermont senator was still the best messenger for the party.

“Bernie Sanders has defined the agenda in this campaign,” said Mr. Fallon, 61, as he waited on Thursday evening to hear Mr. Biden at a union hall in Des Moines. “But I’m not sure he’s the one to carry it forward at this point.”

More than any other event, it is the 10-day Iowa fair that marks the unofficial start of the critical fall campaign season. It’s a period when the field is likely to narrow as fewer candidates qualify for the upcoming debates, campaign coffers begin to dwindle and voters begin paying closer attention to the race.

Voters from across Iowa flock to the State Fairgrounds on Des Moines’s East Side to see prizewinning produce, sample delicacies like “bacon-wrapped pig wings” and check out a cow sculpted out of 800 pounds of butter.

Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana, in jeans and a navy button-down shirt, delighted a crowd with his familial ties to the state.

“I know you’ll get dozens of people trying to make some attenuated connection to Iowa,” he boomed at the fair’s political soapbox, a pre-election year tradition. “So I’m not going to tell you that my great, great-grandparents settled in Henry County in 1850.” The audience howled appreciatively.

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He later proved his fair bona fides by hurling himself, alongside his children, down an enormous yellow carnival slide.

Touring the cattle barns on Friday, also with his children in tow, former Housing Secretary Julián Castro smiled as his preschool-aged son, fascinated by the long line of cattle, asked if the family could get their own cow.

And Mr. Biden indulged in an ice cream, a fact he recounted multiple times for voters — and the press.

So far, Mr. Biden has made more visits to Iowa than any of the other four early voting states, according to a New York Times analysis. A rocky performance in the June debate and his lackluster response to attacks in the July debate did little to shake his standing in the race.

But Mr. Biden’s dominance in the Hawkeye state is far from assured. National and early state polling show his strongest base of support among older and black voters, groups that have been less dominant in the Iowa caucuses than they are elsewhere.

Supporters of rival campaigns often reference former President Barack Obama’s campaign as a template, pointing out that his campaign invested significant early resources in the state but polls did not begin trending in Mr. Obama’s favor until late 2007.

His come-from-behind win in the state helped the then-Illinois senator overcome a double digit deficit in national polls and convinced black voters that he could be a viable contender for the White House.

A victory, or even simply exceeding expectations in the early caucus state, would send a candidate into the rest of the primary contest with a burst of momentum.

Lay off Joe Biden’s gaffes

Lay off Joe Biden’s gaffes Don't we have more important things to worry about?

Though many voters say they feel warmly about the man people call “Uncle Joe,” some say they want to learn more about the rest of the field, particularly candidates who have spent less time on the national stage.

“Joe Biden is my No. 1 right now,” said Jodi Osthes, a math teacher from Des Moines, as she trailed her children through the fairgrounds. “But I need to see how it all shakes out over the next few months.”

Mr. Biden’s competitors are eager to make inroads, trotting out brand-new campaign buses, RVs, and caravans to crisscross the state this weekend.

Ms. Warren is touring Iowa in a Warren-themed RV that instructs nearby motorists, “Honk if you’re ready for big, structural change!”

Before beginning her Iowa swing, Ms. Warren unveiled new policy plans on rural America and the farm economy. Her stops have included surveying flood damage and visiting a farm in western Iowa.

Ms. Harris, meanwhile, focused her first stop in the state squarely on Mr. Trump. “Let’s talk a little about the current occupant of the White House,” she said at a rally in Sioux City overlooking the Missouri River.

She will spend five days traversing the state in a giant bus wrapped with her name — KAMALA — spelled out in her campaign colors of yellow, a purplish blue and red.

“Look at my bus! Oh my God, I love it!” she exclaimed upon seeing the bus.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg is also building up a staff in Iowa, where he excited Democrats earlier this summer but has seen his poll numbers level off in recent weeks.

While Mr. Biden’s campaign says it has 75 staffers working in the state, activists, strategists and party leaders in the state describe his operation as far less visible than those of his rivals.

In the state’s swath of rural counties, local officials report that Warren aides and field organizers are in constant contact, appearing at the sort of local party meetings that draw single-digit audiences.

Biden camp jumped into damage control after upsetting Latino leaders

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Asked in private conversations who would win the caucuses if they were held this month, the vast majority of Iowa Democratic officials and strategists say it would be Ms. Warren.

“As I go around the state and talk to people, I ask activists, ‘Who are you seeing the most from and who do you hear from and who’s surprising you?’ The answer to all those is Elizabeth Warren,” said Matt Paul, an unaffiliated, Iowa Democratic strategist who ran Hillary Clinton’s 2016 effort in the state. “Her organization is deep. They’re hyper-organized.”

Rachel Bly, the Democratic chairwoman of Poweshiek County, a rural area that includes the liberal bastion of Grinnell College, said she hadn’t seen or heard from Mr. Biden.

“He hasn’t been present here at all and neither have his staff,” said Ms. Bly. “Biden has barely been in touch.”

The famously voluble Mr. Biden also continues to face significant unease about his ability to be a crisp messenger. Some of that anxiety is tied to questions about his agility: At 76, he is older than nearly all of his primary rivals, except Mr. Sanders, who is 77.

In conversations, Mr. Biden’s age can come up as a liability. Kurtis Meyer, the Democratic chairman of Mitchell County, described running for president as a job interview, delivering this assessment of Mr. Biden’s chances: “I would look at his résumé for maybe 30 seconds and reach one obvious conclusion: remarkable qualifications, too old.”

“He’s pressing against Father Time, who is a very tough competitor,” said Mr. Meyer, who first met Mr. Biden in the 1970s.

Mr. Biden showed no signs of flagging stamina as he moved through the fair on Thursday afternoon, bending down to give advice to two young sisters and steering the pack of reporters away from obstacles.

As Mr. Biden wrapped up his visit, he displayed a flash of his own convictions, snapping at an aide directing him to a waiting car: “I’ll go where I want to go.”

Lisa Lerer and Sydney Ember reported from Des Moines and Reid J. Epstein from Washington. Erin Schaff contributed reporting from Des Moines, Thomas Kaplan from Fort Dodge and Shane Goldmacher from Sioux City.

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Biden camp jumped into damage control after upsetting Latino leaders.
Joe Biden’s presidential campaign is quietly playing cleanup with dozens of immigration activists and Latino leaders.

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