Biden struts as his rivals bite the dust

Biden struts as his rivals bite the dust




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MASON CITY, Iowa — Joe Biden’s feeling awfully confident these days.

The former vice president thinks he doesn’t need Barack Obama to prevail the primary. He seemed to mock the ideas that there’s enthusiasm for Elizabeth Warren or that Pete Buttigieg came up with his own schemes. And he professed to be untroubled by the possibility of Mike Bloomberg dropping$ 1 billion to beat him out for the nomination.

Biden is dripping with confidence as he tours Iowa two months before the state’s caucuses, after endless projections his candidacy would have crumbled by now. Instead, those applicants who pitched themselves as Biden alternatives are the ones dropping.

On Tuesday, it was Kamala Harris, who really the summer months had so chagrined Biden on the national debate stage that analysts questioned whether colors boosters would ditch the onetime vice president in droves. Instead, as Biden exited an happening in north primary Iowa, reporters roared questions at him about whether he’d still consider Harris as his running mate.

Earlier this week, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who took part in the primary with the promise of captivating moderate voters who reputed Biden was too old and out of touch, folded his presidential campaign.

The chest-thumping two months before the Feb. 3 caucuses is a risky approach for Biden, given the fluidity of the race, especially in Iowa, where Biden has steadily lost anchor in polling since January. And historically, Iowa voters have demonstrated their willingness to meet last-minute alters, falling away from a safe bet or going behind a relative unknown, just before the caucuses.

But despite his wobbly debate accomplishments, lackluster fundraising and oral mishaps, Biden is still standing. And nationally, he’s still producing in the surveys.

“Biden has every reason to be confident about his positioning. He’s been sturdy and somewhat Teflon, ” said Andrew Gillum, a Democrat who fell merely short of acquire Florida’s governorship last year. “Probably feels even better with Harris out. Now the Veepstakes can begin.”

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Addressing worries about the Biden team’s war chest, campaign manager Greg Schultz on Monday tweeted that the campaign had raised more coin in October and November than it did in all of the last quarter. Still, Biden has lagged Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Warren in fundraising; the latter two extremely have improved out much larger online grassroots procedures than Biden.

“Biden’s been in the scoot since April, and despite ups and downs, and many errors and blunders, and attacks by many of the other campaigners, he’s still standing as the overall frontrunner, ” said Garry South, a Democratic political consultant from California who long expressed doubts about his home state senator’s presidential bid. “So there’s something to crow about, I would say.”

At least some of Biden’s self-assuredness is about “Medicare for All.” Biden noted in an interrogation Monday on his campaign bus that Democrat doubted his candidacy early on because he would not embrace a terminated remaking of the health systems. Now, he said, other nominees are paying a price in the referendums for espousing Medicare for All and are moving toward his plan.

Biden speedily objected when he was asked to lay out his road in Iowa dedicated his feeling chink with other campaigners, including Warren.




“You don’t be understood that[ exuberance] with Warren. Stop kidding a kidder, OK? Come on, person. Give me a smash, ” Biden said. At first Biden said the enthusiasm for Warren was lacking in Iowa but then he added: “And everywhere, look at the polling everywhere. Tell me — tell me where this great enthusiasm has shown itself? ”

Biden partly ambled back those notes after an phenomenon in Mason City on Tuesday.

“I think there is enthusiasm for her, ” Biden said. “The point I was attaining was that I don’t judge the largest proportion of the feeling in the Democratic Party is for Medicare for All. There is enthusiasm for people who support that . … I don’t think that is where the center of the party is or the left or the right of the party is.”

Another looming threat for Biden is Bloomberg, a billionaire who in a matter of weeks dropped nearly $60 million on television.

When requested on Monday how he felt about Bloomberg’s candidacy, and the possibility that he would expend hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money, Biden virtually shrugged it off.

“Look at the other billionaire, what has he spent, 35 million horses? OK, well, show me what it’s done, ” Biden said, referring to Tom Steyer, who precisely qualified for the December Democratic debate. “You can’t sit and say if someone’s going to spend $200 – $300 — up to a billion of their own money — you can’t say, ‘Don’t worry about that at all.’ But … we’ll see. I don’t discount it, but I don’t devote any time thinking about it. Nothing I can do about that. Zero.”

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Biden’s confidence also remains on his position in South Carolina and a raft of Southern Super Tuesday moods that include more diverse populations and more conservative Democrats. To that tip, Biden said Monday, if he faltered in Iowa, he could still win the nomination. But if he acquired Iowa, Biden indicated he’d be almost unstoppable.

And Biden said he doesn’t see anyone even close to him in South Carolina polling who could rise even if they earned Iowa.

“There is no one else who is in a position to all of a sudden to do what Barack[ Obama] was able to do, ” he said. “I think even if we didn’t do well in Iowa, we’re still lane in the game in terms of where we are on Super Tuesday and where we’ll is in conformity with South Carolina and Nevada. I are certain about those two, and I don’t see something profoundly shifting.”

“The reason why it’s so important in Iowa — if the reverse happened, if I were to come in here and win this … and then do well in New Hampshire. Then what stops it? ”

Even a now-former Harris campaign aide said Biden was more resilient than her squad predicted.

“Look, Biden is a lot tougher than all of us demonstrated recognition for, ” the aide said. “And the fact is that the ballots don’t lie. He’s went solid the assistance provided by the[ African American] society. Now is he unbeatable? No. But I don’t determine Cory[ Booker] or Deval[ Patrick] procreating it or vastly trimming into his support with African Americans.”

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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