Sunday afternoon in Iowa, the vast majority of the Democrats running for the presidency in 2020 will each deliver a five-minute pitch to up to 1,400 potential caucus-goers. Missing from the Iowa Democrats Hall of Fame Celebration will be former Vice President Joe Biden.
Instead of rolling into Cedar Rapids this weekend and participating in the myriad of scheduled election events — including the final celebration at 2:00 pm Sunday — for some inexplicable reason the former VP turned 2020 contender chose to schedule his Iowa campaign events for Tuesday.
Granted, he wasn’t alone in skipping out on the grand festival.
— Iowa Democrats (@iowademocrats) June 5, 2019
“As campaigning accelerates leading up to the first debates later this month, 19 of the 23 Democrats actively running to challenge President Donald Trump will be in the state, the biggest assembly of 2020 candidates to date,” Bloomberg reported Saturday.
“The marquee event is the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame dinner on Sunday, where they’ll be making five-minute pitches to influential local party officials. Missing from the group is Joe Biden, the current front-runner who is waiting until Tuesday to campaign in Iowa.”
The candidates who will be present are listed below:
- Amy Klobuchar
- Andrew Yang
- Bernie Sanders
- Beto O’Rourke
- Bill de Blasio
- Cory Booker
- Elizabeth Warren
- Eric Swalwell
- Jay Inslee
- John Delaney
- John Hickenlooper
- Kamala Harris
- Kirsten Gillibrand
- Marianne Williamson
- Michael Bennet
- Pete Buttigieg
- Steve Bullock
- Tim Ryan
- Tulsi Gabbard
The other three candidates slated to not appear include former Obama administration official Julián Castro, retired Sen. Mike Gravel and small-town Florida mayor Wayne Messam. Note that unlike Biden, these three are relatively obscure figures with barely any chance of winning. Gravel and Messam aren’t even included in RealClearPolitics’ “2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination” poll averages.
That Biden of all people has chosen to follow their lead and skip the grand event seems to suggest that either he’s desperate to stand out from the crowd — which seems unlikely given he’s the front-runner — or he arrogantly assumes that him winning the Democrat nomination is guaranteed.
Social media users have their own theories about why he chose to not show:
Last week Biden ditched CA Dem convention. THIS WEEK he blows off the Iowa state Dem party annual dinner.
It’s almost as if he doesn’t want to be seen in public…speaking…with people around…who might take video.https://t.co/JXiTmn411B
— Brook Hines (@nashville_brook) June 8, 2019
Touching Girls and Teens is not a good look on him, let alone his issue of not wanting any involvement with #ClimateChange, worse I think he got the worse of Bernie do also given the #NoMiddleGround statements being repeated on him too, Biden & the taste of #FeelTheBern here.
— Jeffrey Hyde (@jeffchao228) June 8, 2019
Or around people who might like, ask him what kind of president he would be, which is the entire point of a campaign
— Perspectivist (@MEAT_R0MNEY) June 8, 2019
It could be that he thinks it’s in the bag!
— Slanderous (@ESlanderous) June 9, 2019
Biden needs his naps.
— Max Con (@mattoboston) June 9, 2019
I think it’s arrogance- I think he thinks that he has this all wrapped up and why should he go?
— Smokey Cat (@Smokey_pawsback) June 9, 2019
It’s not a almost thing. I heard other strategist say this is what they would do with a front runner to keep him safe. Pathetic in my opinion playing prevent defense.
— 🇺🇸🇵🇷🇨🇺Marcus Cage🏴☠️⚓♒ (@RealMarcusJCage) June 9, 2019
Face it, @JoeBiden is afraid to be on the same stage as Bernie Sanders!
— Maddbass – just z #GeneralStrike (@Maddbass2) June 8, 2019
He does not want to answer questions because every time he does it turns into disaster. I just don’t think he is a front runner.
— Aggressive progressive 🌹 (@lilradishn) June 8, 2019
He’s going to miss that one too eh? The fix is in. He didn’t go to Cali, now this? How obvious can the DNC be?
— Dan Wilson (@theredshift11) June 8, 2019
He was going till they found his speech was lifted off one Lincoln gave in 1862.
— Bob (@b6m) June 8, 2019
I’m beginning to think #Biden might have dementia.
— #CaliBernication (@brooklynnygirl) June 9, 2019
The leading theories appear to be that either he’s afraid to be challenged or his campaign operatives are purposefully keeping him on a leash, per se, to prevent him from drawing negative attention to himself again.
Two weeks ago the aging 76-year-old Democrat cozied up to a 10-year-old girl and called her “good-looking.” His stunning behavior garnered widespread facepalms, especially in light of the fairly recent criticism he faced for his touchy-feely behavior.
Watch his behavior below:
The big problem is that Biden’s newfound political reticence could cost him. As it stands, he’s already reportedly in trouble in Iowa, where his poll numbers have gradually been slipping, and where his support among local Democrat has reportedly been waning.
“For months, Democratic officials in Iowa have said Mr. Biden’s support in polls overrepresents the level of organization or excitement for his candidacy among the party’s most committed activists,” The New York Times reported Saturday.
This places the 2020 contender is a precarious spot. If he does too little, he could wind up falling behind the other leading candidates, including Sanders, Warren and Buttigieg. But if he does too much, he could and probably would wind up hurting himself with another act of stupidity.
Just last week Biden angered practically the entire Democrat Party base by first coming out in support of the Hyde Amendment (which he’d long supported) and then performing a stunning Mitt-Romney-grade flip-flop. And oh, he was busted for plagiarizing a speech.
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