Joe Biden’s team cooked up a plan for the Iowa caucuses and reportedly pitched it to Amy Klobuchar’s campaign. In the spirit of Democratic cooperativeness, they would use one of the many odd features of the caucus process to “team up” and improve their chances. Sounds like a good deal, right? I mean, Iowa sets the tone for the early stages of the primary and everyone can use a little help with the polling showing a tight race. What’s not to like? Well, the Klobuchar Krew found something not to like about it anyway. (National Review)
Top campaign aides for former vice president Joe Biden reportedly suggested allying with Senator Amy Klobuchar for the Iowa caucuses next week and pitched the idea to the rival presidential campaign.
The alliance would involve the two Democrats encouraging voters to vote for the other in precincts where they themselves do not have the support to win delegates, the 15 percent required to advance to the second round of voting. Iowans are allowed to recast their ballot for another candidate if their preferred candidate does not meet the 15 percent threshold.
An adviser for the Klobuchar campaign shot down the idea from the Biden campaign’s Iowa director, Jake Braun, and other Biden campaign officials as unserious, the New York Times reported.
This actually probably would have been a very beneficial plan… for Joe Biden.
Because of the Iowa caucus rules, the voting at each caucus station can happen in two stages. Everyone caucuses for the candidate of their choice. But if your candidate gets less than 15% of the votes, you have the option of switching your support over to a different candidate who meets the threshold in the second round. This feature is why some analysts are wondering if Bernie Sanders might not really clean up in Iowa if Elizabeth Warren fails to meet that level. (He might be their next logical choice.)
But taking a look at the most recent Iowa polling averages from RCP, Biden is sitting in the low twenties while Amy Klobuchar is hovering between nine and ten percent. What do you suppose the odds are that many of those meetings will produce more than 15 for Klobuchar and fewer than 15 for Biden? I mean, it’s possible that it could happen in a couple of outlying precincts, but for the most part, the “deal” on the table would see almost all of Klobuchar’s supporters getting behind Biden, potentially giving him a clear path to best Bernie Sanders while producing zero delegates for the Minnesota Senator.
Unless Joe was tossing in a written guarantee to pick her for veep, why would she even consider it? And as it turns out, she didn’t. Her team described the officer as “unserious” and took a pass. Meanwhile, Biden is left with this embarrassing story hanging around on the record.
The question here is who cooked up this plan in the first place. Did Joe think it up himself or at least approve it when a staffer brought it up? Or was this a member of his team going off the ranch and pitching the idea by themselves? If the former, you really have to question Biden’s political instincts and grasp of the plotline. If the latter, I would assume somebody is getting fired or is already gone.