Editorial: The news in Iowa is about Biden, not botched results
The botched election results of Iowa’s Democrat Party caucus, while embarrassing, will soon be a distant memory and a minor event in this presidential campaign. The importance, rather, is that Sen. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg captured the lead in no uncertain terms, Sen. Elizabeth Warren was a distant third, while Sen. Joe Biden trailed in fourth with Sen. Amy Klobuchar close behind.
That’s a serious blow to the perception that Biden is the Democrat’s best bet to beat Trump.
What’s particularly damaging is that it reinforces the doubt many Democrats have long had about Biden’s strength as a candidate. No one doubts his sincerity and wanting to serve his country; no one doubts that he would be a capable president who would restore America’s moral authority around the world.
What many Democrats doubted is whether Sen. Biden could inspire voters; whether he could be an articulate fighter of the party’s platform and battle toe-to-toe with a lying, purposely deceitful, braggart of a president, who nonetheless appeals — in that stick-in-your-face kind of way — to many Americans.
The results of the Iowa caucus, hiccups aside, reinforced those doubts about Biden. The biggest boost was to Buttigieg, who, with Sanders close behind, captured the most votes and the most delegates. That will give Buttigieg new star power ahead of New Hampshire’s primary on Feb. 11 and again in Nevada on Feb. 22 before Biden can hopefully recover in South Carolina on Feb. 29 — but three weeks in a lot of news cycles to withstand if better results aren’t forthcoming.
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