There was a strong inclination to turn this blog into a satire, but it's all so absolutely ridiculous already, I decided it was overkill. And, there really isn’t much to smile, let alone laugh about. The truth is that Monday night’s debacle produced nothing but losers and damage on a national scale. Oh, everyone has been trying to put the best face on it possible, but across the board, everyone lost.
My greatest sorrow is for the thousands of volunteers who worked their butts off for their chosen candidate for months and had to face the reality on Tuesday morning, that their work counted for diddly. It’s hard to face the reality that all that effort and money contributed to nothing but an embarrassment. How easy do you think it will be for the Party to recruit volunteers in Iowa the next time around? If there is a next time.
The second biggest loser was the Democratic Party nationwide. The Trump Campaign tweeted out almost immediately, “If the Democrats can’t run a caucus, how can they possibly run the government?” You can’t argue with the logic. It made us look incompetent, and it’s one more thing we’ll have to overcome before November.
Without question, the Iowa Democratic Party has been and will continue to suffer for years to come. They looked like fools on every level. They knew about the problem the week before the caucuses. They refused help from Homeland Security. Their backup system failed. They didn’t admit there was a problem until way too late, and this morning it's been reported that some of the precincts had sent their results by U.S. Mail. I'm surprised they didn't send out horses and buggies to pick them up.
It also hurt the entire State of Iowa in a very big way. The economic impact of the Iowa Caucuses amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars every four years, not to mention the big media plumb of hosting such a prestigious event. Already facing a hick image, a catastrophic failure like this can’t help but contribute to the perception that Iowans are a bunch of rubes. David Yepsen, Iowa's dean of political reporters, said he believed this incident will end the caucuses in Iowa, adding, "...and maybe it should."
Of course, Pete Buttigieg was the biggest loser among the candidates. He’s tried to take momentum from his impressive showing, but nothing like the monumental propulsion he would have received if the results had come that night. He orchestrated a truly Carteresque upset, and the debacle took much from him. By delaying the Iowa results by days, it stole thousands, if not tens of thousands, of media hours, peak fundraising opportunity, advertising opportunity, staff and volunteer morale and the “Big Mo” from his campaign. While a few days may not sound like a big deal, there are only seven days before the New Hampshire Primary. What he lost may well cost him the nomination in the end.
Bernie was expected to do well, so the impact on his campaign was lessened, but the uncertainty and overall cloud surrounding the results certainly didn't do him any good. Elizabeth also lost for the same reasons. Getting a ticket out of Iowa was a big deal in the past. This year, not so much.
The only candidate that arguably took an advantage from the situation was Joe Biden. He declared victory and headed to New Hampshire like everyone else. That diminished his dramatic loss and made it easier for his staff to keep smiling. However, it also made him an even bigger target than he already was for conspiracy theorists who believe there are forces at work in the Democratic Party that will stop at nothing to derail the Progressive Movement.
By the way, I predicted Mayor Pete’s win in my November 11th blog. Thank you very much. :)
Photo courtesy of catchdesmoines.com.