Patterico's Pontifications

2/4/2020

Iowa Caucus Chaos Is Gift To Trump (UPDATE ADDED)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:41 am



[guest post by Dana]

While we still don’t know which Democrat will come out ahead in the caucus results, we do know that Trump views the disaster as a solid win for himself:

From CNN:

The Democratic 2020 crusade to oust President Donald Trump could not have got off to a more disastrous and embarrassing start.

The party couldn’t even deliver a first-in-the-nation election night winner after a vote-reporting debacle in Iowa — where candidates spent months and millions of dollars vying for a glittering opening prize in their nominating duel.

[…]

The caucus nightmare also played right into the hands of a President spoiling for months to brand his rivals as weak, disorganized and even worse — plotting to rig the results to hand its crown to an establishment favorite. There’s little doubt that Trump, who consistently erodes distrust in institutions and governing systems, will weaponize such a narrative if it looks like he will lose in November.

The President pounced on the confusion early Tuesday morning.

“The Democrat Caucus is an unmitigated disaster. Nothing works, just like they ran the Country,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, Trump operatives are already spinning conspiracy theories and disinformation about what the Iowa Democratic Party said were “inconsistencies” in its results. Their aim is to create a narrative that tars the eventual nominee as illegitimate. And on the eve of his State of the Union address and two days before he’s set to be acquitted in his impeachment trial, things cannot have worked out better for the President.

“It would be natural for people to doubt the fairness of the process. And these are the people who want to run our entire health care system?” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said, gleefully wringing every last drop of political advantage out of the Democratic blushes.

It could be that after the countless twists of the campaign and changes of fortune, Monday’s snafu — apparently by a vote-reporting app — will be a distant memory by November, especially if one of the candidates turns Trump into a one-term president. Democrats will get the last laugh then.

But there must also be questions about whether the Iowa mess is isolated — or augurs a party ill-equipped in the states to take on Trump’s formidable turnout machine, which is being built with his massive campaign war chest. And the importance of Iowa in the process of choosing a president magnifies the cost of its terrible night on Monday.

Details of the disaster:

Mandy McClure, communications director for the Iowa Democratic Party, said the delays were the result of quality checks and the fact the party was reporting three sets of data for the first time. She said the party did find inconsistencies in the three data sets — the first round, the second round and the overall delegate numbers.

“We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results. In addition to the tech systems being used to tabulate results, we are also using photos of results and a paper trail to validate that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report,” she said in a statement.

“This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion. The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results,” McClure said.

More than 7,000 people attended a Trump rally just last Thursday at Drake University in Des Moines.

As of this posting, results have still not been released.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: The Democrats say they weren’t hacked, and they would never lie (insert eyeroll emoji), but it’s still worthwhile to contemplate a scenario in which they were — by Russia, at the request of Donald Trump. (No, Trumpers, I am not alleging that. It’s a hypothetical to illustrate a point. Try to keep up.) I guess that would be OK, right? I guess that would be less than ideal but not impeachable, right? Also, if any Democrat president pulled such a stunt it would be the worst thing in history.

UPDATE #2: Results of 62% reported precincts:

The Iowa Democratic Party released partial results of its kickoff presidential caucus after a daylong delay on Tuesday showing former Midwestern Mayor Pete Buttigieg and fiery progressive Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leading the opening contest in the party’s 2020 primary season.

[…]

It was too early to call a winner based on the initial results, but Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar were trailing in the tally of State Delegate Equivalents, according to data released for the first time by the state Democratic Party nearly 24 hours after voting concluded. The results reflected 62% of precincts in the state.

99 Responses to “Iowa Caucus Chaos Is Gift To Trump (UPDATE ADDED)”

  1. Is anyone surprised that it’s a disaster?

    Dana (aaddb1)

  2. Trump is mistaken. The winner in this debacle is basically Biden, who was the front runner, and as far as the momentum is concerned, is still the front runner.

    Iowa going for Bernie or someone else would have caused a lot of the also-ran supporters to rally to the not-Biden. But now if that happens, it will be more muddled.

    Basically, they avoided the Obama Iowa 2008 win scenario. And Trump’s made it crystal clear: he is scared of Biden for some reason (that completely escapes me).

    Dustin (d1c60a)

  3. Is anyone surprised that it’s a disaster?

    нет.

    Dave (1bb933)

  4. The Iowa Democratic Party released a statement this morning. In part:

    As part of our investigation, we determined with certainty that the underlying data collected via the app was sound. While the app was recording data accurately, it was reporting out only partial data. We have determined that this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system. This issue was identified and fixed. The application’s reporting issue did not impact the ability of precinct chairs to report data accurately.

    Dana (aaddb1)

  5. I admire Trump’s chutzpah, dishing on the Dems when he knows full well that it was his CIA that sabotaged the Iowa Democratic caucuses.

    And even if you don’t believe what I wrote above, you’ve got to [insert verb] how everything becomes about him.

    nk (1d9030)

  6. and no, I’m not surprised Iowa’s democrat primary is a mess. The whole concept here is to be different, instead of just a sober and secure poll of each voter’s preference.

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s 2020 and we should get practical. Instead of the corn farmers in Iowa exploiting primacy, let’s just have a few regions of the country have a primary. Like five regions, five election day. Every primary run the same basic way. Two weeks between each region. Take the top two candidates (by EC until that’s done away with) and have a debate. The moderator just keeps it polite. The questions come from the candidates. The day after the debate, runoff election nationwide.

    No delegates. No superdelegates. No caucuses. No gimmicks.

    Dustin (d1c60a)

  7. And the difference this year is that, in response to complaints about the Byzantine nature of the process last time (from Bernie), they are trying to keep track of and report the numbers of people choosing different candidates at the initial and final stages the process in each precinct, as well as the final result.

    I agree with Dustin that rotating regional primaries would be a much more sensible system.

    Dave (1bb933)

  8. UPDATE BY PATTERICO: The Democrats say they weren’t hacked, and they would never lie (insert eyeroll emoji), but it’s still worthwhile to contemplate a scenario in which they were — by Russia, at the request of Donald Trump. (No, Trumpers, I am not alleging that. It’s a hypothetical to illustrate a point. Try to keep up.) I guess that would be OK, right? I guess that would be less than ideal but not impeachable, right? Also, if any Democrat president pulled such a stunt it would be the worst thing in history.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  9. Dustin (d1c60a) — 2/4/2020 @ 6:50 am

    Biden’s crew is unofficially saying they expect to be 3rd and some insiders say Biden didn’t clear 4th.

    I don’t see how a question over whether Biden was 3rd or did worse, as opposed to knowing he did worse, helps him. It’s not a win when you flip the table and storm off. It’s wishful thinking that this is Biden maintaining his momentum. At best this is falling with style.

    frosty (f27e97)

  10. nk (1d9030) — 2/4/2020 @ 6:58 am

    I give you

    Patterico (115b1f) — 2/4/2020 @ 7:16 am

    Trump isn’t the only one making everything about Trump.

    frosty (f27e97)

  11. it’s still worthwhile to contemplate a scenario in which they were — by Russia, at the request of Donald Trump. (No, Trumpers, I am not alleging that. It’s a hypothetical to illustrate a point. Try to keep up.) I guess that would be OK, right?

    This is a silly and ridiculous comparison. There was zero evidence that Russia interfered in our elections by tampering the votes or the actual voting process or the counting of the votes. The only “interference”, as such was alleged, was the standard attempts to get information to be used for whatever purposes that they, and many of our so-called allies, also attempt to get information. Be it for current usage or further down the road. Because it’s useful in many, many other ways. Who here said it was “OK” that the Russians attempted to get into the DNC? There were those who said the effect of gathering such information was insignificant in its impact on 2016, but not, to my knowledge, and I say this as someone who was accused of this, that it was OK.
    This is a silly and hysterical (in a couple of ways) comparison. What is so hard about understanding this difference? Why the conflating?

    PTw (894877)

  12. After this app debacle, the admonition for Democrats to “learn to code” takes on a whole new meaning.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  13. Now, now, frosty, you should know by now that I am careful with my language, and everything I say means exactly what mean it to say, no more and no less. I wrote:

    you’ve got to [insert verb] how everything becomes about him [Trump].

    Not:

    Trump … making everything about Trump.

    nk (1d9030)

  14. And Trump’s made it crystal clear: he is scared of Biden for some reason (that completely escapes me)

    Biden is the stop loss option for 2 groups that Trump has been hoping to cement gains with – rust-belt older whites and blacks. Biden is also perhaps the only of the Dems with a scant shot at the southern coastal states TX, LA+Bel Edwards as VP, GA, FL, NC (due to black support and also not as much of a gun grabber as Bloomie). And as DCSCA would say…soon-to-be victims of their respective vices.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  15. Biden’s crew is unofficially saying they expect to be 3rd and some insiders say Biden didn’t clear 4th.

    I don’t see how a question over whether Biden was 3rd or did worse, as opposed to knowing he did worse, helps him. It’s not a win when you flip the table and storm off. It’s wishful thinking that this is Biden maintaining his momentum. At best this is falling with style.

    frosty (f27e97) — 2/4/2020 @ 7:25 am

    whooosh

    Dustin (d1c60a)

  16. The idea of Russia hacking the Iowa caucuses is extremely plausible. The idea the Democrats wouldn’t, um, pounce on this if there was the barest chance of it being true is not at all believable.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  17. One suggested etymology for “caucus” is the Latin caucus from Greek kaukos, a wine cup, and the namesake of the Caucus Club of Boston which is the earliest appearance of the word, 1719. So, to put it bluntly, maybe they were drunk?

    nk (1d9030)

  18. This is a silly and ridiculous comparison. There was zero evidence that Russia interfered in our elections by tampering the votes or the actual voting process or the counting of the votes.

    No one ever said that. Russia did, of course, meddle with our election. They did it to help Trump. Trump obstructed the attempt to bring that to justice.

    Facts that are only dismissed with ‘oh you’re saying russia hacked!?? that didn’t happen!!’

    But Trump has asked Russia to engage in hacking when he asked them to reveal those classified Hillary emails.

    And Trump has asked foreign governments to help him win in 2020, by doing him a favor by announcing an investigation against Biden.

    What Frosty claims not to understand is that the mere momentum of headlines makes a big impact in primaries. But Trump gets it and uses that all the time (to Solemani’s dismay).

    And Patterico’s point isn’t even about that. It’s about the idea that Trump is above the law or justice or democracy.

    Dustin (d1c60a)

  19. shot at the southern coastal states TX, LA+Bel Edwards as VP, GA, FL, NC (due to black support and also not as much of a gun grabber as Bloomie).

    Not Florida.
    The Democrats made an allout effort to elect a young black progressive as governor and to keep a relatively moderate white guy as senator…and lost to a GOP machine that managed to eke out just enough turnout to keep the governorship Republican (and Trumpy Republican at that) and give the Senate seat to a corrupt, arrogant, powerhungry outgoing governor who has trouble being friendly with his own party.

    In November, it will be Trump vs TBA, and no statewide offices that I know of, which means the GOP will have an easier time of it. It’s not unlikely they’ll gain at least a couple of House seats back.

    Kishnevi (6a5d3c)

  20. Dustin (d1c60a) — 2/4/2020 @ 7:46 am

    Trump obstructed the attempt to bring that to justice.

    What would be necessary to bring that to justice?

    frosty (f27e97)

  21. “It’s a hypothetical to illustrate a point.”
    Patterico (115b1f) — 2/4/2020 @ 7:16 am

    Because there haven’t been enough bogus hypotheticals the past three years to draw on, we need to conjure up a new one.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  22. I guess that would be OK, right? I guess that would be less than ideal but not impeachable, right?

    18 USC 1030 and 2.

    Next question?

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  23. 21. So you’re saying you don’t apply different standards to Dems than you do to Trump?

    Gryph (08c844)

  24. But Trump has asked Russia to engage in hacking when he asked them to reveal those classified Hillary emails.

    Seriously? You seem to have a problem understand the concepts of cause and effect, and time.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  25. “Because there haven’t been enough bogus hypotheticals the past three years to draw on, we need to conjure up a new one.”

    Saw more restraint on MSNBC last night.
    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  26. No, it’s not “worthwhile” now and a massive formal investigation proved it never was.

    MJN1957 (0140eb)

  27. 18. Dustin (d1c60a) — 2/4/2020 @ 7:46 am

    But Trump has asked Russia to engage in hacking when he asked them to reveal those classified Hillary emails.

    No, the “nonwork” therefore”personal” emails she said she deleted.

    So there shouldn’t not ave been an copies of them , certainly not online.

    But they may have been on Anthony Weiner’s computer that later became the subject of a search warrant.

    The FBI did a computer search that carefully avoided the possibility of stumbling across anything incriminating.

    And Trump has asked foreign governments to help him win in 2020, by doing him a favor by announcing an investigation against Biden.

    Trumop likes to say he said do “us” a favor and that he meant the country. It was also a specific allegation that he wanted Zelensky to find out about: That Joe Biden had, singlehandedly, caused Ukraine to fire a prosecutor in order to stop an investigation because his son worked for a company, and that Biden had bragged about stopping the prosecution in a recording that Donald Trump himself had heard.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  28. I have a friend who’s in the Iowa GOP, his wife went Dem because Trump.

    She was at a precinct last night and was told that last night was the ‘beta test’ for the troublesome app. If true, lolololol.

    __ _


    Jeremy Bird
    @jeremybird
    ·
    Once you hear the phrase “trouble downloading today,” it is not the technology. That is a training/planning/organizational problem. Should have had multiple dry runs & zero people should have been downloading anything on caucus night.

    _

    On a side note, there seem to be a lot of Dems using this as an argument to end the scheduling (going first) for IA.
    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  29. Trump obstructed the attempt to bring that to justice.

    Three years of investigation by the FBI, DoJ, and the Mueller crew, concluded President Trump, his staff, or campaign, had any contact with any foreign entity attempting to insert themselves in the 2016 election. In fact, no American could be identified in any foreign contacts.

    Let that be an example of the leftist thought process

    iowan2 (1c4a14)

  30. We’ll never learn the truth (the art of politics is keeping the voters from sticking their noses where they don’t belong), but this sounds like a very well-organized, professional, black bag operation to me.
    — Sabotaged app.
    — No testing.
    — No training.
    — (I would have included fake PINs on the forms and who’s to say they didn’t?)
    — Robo dialers to jam the phone lines.
    — Paper forms designed to look like they’ve been altered by the way the data is entered.

    Well done, Ms. Haspel!

    nk (1d9030)

  31. Three years of investigation by the FBI, DoJ, and the Mueller crew, concluded President Trump, his staff, or campaign, had any contact with any foreign entity attempting to insert themselves in the 2016 election. In fact, no American could be identified in any foreign contacts.

    Let that be an example of the leftist thought process

    iowan2 (1c4a14) — 2/4/2020 @ 9:46 am

    I’m not a leftist, iowan. I have been commenting here for years, to the exhaustion of many readers, and I want a balanced budget and a limited government. Only a liar would call me a leftist.

    Mueller’s reported clearly and plainly detailed obstruction of the investigation into Russia’s meddling with the 2016 election, and Trump encouraged that meddling and hacking on live TV. He made contact and you saw it.

    You are wrong. You know you are wrong. You dismiss this as leftist the same way many enemies of our republic have used partisan othering and alliances to muddy waters.

    I would (and have) criticized the left election misconduct. Indeed I have worked in election law for a presidential candidate and in other capacities for other candidates (always the GOP, though that time is long, long done, and I’m too conservative to be a republican now).

    A 100% dishonest comment by you today. Think about why you wish I were on the left, and consider that that means in November.

    Dustin (b8d6d1)

  32. Talking Points Memo
    @TPM
    Charlatans, Conspiracists And The Trump Boys Seize On Iowa Debacle
    __ _

    WOW!
    @WOW61106184
    ·
    They didn’t need to ‘pounce’ or ‘seize’.
    The Democrats gifted it to Everyone with their utter incompetence!!!

    They bragged about spending 3 years working on the Iowa caucus!
    That’s real scary!
    __ _

    Zentrification
    @Zentrification1
    ·
    Should have included “Caucus” in this as that seized as well.
    __ _

    Butticus Pinch
    @MarkBro52115082
    ·
    Pay no attention to the debacle behind the curtain.

    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  33. Three years of investigation by the FBI, DoJ, and the Mueller crew, concluded President Trump, his staff, or campaign, had any contact with any foreign entity attempting to insert themselves in the 2016 election.

    There was Manafort working with a Russian spy (Kilimnik), giving the guy internal polling data, including data on the three battleground states that Trump barely won. The Mueller report concluded that there was evidence but not to the level of confidence. There was the meeting with Veselnitskaya that showed intent, until she pulled a bait-and-switch.
    Trump was concerned enough about Mueller that he obstructed justice on ten separate occasions.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  34. App-ocalyptic destruction of the Democratic party in Duh Moines, in a state now known as an acronym for Idio Out Walking Around (IOWA).

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  35. Paul Montagu (e1b5a7) — 2/4/2020 @ 10:11 am

    Dustin (b8d6d1) — 2/4/2020 @ 10:06 am

    You guys should let Schiff know about that so that he can get it into the next round of impeachment.

    In the meantime, I’ll get a snack while I wait for the Iowa DNC to let me know how bad Biden did and the media to tell me how he really came out on top and/or why it doesn’t matter.

    frosty (f27e97)

  36. This is a sample precinct report supplied by the Buttigieg campaign_ where you see numerous errors made i the process of filling out the form. (they should have had spare forms – wait – maybe this was a spare form? It is labeled “Caucus Form Worksheet.” Well, t still dodn’t wind up being out completely correctly.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EP551MCW4AACCJM?format=jpg&name=medium

    The form was filled out too quickly. The person who filled it out also started to write down the last names of the candidates in the wrong column. Wrote Bennett and then Bi on the next line and then caught himself or herself. Probably thought at first that the first blank was for the first name and the second blank for the second name. So wrote Michael Bennett and Joe Bi– Then realized it was a mistake, probably at the point when he or she was going to check the total for Biden and realized there was no place left to put it in, and crossed out the “Bennett” and the “Bi” and squeezed in Bennett in the first blank after Michael. There was room enough for Biden after Joe in the first blank.

    The remaining candidates, starting with Bloomberg, just had their last name filled in in the first blank space. They must have had an official list of candidate in alphabetical order.

    At the end, the organizer probably entered the 0’s after he had filled in the number for those who had numbers. Those candidates who got nobody for them got a 0 in the second column, but the organizer forgot to fill in a 0 for Bennett because he’d already filled in and crossed out Bennett’s last name in that place, so to a casual eye, the form looked filled out completely.

    The number for total number of caucus attendees was corrected repeatedly and then at the end of the first round, 15% was calculated and filled in. The total was maybe not supposed to change after the first alignment, but it did, from 69 to 70. The cause of that was the total for Biden in the first alignment being revised down from 19 to 18.

    The reason for that could have been that one caucus-goer was trying to avoid being locked in after the first alignment. All people in a viable group were locked in. Only those who had joined a non-viable group, or who were uncommitted (which was supposed also to be a group) could switch.

    Or it could have been that somebody just got separated from the group temporarily. Or there was a miscounting.

    In the report for the second alignment, the organizer first wrote down the total for Warren from the first alignment (18) before correcting it to 20.

    The original results were 22 for Buttigieg, 18 for Biden, 13 for Warren, 6 for Sanders, 5 for Steyer, 3 for Klobuchar and 2 for Yang, and 1 not counted, but after re-alignment were 30 for Buttigieg and 20 each for Biden and Warren. Of the 17 who were not frozen in place, 8 went to Buttigieg, 7 went to Warren, and 2 went to Biden, probably including the one who had earlier left.

    Because of the change in the total from 69 to 70, the results before rounding, both for the number needed to be viable and for the number of delegates each candidate was entitled to, were wrong, but not by much.

    The number 3.4782 should have been 3.4783, because the number should was truncated when it should have been rounded, (but it is also wrong because it should have been 3.4286)

    The number of delegates to the next higher level convention split 4 for Bttigieg and 2 each for Bdiden and Warren, but if Biden and Warren were one candidate, it probably would split 5 for that person to 3 for Buttigieg.

    10.35 (the result of multiplying 69 by 15%) was rounded up to 11. It really should be 70 x 15% or 10.5, but it still rounds up to the same number. It’s always rounded up because a caucus group comprising less than 15% cannot elect any delegates even if the total he or she gets falls just below 15%

    The disclosure of the PIN number doesn’t matter, since it was already used. Any corrections after that wold probably require voice contact and other verification.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  37. If any Democratic politician behaved like this during the national anthem, we would never hear the end of the outrage from Trumpsters.

    Radegunda (0eb6fa)

  38. 30. nk (1d9030) — 2/4/2020 @ 10:00 am

    — Sabotaged app.

    It can;t be excluded as a possibility that somebody knew this wouldn’t work.But this could have happened for a variety of reasons.

    It does indeed remind me of healthcare,gov. If there is anything at fault here that you can attribute as a flaw in the Democratic Party in general it might be the idea that you can buy things off the shelf (and rely on fear of the government to prevent things not working or fraud)

    You can buy groceries and gasoline that way, but not so much unique or expensive things. And as far as let’s say avoiding adulterated milk is concerned, there is a large market and you can say somebody will catch it before me, but here there was no larger market.

    — No testing.

    They tested for various highly unlikely scenarios, but not how it would work in practice.

    — No training.

    There was training, but it was somewhat confusing.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/29/opinion/how-the-iowa-caucuses-work.html

    “So if you’re with pineapple the first round, and there are enough voters, do pineapples become viable and you can no longer change to blueberries?” a man at the table near me asked. [Pineapple stood for Uncommitted. Why didn’t they just say “uncommitted?”] …Twenty-five of the 35 people at the training session had been to an Iowa caucus, but even some of the more experienced ones were confused….As we sat and tried to follow, the women around me discussed the rules. Are you allowed to leave in the middle of the caucus to go to the bathroom? What happens when there’s a tie? (The answers to these questions were not clear).

    …Ms. Bribriesco said that in 2016, getting a total head count for each candidate was like “herding cats.” This year, at least, there are paper ballots to keep track of the number of people in each candidate’s corner. This way, people whose candidate moves on can leave after the first round; the paper becomes their placeholder, and votes can’t be changed after the second round. [There are only two rounds!]

    Some precincts, we learned, would flip a coin or draw straws to break a tie.

    And the training, you can see here, was for how to do the caucus, not how to report the results. Maybe the caucus captain was supposed to get separate training, or maybe these people didn’t think anyone would need training as to how to download an app. Or when. Not all at once. But the app had abug in it too.

    — (I would have included fake PINs on the forms and who’s to say they didn’t?)

    The PIN has to be communicated to the person who will use it. You could put it on a separate piece of paper in a separate envelope.

    — Robo dialers to jam the phone lines.

    They were jammed because olanning was done on the basis that most precincts would use the app.

    — Paper forms designed to look like they’ve been altered by the way the data is entered.

    Well you could see the alterations.

    One check is to report more numbers than you need, so you check if the math adds up. They did do that, and it seems like it didn’t always.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  39. @14. =ring-ring= Hello, Plagiarist Joe, this is April calling to remind you you’ll be dropping out in March.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  40. Biden doesn’t have to drop out if he doesn’t do so well, but he’s running himself into a financial hole. And Trump’s accusation or suspicion, much amplified by the House impeachment, may be hurting him. That;s probably not what Nancy Pelosi wanted to accomplish.

    Biden does not directly hit at the accusations:

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/joe-biden-scolds-nbc-savannah-guthrie-hunter-biden-question

    Former Vice President Joe Biden scolded NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie on Monday when then “Today” co-host asked about his son Hunter’s ties to Ukraine.

    Guthrie asked Biden if he’s noticed the “irony” that President Trump has been accused of trying to get information about Hunter Biden’s business dealings with Ukraine, which ultimately resulted in his impeachment. Guthrie pointed out that the impeachment process has put a spotlight on Biden’s son.

    “That’s a good thing and no one’s found anything wrong with his dealings with Ukraine except, that say it’s a bad image,” Biden said.

    “Do you agree that it sets a bad image?” Guthrie asked.

    “Yeah,” Biden said. “And my son said that.”

    Guthrie then asked Biden if he feels it was wrong for Hunter to take that position “knowing that it was really” because the company wanted access to the 2020 presidential hopeful. {make that maybe 2016 presidential possibility. She probably didn’t say either.]

    “Well, that’s not true. You’re saying things you do not know what you’re talking about,” Biden snapped back. “No one said that. Who said that?”

    Guthrie tried to respond and Biden interrupted to repeat his question, “Who said that?”

    …Guthrie pointed out that many people feel it is “sleazy” and that Hunter wouldn’t have landed the job without nepotism.

    “He’s a very bright guy,” Biden said.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  41. I like that Trump fans are really motivated to get Biden, even though Bernie is probably the most lefty of the bunch. They don’t mean to do it… they are just reflexively spamming whatever they are told. I wonder how much Putin pays for this stuff.

    Granted, Biden was supposed to do very poorly in Iowa, and he is a pretty absurd candidate, but if I had to choose from Warren, Biden, or Bernie?

    Dustin (b8d6d1)

  42. @25. After an hour or two it was pretty obvious the pundit peanut gallery across the cablers were more miffed they literally had nothing to talk about, dissect, analyze, project or compare to past performance and had to vamp banter and bull crap back and forth for four or five hours.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  43. Buttigieg said last night: “By all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious.”

    But he;s less strong about it now:

    In New Hampshire: “The hope that propelled me into this campaign is vindicated every day. It was vindicated in a big way last night when we had a chance to quiet those questions of whether we belong in this effort in the first place.”

    Bwrnie Sanders sounds like he thinks he was in the lead.

    “I don’t know how anybody declares victort before you have an official statement as to election result, so we’re not declaring victory. As of now, I think we’re in quite good shape.”

    Also:

    “I think we should all be disappointed in the inability of the party to come up with timely results but we are not casting aspirations on the votes that are being counted. There’s no excuse for not having results last night but that doesn’t mean to say that the totals that come in will be inaccurate. I think this is not a good night for Democracy.”

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  44. The rubes can’t add.

    That blue-green ice that falls from the skies– it’s a gift from God, too, Iowans– just for you.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  45. “ After an hour or two it was pretty obvious the pundit peanut gallery across the cablers were more miffed they literally had nothing to talk about, dissect, analyze, project or compare to past performance and had to avoid using the terms ‘incompetent’, ‘chaos’, ‘disservice’, ‘SNAFU’, ‘dumpster fire’ and ‘cluster’ for four or five hours.”

    FYP
    _

    The most hilarious meme I’m seeing pushed today is the Dems, after three years of trying to nullify an election and after a couple of weeks declaring Trump is now king and he has effectively torched the constitution, saying he needs to be bipartisan tonight.

    I hope he is but he probably isn’t in the mood, considering.

    harkin (d6cfee)

  46. @47. “… and had to avoid using the terms ‘incompetent’, ‘chaos’, ‘disservice’, ‘SNAFU’, ‘dumpster fire’ and ‘cluster’ for four or five hours.”

    Actually they did use those terms, increasingly, into the wee hours, PST.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  47. after three years of trying to nullify an election

    1. When, precisely, did Democrats begin impeachment proceedings?
    2. Who would become president if Trump were removed?
    3. Did the Republicans who impeached Bill Clinton try to nullify an election?
    4. Were the people who called for impeaching Obama attempting to nullify an election?
    5. Was the lawyer who called for impeaching Hillary Clinton before she was even elected aiming to nullify an election?
    6. Or: does impeaching or investigating or criticizing a president amount to an assault on democracy only when the president is named Donald Trump?

    Radegunda (0eb6fa)

  48. 3. Did the Republicans who impeached Bill Clinton try to nullify an election?

    I don’t disagree with you, but back in the 90s, Democrats said that very thing. They claimed over and over that Republicans were trying to nullify the 1996 election. Of course they were wrong, but they’re hardly in a position to squawk about Republicans making a similar charge today.

    Chuck Bartowski (bc1c71)

  49. Dustin (b8d6d1) — 2/4/2020 @ 11:47 am

    Why would any non-D waste effort attacking Bernie? The D’s are already doing the heavy lifting to sideline him. Of the D candidates, it’s also probably hardest for him to move to the middle if he wins the nomination.

    I wonder how much Putin pays for this stuff.

    I don’t know but my guess is that it’s less than what China pays.

    frosty (f27e97)

  50. …after a couple of weeks declaring Trump is now king and he has effectively torched the constitution…

    Oh, gosh, Trump’s been doing all that for MUCH longer than two weeks!

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  51. Ragspierre (d9bec9) — 2/4/2020 @ 1:10 pm

    You would think the National Archives would have better fire suppression protocols.

    frosty (f27e97)

  52. “2. Who would become president if Trump were removed?“
    Radegunda (0eb6fa) — 2/4/2020 @ 12:36 pm

    The next guy to get impeached.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  53. “1. When, precisely, did Democrats begin impeachment proceedings?“
    Radegunda (0eb6fa) — 2/4/2020 @ 12:36 pm

    When did Stefan Halper and Azra Turk have a impromptu get together with Papadopoulos?

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  54. “ Actually they did use those terms, increasingly, into the wee hours, PST.”

    Musta been pretty wee because after a couple hours switching between CNN, MSNBC and CNBC I shut it down at 1am (PST) and hadn’t heard any of them (except on Fox News, which I checked for about 10 min and saw ‘caucus chaos’ in a crawl. Their coverage of Warren, Buttigieg and Bernie statements was very even.

    harkin (d6cfee)

  55. Meanwhile……

    The two top officials overseeing Milwaukee’s host committee for the 2020 Democratic National Convention were sidelined Monday amid allegations of a toxic work culture….

    ……. In interviews with the Journal Sentinel over the weekend, two experienced political hands who have worked with the host committee described it as having a toxic culture rife with power struggles, backbiting and mismanagement.

    They accused the top two officials, Gilbert and Alonso, of giving contracts to their friends in New Jersey, calling meetings and then failing to attend them and being more focused on accumulating power than promoting Milwaukee.”

    https://amp.jsonline.com/amp/4645443002?__twitter_impression=true
    __ _

    Tim Stoner
    @timothystoner
    ·
    The convention is here in Milwaukee. The 2nd ballot should be a hoot when the Super Delegate 17% voting block gets to anoint the winner. I’m stocking up on popcorn.

    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  56. Corruption! Booty gave the company shadow who handles Iowa caucus software app $50,000 to fix Iowa and nevada. Looks like he is getting his moneys worth. Corrupt biden comes in last!

    asset (e84f27)

  57. Corruption! Booty gave the company shadow who handles Iowa caucus software app $50,000 to fix Iowa and nevada.

    Since he was diligent enough to report the expenditure to the FEC, is it still corrupt?

    Dave (060f26)

  58. In their desperation not to throw any bone to FIB dems from the immediate south, the cheesers cast their lot with an even more-mobbed up cesspool.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  59. 56.Yeah, you shudda staye oger or listened closer: the CNN/Cuomo and MSNBC crew were tossing around ‘cluster —”chaos’ and ‘incompetence’ fairly regularly- Matthews did a full court press on blaming Iowa. Fox— they were just gloating.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  60. Why would any non-D waste effort attacking Bernie? The D’s are already doing the heavy lifting to sideline him. Of the D candidates, it’s also probably hardest for him to move to the middle if he wins the nomination.

    I wonder how much Putin pays for this stuff.

    I don’t know but my guess is that it’s less than what China pays.

    frosty (f27e97) — 2/4/2020 @ 1:03 pm

    Because Bernie represents the greatest actual threat to our way of life. For the same reason, it is in Trump’s interest (but not America’s) that he be nominated.

    Trump’s reliable crew of repeaters of propaganda are on board though. Biden is the one y’all are mad at.

    Dustin (b8d6d1)

  61. More than 7,000 people attended a Trump rally just last Thursday at Drake University in Des Moines.

    What? Does he know there’s a Moscow, Iowa rarin’ to rally???

    ‘Trump was widely mocked in a since-deleted tweet Sunday evening following the[Super Bowl] Chiefs’ win, in which he praised the “Great State of Kansas” for the victory while not mentioning Missouri, the actual home of the team, in the tweet at all.

    Former Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill [D] as one of those ridiculing Trump over the message, calling him a “stone cold idiot.”

    It’s Missouri you stone cold idiot. pic.twitter.com/O1cAAOFsJ6
    — Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) February 2, 2020
    ‘ -source, The Hill

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  62. Dustin (b8d6d1) — 2/4/2020 @ 2:13 pm

    There are a lot of baked-in assumptions there. Namely, that Bernie is the D version of Trump. The not-a-Democrat who wins the nomination and then goes on the win the election.

    Although, how crazy is it that a rich commie with a bad heart could be our savior from Trump?

    frosty (f27e97)

  63. Although, how crazy is it that a rich commie with a bad heart could be our savior from Trump?

    FDR could tell you to ask Stalin– but Josef died of heart failure.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  64. With 75% counted, it looks like 60K makes for a great initial investment.

    urbanleftbehind (db13b1)

  65. Here’s a better analogy than Patterico’s. Suppose there was evidence that Vice President Biden had pressured Russians to cover up possible corruption. Suppose President Trump now pressured Putin to investigate this possible corruption. Would that have been an impeachable act by Trump?

    David in Cal (f8ea8c)

  66. McCaskill always spouting the knowledge:

    [tweets photo of Ben Carson on plane w other republicans, seeking to portray it as somehow racist]

    Claire McCaskill
    @clairecmc
    One of these things is not like the others. Hint: they made him squat in the aisle so he was visible.
    __ _

    #ThePersistence
    @ScottPresler

    Did you just call a black man a “thing”?

    Wow.

    I’m so glad you lost your seat in the Senate.
    __ _

    Julio Rosas
    @Julio_Rosas11
    ·

    It’s more diverse than the Democratic debate stage.
    _ _

    Donald Trump Jr.
    @DonaldJTrumpJr
    · 2h
    Hi Claire,

    Two problems with your tweet:

    1. Dr. Ben Carson did not have a seat in this pic because he was sitting in First Class with my family

    2. Dr. Carson is not a “thing,” he is a world renowned, life-saving neurosurgeon

    Anyway, how’s unemployment?
    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  67. My main concern is that I have a nephew in Alaska and now that Trump’s going to sell Alaska I’ll have to learn to speak Russian to talk to my nephew.

    Jerryskids (702a61)

  68. Suppose President Trump now pressured Putin to investigate this possible corruption. Would that have been an impeachable act by Trump?

    If Duh Donald followed proper procedures using the right channels, nope.

    If he did what he did with Ukraine, you damn betcha.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  69. @DonaldJTrumpJr

    Must run in the family: McCaskill’s not unemployed, you ‘stone-cold-idiot’–she get a check from NBC– just like your Daddy did for many, many years.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  70. I’ve updated post with a report from the AP on the caucus results of the 62% of precincts reporting.

    Dana (aaddb1)

  71. “UPDATE #2: Results of 62% reported precincts:

    Delegates Percent Count
    Pete Buttigieg 10 26.9% 363

    Bernie Sanders 10 25.1% 338

    Elizabeth Warren 4 18.3% 246

    Joe Biden 0 15.6% 210”
    _

    FOX is reporting the same numbers and it has ‘100%’ in the corner

    https://twitter.com/karol/status/1224817873929080834?s=20
    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  72. Trailing?! The update is who is TRAILING?! Someone tell me that Bernie Sanders is in the lead. Pleeeeeeze!

    Gryph (08c844)

  73. Ohh. Not leading, but second-place. I would pay money to see Bernie Sanders go up against Trump. The entertainment value alone would be first-rate! Cranky Commie vs. Manhattan Socialite-cum-Real Estate Mogul. You could pay-per-view the debates!

    Gryph (08c844)

  74. I would pay money to see Bernie Sanders go up against Trump.“

    It’s not inconceivable that, as the Obama idiocy gave us the Trump madness, the Trump madness may give us the Cultural errrr, Bernie Revolution.

    As to entertainment value, each Dem seems to have a team of comedy writers (tho maybe not as hilarious as McKaskill w her crayon).

    Check out Fauxcahontas going Jason Bourne in Marseille as she gets out of a private jet:

    https://twitter.com/Cam_Cawthorne/status/1224815010683203584?s=20
    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  75. Suppose there was evidence that Vice President Biden had pressured Russians to cover up possible corruption.

    lol

    Dustin (b8d6d1)

  76. “If Duh Donald followed proper procedures using the right channels, nope.”
    Ragspierre (d9bec9) — 2/4/2020 @ 3:46 pm

    Right, those “Viva le Resistance” channels.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  77. I would pay money to see Bernie Sanders go up against Trump.

    Why pay- you can likely find youtube video someplace to see Steady Eddie Koch go up against Trump in the ’80s. Same differnce.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  78. 79. Naw. When it comes to raw communist agitprop, I have yet to see a Dem who has Bernie beat. And besides that, I was a kid when Koch was presiding over NYC’s descent into s**tholedom.

    Gryph (08c844)

  79. 31. Mueller’s reported clearly and plainly detailed obstruction of the investigation into Russia’s meddling with the 2016 election, and Trump encouraged that meddling and hacking on live TV. He made contact and you saw it.

    The Mueller report listed 10? events and declared they were unable to make the determination they met the elements of obstruction. A real lawyer would know that. Mueller was under instruction to make charging, or declination decisions on his investigation. Mueller refused, even after Barr told him it was his job. But a more important determining factor, Schiff refused to write an article of impeachment including from the Mueller report. Schiff, by all account a very good lawyer, was not going to put himself in a position to defend the obstruction charges against the President lawyers.
    And President Trump from the political stump mocking Clinton’s wife over her private e mail server she used to conduct official State Department business, is just that a joke. Stop making yourself a joke by misrepresenting the facts

    iowan2 (1c4a14)

  80. So from the vote numbers, it looks like Der Bernmeister got shafted again. He is well ahead of Booty in raw first round votes (27,088 to 23,666) and slightly ahead in final round votes, but still behind on delegates.

    No wonder Comrade Lenin wasn’t having any of this “democracy” crap…

    Dave (060f26)

  81. 82. Ironic, isn’t it? It’s the communist who’s getting screwed blued and tattooed. Poetic, even!

    Gryph (08c844)

  82. In hindsight, Guido and Fredo should be glad Daddy “Merrio” ended up not beating Ed Koch in 77. I bet you the Joker film version of events would have actually happened.

    urbanleftbehind (2641dd)

  83. I’ll vote for Sanders before Buttigieg.

    I’ll vote for Trump before Buttigieg.

    nk (1d9030)

  84. Note that the only candidate who scores well across all demographics is Buttigieg. Sanders gets almost no votes form 65+ and Biden does as poorly with the young.

    If you are young with no college, want free medicine and international isolation, then Sanders is your guy.

    Kevin M (8ae2cb)

  85. Suppose there was evidence that Vice President Biden was a tool of the credit card companies.

    Kevin M (8ae2cb)

  86. How much did those 0 delegates cost Bloomberg and Steyer? A simple division problem, right?

    Kevin M (8ae2cb)

  87. Zero.

    A numerator is allowed to take on the value of zero in a fraction. Any legal fraction (denominator not equal to zero) with a numerator equal to zero has an overall value of zero.

    nk (1d9030)

  88. 82. Dave (060f26) — 2/4/2020 @ 4:37 pm

    So from the vote numbers, it looks like Der Bernmeister got shafted again. He is well ahead of Booty in raw first round votes (27,088 to 23,666) and slightly ahead in final round votes, but still behind on delegates.

    The “winner” of the Iowa caucuses isn’t determined by the popular vote.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  89. 90. In 2016, I’d say the winner of the Democratic primary wasn’t determined by popular vote. So if it wasn’t the people voting for Shillary, who was left to vote for her?

    Gryph (08c844)

  90. Reporting is saying the DNC came in and did all the counting today to generate the numbers we are now looking at. Still 62% reporting. It’s been 3.5 hours since the initial tallies were released. The voting ended at 22 hours ago and still no final numbers? The precincts that were selected out to generate this exact outcome? The reason we don’t know the final numbers?

    Nothing like a good dose of transparency to calm the conspiracy rumors😂

    iowan2 (1c4a14)

  91. Gina wouldn’t be doing her job right if her operation only caused chaos for less than a day.

    nk (1d9030)

  92. I’ll vote for Sanders before Buttigieg.

    I’ll vote for Trump before Buttigieg.

    You wouldn’t…

    Dave (2c186f)

  93. Pete 2020 / Re-Pete 2024

    noel (4d3313)

  94. The number of precincts whose results have been reported is now up to 71%. WOR Radip says that Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are tied, Elizabeth Warren is third and Joe iden shold be exoected to wind up with no delegates.

    But the precise results may not matter at this point.

    By the way they don’t usually begin totaling up delegates till after the first four states. They first started totaling up delegates in 1972, which was the year the early Iowa caucuses started. I
    was surprised to see the New York Times featuring a whole page on 1972 race and they started writing about de;egates. They hadn’t in 1968

    I think McGovern won that in 1972. Then, in 1975, Jimmy Carter campaigned in the state for whole year. He had greater name recognition there than Senator Henry M. (Scoop) Jackson (whose name recognition was only 10%, something reporters didn’t realize) but touted his popularity to being an “outsider”” He was on the front cover of the New York Times magazine twice about four weeks apart – in December of 1975 and January of 1976.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  95. In wake of the Iowa Democrat caucus, David French prefers MACA: Make America Competent Again.

    If you follow my writing at all, you know that I think that policy is far less consequential to American life than culture. Now, that doesn’t mean at all that politics or policy are irrelevant or that they don’t influence culture to some extent, but if we’re weighing the relative importance of American culture versus American policy to the health of the nation, our culture is far, far more consequential.
    And here’s a cultural reform of great potential consequence—let’s make America competent again.
    […]
    But let’s back up for a moment and imagine an alternative history of the United States. In this alternative history, we simply ask what would be different if American politicians, journalists, election officials, bureaucrats, and captains of industry were simply better at their jobs—in matters large and small.
    What are the ripple effects if Palm Beach County election officials designed a less-confusing ballot for the 2000 election? How does America change if our intelligence agencies were more accurate in their assessment of Saddam Hussein’s chemical and nuclear weapons programs? Or, if we still failed on that front, how is our nation different if military and civilian leaders had not made profound mistakes at the start of the Iraq occupation?
    We can do this all day. Let’s suppose for a moment that industry experts were better able to gauge the risks of an expanding number of subprime mortgage loans. . Would we be more trusting of government if it could properly launch a health care website, the most public-facing aspect of the most significant social reform in a generation? How can we accurately judge foreign threats if ISIS is dubbed a “jayvee team” the very year that it explodes upon the world stage and creates the largest jihadist state in modern history?
    The ripple effects of incompetence are staggering. It’s easy to mislabel or misunderstand it as malice, especially when a person feels the sting of its consequences. And when the incompetence is particularly egregious, conspiracy theories can flourish. I mean, are we supposed to believe that federal officials wouldn’t keep close watch on the most famous prisoner in the entire federal prison system? Really? At a time when the media is reporting establishment Democratic alarm at the rise of Bernie Sanders, are we supposed to believe that the abject failure of that same establishment when Bernie is on the cusp of a potentially game-changing victory is entirely accidental and innocent? Really? Even after 2016?
    In a time of negative polarization, “they can’t do their job” turns into “they hate me” and—ultimately—“their job is to screw me over.”
    America will never be free of mistakes, and the more difficult and complex the job, the greater the likelihood of confusion and failure. But perhaps America’s political and journalistic class needs a bit of a course correction—instead of measuring virtue by ideas and intentions, let’s place a greater emphasis on execution and accountability. No one is entitled to a job. No state is entitled to its premier position in presidential primary contests. Incompetence has consequences, and those consequences should not be borne exclusively (or, if possible, even primarily) by its victims.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  96. Wall Street Journal outline of the Iowa caucus process (before it was held but article was Updated Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 at 10:40 a.m. ET)

    https://www.wsj.com/graphics/how-iowa-caucuses-work-2020

    Doors open no later than 6:30 p.m. and caucus-goers must be in line to enter by 7 p.m. Once inside, everyone checks in as they would for a ballot election. Voters who aren’t registered with the Democratic Party can do so that day. Once everyone is inside, people are tallied and the process begins.

    Representatives from each of the campaigns can give remarks to give a last-minute push for their candidates.

    The first alignment begins as caucus-goers move around the room to their preferred candidates’ designated areas. Voters move around and convince wavering folks to join them. Once everyone has picked a candidate (or chosen to remain uncommitted), caucus leaders will count up the people in each group. Those candidates who have at least 15% are considered viable.
    New this year to the Iowa caucuses is that once someone has caucused with a viable candidate, their vote is locked in and they can no longer choose another candidate. They are free to leave or remain to participate in additional party business.

    Those who chose to caucus with candidates who had less than 15% of the caucus vote now become free agents and have no less than 15 minutes to choose from one of three options:

    1. Choose to caucus with an already viable candidate.
    2. Try to rally other free agents to make a non-viable candidate viable.
    3. Choose not to align with another candidate.

    In years past, there were several rounds of realignment. This year, there will be just one. Once the remaining free agents have chosen their options, caucus leaders will do a final tally and determine the viable candidates from this precinct.

    This final alignment is what determines each precinct’s share of county delegates and ultimately state delegate equivalents, or SDEs. The Iowa Democratic Party considers SDEs to be the most important result of the caucuses, and it is the number the Associated Press will use to call the race. They’re awarded on a proportional basis based on the turnout levels of the previous two general elections.

    Satellite Caucuses

    These special caucuses are for voters who are unable to attend their precinct’s caucus. In 2016, Iowa tested out four satellite caucuses. This year there will be 87 with 60 in Iowa, 24 elsewhere in the U.S. in 13 states and Washington, D.C., and three overseas. The process is similar to those of the precinct caucuses.

    [So far appeared in print Thursday January 30, 2020

    [Added later or online]

    [Locations listed including one in Tblisi, Georgia]

    Reporting of Results

    The first wave of numbers were expected to be available around 8 p.m. Iowa time, but the Iowa Democratic Party failed to release the results of the state’s presidential caucuses, saying it had found “inconsistencies in the reporting.” Iowa Democratic Party officials said the delays weren’t caused by hack or a crash of the organization’s phone app that it rolled out in the hope of tallying results more quickly this year.

    For the first time—in response to calls for greater transparency—the state party planned to release the raw total for votes from both rounds of voting, along with the traditional share of delegates won. All three numbers for each precinct were scheduled to be released at the same time.

    There’s no guarantee all three metrics will eventually point to the same winner, but state and national party officials have made clear that the person who collects the most delegates should be considered the winner. Still, the two additional data points may give campaigns an opportunity to offer their own interpretations.

    Delegate Selection to the National Convention

    The Delegate nominating process takes several steps to whittle the more than 2,100 precinct delegates down to 41 to represent Iowa in Milwaukee. …

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)


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