Divided Democrats Eye Iowa on Eve of Caucuses
This Day in History | 1887
The tradition of Groundhog day is started at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
Happy Groundhog Day Middle Americans,
It looks like an early spring, at least according to Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog who’s been predicting the weather for 133 years. And it looks like the winter of president Trump’s impeachment will be coming to end soon as well. The vote to acquit the president will happen on Wednesday. The day before he’s scheduled to deliver his State of the Union Address, which will provide him a stop opportunity to explain to the country the stark contrast between his agenda, and the Democrats.
The Iowa Caucuses will play out Monday night, and the party is tearing itself apart. Biden is calling in old favors with Wall Street, the DNC is bending their debate rules to appease billionaire Mike Bloomberg as they fight for the monied and establishment wing of the Democratic party. Meanwhile socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders is set to runaway with the Iowa Caucuses, and he’s polling strong in New Hampshire.
Read all about it!
– Fraser Dixon
Biden Digs Deep Into Wall Street Rolodex to Brace for Fight
(Bloomberg) -Joe Biden’s campaign has added big-name Democratic fundraisers to the candidate’s national finance committee, including billionaire Penny Pritzker and Avenue Capital Croup’s Marc Lasry, as it braces for a protracted fight for the Democratic nomination.
Muddied or close results in the first few contests paired with multiple candidates who have signaled plans to stay in the race indefinitely drag the nominating contest deep into the year, and Biden’s camp argued Friday that it’s ready for the fight.
“The VP remains in a strong position to perform well in the first four states and on Super Tuesday, but we’re also planning for an extended process into the summer,” campaign manager Greg Schultz said in a memo to Biden supporters, hinting that the campaign expects Bernie Sanders will stay in the race at least until the end of the primary calendar, even if he doesn’t have a delegate advantage.
“Monday’s contest begins the process, it doesn’t end it,” Schultz said. “And, it’s a process we are fully prepared and well-positioned to win.” After falling behind top opponents in raising money, January has been Biden’s “strongest month of fund raising since launch,” he said, with much of the growth coming online.
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Bernie Sanders Calls for Unity, but His Supporters Have Other Ideas
(AP) — When Bernie Sanders addresses throngs of supporters who gather at his rallies, the divisions that plague the Democratic Party can feel far away. The Vermont senator speaks of building a “mutliracial, mutli-generational movement” that will cut through economic divides, catapult him into the White House and transform the nation.
Some of the highest-profile surrogates campaigning on his behalf are less sanguine.
Speaking at a concert for Sanders on Friday night, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., led sustained booing from the stage at the mention of Hillary Clinton, his rival in the 2016 primary. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat who has campaigned for Sanders across Iowa, says the Democratic establishment should conform to the progressive movement, not the other way around. “We aren’t pushing the party left, we are bringing the party home,” she says.
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2020 Democrats Slam Party Rule Change that Could Let Bloomberg Debate
(Washington Examiner) – Current and former candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination lashed out at the Democratic National Committee for changing debate qualification rules that would give Michael Bloomberg an opening to make the stage.
“The DNC didn’t change the rules to ensure good, diverse candidates could remain on the debate stage. They shouldn’t change the rules to let a billionaire on. Billionaires shouldn’t be allowed to play by different rules — on the debate stage, in our democracy, or in our government,” Massachuetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said in a tweet on Friday.
Bloomberg, 77, was not eligible for other debate stages because the former New York mayor and ultrabillionaire is self-funding his presidential bid and not accepting campaign contributions, making it impossible for him to meet the DNC’s 225,000 individual donor threshold for the stage.
On Friday, the DNC announced a system for the Feb. 19 debate in Las Vegas based entirely on delegate allocation from the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses and Nov. 11 New Hampshire primary and polling thresholds, giving him a chance to make the stage.
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