With the Democrats in Iowa now promising to release "50% of the results by 5pm EST" – which sounds exactly like something you say to a teacher or editor when you're working on a deadline you will not meet – it is becoming clear that the dominant memory from this will not be who won but simply of what a mess it was.

Someone suggested to me that declaring victory with 0% results in was a smart thing for Buttigieg to do. My initial reaction was, that is ridiculous.
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The winner of the caucus will *eventually* be known, and declaring yourself the winner of something you might turn out not to win would be, if not instantly fatal to a campaign, at the very least a source of continuing embarrassment. It would go down with things like Dukakis in the tank or the "Dean Scream" in the annals of ways candidates have managed to humiliate themselves.

The more I think about it, though, there might be some defensible logic to it.

Buttigieg has bet *everything* on Iowa. Everything. He isn't polling well nationally and he isn't polling well in New Hampshire or South Carolina. He isn't making an especially strong showing anywhere except in his fund raising numbers, which are good albeit not stellar, and Iowa.
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So, the campaign's strategy has to boil down to: win Iowa and then use 'I won Iowa!' as a springboard to get some momentum going into the next few races. Maybe improve how well you do in NH and SC even if you don't win them (it's likely, in the view of the campaigns themselves, that Sanders and Biden have NH and SC, respectively, pretty well sewn up).

What does he really have to lose? Short of winning Iowa – again, a state he threw everything into – his campaign is kinda dead in the water anyway. So I guess the bold play is to use partial data that shows him in a narrow lead to declare victory and…hope it sticks, I guess? I mean it's not a brilliant strategy, but I'm not sure what a brilliant strategy would be given the position he's in. He's not doing particularly well overall – that is, aside from Iowa. And he has statistically zero support among black voters, which is not a real good omen for a Democratic candidate.

So, in short, I think if he ends up losing (finishing anything but first) he will be a laughingstock but so what? If he finishes anything but first his campaign's strategy didn't work and he's probably toast anyway. It's some crazy shit, but why not try some crazy shit when you probably won't improve your odds to win by behaving well and sticking to the traditional script.

"Bold move, let's see if it pays off for him."

21 thoughts on “LONG SHOT”

  • "It's some crazy shit, but why not try some crazy shit when you probably won't improve your odds to win by behaving well and sticking to the traditional script." . . . Isn't this why the Orange Tweety Bird won and is still in office?

  • @ Papermache:

    I would say that's how it started but he was going nowhere until he signed on with the white supremacists, anti-choice and anti-immigrant moronz. Well, that and various russian skulldugs.

  • One also needs to consider that the SOTU is tonight, which will suck a good chunk of the oxygen out of the news cycle. The actual results will be a blip, and Mayor Pete got people talking about him for a full day, which is the best he could have hoped for.

  • The Firesign theatre put it best way back in the 1972 election when their advice was, "[Vote for] a blender, anything but Nixon." As a scared Canuck nervously watching your slow-motion drive over the cliff, it is hoped come November rational people unite behind, well, a blender, anything but Trump.

    BTW nice to have you back Ed. I know you are busy–great stuff too–but I hope you can promise we G&T oldtimers (in all senses of the word) one screed a week. More than that and I might have to adjust my blood-pressure meds anyway.

  • Buttigieg has a mildly stentorian voice and delivery along with a dry sense of humor which actually would work for a Firesign Theater reboot. I can hear him intoning some tech update to “Shoes For Industry!”.

  • You can't beat Pete. He's three steps ahead of every other campaign. There's a reason why he is where he is. It's not a fluke or an accident that, out of a field of over 20 candidates that began this race, a mayor of a small city – who had essentially zero national name recognition less than a year ago – is one of only a few candidates left standing that has a realistic shot at winning the nomination. He picked the right message. He picked the right strategy. And he hasn't made a single mistake. Declaring victory was absolutely the right move. He knew he had won.

  • LOL, Buttigieg has as much chance of being the next President as I do. He's most recently (before the IA "results") polling nationally (Morning Consult) at approx 6% in 5th place behind Biden, Sanders, Warren, AND Bloomberg. His "victory" in Iowa has already been overshadowed by the President's State of the Union speech last night, and of course his inevitable acquittal in the Senate today.

    My foily side says that the whole Shadow app fuckup was a great way to blunt Sanders' obvious national lead coming out of Iowa and prevent him from making a big "we're gonna win" speech on primetime tv. But really, since it looks like the geniuses behind the app were some of the usual suspects who burned a billion fucking dollars four years ago losing a gimme election to a reality tv show star/ fascist, the more obvious explanation is that they're just incompetent idiots.

  • @geoff, I'm with Tim on this one. Pelosi overshadowed the SOTU by tearing it in half. She spoke for millions by essentially saying that an SOTU by an impeached POTUS isn't worth the paper it was written on. But she was not alone. Count the walkouts and the verbal interruptions. Getting back to the point of Ed's post . . . Democrats need to ramp up the "crazy shit," especially at the SOTU. Sure he will be acquitted but it will never erase the shit stain from his tidy whitey. Kudos to Pete. He created a much needed spark. Sparks ignite.

  • If only Nancy Pelosi had the integrity to shred Trump's request for more billions in monies for the MIC……It's amazing how a brief moment of pedestrian grandstanding has garnered her some kudos.

    Btw,Pete Buttigieg has just been declared the rightful leader of Venezuela!

  • Kudos only from folks with zero self-awareness like Nancy who like Nancy complain that Trump is vindictive, petty, and unprofessional. He IS that, but physician, heal thyself. Then get yourself an economy and all's equal…

  • I geuss we'll find out about Buttigieg's real chances one month from today on Super Tuesday.

    Speaker Pelosi permanently lost my respect when she refused to impeach W. in 2006 ("impeachment is off the table"), for what to my mind are far greater crimes (illegal wars, torture, mass surveillance, etc.) than those committed by our current (odious) Pres.

  • Inky, notbuddy:

    You keep finding time to add to the pile of horseshit that you spew here but not enough, it seems, to gather up the evidence of Ed's support of islamic terrorists. I mean I know that you never had any intention of saying something that fucking stupid and then being able to back it up but unlike the Senate, there are witnesses.

    I know that you can't respond with evidence–because none exists.

    So, keep on coming in and pretending that you never said it. You're a lying sack of shit.

    Nobody but a fucking idiot would buy into anything you push, you should report back to whoever's paying for your intertoobz bill and tell them that it didn't work.

  • I haven’t seen any evidence, but I’d be willing to bet my drinking money that the IC app was torpedoed by nothing more than password protection. My understanding that the poll managers were given a test login and a real login, I can see 50% getting that wrong and locking the app up.

    I’ve spent my career in government, and I can’t tell you how many devices I’ve seen bricked because Boomers can’t understand password protection. A good example is a guy who retired and simply handed his devices in, without wiping his ID (as instructed. His boomer boss also failed to verify that he did so…). We go to reissue, can’t unlock, can’t take to the manufacturer because secrets, and now it’s a $1000 paperweight. I’ve seen that exact scenario twice.

  • democommie, You are one of the reasons I so enjoy "Gin & Tacos." It helps me survive the madness.

    Inkberrow, …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  • Now that perez and the dnc have taken over the vote count I am sure we can expect to hear how delusional joe, ex senator from mastercard, was the run away winner with klobacher and buttigieg as 2nd and 3rd and that bernie and Wareen didn't get any votes

  • Fuck The DNC Incrementalism says:

    This will backfire on the Ratfucker. American Psycho and Ratfucker Buttigieg will eventually be relegated to spending his days and nights whining to himself within the confines of an elegant wine cellar. His days in politics are about over.

    Buttigieg IS A FRAUD. The DNC is going the way of the Whigs,and with good riddance.

  • @ Papermache:

    I would far rather not have turds being dropped into the punchbowl of the marketplace of ideas but childish aholes like Inky can't afford the normal outlets that those who crave vitriolic abuse usually pay for.

  • Life During Wartime says:

    I absolutely adore Buttigieg! He has brought a wonderful urbane vibe to South Bend, Indiana. There are now hundreds of homeless people on the streets of the small town/city. That is progress. The kind of progress that is admirable. No city can be considered urbane and cosmopolitan without a bunch of homeless people. Moreover,they're probably deplorables! Btw,how Mayo Pete handled that no good police chief is admirable as well. We need a young white-man from flyover country to lead this country! Especially since we are going to invade Mexico! Warren would be a great VP pick. Not only would she be the first female VP,she would be the first genuine Native-American VP, too!

  • It looks like he did win, but I really don't agree with your assessment, Ed. Like all the well-funded campaigns, he had staffers at all the voting centers, so the candidates knew the results before we did. He was right to declare victory. He also isn't doing as badly with black voters as you seem to think. Unlike Biden and Bloomberg, he, and even Warren, are still building name recognition, but I'm hearing more interest from *actual* black people for him than Biden. Bernie had the same criticisms last election, and he is doing quite well with (mostly younger) black voters now. Buttigieg is doing fairly well nationally, too.

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