Magazine February 24, 2020, Issue

Joe Biden’s Last Campaign

(Roman Genn)
As his party races left, the former veep struggles to catch up

Waterloo, Iowa

After trying twice before to win the Democratic party’s presidential nomination, Joe Biden has spent the 2020 primary acting like a man scrambling to catch up with his moment, afraid it may have passed him by. And with good reason.

At campaign events in eastern Iowa the week before the caucuses, Biden focused most of his meandering rhetoric on President Trump and didn’t do anything to rebut — implicitly or explicitly — claims from his Democratic opponents that his candidacy is too backward-looking, too moderate for 2020.

It turns out that Iowa caucus-goers were inclined to agree with the former vice

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