Monday, January 13, 2020

#IOWACAUCUSES--Bernie Sanders Moves Out Front--& THE MCGOVERN '72 PARALLEL


"..Well, there are caucuses in Iowa, but nobody pays attention to them....."  Gary Hart for Team McGovern, 1972

      (The Den)---Closely resembling a pattern from the 1972 election, candidate Bernie Sanders rises to the occasion, similar to that followed by George McGovern. Issue driven with war and palace intrigue on the debate platform, the opposition, Team Trump, just announced Bernie as the newly designated Twitter target, reported by Kristin Fisher and Alex Pappas at Fox News;
     "President Trump’s re-election campaign is deeming Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders the indisputable frontrunner in the Democratic primary, as polling shows the Democratic socialist rising in Iowa just weeks before the caucuses kick off the nominating season." (Fox)

Trump campaign dubs Bernie Sanders the new Dem 'frontrunner'

President Trump's re-election campaign is deeming Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders the indisputable frontrunner in the Democratic primary, as polling shows the Democratic socialist rising in Iowa just weeks before the caucuses kick off the nominating season. "There is no mistaking that Bernie Sanders has to be considered the frontrunner now," a senior Trump campaign official told Fox News on Monday.
     What better endorsement can a candidate get than being promoted in the field by the enemy without having even fought a battle?  It also tells a great deal about Team Trump and its intel reports, it appears the President is determined to stay in office in spite of all of his current troubles. The inside report comes over Bernie's Iran posture;
     "It just so happened that for a long time Joe Biden was a gaffe a minute and we focused a lot on him. But this whole episode with Iran revealed just how dangerous [Sanders] would be if he were somehow to become president.”
     That process of "somehow" becoming president is known as a free election. Why the comparison to the 1972 affair with George McGovern?  It has to do with the Iowa Caucuses and how it became the launchpad.  Joshua Mound has it right in the New Republic;
     "For the past 40 years, whenever a Democratic presidential hopeful has given off the slightest whiff of leftish anti-establishmentarianism, party leaders and mainstream pundits have invoked McGovern’s name. In 2004, Howard Dean was the new McGovern. In 2008, Barack Obama became the new McGovern. This year, it’s Bernie Sanders’s turn." (New Republic)

What Democrats Still Don't Get About McGovern

Anthony Korody/Getty Images The party took all the wrong lessons from his landslide loss to Richard Nixon in '72. A specter is haunting the Democratic Party-"McGovernism." In 1972, President Richard Nixon shellacked his Democratic opponent, George McGovern, by a 23-point margin in the popular vote.

     Mound appears to attribute the Goldwater loss to Goldwater himself and forgetting he ran against LBJ, but the comparison was made with reference to the Nixon-McGovern landslide for the Republicans. That was because, as Mound correctly suggests, the Nixon camp astutely recognized the operational potential of the McGovern camp;
     "To the surprise of nearly everyone outside of the McGovern campaign itself, the strategy worked. In confidential memos, the Nixon reelection campaign called the George Wallace and McGovern efforts 'the only two smart campaigns.' McGovern, in particular, worried Nixon’s advisers because his 'class appeal' was 'pinning the adjective ‘rich’ to Republicans.' McGovern had been 'badly underestimated' and was 'potentially very dangerous to the President,' the Nixon analysis concluded."
     That strategy was, of course, appealing to the Average Joe in America. So it wasn't necessarily that McGovern had this great charisma, like JFK, but that his machine was well oiled, experienced, and veterans of prior failed campaigns. Then George did what Bernie said he isn't going to do, make a "white guy" his running mate, and certainly not an old one at that;
     "Sanders called choosing someone to round out his hypothetical ticket 'a little bit premature,' but he did say the person 'will not be an old white guy.' The 78-year-old Sanders said he believes in diversity and promised his cabinet 'will look like what America looks like,' adding that 'the country is long overdue for the kind of diversity that we're going to bring to the White House.' " (The Week)
     It doesn't matter that McGovern placed second in the '72 Iowa caucus, it mattered that he placed second. Pundits will argue that it was Carter in '76 that "revolutionized" the caucus, but as Robert Sam Anson reflects in Vanity Fair, it was the McGovern team that set the standard;
     “ 'How ’bout asking for money in this thing?'  He said, 'Well, I don’t know about that.' Long story short, I convinced him to let me put some requests for money in, and with a New York ad man named Tom Collins, I came up with the kind of letter I knew would sell anything. It was seven pages, probably the longest letter in direct-mail history." (Vanity Fair)

     That was Morris Dees who became part of the McGovern machine along with Gary Hart and Rick Stearns. The mailer raised $300K in 10 days. It was Hart who suggested Iowa and the team moved there to take on Ed Muskie. Point man was Doug Coulter, a Special Forces recon man out of the war;
     "We didn’t take donations, took stamps for mailings, lived out of petty cash, and slept on people’s floors."
     Although Andrew Busch initially skips over the Iowa caucus in his book Outsiders and Openness in the Presidential Nominating System, he does make one important point about the method to the McGovern madness;
     "In students, in housewives, so much of their time is their own, the Movement seemed to have developed the manpower equivalent of the old patronage rolls of machine politics. The new political leisure class could man telephones or hit the doorsteps with bodies and skills that overwhelmed both the numbers and the quality of their competitors within the old party" (Outsiders)
     There is one more important point from the book that shows the distinction between the primary and caucus states;
     "Overall, it cost the McGovern campaign seven thousand dollars to win each delegate in California, compared to an average of only fifty dollars a delegate in non-primary states." (Page 98)
     Forty-eight years later, another long-shot with Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder's odds probably in line with that of McGovern's, is set to engage the big-money candidates in Des Moines.  The similarities are striking even if the Democrats themselves are clueless.
     (Article in continuous development)

Further Reading:

What's on Iowans' minds as Democratic presidential candidates head into Tuesday's debate?

CLOSE Iowans, with unmatched access to presidential candidates, have a few things on their minds. Caucusgoers in the first-in-the-nation state have been thinking about presidential candidates' stances on three key issues: Health care, climate change and education, according to extensive Des Moines Register reporting and data from Iowa Polls of likely Democratic caucusgoers.
What's missing here" Possibly the immense pressure Iowa farmers faced only last year when the administration slapped tariffs on China, all but destroying the markets for agricultural crops throughout the state.  That was before the weather hit. Health care, climate change? (Des Moines Register)_

New Republic,
The Week,
Vanity Fair,
McGovern Button,'72_button_(1).jpg
Iowa Poster,
Busch., A., Outsiders and Openness, Pittsburgh Press, 1997, Page 87 (footnote 29)
Flooded Silos,