Not thrilled with the Iowa results, but considering what has happened, I’m glad he’s not a part of the big show here. His name isn’t associated the mess, and he doesn’t have to stay behind to try to solve the problem because the issue is between him and Bernie.
Despite the results, Bernie lost in a big way-and not just in the reduced potential delegate count. He wanted-and needed-a big win to show viability. He now has to share first with a mayor-of all people. Mayor Pete B had no national profile, had never won statewide, and had an unpronounceable name.
It’s harder to win the second time around.-nomination or the general. Why is that? (The first time it could be a lightning in a bottle-catching the moment, the zeitgeist). The next time you are not a novelty-or just someone catching a wave, just another politician. Your base may have moved on, (or you are facing an incumbent of your own party if all went well)
The second time around means expanding the base of support and having to make the case to people who rejected your approach that you deserve a second chance. Success here means you now have to pay more attention to the fundamentals of your party-the base people and ideas that move it. Lighting bugs like Eugene McCarthy and Rand Paul weren’t able to do it. it takes a lot of eating crow for dinner, and being a little more humble towards party members and elites. Those who make the grade politically know how to do this. It’s no accident that Nixon and Reagan spent years after their first runs doing just this, and ending up as both the nominee and later becoming President. Hillary, while not becoming President, worked just as hard after 2008 and became the nominee.
The temptation of second–placers is to not analyze why they came in second with voters. One reason it is is that if you come close enough to be a real factor-like coming in second,the temptation is to just repeat the same mistakes thinking that it’s just a matter of the opponent . Or to cruise on reputation and exposure alone, thinking you don’t have to appeal to new voters, just assume the loyalty of the old ones.
Bernie is in the same place right now.. Instead of trying to reassure the undecided, he has fallen in love with his own image and the idea of a “revolution” that will have him at the head of the line. So he’s embraced nastiness and triumphalism instead of reconciliation.