When he first launched his presidential bid in April, Joe Biden promised he’d visit Iowa so often the state would be sick of him.
After making just four appearances during a two-day swing here in late April, Biden has been AWOL from a key early state that’s accustomed to seeing presidential candidates in the flesh.
He’ll be returning to Iowa Tuesday and Wednesday — and recently announced plans to add 50 paid staffers in the state by the end of the month — but Democratic officials say Biden has already fallen behind in organizing and needs to accelerate his efforts.
Just in the six weeks since he was last here, his leading 2020 rivals — including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg — have held close to a dozen events or more each. Even Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who launched his campaign three weeks after Biden, has already held a dozen Iowa events.
“He needs to come out and do some retail politics with us. He comes here with higher name ID but that isn’t going to totally carry the day. I don’t think he can take anything for granted,” said former Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge.