MSNBC’s Katy Tur was given the Donald Trump assignment in late 2015, when almost no one in the mainstream media thought the New York billionaire had the slightest prayer of winning the Republican nomination. Tur was a second-string reporter, and she got the second-string assignment: Cover the celebrity populist, have some fun at the rallies, and we’ll give our best reporters the more important business of covering the Jeb Bush campaign.
But in the process of covering Trump, Tur inevitably bumped her own career up a few notches. It wasn’t long before she and everyone else realized that Trump WAS the story of the campaign. And in her position as MSNBC’s embed reporter with the campaign, Tur had a front-row seat to history. She was there in every state, watching thousands of people turn out to watch Trump hold court while Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio were talking to VFW audiences of 15-20 retirees. Few reporters in the media know better what it looks like when a candidate is catching fire with the people.
So it isn’t too surprising that it would be Tur, uniquely, to look at the anemic crowds (if you can even call them that) that Joe Biden is drawing in Iowa and see trouble for the Democratic frontrunner.
“Biden and Buttigieg have basically had this state to themselves along with Yang and a couple others,” Tur said Monday. “Why is Buttigieg starting to surge and Biden not surging? What is going on with his support?”
Tur noted that Biden’s numbers in Iowa were faltering compared to Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, both of whom are stuck in Washington for the impeachment trial.
“Over the weekend Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg all got over a thousand people at rallies, Biden got a couple hundred,” Tur said. “What does that mean for his support going forward? You can hear the excitement from the crowds from Warren, from Sanders, from Klobuchar, and from Buttigieg. And then you hear Biden’s crowd and it’s just him, it’s just his voice.”
Tur, no doubt thinking about the president’s Wildwood rally where people were already camping out a day in advance, said, “As these candidates are getting a couple hundred, sometimes a thousand people, Trump is gonna fly in here, and if past is precedent, get 5,000, 10,000 people here in Des Moines.
“What does that say about the Democrats’ chances in November when Donald Trump is drawing crowds that are that big and the Democrats are not?” she asked.
Oh, Katy, you know exactly what it means – history is getting ready to repeat itself.