The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats tout Obama ties as race shifts to New Hampshire

The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats tout Obama ties as race shifts to New Hampshire
© Greg Nash

Welcome to The Hill's Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We're Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here's what we're watching this week on the campaign trail. 




Former President Obama hasn't endorsed anyone in the Democratic field of White House contenders, but the candidates would love for you to believe that they're the successors to his legacy.

On the campaign trail on Wednesday, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden struggles to stay in the spotlight Is Texas learning to love ObamaCare? Romney warns Trump: Don't interfere with coronavirus relief oversight MORE -- Obama's No. 2 man during their eight years together in the White House -- fired back at upstart rival former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegButtigieg launches new PAC to aid down-ballot candidates HuffPost political reporter on why Bernie fell way behind Biden Economists fear slow pace of testing will prolong recession MORE, who has cast Biden as a relic of "old, failed Washington."

"Is he really saying the Obama-Biden administration was a failure?," Biden asked at a townhall event in New Hampshire. "Pete, just say it out loud.''

Biden is under pressure to beat back a challenge from Buttigieg, who is a direct threat to him in the centrist lane of the primary.

The vote tallies are not fully in from Iowa, but Buttigieg is headed for a top finish, while it appears that Biden will be languishing far behind in fourth place.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill Democratic senators want probe into change of national stockpile description Democrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus MORE (D-Mass.) is another Democratic contender looking for a jolt of momentum heading into New Hampshire, and on Wednesday she released a new ad touting Obama's praise of her work as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a watchdog agency. 


The remarks are from a 2010 press conference, in which Obama praised Warren as a "janitor's daughter who has become one of the country's fiercest advocates for the middle class."

"She's done it while facing some very tough opposition," Obama says. "Fortunately, she's very tough."

And former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergFormer Bloomberg staffer seeks class-action lawsuit over layoffs Bloomberg spent over 0M on presidential campaign The Hill's Campaign Report: Officials in spotlight over coronavirus response MORE, whose hundreds of millions of dollars in spending have pushed him into the double-digits in national polling, highlighted his and Obama's past work together in a new television advertisement.

"At a time when Washington is divided in old ideological battles, he shows us what can be achieved when we bring people together to seek pragmatic solutions," Obama is heard saying of Bloomberg in the 30-second ad, which is taken from a 2013 event.

Eight years removed from the White House, Obama's lasting legacy and his status as the most popular Democratic in the country is one of the few certainties in this muddled primary.

-- Jonathan



On Biden

Biden: 'We took a gut punch in Iowa,' by Max

Biden wins endorsement of prominent union, by The Hill's Tax Axelrod


On Iowa

Shadow CEO: 'We feel really terrible' about Iowa caucus app flap, by The Hill's John Bowden

Buttigieg maintains lead after second round of Iowa results released, by The Hill's Tal Axelrod

DNC chair says app used in Iowa won't be used in other primary states, by The Hill's Chris Mills Rodrigo



While we are still waiting on the full results to come in from Iowa, it's full speed ahead for the candidates in New Hampshire today! 


Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharDemocrats fear coronavirus impact on November turnout Hillicon Valley: Zoom draws new scrutiny amid virus fallout | Dems step up push for mail-in voting | Google to lift ban on political ads referencing coronavirus Democrats press Trump, GOP for funding for mail-in ballots MORE (D-Minn.) released her final ad in the Granite State ahead of next week's primary, while Biden made waves attacking Buttigieg after his Iowa Caucus performance. 



The Hill's Cate Martel, author of The Hill's 12:30 Report, is reporting from New Hampshire, where she followed Warren in Nashua today as the senator talked health care and impeachment and reacted to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint Trump organization has laid off over 1000 employees due to pandemic: report Trump invokes Defense Production Act to prevent export of surgical masks, gloves MORE's State of the Union address. 

Impeachment vote: "Usually I can hang around forever to take selfies, but today, I'm headed to Washington to vote for the impeachment of Donald Trump." 

SOTU response: "For Donald Trump to stand up last night and say he wants to protect people with pre-existing conditions..." She paused and said, "well, at this point anyone who listens to what he says rather than what he does…"

You can subscribe to Cate's newsletter, The Hill's 12:30 Report, here.




Ronald Trowbridge: Hatred will reelect Trump.

James Zirin: A divisive speech for a divided union.

Steve Israel: What's next for Democrats?

Shawn McCreesh: Scenes from the meltdown in Iowa.

Sean Trende: Takeaways from Iowa.

Dylan Matthews: Buttigieg is an electable progressive.



As the Democratic presidential candidates ramped up their campaign stops in the last few months of 2019, they also ramped up their spending on private planes. We dug through the latest batch of Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings and found more than $4.1 million in charter plane spending between seven of the 11 candidates running for the Democratic nomination. That's a nearly 90 percent increase over the third quarter, which saw roughly $2.2 million in private plane spending. Here's a breakdown of who's spending what in the fourth quarter (the values are rounded):

-Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Energy: Oil giants meet with Trump at White House | Interior extends tenure of controversial land management chief | Oil prices tick up on hopes of Russia-Saudi deal Oil giants meet at White House amid talk of buying strategic reserves The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden struggles to stay in the spotlight MORE: $1.2 million

-Joe Biden: $1.05 million

-Elizabeth Warren: $720,500

-Michael Bloomberg: $646,000

-Pete Buttigieg: $323,500

-Andrew YangAndrew YangAndrew Yang: Calling coronavirus 'China virus' only used to incite 'hostility' Andrew Yang to launch issues-based podcast Majority of young Americans support universal basic income, public healthcare: poll MORE: $116,800

-Amy Klobuchar: $84,700

The surge in private air travel spending isn't exactly unexpected. As voting in the primaries gets closer, candidates typically accelerate their campaign schedules, which can make private flight an appealing option. And several of the candidates, including Sanders, Warren, Biden and Buttigieg, have purchased carbon offsets in an attempt to partially balance out the environmental impact of their private plane travel. 




Sanders: 24 percent

Biden: 15 percent (-3) 

Warren: 10 percent (-9)

Buttigieg: 15 percent (+3) 

Klobuchar: 6 percent 



There are 6 days until the New Hampshire primary, 17 days until the Nevada caucuses, 23 days until the South Carolina primary and 26 days until Super Tuesday. 



FIRST-IN-THE-NATION RIVALRY: Every four years Iowa and New Hampshire voters claim the title of the "First in the Nation" nominating contest, with New Hampshire voters specifically highlighting their status as the first primary. This has resulted in a friendly rivalry between the two states, but this year things have gotten a little more heated with the delayed caucus results in Iowa. 

New Hampshire voters, in particular, have been rubbing it in. 

Meanwhile, CBS News campaign reporter Nicole Sganga, who has been covering New Hampshire since the start of the 2020 campaign, reports that Granite State voters have largely dismissed the fiasco plaguing the Iowa Democratic Party. 

One New Hampshire voter told Sganga that they've "always discounted Iowa." 

"This is where it really happens. This is where it really starts. Iowa's not going to determine how New Hampshire votes," the voter said. 

Veteran Boston Herald political columnist Joe Battenfield made the case in his latest column, saying that the caucus has denied the candidates of a clear win, and that it's up to New Hampshire now. 

"We can count on you, New Hampshire," Battenfield wrote. 


Jonathan Easley and Julia Manchester will be headed up to New Hampshire to cover the primary. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for our latest from the Granite State!