Ryan: Joe Biden, born to Wing Ding

Photo by Sean Ryan

Along the walkway off the dancefloor of the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa men in funny little black hats waved signs that said "QUIET PLEASE." An order that nobody even tried to follow.

You know that feeling? When you're at a football game on a Friday night, and the entire county is dark except the stadium, because everyone for miles is there? Or when your favorite team wins the greatest honor they are able to win. Or when you walk through Times Square for the first time, and all the approaching pedestrians seems like salmon leaping upstream.

For reference, I was in Spain in 2010, when the Spanish men's soccer won the World Cup for the first time in the country's history. I have gotten caught on streets in Germany and Spain during riots. I have been to lots of concerts.

Yet I was puzzled by the energy inside the Surf Ballroom that Saturday night in early August, for the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding.

The way people's faces grimaced or fists clenched or eyes bulged, and how they skipped around the outside of the dance floor like you would at a decent skating rink, and it was the first time in the campaign that I thought, "Now what in the hell is this about?"

*

The ballroom had the muffled feel of an old comedy club, the kind of setting built for music and dancing as practiced in the 1940s, or earlier. So everything, every sound, felt close. And warm, like a worn LP album through some giant old speakers. So far, it was the closest a Democratic rally had felt electric.

Chaos. Wild. Wild! The place erupted as Elizabeth Warren strutted offstage. At the bottom of the stairs, Joe Biden shifted from foot to foot, surrounded by a small entourage, all wearing "Biden 2020" t-shirts.

Nearly as wild and transfixing as a Trump rally. Which is maybe why everyone was so fired up. Like they were practicing a mean face in the mirror before they use it in a fight.

For this very reason, it felt more like a high school dance than a major rally featuring 20 of the 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates, all in one place for the first time in who knows how long, as they vied for their chance to rule the world. Traditionally, that dream is ended in Iowa, by forfeit or defeat or preemptive removal.

Nonetheless, these were some powerful people. And one will become the Democratic candidate for President, then possibly President, for 2020-2024 — at least. Or the next one.

Any one of them could become President down the line. Or any number of indispensable positions. Five years is a long time in America, and nobody knows what's next.

But, for these candidates, future elections did not currently matter. What mattered were the media and the public. The locals.

Iowa is traditionally the Everyman State. Come to them with a solution that they can believe in, and they'll side with you.

Do they care about the middle parts of this country, all that land between the Oceans? How do they shape up as a person, as a potential boss? If they get the job, will they care about rural America? Can they shake a hand? Can they look you in the eyes? Can they leave the room and you feel their absence? How are the media reacting to them? Do they have a condescending tone? Are they putting on an act?

In Iowa, the candidates bring their answers directly to the voter, like door-to-door salespeople or traveling magicians.

Spectacle? you bet.

Pageantry? Big time.

In 2015, then-candidate Trump flew above the State Fair in a private helicopter, circling the stage as Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton gave her speech at the Political Soapbox. A lot of Iowans liked that. Many still do.

MSNBC:

A political Willy Wonka, Trump offered rides in his helicopter, which landed at a nearby baseball field, to randomly selected handfuls of Iowa children. 'Come here,' he said to the kids. 'Does anyone want to take a ride? It's nice, right? . . . Who wants to go first?'

Trump, they reported, "was out of his element here but undoubtedly in command."

*

Most of the audience had their candidate t-shirts on. There were candidate badges, too. And lawn signs. Banners. Bumper stickers.

A Springsteen song blasted through the speakers, a little too loud, almost clipping. The song riled Biden.

In his navy-blue suit he gripped the podium from each side. An American flag tassel hung limply over the top. Biden's eyes prowled for each person. A dual-frame mic stand held up two microphones. As backdrop, an American flag stretched two stories high and ran the length of the stage, nearly as big as the one at the Presidential Gun Sense forum.

Muscled and tattooed, men in bright yellow shirts that said "SECURITY" stood watch behind metal barriers. Can-lights shone down on the stage at various angles, held up by metal braces and elaborate rigging, a giant shining skeleton. At each side of the stage were six pole-mounted speakers in trapezoidal plywood cabinets.

The walls were a dark blue, like ocean at night, accented by the white pillars that divided the dancefloor from the walkways and the bars and the restrooms and the museum with so many signed guitars.

Rows of booths flanked the back, on this occasion occupied by journalists, huddles of them, turning each booth into a copse of wire and plugs and paper and computers. In front of them, a pathway to the bar that was always busy, all of it was, everywhere, then a line of cameras divided by a green railing. And men in funny little hats expected people to listen?

"Presidents," Biden said, "the words they say matter."

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

Bill O'Reilly joined the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" on Friday for his weekly take on the 2020 presidential race.

O'Reilly emphasized what a dangerous candidate socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) really is, and how the media is working to mislead voters by depicting other Democratic candidates, such as former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, as "moderate."

"The Democratic Party has been hijacked -- and this is no breaking news -- by the progressive left. Which is now being enabled by the national media," said O'Reilly.

"Bernie Sanders is a dangerous man. In any sane time, media time, that would be clear to everybody. But it's not," he added. "It's like, 'Oh, there's uncle Bernie and he just wants to give stuff away. What a great guy.' [He's] not a great guy, all right? He's a totalitarian. He'll take your freedom, in every area, away. Every area. There isn't one area, that Bernie Sanders wouldn't intrude upon, in your personal freedom. Yet, that's not reported. You don't know it unless you pay attention. It's all a bunch of dishonest blather that has obliterated the so-called moderate Democrat. And there are millions of those people. They don't know what to do because they have no voice in the media."

Glenn pointed out that the media has been "trying to make Pete Buttigieg into a moderate" ever since his strong showing in the Iowa caucuses last week.

"So, Pete Buttigieg: Harvard grad. Rhodes Scholar. Brilliant man, he is brilliant. Great speaker. Almost as good as Beck and I. Not quite, but almost," O'Reilly said. "He's only 38, all right? So, the guy goes out and runs for president after being the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, for eight years, and almost destroying that city. The city is in chaos, yet he's re-elected with 80% of the vote the second time. That's what a good BS'er Pete Buttigieg is.

The two went on to break down Buttegieg's radical policy plans on immigration, abortion, gun control, and more.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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On the radio program Thursday, Glenn Beck and his chief researcher, Jason Buttrill, have uncovered new evidence that suggests the coronavirus death toll numbers coming from China are grossly inaccurate.

After vetting several deep-fake videos circulating on social media, Jason unearthed shocking whistleblower-videos released by citizens of the communist state that show entire warehouses filled with body bags, along with other atrocities.

Jason and Glenn break down the real numbers and discuss the possibilities of the outbreak coming to America. Watch the video below for more details:

Don't miss next Wednesday's TV special on the coronavirus in its new time slot at 9PM ET.

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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream. Use code GLENN to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.


Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has surged in the polls in the past month.

With former Vice President Joe Biden dropping below far-left presidential candidates such as the unapologetically socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), and the almost equally extremist Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass), Democratic voters seeking a more moderate alternative are setting their sights on Mayor Pete.

But are Buttigieg's policies actually moderate? Not even close, Glenn Beck said Thursday on the radio program.

"[Pete Buttigieg] wants people to see him as a moderate. The mayor of a Midwest city in a red state ... and he's going for the middle, even though he is not a moderate candidate in any way," said Glenn.

Here are just a few example of where Buttigieg stands on the issues:

  • Supports late-term, partial-birth abortion
  • Eliminate the Electoral College
  • Buyback program for assault weapons
  • Raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hour
  • Expand Medicare
  • Decriminalize illegal immigration
  • Pay for infrastructure through changing taxes on corporations, the wealthy
  • Study reparations
  • Legalize marijuana
  • Increase existing taxes on upper-income Americans
  • Cancel some student debt
  • Don't use tariffs to pressure countries
Watch the video clip below for more information:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

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An official at the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations' health agency, has issued a warning, calling the coronavirus "the worst enemy you can imagine" and more of a threat than "any terrorist attack," during a media briefing on Tuesday.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO's director general, said that a vaccine for the coronavirus will likely take 18 months to develop. The virus has reportedly killed hundreds and infected tens of thousands of people, primarily in China.

"To be honest, a virus is more powerful in creating political, social and economic upheaval than any terrorist attack. It's the worst enemy you can imagine," added Ghebreyesus.

On the radio program Wednesday, Glenn Beck noted that the same agency in charge of developing this life-saving vaccine, has taken the time to officially change the disease's name to COVID-19, citing the concern of "stigmatizing" any specific geographical location, individual, or group of people.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Use code GLENN to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.