Biden Campaign Urged Iowa Staffers to Risk Their Lives for Uncle Joe

January 24, 2020

Former vice president Joe Biden's presidential campaign ordered its Iowa staffers to be "adaptable, flexible, and willing" while suspending the campaign's inclement weather policy in the finals weeks before the Iowa caucuses.

"Hey guys, all weather policy is dissolved throughout the entire state because we have five weeks left until the election," Kay Glad, Biden’s regional organizing director for Iowa, texted staffers on Dec. 30, when much of the state was blanketed in snow. "If it feels like unsafe driving conditions, then talk to me separately but quite frankly I don’t want to hear any complaints because you know how important this is and how much time we have left."

Glad's texts were leaked by an anonymous Biden campaign staffer to the Nation, which published them on Friday. The staffer described an atmosphere of fear, noting there had been at least five separate car accidents involving Iowa campaign staff between Christmas and New Year's Day. The campaign's existing policy had recommended that staffers avoid driving in potentially dangerous conditions.

Glad in the texts went on to suggest that staff performance over the coming weeks, including with respect to the suspended driving policy, would be considered "an audition" for the "post-Iowa" portion of the campaign.

"By showing an ability to be adaptable, flexible, and willing to what [sic] you’ve been hired to do, then that is the most basic threshold of demonstrating your ability of leading others," she wrote. "Every single day is an audition for post-Iowa."

The Biden campaign acknowledged to the Nation that Glad had suspended the weather policy but had done so without authorization and had since been reprimanded for insubordination. One day after the Nation reached out for comment, the Biden campaign emailed staff to reiterate that the existing weather policy remained in place.