MSNBC contributor Kimberly Atkins said Joe Biden's 2020 candidacy was reminiscent of Hillary Clinton's in 2008, where she began as the clear frontrunner but was soon supplanted from her left by Barack Obama.
Discussing a new Iowa poll showing Biden leading the pack with 24 percent support—down from 32 percent in the same poll in December—Atkins said Biden's clumsy flip-flop on the Hyde Amendment showed how he doesn't fit in the Democratic Party as he once did. Biden announced last week he opposed the Hyde Amendment, which is loathed by the party base for barring federal funding for most abortions, after decades of supporting it.
"It reminded me a little bit of '08 too where Hillary Clinton came out," Atkins said on Andrea Mitchell Reports. "She was a frontrunner, but it soon became very clear that the voters were interested in a new voice, in a new idea, in new things. That's how Barack Obama, who was deemed unelectable in the beginning when he entered the race, sort of came ahead and surpassed her.
"I think you're seeing that happening to both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders as people begin to listen to Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg. They're realizing these folks align a little more with what I'm looking for. Joe Biden may not be in that lane. while he is still a frontrunner because of his name recognition, things could change in California, South Carolina, but in Iowa this is a big red flag for his campaign."
Clinton lost a bitter race to then-senator Obama in 2008 for the nomination, beginning with Obama's upset win in the Iowa caucuses. He out-flanked her in part due to her vote for the Iraq War.
Biden finished fifth in Iowa that year and dropped out of the race. This is his third bid for the presidency after campaigning for the 1988 and 2008 nominations.