WaPo columnist suggests Biden should replace VP Harris on 2024 ticket with Hillary Clinton

 June 19, 2024

President Joe Biden is a deeply unpopular president, and Vice President Kamala Harris fares only marginally better with the general public, which has prompted quiet talk among some Democrats about possibly replacing one or both of them on the party's struggling 2024 ticket.

One potential replacement of VP Harris as Biden's running mate ahead of November's election is former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to one liberal columnist, Fox News reported.

Yet, the notion that the addition of Clinton to the Democratic ticket will help Biden defeat former President Donald Trump seems ill-conceived when one considers that Clinton failed miserably in 2016 when Democrats previously tasked her with keeping Trump out of the White House.

Biden should replace Harris to boost his struggling campaign

Last week, Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker wrote about how President Biden's age and diminishing capabilities presented a problem for Democrats, in that it has cast a bright spotlight on his vice presidential running mate and compelled voters to consider the possibility that Biden may need to be succeeded in office by his sidekick before a prospective second term has finished.

"Inarguably, a significant obstacle to a Biden win is Kamala Harris, whose low popularity has not been improved by her lackluster performance as vice president," Parker continued. "More independents and disenchanted Republicans might swing for Biden if it weren’t for the prospect of a President Harris -- not because of her sex, race, or any other demographic category, but because of her competency, or lack thereof."

"The question now is, how risky would it be for Democrats to replace her?" she surmised. "Some worry that a change would jeopardize Black votes. It was never clear, however, that Harris was a draw for Black American voters, even if some Black women celebrated her rise. When she dropped out of the presidential race in 2019, she was polling below Pete Buttigieg in South Carolina."

Parker went on to theorize that a last-minute change in a running mate for Biden wouldn't harm him, as most Democrats are still nearly certain to vote for the (D) ticket regardless of who is on it, and suggested that Harris could be placated with another high-level cabinet position in the administration, such as attorney general, which would be more suitable given her background as a prosecutor.

Clinton to replace Harris?

The Post's columnist provided a few possible alternative choices for President Biden to consider as a new running mate to replace VP Harris, including Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer or Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, but then proceeded to reveal who she'd really like to see as the vice presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket -- Hillary Clinton.

Parker observed how Clinton recently inserted herself into a contentious Democratic congressional primary race in New York with an endorsement and wondered, "Why would she suddenly get involved in a congressional race?"

"We are left to speculate about motive, but the effect of Clinton inserting herself into the news cycle is to remind voters that, but for her defeat in 2016, we wouldn’t be stuck in this old-White-men dilemma," the columnist wrote. "She is also reminding people of her relative centrism, her support for Israel, and her broadly respected role as secretary of state."

"No one has mentioned her as a possible running mate for Biden far as I know, but why not replace Harris with Clinton? At 76, she might want no part of it, but it’s hard to retire when you feel your job isn’t done. If Biden needs to step down, even those who didn’t vote for Clinton would have confidence in her ability to keep the country on track," Parker concluded.

Terrible polling numbers for Biden and Harris

According to FiveThirtyEight, President Biden is the most unpopular president of the modern era with an approval rating that sits at or below that of each of his predecessors dating back to Harry Truman -- and VP Harris' popularity is only scarcely better than that of her boss, as her approval rating has been underwater since midway through the first year of their shared term in office.

To be sure, Hillary Clinton isn't exactly winning popularity contests with the American public either, but according to YouGov, she ranks fourth among all high-profile Democrats -- Harris ranks seventh and Biden ranks ninth -- and sits in 19th place among all public figures.

As for how the Biden-Harris ticket is currently faring, RealClearPolling has Biden trailing former President Trump by a little less than a point, which is notable given that Biden led Trump by 9.5 points on this same date in 2020 and Clinton led Trump by a 5.8 point margin in 2016, not to mention that Trump is ahead in all of the most critical battleground states that typically decide presidential elections.

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