Democratic donors panicked over Biden's poor debate performance point fingers at first lady Jill

 June 29, 2024

President Joe Biden indisputably had a terrible debate performance Thursday night, and there is now a palpable panic and scrambling among Democratic strategists, pundits, and donors to figure out how best to address the situation.

That involves a fair bit of finger-pointing, and some of those fingers are pointing at the one individual who is closest to the clearly diminished incumbent president -- first lady Jill Biden, according to Fox News.

She is reportedly catching blame from some for not being forthright and honest about the president's condition while others have named her as the only person with enough influence to convince Biden to step aside and allow the Democratic Party to replace him as the nominee.

Democratic donors mad at Jill Biden's false reassurances

Time magazine published an "inside" look at President Biden's "debate disaster" and the ensuing "scramble to quell Democratic panic," and the first lady's name was insinuated as culpable for what had occurred within the first paragraph.

The article described a large pre-debate gathering of Democratic "financial bigwigs" that was addressed by Jill Biden just before Thursday's main event, during which she promised the party's biggest donors that "Joe’s ready to go" and "He’s prepared." The news outlet observed, "Fact check: False."

Fox News noted that if the first lady was concerned about her husband's dismal performance, she didn't show it at a post-debate watch party, where she praised the president as though he was an elementary school student and said, "Joe, you did such a great job! You answered every question, you knew all the facts!"

Only Jill Biden can influence Joe to drop out

Time magazine wasn't the only media outlet to mention both Democratic donors and the first lady in the aftermath of the president's horrific debate performance, however.

The New York Times, in a report about how "major Democratic donors" were now asking each other how to respond to the "catastrophe" that just occurred, shared how one major donor from Silicon Valley revealed that she was aware of numerous other donors who "wondered about whom in the Biden fold they could contact to reach Jill Biden, the first lady, who in turn could persuade her husband not to run, according to a person familiar with the conversations."

USA Today, in a similar exclusive report about the post-debate reaction of Democratic donors, quoted an unnamed former Obama administration official who pointed to the first lady as the sole individual capable of convincing the elderly president to step aside for the greater good of the Democratic Party, and not former President Barack Obama, as some have suggested.

"If anything, Biden held a grudge that Obama was one of the people that convinced him not to run in 2016 and he regretted that," the former official said. "Jill Biden will be under tremendous pressure to talk to him but he is incredibly stubborn. I think it's going to come down to Jill. If she chooses to."

Other outlets report Democratic donors having second thoughts about continued support

The influence of the first lady aside, other media outlets shared quotes from panicked Democratic donors worried about the party's prospects going forward, including The Hill, which cited an anonymous "prominent" donor for Democrats who said, "This is real. This isn’t one of those bulls‑‑t made-up storylines. This wasn’t the Obama-Romney debate. This is a million times more dire and now we have to start asking the tough questions."

Variety reported on the "freak out" among top Hollywood Democratic donors, and quoted one unnamed "high-profile" donor as saying, "With all the text chains I’m on, people are basically like, 'If he doesn’t drop out, we’re not giving any more money to Democrats or the Democratic Party.' It’s like super intense."

Another anonymous individual at the "highest level" of Hollywood's Democratic donor class told the outlet, "There is a sense that the money dried up last night about 10 minutes into the debate."

That's not entirely true -- at least, not yet -- as CNBC reported that the Biden campaign claimed on Saturday that, from Thursday morning through Friday evening, more than $27 million was raised in support of Biden's re-election effort, though the campaign declined to specify how much of that money came before or after the debate or how much was from small-dollar grassroots supporters or high-dollar donors who will back the Democratic nominee regardless of who it may be.

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