Democrats look to former Presidents Clinton and Obama to convince Biden to end his campaign

By 
 July 5, 2024

Panic has set in for Democratic donors, lawmakers, and pundits after President Joe Biden's disastrous debate last week and serious discussions are being held about how best to convince the incumbent president to step aside from his quest for a second term in office.

While generally, all agree that only Biden himself can make the final decision to end his re-election campaign, there is also broad agreement that he could be persuaded to pull the plug by his two most recent Democratic predecessors, former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, according to The Washington Post.

Other top-ranked Democratic figures and key allies, not to mention Biden's family, would likely need to aid that effort as well, and even then it is not a given that Biden would submit to being cast aside.

Clinton and Obama must convince Biden to drop out

The palpable panic of Democrats in the immediate wake of the presidential debate was captured by the Daily Beast's Melissa DeRosa, who suggested in an emotional op-ed that it would likely fall on former Presidents Clinton and Obama to "end the Biden nightmare" following his catastrophic debate performance.

DeRosa referenced the talk in 2020 of replacing Biden as the Democratic nominee that never really went anywhere, and wrote, "What people not in the inner sanctum of Democratic politics didn’t understand was that, while the move may have seemed smart and electorally sound, it was not only not seriously contemplated, it was never even discussed. The party was always going with the guy they voted for in the primary. And the same is true today."

"The only way out would be for the party elders -- in this case Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama -- to approach Biden and convince him that he has done his time," she added along with a suggestion that they appeal to his patriotism to do what is best for the nation and his party.

Nearly a week later, in The Post's report about "How will this end," it was similarly concluded that an obstinate President Biden -- he has insisted he's not dropping out -- would need to be convinced to do so by key political allies and elected officials, likely in conjunction with other factors like worsening poll numbers and diminished fundraising from donors.

Former Presidents Clinton and Obama were mentioned, as were top Democrats in Congress like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), along with party elders like former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), among others.

Donors must stop giving money

Interestingly enough, that third necessary factor mentioned by The Post for President Biden to drop out of the race, donor money drying up, was seized upon as a tactic worth trying by prominent Democratic consultant and former Clinton adviser James Carville, according to Semafor.

In a conference call with major Democratic donors for the Biden-aligned super PAC American Bridge, Carville urged them to stop giving money to any politicians who support a continued re-election run for Biden.

"Seventy-two percent of people want something different. Why not give it to them?" Carville said. "They’re just asking for a different choice."

As for how to handle the elected lawmakers who refuse to stop backing Biden, the longtime strategist told the donors, "What I would say is, if we don’t do something about this, I’m going to put you on call block on my cell phone."

A "dead" or "comatose" Biden would do better with voters than Kamala Harris

Per Semafor, part of the discussion with donors was focused on Biden's plummeting poll numbers -- another key factor pointed out by The Post -- as well as the no-better standing with voters of Biden's apparent successor, Vice President Kamala Harris, as observed by another Democratic consultant on the conference call, Dmitri Mehlhorn, a top adviser of prominent billionaire and Biden backer Reid Hoffman.

"Kamala Harris is more threatening to those swing voters than a dead Joe Biden or a comatose Joe Biden," Mehlhorn said bluntly. "So if Joe has to go, it’s gonna be Kamala, and if it’s Kamala, it’s gonna be harder."

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