Kamala Harris, Gavin Newsom meet with donors quietly for possible 2024 bids

Even President Joe Biden’s so-called closest allies are no longer sure he will be running for re-election in 2024, based on their moves to quietly meet with donors to secure promises for contributions should he step aside.

Vice President Kamala Harris, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D), and Colorado Governor Jard Polis (D) are among the prominent Democrats who have approached major Democrat fundraisers about contributions to their presidential campaigns, on the condition that Biden decides not to run.

Although Harris has said she plans to run as vice president on Biden’s ticket in 2024, she has reportedly held at least three private meetings with key allies who helped her plan and run previous campaigns for California district attorney and Senate, according to CNBC.

She has talked to two billionaire friends in particular — Vanessa Getty and Lauraine Powell Jobs, who have helped her in the past.

Getting ducks in a row

A Wall Street executive told CNBC that he has heard from Harris and Newsom in recent weeks, and though contributions were not explicitly asked for, the executive took it as evidence that they were lining things up to do so if Biden steps aside.

Newsom and Polis will also be mingling with wealthy donors at a Democratic Governors Association event at Heather Podesta’s home next week.

There seems to be more sentiment that Biden might not run again in 2024, given that his poll numbers have dropped steadily since August 2021 when he botched the military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The latest polls show that Americans are highly concerned about 40-year inflation highs, and most don’t want Biden to run again in 2024.

Party chaos

A Biden departure in 2024 will throw the Democrat party into turmoil as they try to determine which of their leaders has the best chance of getting elected at a time when Democrats are being blamed for spending too much and causing the poor economy.

Avoiding that blame will be key, and Harris may not be positioned well to do so because of her position as Biden’s second-in-command.

Governors can avoid the national blame, but Newsom in particular has faced a strong backlash for his heavy-handedness during COVID-19 and was nearly recalled by voters.

People will be looking closely at their records in their states, which means candidates will need to distance themselves from Biden’s policies if they want people’s votes.

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