Written by Ashton Snyder on
 June 19, 2024

Democratic Leaders Contemplate Replacing Biden: Obama, Clinton, Pelosi, and Schumer May Unite

Due to his age and recent public missteps, speculation is growing about President Joe Biden's ability to seek re-election in 2024.

According to Daily Mail, some Democratic strategists are considering replacing Biden with a new nominee if his performance does not improve, though doing so carries significant risks.

Concern Over Biden's Public Gaffes

Recently, former President Barack Obama was seen guiding President Joe Biden off the stage at a Los Angeles fundraiser, raising eyebrows. Just days later, Biden stood motionless for a full minute during a Juneteenth celebration at the White House, needing aid from Philonise Floyd. These incidents have intensified the ongoing debate about Biden's fitness to run for another term.

A White House spokesperson, Andrew Bates, dismissed the video showing Biden freezing during the Juneteenth event as a "cheap fake memo." Despite this, concerns about the president's age and overall condition persist within the Democratic Party and among voters.

Nate Silver, a political analyst, highlighted Biden's average approval rating of 37.4%, pointing out that voter concern about Biden's age is significant. Commenting on Biden's prospects, Silver noted that dropping out poses a risk, but continuing to run under poor performance could be an even greater risk.

Internal Discontent Among Democrats

Mark Leibovich referred to Biden as "Ruth Bader Biden," indicating unease about Biden pursuing another term. Longtime Democratic strategist James Carville voiced his opinion, saying Biden should not have sought re-election in the first place.

Biden's team, encouraged by political consultant David Axelrod, has arranged an early presidential debate on June 27 on CNN to address growing concerns. This event is seen as a crucial opportunity for Biden to quash doubts about his capabilities. Mark Penn and other insiders believe this debate could be Biden's last chance to demonstrate his readiness for another term.

If Biden falters during the debate, top Democratic leaders, including Obama, Bill Clinton, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, may need to present a coordinated effort to urge Biden to step down. A Democratic strategist compared the difficulty of replacing Biden to maneuvering a large and troubled container ship.

Speculation About Potential Replacements

A seasoned political commentator, Joe Klein, speculated that a dynamic, young candidate could capture the electorate's favor with a compelling convention speech. However, some blunt remarks from inside the party indicated that Vice President Kamala Harris would not be the default replacement. One consultant remarked that Harris would only become the nominee if Biden were to pass away.

There are whispers among Democratic insiders about preselecting a substitute in advance should Biden have to step aside. The public narrative would entail a graceful transfer of power endorsed by the party’s top leaders to maintain unity and continuity. Despite the plotting from behind the scenes, replacing Biden carries substantial risks. Should the substitute nominee falter and lose to Donald Trump or any other Republican contender, the entire party would face the fallout of such a high-stakes gamble.

Strained Relationships and Future Prospects

Complicating matters are the currently strained relations between Biden and Obama, partly stemming from previous political decisions. Michelle Obama notably skipped a White House event in late May and attended a state dinner without Biden, further fueling speculation about the tensions within the party's upper echelon.

In a recent Democratic fundraiser, Obama once again guided Biden off the stage, a gesture that underscored public concerns and potentially the precarious state of Biden's leadership in the party. However, a Democratic source insists that Speaker Pelosi has complete faith in Biden's ability to lead.

President Biden has highlighted the significance of the 2024 election for American democracy and expressed his intention to run for a second term, though it is unclear if his party will fully support him. Amidst these uncertainties, discussions among prominent Democrats like Obama and Pelosi suggest a potential reconsideration of their candidate choice for the 2024 election, reflecting a tension between backing the incumbent and exploring alternatives.

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