Democrats dither and delay on Biden decision – Washington Examiner

The article discusses the⁣ indecision and internal struggles within⁤ the Democratic party regarding ⁢President​ Joe Biden’s candidacy. ‌After a poor debate performance, Biden faced criticism and ​pressure from some Democrats to drop out of the⁢ race. However, ⁣despite some lawmakers publicly calling for his withdrawal, others, including the Congressional ⁢Black Caucus and progressive members like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have expressed support for‌ Biden. As the election approaches, concerns about Biden’s electability ​and poll numbers persist, leading to speculation about the future of his campaign. The article​ highlights the challenges facing Democrats in uniting behind Biden and the potential consequences of a divided party in the upcoming ​election.

Democrats dither and delay on Biden decision

President Joe Biden made a bad debate performance worse with days of dithering afterward before shoring up support among key Democratic decision-makers.

Now Democrats who fear Biden cannot win in November risk repeating that mistake with their own protracted period of indecision about how to proceed.

Biden finally took the offensive in an attempt to rescue his flagging reelection bid and then followed up with a steady performance at the NATO summit, where Democrats were loath to undermine the commander in chief. Soon the spotlight will shift back to former President Donald Trump, his vice presidential pick, and the Republican National Convention.

Yet congressional Democrats failed to coalesce around any one approach to Biden’s candidacy this week, with some denouncing the circular firing squad directing fire at the president, others calling on the presumptive Democratic nominee to bow out before next month’s convention, and still others privately worrying about their November prospects but saying nothing in public or on the record to reporters.


A trickle of Democratic lawmakers continue to come out against the president. The number of House Democrats publicly seeking Biden’s withdrawal is up to seven. A pair of at-risk Democratic incumbents were among those reportedly telling their party’s Senate luncheon that Biden cannot win. Leadership has been supportive, if equivocal when commenting about Biden’s future, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) saying, “I’m with Joe.”

But the Congressional Black Caucus came out in support of Biden this week, a group whose numbers far exceed those of the Democrats asking Biden to drop out. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), perhaps the most influential member of the progressive “Squad,” is sticking with Biden.

If anything, anti-Biden Democrats appear to be going wobbly. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) was reported to be among a group of senior Democrats who agreed Biden should bow out but has since backed down.

“Whether or not I have concerns is besides the point. He is going to be our nominee and we all have to support him,” Nadler told reporters on Capitol Hill of his position on Biden.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) was said to be getting Democrats together to go to the White House in pursuit of Biden’s exit, as Republicans did to seek Richard Nixon’s resignation during Watergate 50 years ago next month.

By Monday, Warner had pivoted to the strongly worded letter approach. Less than four months before the presidential election, he said, “Now is the time for conversations about the strongest path forward.”

“As these conversations continue, I believe it is incumbent upon the President to more aggressively make his case to the American people, and to hear directly from a broader group of voices about how to best prevent Trump’s lawlessness from returning to the White House,” Warner continued.

“We need to give the president time,” a Democratic strategist told the Washington Examiner. “We owe him that.”

Democrats who are worried about Biden’s electability or even his ability to serve after the first presidential debate and a mixed cleanup attempt sound increasingly resigned to his nomination.

Biden isn’t out of the woods yet. With a few exceptions, the polls look dismal. He trails Trump by more than 3 points in the RealClearPolitics polling average, the first Democrat without a national lead heading into the July 4 weekend in 24 years. Even the hapless John Kerry, the last Democratic nominee to lose the popular vote, was up 2 in the RealClearPolitics average on July 9, 2004. Biden’s battleground numbers are worse.

While few Democratic governors are up for reelection this year and many with presidential ambitions are eyeing 2028 instead, Democrats are defending 23 Senate seats this year and the whole House Democratic conference is up. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report moved six Senate races toward the GOP on Tuesday.

“Downballot effects of a Biden loss are clear for Democrats. The House would likely be gone. GOP has opened up an edge on the generic ballot,” CNN political analyst Harry Enten projected. “If Biden loses, the chance of Democrats holding the Senate is close to zero because of the map and WV being an easy GOP pickup.”

If Trump emerges from Milwaukee with anything like a convention bounce, the Democratic panic will be hard to contain.

Nevertheless, if Biden remains committed to his reelection bid and Democrats fail to unite, he will be difficult to dislodge. All the moves that would nudge, or even force, Biden from the race require a level of consensus that the party does not currently demonstrate.

Multiple big donors would need to starve Biden’s campaign of contributions, running the risk of Trump opening up a cash advantage he has not enjoyed in two previous presidential runs. There would need to be massive defections of delegates committed to Biden, more than 90% of the total pledged delegates eligible to vote on the first ballot, if Democrats try to oust him at a contested convention.


All this would need to come together quickly. Democrats plan to nominate Biden by virtual roll call before they gather in Chicago, possibly as soon as July 21.

Democrats don’t yet look ready to move on to plan B if Biden doesn’t reassure them. Slow and steady is unlikely to win the race.

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