Biden says he's staying in the race, winnowing fellow Dems' options to force him out

“I wouldn’t be running again if I did not absolutely believe I was the best person to beat Donald Trump in 2024” he said.

Published: July 8, 2024 11:07pm

Democratic strategists and lawmakers hoping to field a more viable candidate in the November election than President Joe Biden appear to be coming face to face with a stark reality: He won’t go willingly, and there are few, if any, mechanisms to boot him from the ticket.

The 81-year-old Biden’s performance in a June 27 presidential debate appeared to show significant cognitive decline and heightened calls among the media and Democratic Party elites to replace him with a younger, more viable candidate to beat GOP challenger Donald Trump. 

Biden on Monday sent a letter to Democratic lawmakers in which me unequivocally stated he will not resign.

"Let me say this clear as I can," he wrote. "I’m staying in the race."

He also made the argument that Democrats have already had a nomination process and that voters have "spoken clearly and decisively" picked him. 

“I wouldn’t be running again if I did not absolutely believe I was the best person to beat Donald Trump in 2024," continued Biden, who nixed Trump's 2020 reelection effort. 

Biden has at least two key factors in his favor: the absence of an obvious alternative consensus candidate and the essentially completed party primary, with the nominating convention in August and little time for somebody else to mount a full-scale campaign with Election Day just four months away. 

Furthermore, the Democratic National Convention is scheduled for Aug. 19-22, but the party has planned to nominate Biden via a virtual roll call ahead of time to secure his place on the Ohio ballot.

Biden’s refusal to step aside voluntarily has complicated Democratic efforts to find an alternative nominee, most of which are predicated on his cooperation. A coalition of Democratic activists on Monday, for instance, organized a “Pass the Torch” campaign calling on Biden to drop out of the race.

The group itself, dubbed itself a "newly formed group of Democrats organizing DNC Delegates and Democratic voters to urge President Biden to step aside to allow a new candidate to defeat Donald Trump."

The group’s efforts, however, largely consist of a petition calling on Biden to step aside in favor of an alternative nominee.

Over the weekend, a separate scheme by a pair of influential Democrats – a “blitz primary” to choose a new nominee in time for the convention, attracted some attention. 

Originating with Georgetown University law professor Rosa Brooks and Democratic donor Ted Dintersmith, according to CNBC, the idea rests upon Biden stepping down and the Democrats holding a second, albeit rapid-paced, primary contest to choose his replacement.

“No later than mid-July, President Biden delivers a speech for the ages, selflessly stepping down as his party’s nominee,” read a memo outlining the plan. “He invokes his cherished Irish poet Seamus Heaney: ‘Even if the hopes you started out with are dashed, hope has to be maintained.’ Adding, ‘Believe that a further shore / Is reachable from here.’”

“Biden then presents a brilliant plan to reach that ‘further shore,’” it continued. “Overnight, he’s showered with an outpouring of support from a nation viewing him as a modern-day George Washington, not an 81-year-old clinging to power with a 37% approval rating. From goat to hero.  Energy surges through the Democratic Party. For Republicans, their worst nightmare.”

The memo then calls for the Democrats to embrace a “bold, unifying blitz primary process that breaks from constricting protocol.”

Candidates would submit their interest to the DNC, which would vet the candidates and decide what participants to allow in the primary. It would further require candidates to “sign a pledge committing to running a positive campaign, free of intrasquad sniping, or risk being eliminated.”

To allow for candidates to contrast their positions, the memo proposed holding forums hosted by celebrities, such as “Oprah, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Michelle Obama, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Steph Curry, Charlemagne tha god, Stephen Colbert.”

The nomination itself would be left to party delegates, who would submit slates through ranked choice voting. But, as with the Pass the Torch campaign, the scheme is predicated on Biden’s cooperation with the selection of a replacement.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats were expected to meet on Monday to discuss their continued support for Biden’s reelection.

However, the meeting was never reportedly scheduled due to the leaking of meeting’s details precluding a private discussion, Axios reported, citing a “source.”

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., had been reaching out to other lawmakers to address the matter. Instead of the meeting, Senate Democrats will participate in their regular caucus meeting Tuesday.

Removing Biden from the picture involuntarily could occur should the cabinet invoke the 25th Amendment and declare him unable to serve, but his own officials have laughed off the prospect of such a move.

Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su called the idea “absurd” during a recent appearance on Fox Business.

Barring a substantive change in the situation, Biden appears poised to weather the current storm and continue as the party nominee into the November general election.

Just the News has sought comment from the White House.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X.

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