Democrats have a problem. They actually have two problems – Biden and Harris. There is one solution. An open, contested convention in 2024.
For months President Joe Biden was running neck-and-neck with the multiple-indicted former President Donald Trump in polls. However dire it looked for Biden’s approval rating, Democrats assuredly couldn’t let him step aside in 2024 because Vice President Kamala Harris is the heir apparent. Her nomination would be disastrous and ensure a Trump victory.
Too Late to Fix an Old Problem
Now the problem seems almost beyond fixable, as a Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that Trump has a nine-point lead over Biden. That’s an outlier, so we’ll see if that trend persists. But it seems clear the public isn’t taking the Trump indictments that seriously.
The solution requires Biden putting his stubbornness aside, and taking one for his team. If he could do this, it could be a big win for the party next year.
Biden would basically have to fake that he’s running for a second term until early August. The elderly president – with no real primary opposition – will easily have enough delegates going into the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
Then a week or so – maybe even days – before the convention, set for Aug. 19-22, Biden could drop out, announcing it’s for health reasons.
After Washington Post columnist David Ignatius penned a piece headlined, “President Biden should not run again in 2024,” and he threw in that Harris shouldn’t either, lefty commentators have jumped on the Joe-should-go and take-Kamala-with-you bandwagon.
And now the devastating poll forecasting a landslide loss to Trump is an even bigger message.
Competition Without Competitive Battle
Democrats decided early on that a competitive primary would harm the party in its quest to defeat Trump. Maybe they were right about a primary that would drag on for months. That would not be the case with a four-day contest that would fascinate the nation.
Think about it. Maybe Biden knows in his heart of hearts that he can’t go through this rigorous process again. But if Biden drops out much earlier than August 2024, Democrats would be cornered into rallying behind the inept vice president.
However, if Biden throws it open at the Democratic National Convention in 2024, it would become a ratings bonanza and breathe new life into the lethargic party. The key here is that Biden doesn’t endorse anyone.
A contested four-day slugfest for the Democratic presidential nomination would be the ONE THING that would suck all the attention away from Donald Trump.
Sure, it would divide the Democratic Party for four days of high-pitched drama. That’s a big difference from a months-long primary that would bore voters.
The political press and cable news would be on a massive adrenaline rush to see who emerges from a clash with Harris, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, several other governors, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren among others tossing their hats in the ring.
Maybe moderate Democrat governors from Kansas or Kentucky – Laura Kelley or Andy Beshear – could even retake the old Bill Clinton mantle of moderation.
It could go through multiple ballots before the delegates decide.
Perhaps most importantly, with such a big field, Democrats would have an excuse to nominate a ticket without Kamala Harris.
It would be a fresh face, sufficiently distanced from the current unpopular Democrat administration and something new to offer battleground voters when Republicans are stuck with Donald Trump who planned on running against the Biden record.
Trump could potentially beat Biden. Trump would beat Harris. But as Trump loves to tell folks, ratings are a big deal – and throwing in a plot twist can make all the difference.
Barbara Joanna Lucas is a writer and researcher in Northern Virginia. She has been a healthcare professional, political blogger, is a proud dog mom, and news junkie. Follow her on Twitter @BasiaJL.
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