The ‘What If’ Has to Stop – The Democrats Don’t Want to Replace Biden: For months, there has been speculation about who the Democrats could get to replace President Joe Biden as the party’s nominee. Lists have been compiled, names have been floated and scenarios raised where someone other than Joe Biden could be the candidate going into the 2024 presidential race.
The situation became more complicated on Friday after Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota announced he would challenge Biden for the Democratic nomination.
“I am today announcing my candidacy for the presidency of the United States of America,” Phillips said outside the New Hampshire statehouse.
“I am running for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States because, my friends, it is time for a change,” the third-term congressman, who has called Biden a terrific present added. “And I am ready to lead our great nation to a secure and a more prosperous future.”
Is Joe Biden on Track to Lose?
Phillips, who left his Democratic leadership position following his calls for a Biden alternative, told CNN he was compelled to enter the race because it appears that Biden is on track to lose the election.
His announcement came just weeks after Robert F. Kennedy Jr. pivoted and said he’d run as an independent – a move that could actually help the sitting president as Kennedy may siphon Republican votes away from former President Donald Trump if he does become the Republican Party’s nominee.
By contrast, author Marianne Williamson is currently seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination but is considered an extreme long-shot at best.
Biden formally announced in April that he would seek reelection. No incumbent president has declined to seek a second term since Lyndon Johnson in 1969.
It Won’t Stop the Joe Biden Train
Joe Biden’s advisors have been dismissive about Phillips’ primary challenge, and many top Democrats have expressed the opinion that Biden remains the best option for the 2024 race – even as voters have raised concerns over the president’s age.
“Democrats by nature are a little bit skittish. They get themselves worried. They work themselves up. They talk in their groups, amongst one another — just stop it,” Democratic Governor Tim Walz of Minnesota also told CNN on Sunday.
He was just one of several Democrats who said that the months of speculation to alternate candidates has only served to hurt the campaign. However, as the primary season is now just a few months away, there is little chance any challenger would be little more than a distraction – one that only serves to hurt the party, top officials have warned.
“The train is out of the station. It’s time for everyone to get on board. There is so much at stake in this upcoming election, from fundamental rights to our democracy itself,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said while at a Democratic National Committee meeting in St. Louis earlier this month. “We’ve got to stop hand-wringing and stop playing out different scenarios. It’s a waste of energy.”
Replaced at the Last Minute?
Even as Democrats have appeared to be showing solidarity for Biden (for the most part), some Republicans began floating the idea that Biden could be replaced at the last minute.
“So here’s the scenario that I think is perhaps the most likely and most dangerous,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said on his podcast last month. “In August of 2024, the Democrat kingmakers jettison Joe Biden and parachute in Michelle Obama. I view this as a very serious danger.”
Such a scenario was shot down, by the Biden campaign.
“Republicans peddling blatantly false conspiracy theories is nothing new — it’s easier than telling the truth about their election-denying, abortion-banning, and Social Security-cutting platform,” Kevin Munoz, Biden campaign spokesperson, told NBC News. “These sources would also have you believe we faked the moon landing and that Tupac is hanging out with Elvis on an island somewhere in the Caribbean.”
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.