Democrats Require Plan B Apart from Biden, Set to Take Action

Democrats Require Plan B Apart from Biden, Set to Take Action

Democrats have thus far steered clear of discussing a secondary plan for their primary presidential candidate. However, a report by special counsel Robert Hur might pressure them into considering this alternative. The report paints US President Joe Biden as a well-meaning, elderly individual with memory issues and diminished capabilities. This, coupled with Biden’s age, the perception that he is too old for another term, and his often lagging behind former President Donald Trump in polls, raises serious questions about his ability to lead the party in the November elections and whether Democrats need to devise a contingency plan.

Replacing Biden will be neither easy nor straightforward. The most probable scenario is that Biden remains. Nevertheless, it is conceivable that the party might consider other options besides Biden and choose an alternative candidate in the general election competition.

Biden’s election

Only if Biden willingly steps aside or is physically incapable of standing for the nomination can a backup plan be formulated. Currently, despite internal party anxieties, there is no contestation: Biden is the candidate. His challenger, US House of Representatives member Dean Phillips from Minnesota, warned about the risks of Biden’s candidacy for months but failed to garner support and was largely marginalized within the party for broaching such a sensitive topic.

At this stage, a latecomer candidate is also not an option. Unless there is a rebellion or Biden proves incompetent, the only feasible Plan B is for Biden himself to agree to step aside. Convincing him to do so will not be easy given his pride and ego, shaped by winning a Senate election in his 20s and multiple unsuccessful presidential campaigns before finally becoming president.

There is, however, a way for Biden to exit the election race gracefully and on his own terms. He could let the Democratic primary campaign run its course, finish as the undisputed winner, and then announce he is not accepting the nomination, releasing his delegates to support another candidate. He could justify his decision by acknowledging public concerns about his age and fitness for another term. He could remind voters that he has always seen himself as a bridge to the next generation of Democratic leaders, and that he fulfilled his duty by defeating Trump and protecting American democracy.

If Biden does retire, a contest amongst potential successors will ensue. Private polls will be conducted to test various party candidates’ electability. Senior Democrats will vie for the position to replace Biden in a political battle unseen in American politics for decades.

Conference battle

The position of Vice President Kamala Harris will pose a significant challenge. Her performance in the 2020 primaries did not inspire confidence, but the party must take into account the risk of alienating African-American voters. Other potential frontrunners have been playing a long game, building national brands, and proving themselves as team players. These include Democratic state governors Gavin Newsom of California and JB Pritzker of Illinois, and Governor Gretchen Whitmer who was a strong ally of Biden.

Each faction within the party will try to capitalize on the unprecedented situation. This scenario might also include Democratic hopefuls from 2020 and others who might participate in the party’s elections, aware that they might not get another chance until 2032. A new Democratic candidate will then emerge.

The post-convention chaos

If Biden were to be nominated at a convention in late August but then be unable to compete in the November election, according to charter rules, party chairman Jamie Harrison would consult with Democratic leaders in Congress and the Democratic Governors Association. The approximately 450 members of the Democratic National Committee would then select a new nominee.

A late withdrawal by Biden would cause logistical problems for the states. Military overseas ballots are not due to arrive until after the convention ends in August, and early voting begins as soon as September 20 in Minnesota and South Dakota. Therefore, any effort to replace Biden after August would likely end badly.

Although focus is currently on Biden, Republicans are also dealing with similar complex issues. Their probable candidate, Trump, is 77 years old and prone to verbal gaffes. He also faces numerous legal issues that raise doubts about the viability of his candidacy. However, Trump’s hold on the GOP nomination might be stronger than Biden’s on the Democratic side. At the Republican convention, delegates are legally bound to their candidate, making it impossible to remove Trump, even if he is convicted of a crime before the convention in July, provided he insists on continuing his campaign.

What these situations highlight is that in an era of weakened national parties, there are few worthy replacements who can keep the party or perhaps the nation steady. As long as Biden and Trump are racing ahead, there is no real mechanism to divert them from their paths.

One thought on “Democrats Require Plan B Apart from Biden, Set to Take Action


Comments are closed.