Too Late to Not Nominate Biden

Yves here. It is puzzling to see the Biden ouster movement getting serious only as of the David Ignatius’ spooky contacts pressing him to write a Washington Post piece urging both Biden and Harris not to run again. I am not a campaign expert, but for anyone not in the squillionaire category, one would think a candidate would have needed to start fundraising by the early summer. The inaction Team Dem is even more peculiar given that the party over the years has seemed to be mainly interested in the patronage opportunities that come from controlling the Administration.

Notice that this post does not consider the possibility of a very disorderly yet not unlikely outcome, that Biden becomes too incapacitated during the campaign and has to withdraw suddenly. What then?

By Thomas Neuburger. Originally published at God’s Spies

Nate Silver writes these days at his Substack site, Silver Bulletin. His most recent piece has some trenchant comments about the Democratic Party’s situation with Joe Biden and the 2024 election. Worth considering as you consider the latest polling (for discussion, see video above), which purports to show Trump beating Biden by ten points.

Silver piece is titled: “It’s probably too late not to nominate Biden“. A bit of an awkward title, but you get the idea. In it he answers the question: Do Democrats have a better chance of winning in 2024 with a different nominee?

• With medium confidence, I think the risks of a serious primary challenge to Biden at this point in time would outweigh the benefits for Democrats.

• With low confidence, I think the risks of Biden volunteering not to run for a second would also outweigh the benefits for Democrats, but this is closer.

• With low confidence, and taking full advantage of hindsight bias, I think Democrats probably would have been better off if Biden had announced 6-12 months ago that he wouldn’t seek a second term.

• I think Biden’s situation is somewhat unprecedented and that these are hard questions for Democrats. Almost no matter what happens, people in 2025 will treat the answers as having been more obvious than they actually were. [emphasis Silver’s]

In other words, Silver thinks the Democrats — meaning Biden at this point, since other Dem leaders seem totally deferential — have lost their window to change horses. Here’s why he thinks that matters:

[L]et’s imagine that one of the candidate’s on Chris Hayes’s list —Whitmer, Josh Shapiro, JB Pritzker, Raphael Warnock and Gavin Newsom — announces tomorrow that they’re challenging Biden. … What would happen?

Well, for one thing there would be an absolute media shitstorm. It would displace everything else from the news cycle — yes, even the Taylor Swift-Travis Kelce news. Every critique of Biden would be highlighted and validated.

Still, the challenge probably wouldn’t work. The opposing candidate would be very much at a standing start — none of the candidates I mentioned have run for national office before, and a presidential campaign typically takes six months to a year to get up to speed. The value of optionality would be considerably diminished if voters and party elites didn’t have enough time to fully evaluate all their options. So the most likely outcome would be Biden being nominated anyway, but with battle scars that were probably harmful to him in the general election. [emphasis mine]

That’s scenario 1. Here’s scenario 2:

Let’s say Biden calls a surprise press conference tomorrow — and he announces that he’s had second thoughts and won’t run for a second term.

This at least eliminates the possibility of primary-challenge-damaged-Biden being the party nominee anyway. However, it creates other issues for Democrats. The main one is what the hell happens to Vice President Kamala Harris. Harris consistency polls worse than Biden does against Trump. But Biden would be under pressure to give her a full-fledged endorsement. Even if Biden believed deep down that she wasn’t the best nominee, a non-endorsement or half-assed endorsement would make for another huge media shitstorm, without the party having little time to navigate out of it.

What if that process did start now? What would be required to maximize the chance of success?

You’d need Biden to stand down, you’d need party leaders to send a clear message that they wanted an open nomination process and not just Harris by default, and you’d need to make sure that Whitmer and/or other candidates the establishment liked were actually interested in running and the choice didn’t feel force-fed to voters. Ideally you’d also want to do all of this without someone leaking to Politico or the Washington Post and upending the process.

Silver dryly concludes “that’s probably too much to ask for.” Too much indeed.

Black swans in flight

My Own Too-Early Guess

Absent the landing of any of the several black swans hovering over this race — the most likely being death or incapacity — I see the following as likely:

  • Biden and Trump both win nomination.
  • Third-party candidates do damage to both, not just one.
  • The Never Trump trumpets will be sounded endlessly, court dates included in that.
  • Trump runs a vicious campaign against Biden’s stumbles, often through surrogates.
  • Trump (if he’s smart) pivots to Kamala Harris, dismisses Biden and makes her his opponent.
  • Abortion plays a role in the outcome, but not a decisive one.

In this scenario, if the economy stays weak, Trump has an even chance. If Democrats lose, blame Biden and Dem leadership. If Trump loses, blame not enough pro-Trump support to offset the virulence.

Biden improves his odds if the auto strike is wildly successful and he manages to wrap himself fully in that flag. His odds also improve if he gets rid of Kamala Harris as a running mate. Trump improves his odds if he succeeds in making Harris his real opponent. He could also help himself by blunting Biden’s strike support with a show of support of his own.

One More Thing

You may have noticed, I’ve left an actor out. Perhaps you’ve guessed who that is. I’ll let that lie for now, except to say this: A lot will depend on Trump’s vice-president pick.

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  1. Willow

    I wouldn’t be surprised if both nominate an preferred alternative as a result of horse trading pardons promises. Which is why the nomination won’t come out of a formal contest. There’ll still be a Trump on the ticket though, so a 2016 rematch with a twist.

  2. viscaelpaviscaelvi

    My guess from the moment that Biden announced his candidacy with Harris as his ticket and the Hunter laptop story was not considered Russian fake news anymore, was that the Democratic Party establishment had hatched a super-evil plan.
    Harris is the guarantee that they are going to replace Biden altogether. If she is the replacement, the Party is kaput. So she is the sign that he is gone.
    Then, the issue is avoiding primaries, because a Kennedy or some weird anti-war candidate could win them. No no no!
    So you get Biden to hold on as a candidate until it is too late to do a primary, and then, some months (two, three…?) before the election he comes out and says something like he wants to devote time to his family bla-bla and steps down. Harris gets the black spot. Harris does not matter, anyway. Then the Party elders, given that there is no time for anything else, choose a Clinton-Obama clon of their liking and they run with that.
    How far-fetched do you reckon my speculation is?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      This was the plan. They couldn’t get a Buttigieg or an O’Rourke across, puppets, so they settled on Biden.

      Obama isn’t a clone of Bill Clinton. Clinton brought a bunch of his pals unlike Obama who is basically the dullest man alive and largely brought in the people who were next in line under the previous administrations instead of governing. Bill despite the shared policies was interested in government. If he wasn’t such an atrocious president, he would be remembered as more than a would be first lady. Biden like Obama isn’t interested in government, just optics. It’s why Biden despite 40 years in the Senate doesn’t know anything. Part of the panic about Biden is they know he’s done, but if they promote….anyone…there isn’t a guarantee they will get a figure like Obama who wasn’t interested in governing but feel good optics. Even the optics of cleaning out the swamp are a threat.

      What does a Clintonista bring to a President? Rahm Emmanuel is just an embarrassment. He has no special knowledge and no electoral support. Anyone on TV? CNN has its lowest ratings. Everyone in DC is replaceable.

      A Trump win would be much more devastating.

      1. viscaelpaviscaelvi

        “Even the optics of cleaning out the swamp are a threat.”
        What a great way to say it. Yes, things have come to that.

    2. Chris

      Kennedy may run third party or as an independent. I wouldn’t count him out given his strong support with many independents and republicans, as a well a healthy percentage of dems.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        BP it seems something is going on but have no clue what it is – thought the Husk would pull a LBJ but guess that time has passed – but still out of the blue i am being inundated with BS from Gavin Noosesom – and since i’m mis-identified by one group as living in Wisconsin and by another as being a Michigander it is obvious since receiving Noosesom BS from both states yeah something is going on – but what? – maybe they just think Mr tooth & hair is a good fundraiser – dems have lost their mofo minds – will we really end up with Drumpf again – let the nightmares begin –

          1. flora

            Newsom and CA have called for a Constitutional Convention to change the Constitution in the interest of safety.


            Here’s the thing: a Constitutional Convention opens the door to all manner of changes to the Constitution. The Koch Bros foundation and ALEC have been pushing for a Constitutional Convention for years. They have already written legislation they want to enact. So why is Newsom in bed with them? If he simply wants a new amendment he can use the amending process, used since the beginning of the country to modify the Constitution. Methinks his claim that a Convention would only be about our safety is a Trojan Horse. (and… I’ll never vote for the guy now, he’s told me who he is and I believe him: he’s the US’s Justin Trudeau, and WEF.) / my two cents.

            1. flora

              Gavin Newsom: Member of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders Class of 2005.

              How are LA and SanFran doing these days? How’s the state’s electricity grid? Why are so many businesses moving out?

              1. Jabura Basaidai

                hot damn – cold sweat is trickling down my back right now – y’all know a bit more them i do – Constitutional Convention? – these creeps couldn’t even get all the states to pass the ERA – and waddya mean no election – blood in the streets on that one – but there is an energy about in the aether that is disconcerting to say the least – Noosesom a WEF Young Global Leader – time to burn sage nonstop –

            2. Piotr Berman

              Of course, Right to Safety should include Safety from Disinformation that had millions of victims, in short, 1st Amendment was conceived when paper was expensive and malicious actors had tough time spreading their messages in a “viral manner”. To save the Republic we need to use methods from Plato’s Republic. A council of folks of high character and with age at least 70 will empower more executive body of folks with high character and age at least 40 to vet memes that deserve to belong to the Narrative of the State. Or something to the same effect.

            3. steppenwolf fetchit

              Is Noisome too stupid to realize that once a Constitutional Convention is called and convened, that it will not be confineable to ” just one topic” ? Is he too stupid and information-challenged and clue-proof to know that the Koch Network has its ALEC Model Constitution all set up and ready to go?

              Or is Noisome a secret cats paw for the Koch Network and the smartALECs who are part of it?

        1. Bugs

          Out of curiosity, I looked up when LBJ announced he wouldn’t run: March 31, 1968.

          McCarthy had announced his anti-war ticket on Nov 30, 1967. RFK announced on March 16, 1968, Humphrey on April 27th. RFK was murdered on June 5. Humphrey got the nomination on August 29th.

          The election was on November 5th.

          I don’t think a timeline like that is possible anymore. Or could it be?

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            RFK was pretty famous, a Beta O’Rourke type isn’t a Kennedy in that media environment (JFK would have sickly orange skin on today’s tvs), and Nixon won.

            The real problem is Team Blue is loathsome and lacks legitimacy. Primaries are necessary as a means of keeping people from voting for 3rd parties. Biden for example was on the ballot twice for millions of voters as VP, and Hillary was a celebrity for years. Like RFK, they had an element of approval nationwide that no one has. The primaries are needed to give that approval in the absence of a legitimate contender. To a large extent, this is the source of Newsom chatter. California is the only state where one can say hey its like the whole US, giving Newsom standing a state wide office holder simply can’t have.

            The closest is Michelle Obama, and despite her cool factor, she is more Melania than Laura Bush.

          2. Richard

            To Bugs’ point:

            That timeline occurred because Gene McCarthy came close to Johnson in the New Hampshire primary in Jan. 1968, causing him to drop out. That is, when the first primary was held there was already a reasonably credible alternative to Johnson for the opposition to focus on. That is what is absent this time. And as the original post points out, it’s late for someone begin organizing a campaign.

            So the conundrum remains.

          3. NotTimothyGeithner

            It hasn’t appeared, but RFK besides being the President brother and attorney general was very much part of zeitgeist change. Bobby was a little young but still in the Navy. The Irish Jack Kennedy, American war hero just doing his duty, then running for office was going on everywhere. Most people didn’t have the same head start as JFK, but New Deal and GI Bill opportunities changed the character of the country rapidly. The Kennedys were very much aligned/part of with that 19th century immigrant population being Americans versus politics based on how many Mayflower ancestors you had or slave owning ancestors depending on your region.

            Jackie O’s family is Catholic, but Bouvier is usually a name associated with French protestants. Can you imagine?

            Besides LBJ’s health and standing, people like RFK winning or losing could provide legitimacy to the process that Mayo Pete can’t. Politicians who had championed New Deal and Great Society legislation were around. Instead we get childish whining about voters not understanding the rate of inflation is going down.

            Without primaries, there isn’t legitimacy for Team Blue or they wouldn’t have had to back Biden.

            1. Henry Moon Pie

              In the past two rounds, having primaries with no legitimacy wasn’t a big help, especially in the longer run we’re experiencing now.

              1. Rolf

                In the past two rounds, having primaries with no legitimacy wasn’t a big help, especially in the longer run we’re experiencing now.

                Yes, but a product of the D party’s ruling council of elders ever clinging to power way, way past their shelf life, preventing any needed renewal, new blood that might challenge the moribund neoliberalism and performative BS that have characterized the party since Clinton.

      2. jsn

        Chaos: no one is in charge.

        It’s a sort of grift-liquefaction where what seemed like stable ground, charged with seismic energy, turns into something between quicksand and packaging pop-corn and everyone’s feet start sinking in, and the buildings all start leaning.

        A seismic grift shift!

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          liquifaction made me immediately think of William Burroughs – a clear thinker about the US government – a pal just sent me a youtube link of Blankman (Blinken) playing a strat left handed Jimi style singing “Hoochie Coochie Man” – could only take a few bars before wanting to hurl

    1. SocalJimObjects

      Maybe she can bring in her good buddy, George W Bush as her running mate. I don’t believe there’s anything in the constitution preventing the President and the Vice President coming from different parties. Add a “Make America United Again” hat clad in both blue and red, and pretty soon Trump will be begging for mercy. /s

      1. The Rev Kev

        I believe that when the United States was first formed – and I could be wrong here – that the original idea was to have the winning candidate in an election become the President while the leader of the losing opposition would then become the Vice President. Of course that idea went nowhere and probably just as well. Can you imagine a Federal government with Biden as President and Trump as Vice President?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Pretty much. The idea was to have ready made positions for free and slave states with bribes for new states on the western border like Ohio to get better jobs. Jefferson may have figured it out a bit, but they couldn’t really grasp the sale of what was happening around them.

      2. Adam1

        GW can’t be a VP because in order to be VP you have to also meet the requirements to be president and he’s served 2 terms already so he’d not eligible.

      3. scott s.

        Nothing in the constitution, but states appoint electors, and my state (Hawaii) requires party-based electors to pledge to vote for their party’s “certified” (as determined by the Chief Elections Officer) nominees for President / Vice President. Failure results in immediate disqualification and replacement with alternate elector (though this doesn’t deal with case of P and VP both being from Hawaii, exceedingly unlikely). My state is also in the National Popular Vote Compact, which, were it to go into effect would mean Hawaii electors would have to vote for the nation-wide winners, notwithstanding any other provision.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Too late. She should be fundraising yesterday and have a team in place. She’s not demonstrated any interest. There was talk of drafting her more than a month ago.

      And independent of her lacking the needed fire in her belly to win, she can’t be seen to be pushing out Biden and worse Harris. A split in the party of that visibility would be seen as very damaging.

    3. Louis Fyne

      If Biden falls down the stairs one too many times,

      team Obama is the only Dem. icon who can open the $$$ taps on demand.

      And make the Twitter Dem. NPCs go bananas with ecstacy.

      doubt Harris would go quietly into the night, Harris – M Obama 2024?

      1. Benny Profane

        Have any pollsters considered MB and taken numbers? I suspect that a whole lot of America does not like her, and especially will not like an Obama dynasty forming. History, although not too long, has not treated him well.

    4. Carolinian

      The Kunstler theory. He’s been contending all along that a Biden rerun is a fiction and that Obama–who still lives in DC–is running everything. Perhaps the problem is that Michelle doesn’t want to do it. And the other problem is that it would make it all so obvious how utterly corrupt and useless the Democratic party has become. And the Republicans too of course but they aren’t so sanctimonious.

      The lying is snowballing into an avalanche. Trump’s biggest selling point is that at least the country knows what he is all about. They’ve been seeing him on TV for years and as president for four years. This is why the Russiagaters thought they were being clever by making up a Putin’s secret agent backstory.

      Our entire political life has become so nutty it’s useless to pretend there’s any kind of plan to it. It’s grifters grifting out to the horizon. Perhaps the above column should not be obsessing over what’s good for the Democrats and instead the media should be asking what’s good for the country. We are still all one country despite fantasies to the contrary.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        We are still all one country despite fantasies to the contrary. – but ya gotta admit it is getting to be the twilight zone every news cycle – and absolutely correct that the grift is obvious whether it’s Menendez or Hunter or the ‘big guy’ or the grifting maw of little Z in his green t-shirt – ad infinitum – definitely grifting to the horizon no matter which party – very hard for most folks to accept – there is an ocean of discontent sloshing around –

    5. ISL

      she has been pretty clear she doesn’t want to run. Something about not having the Obama marriage (gay prostitute) dirty laundry in the media for a year.

  3. Matthew

    And if the Ukrainian army collapses a couple months before the election and the Russians occupy Kiev and depose the government?

    1. Benny Profane

      The army could easily collapse, but furgetabout Kiev being occupied. Not worth the Russian lives, and doubtful Putin wants the headache. He’ll probably let it eat itself and decay. Biden will probably do his best to keep the nationalists in power until November, 24. Now, Odessa…

    2. SocalJimObjects

      I think the more likely scenario is that Russia will capture some American soldiers who “happened to be in some Abrams tank” and those poor people will be paraded in Moscow. And then what?

    3. Louis Fyne

      Kyiv-govt would literally have to collapse via an anti-west coup.

      since 1/1/2023, the Russians have been very conservative—-presumably to save their ammo, men, platforms for their next phase and a reserve for WW3

      maybe after the Russian elections, Russia will feel like that they have a mandate to unless the (proverbial) Kraken

    4. Michael Fiorillo

      A Ukrainian military collapse, preceded by some leakage about the Nordstream bombing, coinciding with the paralysis over the migration crisis, it all makes me have a hard time seeing how Uncle Joe stays in the game, even if they can keep him sufficiently juiced with whatever is sort of/kind of/not really getting him by…

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      OPEC+ has Biden’s in a tightening grip. There is no better predictor of the American people’s mood than the direction of change in the price of gasoline. War and peace doesn’t come close.

      1. Benny Profane

        Yup. Nothing like standing at the pump watching the numbers whirl by. And that happens a lot in exurbia.

  4. Pensions Guy

    One very big wild card in all of this intrigue is the Disqualification Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. A 5-day hearing has been scheduled to begin on October 30 in Colorado. The Minnesota Supreme Court will hold a hearing on November 2. Decisions in both of those cases won’t take long, with appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court likely on a fast track. If that Court acts as quickly as it did in Bush v. Gore, then the country might well have a decision before the end of the year as to whether Donald Trump is disqualified because he engaged in an insurrection or gave aid and comfort to the insurrectionists.

    1. Louis Fyne

      GOP will go full nuclear and say that Biden is ineligble too per Hunter-Big Guy deals.

      Talk about 1859 fodder

      1. Benny Profane

        First they have to stop the theater and start prosecution, which is pretty hard, because its Biden’s DOJ.

      2. Michael Fiorillo

        Yes, I can’t believe the casual folly of the #McResistance in generating a likely constitutional and political crisis next year.

    2. viscaelpaviscaelvi

      I am not American, and I also don’t have a legal background of any sort.
      But, when it comes to law, one thing that is always clear to me is that the Law does not exist. What really exists is an enforcement mechanism with laws mounted in it. And the issue with this Colorado and Minnesota hearings is how that translates into the federal arena. Would any findings by those courts have any impacts in other states? Because if the implementation of electoral procedures is in the hands of the states, and if 1, 2, 3… 24 states ban Trump to run, but he still runs in the rest of them and wins them (I mean, is that even a possible scenario? I don’t know. And I can think of a couple more scenarios that end up messing everything up, too) we have a situation where the electoral system is effectively broken, a civil war without (for now, at least) cannons. How do you get out of that hole?
      So I guess that my question is: What is the reach of any state-level court finding? How do you manage those findings, if any, before the election? How do you manage them after the election, if there is one in these conditions? Can there be an election at all if one of the candidates is banned to run in one of the states?
      There you go, one nice tidy question for you all :-)

  5. ArkansasAngie

    The silent coup has already taken place … Biden is incompetent and is NOT in charge.

    Oct 15th is the pass due date in Nevada … candidates have to be registered by Oct 15th to be on the Nevada primary ballots.

    And … the Biden incompetent story line allows them to say that Biden can’t stand trail and gives them cover to pardon anyone and everyone they want to pardon.

    Trump? They shot JFK … they blew up the gas pipeline … There isn’t much these yahoos won’t do.

    So I think we have a lot more “sh^&” to go through.

    The US has a corruption problem and we are about to see it out in the open

    1. Ben Joseph

      It’s like weekend at Bernie’s. If something happens to Biden, they’ll use AI deep fake statements to maintain the illusion.

  6. John

    There was a nasty fight for the Presidency in 1824 with multiple candidates and the decision left to the House. The Democrats went 102 convention ballots in 1924 to nominate John W. Davis who lost to Coolidge. Why should 2024 be any less muddled?

  7. pjay

    “You may have noticed, I’ve left an actor out. Perhaps you’ve guessed who that is. I’ll let that lie for now, except to say this: A lot will depend on Trump’s vice-president pick.”

    I’m genuinely puzzled by this last statement. I assume he means Kennedy, but why does he leave him out of the discussion? Granted they would not let him win, but he polls higher than any of the other Democrat pretenders, so the effects of his candidacy should at least be considered. Such an effort to make him invisible says a lot. And why would Trump’s choice of VP matter – unless he is alluding to that choice being Kennedy himself? I can’t see that happening, but I’m not really surprised by anything anymore. In a fair election that ticked would win in a landslide, though.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      Trump-Kennedy 2024 would, in fact, change everything.

      It would mean the complete physical and brain death of American mainstream news media which would be incapable of any kind of rational coverage of that ticket or the flaming issues they’d interject into the national dialogue.

      It would also significantly increase the odds of there being no election in 2024. The people who held a primary during peak pandemic are exactly the people who would declare a health crisis and cancel an election.

      1. RandomAstrologer

        Hey! “Administrator Harris”, e.g. no elections at all for a good while, has been my prediction since march of last year. Nice to see someone else considering the option.

    2. FlamingTelepath

      A Trump-Kennedy ticket would be like a shitty high school garage band headlining over Metallica. Flip it around and maybe.

      I don’t see Kennedy going for either of those possibilities though.

  8. Definitely not a Nate

    Interesting that people pay attention to Nate Silverish at all. But, the fact is that the same interests control both parties.

    While Trump “gave away” Jerusalem and the Golan, Biden’s Blinken has been working on the Saudi/ Netanyahu rapprochement, not offering hemispheric solutions to the out-of-control flood of migrants crossing the border – or finding a solution for Ukraine. So, Lobby oligarchs won’t mind Biden so much as long as he delivers for them. Biden certainly wants higher unemployment to protect hedge fund fraudster’s interests. Thusly, Biden’s nomination is a fait acompli. The unqualified Harris, if elevated to President would be a figure head with Lobby picked Cabinet running the country.

    As for a Josh Shapiro type in the WH, it will be a cold day in inferno before that ever happens. That’s just a fact.

    Biden will get re-elected by a small margin.

    1. Michaelmas

      Definitely not a Nate: But, the fact is that the same interests control both parties.

      Not identically. And it’s really a mistake to overlook intra-elite conflict.

      There’s arguably no stronger force in world affair when it comes to breaking and making social orders. Especially in the context of a rapidly shrinking pie — which is what the US is — for all the would-be predators,

      1. Michaelmas

        There’s arguably no stronger force in world affairs.

        Alongside stupidity, of course. Stupidity might be the number one force in world affairs, actually.

    2. Reply

      About that Jerusalem matter, note that the Israeli-Saudi interaction is deepening. There are a lot of people who celebrate the Jerusalem matter, and the Abrahamic Accords. They just don’t get the press in the US that more divisive matters or clickbaity matters do. IMHO, there is more positive going on in that section of Middle East than negative. Iran remains another matter.

      1. Adam

        I have to disagree with you. The never ending Palestinian problem is only getting much, much worse, the Israeli government is rapidly turning into a fascist, religious state and angering many Israelis, and many Americans like myself are finally realizing that Israel has become a disaster.

        Yes, it is true the elites don’t care what us proles think or want and are willing to spend huge money to make sure no politician crosses them. But, the dam is breaking and even president Biden has been talking about what is happening, and his relationship (at least his public one) with Netanyahu is terrible. Will this help or hurt him politically especially in the Democratic primaries? Recent polls seem to say no.

  9. The Rev Kev

    Even way back in August of 2020 – over three years ago now – it was obvious that this was going to happen. All the other Democrat Candidates were cut off at the knees by Obama leaving Biden standing alone. And just to make his position more bomb-proof, they selected Kamala Harris to be his Vice President knowing that no group would attempt to topple Biden if it meant that the incoherent Harris would then become President. Normally when a person is chosen to stand for President, the idea is always to go for the full two years meaning eight years. But Biden was already elderly and starting to fall apart even before 2020 so how were they going to think that he had eight full years in him? I guess that it was all about political expediency at the time but now the bill is coming due – and it has been only three years. As a twist, I doubt that Biden will voluntarily retire as he is so cantankerous and selfish. Doing something for his party much less the country is not in his DNA. And as I said, all this was entirely predictable way back in August of 2020 but it is only now with the Presidential elections looming in *checks notes* 403 days that there is a growing sense of urgency. Perhaps the idea was that with a Russian defeat and collapse, that this victory would propel Biden across the line as business boomed again but that never happened and instead the Ukraine is a growing debacle. And by the sounds of this post, the Democrats are all out of runway and are now forced to take off with Captain “Crash” Biden at the controls. So when you look up and see all those Black swans flying overhead, take note that they all have full bellies and are about to unload.

      1. Old Ghost

        I am not a fan of either Biden nor Trump. But it seems to me many posters here seem oblivious to how incompetent, corrupt, and incoherent Trump has become.

    1. Louis Fyne

      a bit torn about that. part of me says yes, part of me says no.

      Obamas seem to just want fame and cash, not power (versus the Clintons who wanted all 3).

      they have all the money that they need and a cushy life.

      governing 2025 – 2030 will be a dumpster fire.

      But the Obamas are also egomaniacs who probably literally think that everything will be solved if they parachute in.

    2. Pavel

      I keep hearing this but (a) MO doesn’t seem to me to be interested in political power. She’d only be doing it at the behest of others. Doesn’t make for a good candidate.

      And (b) it’s clear to me that at the very least Barry was aware of Joe’s corrupt dealings, and probably part of the cover-up. The Dems don’t want *that* can of worms opened just before an election.

      My theory has always been that Joe was miffed in 2016 by Obama’s endorsement of HRC, and believed he would never be POTUS. Thus he and his family decided simply to cash in as much as possible. Little did he know he would be pole-vaulted into the presidency when Obama et al (as noted by others) chose him in a last-ditch effort to stop Bernie.

      I am old enough to remember when Biden had to drop out for plagiarising Neil Kinnock. (He sure turned out to be a disappointment!) He has been a lying, grifting, and incompetent politician all his life. The Dems play stupid games, they win stupid prizes.

      I hope RFK Jr runs third party and in so doing destroys the feckless, truly fascistic Democrat party.


      1. Feral Finster

        Who said anything about being a “good” candidate?

        All Michelle Obama has to do is be a “good enough” candidate, or at least a “better than Joe Biden candidate”.

      2. FlamingTelepath

        Agree re RFK Jr. He better go independent soon. Deep down he knows it’s pointless otherwise.

        Why on earth would Michelle want to give up her lush life on Martha’s Vineyard to inherit responsibility for this completely fked up country and world, and have everyone looking to her to fix it? She’s not stupid. Liberals would explode in ecstasy if she ran though. Its funny when they say people won’t vote for Kamala because she’s a black woman but if Michelle ran she’d landslide Donald Trump.

  10. lyman alpha blob

    Too late? I do recall a 5th place candidate who was out of money well into the primary season being catapulted to the presidency after the Night of the Long Knives not all that long ago. I’m quite sure the DNC could do something similar again if they so choose.

    Not sure they have a candidate that could beat Trump or any other republican though, so probably best to go with the status quo and trot out AIJoe if the real one shuffles off the mortal coil. The people currently handling him and Kamala behind the scenes get all the grifting opportunities without having to take responsibility when things go pear shaped. If things go bad, blame it on the prodigal son! Nice work if you can get it.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Exactly. I think people like Sliver are operating under the assumption that the rules are meant to be followed. As many people have stated, it’s really helpful to think of modern US politics as professional wrestling. There are “rules” but there’s also script writers. And the script writers can do whatever they want. Sure, it’s against the rules for another man to run into the ring and knockout the champ, but it they need it to happen, they will make it happen.

      As you note, they have form. Again, I think Sliver and the like accept The Night of the Long Knives as a real event, not as something stage managed from behind the scenes. The DNC argued in court they can nominate whomever they please, which is pretty much “game over” for the idea that the primaries matter, as far as I am concerned. Yet another fact ignored by the pundits.

      Anyway, I don’t know who else they’d throw up either, if not Biden. The bench is shallow and it has to be Harris’s turn next (or I’m sure some would think so.) Besides, who really wants to risk losing to Trump? Of course, now I’m assuming they’re self-aware enough to realize Trump’s numbers, which aren’t stunning, aren’t just Russian disinformation and that the Dems themselves aren’t exactly popular either.

      So yeah, I think they’re stuck with Biden, but not for the reasons Sliver does. I think it’s much more to do with the DNC going so all in on Biden in 2020 that they salted the Earth for any future candidates to grow, at least until Biden is gone or Obama chooses a successor. Additionally, the margins are so small, they can’t afford any fractions of the party, let alone since the 2008 Obama v Hillary stuff, it seems all they want to do is pretend everyone gets along anyway. They made their beds with Biden. Now they can lie in it.

      1. Feral Finster

        “As many people have stated, it’s really helpful to think of modern US politics as professional wrestling. There are “rules” but there’s also script writers. And the script writers can do whatever they want. Sure, it’s against the rules for another man to run into the ring and knockout the champ, but it they need it to happen, they will make it happen.”

        This is truly a profound insight.

      2. FlamingTelepath

        I think Sliver and the like accept The Night of the Long Knives as a real event, not as something stage managed from behind the scenes

        Confront a liberal about this and they will die before admitting it was coordinated to stop Bernie. They all decided to drop out at once for the good of the party, you see.

    1. pjay

      Interesting. When I commented above on Neuburger’s strange “missing actor” conclusion, Hillary never crossed my mind. She doesn’t seem to have crossed other commenters’ minds, either. That’s probably because any reasonable observer would see such a move as suicidal for the Dems. But I neglected to take into account the Dems suicidal unreasonableness. So, as I said above, nothing surprises me anymore.

      I’d still like to know to whom Neuburger himself is referring in that last paragraph. Perhaps it is Hillary, come to think of it.

      1. HotFlash

        Personally, I applaud the idea of HRC (Her Royal Clintoness) going head-to-head against the Trumpster and losing again (yeeha!). Horrible for the country, but the alternatives are what? Pass the popcorn.

        1. Old Ghost

          While I hope HRC does not run again. For someone who was a deplorable candidate, she still received over 3 million more popular votes than her opponent.

          I realize the Trump Cult is very strong here. But Trump has never won a popular vote.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Her spirit is willing, and Mother followers are basically a cult. She might try to out herself forward, but if she isn’t in it for a campaign, Third Times a Charm will just be too depressing. They might be gaming out a LBJ 1956-1960 strategy for a short week in 2024, but LBJ was good at politics and relatively likeable.

        1. Jim Thomson

          I agree with you all. As the details have come out over the years, she seems worse and worse.
          But she seems to be appearing more recently and at the portrait unveiling she seemed upbeat, well dressed well coifed and ready to go. And the Clinton Foundation is open for business again. It all seems a bit too coincidental.
          Just saw his morning that Col. Kwiatkowski on Judge Nap noted the coif and thinks she may be planning to run. In full disclosure , I had the vague thought a month ago, but this interview crystallized the thought for me.
          I am not wedded to this, it will be a year like no other for sure.

      1. Benny Profane

        And, when was the last time you’ve seen her on her feet? Seriously. Her physical condition was severely waning in ’16. It hasn’t improved. Maybe a female FDR, sort of, at this point. Except nobody likes her. Nobody ever liked her.

        1. Benny Profane

          I’ll never forget a poll done about two to two and a half years into Trump’s term. She had the same 35ish percentage favorable rating that she had in 16 during the campaign, after the daily onslaught of two to two and a half years of Trump. America does not like her. But, Wussia Wussia Wussia.

    3. Tom Doak

      Hillary does have one advantage: she is the ONLY potential choice who could step in front of Harris and not be cried down by the female core of the PMC. They’re not going to let “their turn” be usurped again.

    1. tegnost

      How about manchin sinema? Manchin brings in the oil/coal money, and sinema brings in private equity. I think Wall st can get behind this ticket!
      You’re right, it’s almost too much fun…but I can’t guess what the rehab will be like….

  11. polar donkey

    In my experience when politicians do things that seem incomprehensible, it is usually because of corruption. I think Biden (or his handlers) are worried about prosecution. Additionally, I think a lot of democrats have their hand in the Ukrainian cookie jar (republicans too). I don’t think they have a choice but to Slim Pickens this electoral bomb and hope those trump indictments stick or he chokes to death on a McDonald’s Big Mac. Additionally, most hardcore democrats are still in complete denial of how bad Biden is doing.

  12. ChrisRUEcon

    Oh Goodie! One of my fave topics (Dem Dysfunction)!

    Where oh where to begin … my my …

    This is the kicker for me:

    “This at least eliminates the possibility of primary-challenge-damaged-Biden being the party nominee anyway. However, it creates other issues for Democrats. The main one is what the hell happens to Vice President Kamala Harris.”

    Indeed. I think any machinations have to deal with the Harris question FIRST. In other words, forget about #Jo3yNordStre4m stepping up to a mic’d White House rostrum and saying, ” … I’ve decided not to run bla bla bla …”. It is Harris who has to declare that she is not interested in being Veep for a second term. I’m surprised the command and control bureau in Kalorama (via NC) hasn’t gotten a giddy up on this necessary event yet! I’ve (half) joked that Harris needs to cut a deal with Newsom to essentially swap places. Harris, if she leaves now would have a two year runway to campaign for California governor.

    Democrats cling to their optics and tribal virtue signaling. For now, it would seem that whichever wings of the party are proxy warring over the presidential nominee are both virulently sensitive to telegraphing “in-fighting” or “disunity”. They’re high on their own supply as it were, and they’re gonna lose in ’24 if Biden runs, simple as that!

    C’mon Obama! Make that call to Harris! Get the ball rollin’!! ;-)

    1. ambrit

      The problem I see with Harris “dropping out” and running for Senator or Governor is that she, or her handlers know that she could not win either contest on her own. She is in a ‘sweet spot’ where she is. If she stays where she is, she has a very good chance of becoming President just by outlasting Biden.
      From the Democrat Party point of view, Harris is almost as corrupt as Biden, and thus a ‘perfect’ candidate. This allows the “handlers” full leeway to run things from behind the scenes. Perversely, stronger Democrat Party candidates reduce the range of action available to the creatures governing from behind the scenes.
      We must remember the Neo-motto of today’s American Governing Elites: E Pluribus Denariis.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Sometimes I miss the forest through the trees repeatedly bashing me in the face. The Ignatius Salvo against Biden is the recognition Team Blue can’t get Harris to step down. She’s run for president on the platform of being Kamala Harris. She couldn’t be bothered to have a phony campaign platform.

        Harris own step down so close to the prize unless she is completely abandoned, and the pageantry of DC will keep enough brown nosers around she won’t get that feeling. Biden’s numbers with black voters are tanking. Clyburn sure as hell hasnt delivered anything.

        Michelle Obama is just a cooler Barbara Bush. She’s a nothing.

        1. ChrisRUEcon

          > Team Blue can’t get Harris to step down

          I dunno … Obama got Amy+Pete to cancel their rides in 2020, so … maybe desperation hasn’t set in enough just yet … :)

          > Harris own [won’t] step down so close to the prize unless she is completely abandoned, and the pageantry of DC will keep enough brown nosers around she won’t get that feeling.

          Wasn’t that long ago that the Veep was bleeding staff left and right. I’m not sure her “fan base” extends much outside the horrid #KHive presence online.

          > Clyburn sure as hell hasnt delivered anything.

          Exactly! Even Clyburn is distancing himself from a Harris presidency (via The Hill)! The only reason we have Harris as Veep is because of Clyburn!

          It would be interesting to really know who the various factions are, and which faction is actually pro-Biden. Maybe there is now a bonafide “Biden” wing? One fun thought is that the Clinton wing absolutely does NOT want a Harris presidency, because that would be too much of an affront to #HRC (the most qualified candidate EVAR). I can see a future “60 Minutes” interview (if we get a Harris presidency):

          Leslie Stahl [in somber tone]: Former secretary Clinton, should it have been you as the first woman president??
          HRC: [deep sigh, shrugging] … well … Russia …


          1. steppenwolf fetchit

            If having Harris on the ticket would get Biden massively defeated, and every bitter loser could be reminded that Harris was Clyburn’s unwanted and un-asked-for gift to the nation; would some of the bitterness fallout fall out onto Clyburn? Would it be enough to destroy the name “Clyburn” for elective office for decades to come?

            If so, maybe that is reason enough to run the Biden/Harris ticket.

      2. pjay

        I’ve proposed this scenario before: The Dems get Feinstein to retire, Newsom appoints Harris as Senator, Newsom runs as Biden’s VP, and then if Biden wins he can “retire” for health reasons. Harris, who is unelectable and a drag on the ticket, gets to be Senator by appointment; Newsom, who is unelectable as a Presidential candidate, gets to be Pres. by appointment. “Democracy” is saved!

        Yeah, it’s crazy. But no crazier than political realities in the US right now. Of course if Trump is allowed to run then there are no Democrats who could beat him. If he’s not, then all bets are off, and anything could happen.

        1. ChrisRUEcon

          Ha! “By appointment” FTW!

          I find this thesis fascinating and would like to subscribe to you newsletter.


        2. Pavel

          Kamala was already Senator… that would be a demotion. They’d have to give her a SCOTUS seat — what a scary thought! — but that is a bit trickier to arrange than getting Feinstein to step down.

          The USA is going to hell in a handbasket, but at least it will go down in the most ridiculous way. Get out the popcorn!

          1. ambrit

            “…at least it will go down in the most ridiculous way.”
            Since at least the Kennedy Administration, “going down” has been a key political skill.
            Then there was Bill and the “Little Blue Dress,” plus, “going down” is reputed to have been the skill that got Harris into politics at the California State level to begin with.

      3. Richard

        Re Harris dropping out to run for office in California.

        I’ve seen it suggested that the Harris problem could be solved it Feinstein resigned and Newsome appointed Harris to her Senate seat. Nice idea, except for the problem that a new, Biden-appointed VP would have to win a confirmation vote in the House and Senate. A hard lift under current circumstances. Meanwhile, Kevin McCarthy would be first in line.

        “Oh what a tangled web we weave….”

    2. Victor Sciamarelli

      It appears that replacing Harris makes sense according to the polls. However, removing Harris, a Black woman, from the ticket for any reason, and potentially installing a white person, especially a white woman, and expecting a seamless transition, will require superior political skills of the kind Biden certainty does not possess.

  13. Louis Fyne

    Democratic governor of Colorado as “generic progressive Democrat” president material

    ….but he commited the 3 sins of US presidential politics (cuz the US is a superficial nation):

    he’s bald and not a war hero,
    he’s chubby and not tall enough to hide it,
    he has a funny last name

    1. JonnyJames

      Good points. On the other hand, Gavin Newsom would be perfect for the job: he’s tall, slim, has the good hair, bleachy-white teeth, and can tell a bald-faced lie with a straight face.

  14. JonnyJames

    Hooray for the kakistocracy! The Freak Show aka “election season” will be non-stop until the new puppet emperor is sworn in. Which pile of excrement is the lesser of two stinks?

  15. Bsn

    Remember how just before Super Tuesday in the last dem primary, Biden was offered up and the dems parted the Red Sea as he strolled through and everyone else stepped aside? Maybe they’ll present Moses for Prez. I’d still vote for Kennedy.

  16. Mikel

    “I am not a campaign expert, but for anyone not in the squillionaire category, one would think a candidate would have needed to start fundraising by the early summer. The inaction Team Dem is even more peculiar given that the party over the years has seemed to be mainly interested in the patronage opportunities that come from controlling the Administration…”

    The only replacement that really understands their patronage oppurtunities would be in the squillionaire category.
    If they do have rumblings going in their heads about a replacement, they are thinking of squillionaires or squillionaire approved candidates that can throw a lot of money around in a short amount of time and finance a team and get the MSM salivating.
    So why wouldn’t they drag any replacement talk out until the last minute?

    In so many ways the DNC appears so over the campaigning to the pleebs.

  17. Lefty Godot

    Assuming RFKjr is not allowed inside the tent, the only Democratic ticket I would vote for is Sherrod Brown-Ron Wyden. There is no one else in the wings that has any credibility on any front (other than More War, which is about all the party has to sell these days).

  18. jaredX

    The odds that Biden wont make it to term are pretty high.
    Odds are 100% that he wont make it through another.
    It appears that they are OK with that.

    To my mind, the odds of Trump getting into race and winning are very low – it appears that the Repubs dont really want the job. It appears to me that , like most of the electorate, they dont feel that it matters who is in the office – seems like something of a home-coming queen position.

    Does Biden even know where he is – does it matter?
    He has been a model president, literally.

  19. steppenwolf fetchit

    Is there any law or rule which says that the DemParty can’t hold primaries strictly for Vice Presidential nominee? And let ” the people” decide if it will be Harris or not?

  20. LAS

    Danielle Allen was on PBS last night talking about civics and the report called “Our Common Purpose”. The two-party system isn’t working for us. Primaries are not working for us. These are now just another form of control fraud. Supposedly, we have more choices than we commonly recognize on how to change the country. I don’t know, but I am going to read this report.

  21. Glenda

    It seems to me that Nobody really wants to be holding the Presidential bag, when things really start unraveling economically and otherwise in the next 5 – 10 years.

  22. dao

    If, by October 2024, it appears that Biden/Kamala will not win, then the elections and the Constitution must be suspended (insert terrorist attack/cyber attack/bubonic plague here).

    1. Joe Well

      Forget terrorist attacks and such, our democracy is under threat. “Democracy under threat” is a good enough reason to cancel elections, right? It’s been done before, hasn’t it?

      1. FlamingTelepath

        It’s quite amusing when they tell us “You must vote Democratic because democracy is on the ballot and if Trump wins, it will have been the final American election” while doing everything they can to keep RFK Jr. out of the running and out of the media.

  23. Piotr Berman › wiki › Divorce_Italian_Style
    Divorce Italian Style (Italian: Divorzio all’italiana) is a 1961 Italian dark comedy film directed by Pietro Germi. The screenplay is by Germi, …

    Some solutions could be inspired by this movie, the main characters wants to terminate his marriage, but at that time, divorces were not allowed in Italy.

  24. Mark A Oglesby

    When the article states: “You may have noticed, I’ve left an actor out. Perhaps you’ve guessed who that is. I’ll let that lie for now, except to say this: A lot will depend on Trump’s vice-president pick.” this’ completely incorrect. The actor left out if Bobby Kennedy, Jr who could run on the Libertarian Ticket, be on the ballot in all 50 states, and actually win the race. Dems who refused to vote for Biden will vote for Kennedy as would those who refuse to vote for Trump. Therefore, the large majority who are “independent” vote for Kennedy giving him the Presidency. Only problem, somebody would probably shoot him and where would be then?

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