Why Biden Should Drop Out at Convention

One analyst argues it's Democrats' only hope, but another says it's too late for a sub
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2024 12:41 PM CST
Should Biden Drop Out? 2 Differing Views
President Biden speaks to the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference at Lansdowne Resort, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024 In Leesburg, Va.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The release of a special counsel's report referring to President Biden as an "elderly man with a poor memory" has caused hand-wringing among Democrats about the general election. Should the 81-year-old Biden stay in the race? Two opposing views on the subject:

  • He should stay: At Vox, Christian Paz writes that it's "Biden or bust" for Democrats. "Replacing Biden as the Democratic nominee at this point would be a herculean, if not impossible, task." The most plausible route would be for Biden to take himself out of the running at the convention in August, but Paz argues the resulting chaos would do more harm than good. VP Kamala Harris polls dreadfully, but bypassing her for somebody else (Gavin Newsom or Gretchen Whitmer maybe) "opens up potential ire from Black voters, without whom Democrats can't win." Is the "chaos and disunity" worth it? "The simple answer is no. It's too late." Read it here.

  • He should go: In an op-ed at the New York Times, Ross Douthat argues that the best hope for Democrats is if Biden does indeed drop out at the convention and decline to endorse anyone. Yes, "pain would follow"—along with Republican derision—but so would "excitement and spectacle." And the "proximity of the general election would create stronger incentives for Harris or any other disappointed losers to accept a behind-the-scenes proffer and fall in line if the convention battle doesn't go their way." Douthat suggests Biden plan on this strategy, with the bonus that he can abandon it should his political fortunes rise dramatically before the summer. Read it here.
  • On a different point: At Popular Information, Judd Legum accuses the media of creating a "Biden fitness crisis" with a "deluge of negative" coverage, while largely letting Donald Trump off the hook for similar lapses. He compares stories in major outlets, finding that "the perceptions of the two men by the public are shaped by media coverage." Read it here.
(More President Biden 2024 stories.)

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