Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Could Democrats replace Biden as their nominee?

By 37ci3 Feb 10, 2024



Washington is confusing fresh concerns After President Joe Biden’s fitness special prosecutor’s report Thursday’s release raised questions about his memory.

But there are Democrats rallied around Biden and despite the fantasies of some pundits and worried Democrats, it is almost certain that the president will be the Democratic Party nominee as long as he wants.

Both parties have moved on from the era when insiders in smoke-filled rooms could reign supreme at national conventions, and Biden has dominated every primary he’s contested so far.

No prominent Democrats have called on Biden to step aside, and there are no known serious conservatives about it.

“The Democratic Party is united in supporting President Biden, who will be his party’s nominee this fall and defeat Donald Trump for a second term this November,” Biden campaign spokesman Daniel Wessel told NBC News.

In modern times, a national party has never attempted to partially replace its candidate because they know it will fail. The issue came before both sides in 2016, but neither took such a drastic step.

The Access Hollywood tape called for some prominent Republican leaders to disavow Donald Trump, but then-RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said:There are no such mechanisms.

Meanwhile, then-interim DNC Chair Donna Brazile wrote in his memoirs he “virtually replaced” Hillary Clinton after the nomination collapsed “I couldn’t get over the threat to replace him,” he said at the September 11 memorial service.

Still, the DNC Bylaws make provisions in case the party’s nominee is incompetent or chooses to withdraw, and a coup against Biden at the convention is probably theoretically possible. So how will this work?

Is it too late for another Democratic candidate to enter the race?

So far, only a few states have held Democratic presidential elections. But there is still not enough time for a new candidate to enter the race and defeat Biden outright.

Application deadlines about 80% of the upcoming contests are already over and cannot be changed easily as they are set in every state. The remaining contests where ballot entry is still open do not have enough delegates to win a majority.

Of course, a Democrat can choose to run as a write-in candidate (although not every state allows write-ins). And the rules of the Democratic Party can be changed. As private organizations, the Democratic and Republican National Committees are legally given wide discretion in how they select their candidates.

But Biden essentially controls the national party, as is standard practice for the party that controls the White House.

Any changes to the party’s nominating rules would go through the DNC’s Rules and Regulations Committee, which is stacked with Biden allies, which rubber-stamped a controversial new 2024 presidential primary schedule that puts South Carolina ahead of New Hampshire when it had not previously expected. to do so by the night before the vote.

What if Biden leaves before the convention?

Biden has said he will stay in the race and there are no other signs, but the only plausible scenario for the Democrats to get a new nominee would be if Biden decides to withdraw.

He could do that while serving out the rest of his term in the White House, as Lyndon Johnson did in 1968.

If Biden were to be released between now and August, he would likely have a free-for-all at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August.

It probably won’t matter if Biden calls for Democrats to resign before winning the majority. Any new candidate trying to enter the race is unlikely to get enough of the remaining ballots, and therefore won’t win enough delegates.

Ultimately, the decision will likely come down to the convention delegates pledged to Biden.

A majority of the nearly 4,000 pledged delegates is needed to win the party’s nomination. Under recent reforms, the party’s more than 700 superdelegates — Democratic lawmakers and dignitaries — are allowed to vote only if no one wins a majority of pledged delegates on the first ballot, so their votes could be decisive in a contested convention.

Biden would have some influence over the pledged delegates he won through the primaries, but ultimately they can vote however they want.

Her longtime primary challengers, Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., and self-help author Marrianne Williamson, who suspended her campaign this week, have yet to win any delegates. And just running doesn’t mean they move to the front of the list in case of a vacancy.

Could the Democrats replace Biden against his will?

There is no evidence that the party will make the change without Biden’s approval. But even if they did, there is no mechanism for the national party to change the candidate before the convention, and certainly no way to appoint a chosen successor.

If a large portion of the Democratic Party loses confidence in Biden, the delegates to the national convention could theoretically defect en masse. Of course, they were elected delegates because of their loyalty to Biden and promised to support him at the convention.

However, unlike many Republican delegates, Democratic delegates are not technically tied to their nominees. DNC rules allow delegates to “reflect in all honesty the sentiments of those who elected them” and allow some leeway.

The party’s charter contains provisions on the replacement of a candidate during a vacancy. The measure is intended to be used in the event of death, resignation or incapacity, not to replace someone who does not wish to resign.

It was a measure Brazil considered implementing after Clinton collapsed two months before the 2016 election.

In his memoirs, published a year later, Brazile wrote that he was “concerned not only about Hillary’s health, but also about her anemic campaign … so lacking in fighting spirit.”

“Perhaps switching candidates was a chance to win this job, to change the playing field in a way that would frustrate Donald Trump and make him unable to catch up,” he wrote, adding that he had been contacted by aides to other candidates, including chief of staff to then-Vice President Biden.

But after less than 24 hours of discussion, Brazile realized that the idea was impossible without Clinton’s cooperation and would likely split her party.

Current DNC ​​Chair Jaime Harrison is a longtime Biden ally who actually serves at the pleasure of the president. And the national party certainly hasn’t given any indication that it’s exactly what’s behind the president’s re-election.

What if Biden withdraws after the convention?

To fill a vacancy on the national ticket, the DNC chair can call a “special meeting” of the full Democratic National Committee, made up of about 500 members. On paper, at least, a majority of those present are needed to elect a new presidential and vice presidential candidate. But the process is likely to be a smooth one and full of behind-the-scenes jockeying and public pressure campaigns.

If a vacancy occurs close to the November election, it could raise constitutional, legal and practical concerns. Among other things, the ballots must be printed well in advance of the election and cannot be changed in time.

Will Kamala Harris replace Biden?

If Biden were to decline the presidency, Vice President Kamala Harris would automatically become president, but not the Democratic Party nominee. If Biden declines to seek re-election while still in the White House, he won’t necessarily run.

He may be politically dominant, but party rules give the vice president no major mechanical advantage over other candidates.

Biden’s delegates will not automatically go to Harris, and the convention votes separately for the presidential and vice presidential nominees. Therefore, he still needs to win a majority of delegates in congress.

If the top of the ticket is vacated after the convention, it will still need to win a majority vote at a special DNC meeting.

At least under current party rules, that’s all. But the vacancy at the top of the ticket is a dramatic moment that could prompt party leaders to reconsider them in the name of easing the transition. Harris has some close allies in key places at the DNC, including the co-chair of the party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee. But nothing would happen without a fight.



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