Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Democratic donors divided on what comes next, buying Biden more time

By 37ci3 Jul6,2024

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has benefited from the failure of frustrated Democratic donors and elected officials to rally behind a unified plan to replace him, but that could be changing.

Biden, who stumbled badly last week In a debate with former President Donald Trump and has struggled to clean up the mess, remains popular among fellow Democrats. But many of the party’s leading donors worry that the 81-year-old president’s frailty will scare off enough voters to ensure Trump wins the White House in November.

Some Democrats want Biden to stay in the race. Others want him to step aside as vice president Kamala Harris can be the candidate of the party. A third group believes that the candidate should be someone else, or at least there should be competition for the seat.

This fundamental disagreement caused paralysis within the party and bought Biden more time to try to placate his allies. But he has yet to do so, and calls from public and private institutions to withdraw his nomination are increasing in number and intensity, regardless of who replaces him.

“Donors are done,” said one Democratic lawmaker who believes Biden should step aside but has so far been reluctant to say so publicly.

Another donor said Biden’s performance one-on-one interview Friday night’s conversation with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos will be a big test to see if the president can stem the flood of refugees, even if the donor has already reached a conclusion.

“He should drop out,” said the donor. “If he keeps it up, they’re going to be mad at him.”

However, the Biden campaign has noted that some donors have given the maximum contribution amount since the debate.

A Democratic donor who has hosted events for the campaign said he “absolutely understands” that people are wary of sticking with Biden, but “we just have to keep moving forward.”

The donor added that only Biden can decide whether to resign, and that “isn’t going to happen because donors say he should.”

If Biden chose to end his campaign, Harris would likely be able to use the money he raised — a significant legal hurdle for any other candidate — and many Democrats believe that excluding a black female vice president would hurt the party in November and possibly future elections. .

Democrats have yet to rally around him or anyone else as a replacement for Biden, but there is a sense that Biden is on his last legs politically.

“The consensus is that he should drop out,” said one longtime Democratic donor who wants Biden to do it sooner rather than later. “Democrats face historic losses if they stay.”

Fears that the party could weigh on its House and Senate candidates are part of the reason party operatives say some donors have decided to shift their contributions away from Biden and toward his congressional campaigns.

One donor canceled a planned fundraising event after the debate, and the Biden campaign’s goal for the upcoming Texas event has been cut in half, according to a leading Democratic donor.

There is ample evidence that its contributors have already evaporated.

One fundraiser said he’s made more than 50 donor calls since the debate, saying they were deeply concerned about Biden’s performance in the debate and wondering what else.

The person said he wasn’t sure what to think about Biden’s mental capacity, but was deeply concerned after The New York Times. informed the president himself told his allies that he was trying to decide whether to withdraw from the race.

“I think a lot of people’s minds changed … When he said he was getting heavy, Oh my God,” the packer said.

The White House staff categorically denied this news and called it a lie.

After the debate, a major donor on the call of the Biden campaign’s national finance committee acknowledged that Biden’s lieutenants need to do more to show the world what kind of president he is. This donor believed that the staff did not understand the gravity of the moment, and they do now.

The person also said there was a common dishonesty among politicians and donors panicking about Biden’s age and public breakdown.

“It was not a cover-up. People have been dealing with the president for three years. He made arrangements for the damned donors. Donors – you can all go yourself. You spent time with him. Can’t believe this is the first warning sign that Hakeem Jeffries, Chuck Schumer or anyone else has seen… There have been whispers about it for three years. This is not a grand conspiracy. He is 81 years old. But everyone was ready to look the other way.”

Biden campaign donor and fundraiser Noah Mamet said at the president’s rally in Wisconsin on Friday that he “stay in the race” – helped to calm the waters.

His speech helped calm many donors and activists, reminding them that he had a big stake in this election and that Trump is an existential threat to the country.

Only Biden can decide the fate of his candidacy, but some Democratic Party operatives, lawmakers and donors believe a grassroots movement among donors and elected officials will effectively force his hand.

“It seems inevitable that the president will want to resign,” said Bill Harris, a Miami-based donor and former CEO of Intuit and PayPal. “He has great love for this country and great fear of what a second Trump term will bring.”

The political action committee, Democrats for the Next Generation, is proposing to put up $2 million to record a debate or series of debates between Harris and Biden’s potential successors.

While some Democrats are looking forward, others are angry at what they see in the rearview mirror.

“The mistake happened two years ago. We’re dealing with that now,” said one Democratic strategist, who criticized the party for allowing Biden to capture the nomination without serious opposition.

“We are in this situation because of the cowardice of two years ago, the nonsense of two years ago, and it is very bad. The selfishness of two years ago,” said the strategist. “Everything was happening so slowly, like a crazy frog in a pot. Like we knew it was happening. We never took action.”

The questions now are whether Biden will remove himself from the race. He and his aides insist he won’t go.

But one fundraiser, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive political issues, said he hasn’t seen anything like this ongoing crisis since the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal in the 1990s. According to him, even then, the Democrats he contacted did not call for Clinton’s resignation.

He said he believed Vice President Harris would have a better chance of defeating Trump, but he was not calling for Biden to walk away from the nomination.

“I’d rather take my chances with him,” he said. “He doesn’t have age or cognitive issues” and might do better with black, women and independent voters.

A donor who has hosted events for Democratic candidates for years said that if Democrats held an open convention to choose Biden’s replacement, it would be an “opportunity” to show that democracy works and that the situation “could turn into a positive.” party.

“This guy ran really well and needs to learn,” said the donor.

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By 37ci3

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