After the presidential debate.. Democrats demand “replacing Biden”

With the end of the first debate between the presidential candidates in the US elections scheduled for next November, some reports have emerged indicating concerns in Democratic circles about the performance of President Joe Biden, raising questions about the possibility of choosing an alternative candidate.

A newspaper report stated,The New York TimesThe American newspaper said that the Democrats could indeed choose an alternative to Biden, but this would likely lead to “political unrest” in the party, unless the president himself decided to step down on his own terms.

Some American media outlets also reviewed the names of potential candidates that the Democratic Party could nominate, such as Vice President Kamala Harris, California Governor Gavin Newsom, or Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, in addition to other names.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the debate had raised concerns among Biden’s allies among some Democrats, prompting wealthy lawmakers and donors to consider “whether Biden should remain” the Democratic Party’s nominee, due to concerns about his age.

An Agence France-Presse report also pointed out that the American media spoke of a real “panic” caused by the debate among the Democrats, 4 months before the elections, and about 6 weeks before the conference in which the American President was supposed to nominate the party’s official candidate.

Can Biden be replaced?

The New York Times report explained that the short answer to the question of the possibility of choosing an alternative candidate for Biden is “yes,” but assuming that he made the decision to step down himself, adding that if he decided to continue in the race, the short answer is “probably no.”

Mutual accusations between Trump and Biden during the debate

The report indicated that in both cases the process would be complicated and would open the door to political unrest in democratic circles.

Biden cannot force the delegates who gave him their votes from the states to support a candidate other than him, as if he decided to withdraw from the race, they would be free to choose any candidate, according to the newspaper.

There will also be a “fight” over the alternative candidate in light of the “worsening ideological divisions” in the party already, according to the New York Times, which will weaken the future candidate.

After the debate, Biden said to a gathering of his supporters in North Carolina: “I no longer walk as easily as I did before. I no longer speak fluently as I did before. I no longer debate with the same quality as before, but I know how to tell the truth.”

He added: “I know right from wrong. I know how to do this job. I know how to get things done. I know, as millions of Americans know, that when you fall, you get back up again.”

Is it possible to choose an alternative to Biden if he refuses to withdraw?

The New York Times report explained that if a decision is made to choose an alternative, and Biden resists those pressures, there will be room for maneuver in the party’s official rules, and the answer to the possibility of choosing an alternative to him will not be an absolute “no.”

A fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Eileen Kamark, told the newspaper that the only way the nomination could be withdrawn is “for a majority of about 4,000 delegates to decide that Biden should not be the nominee, and that they have a better person.”

If Biden decides to withdraw, the Democrats will meet in August in Chicago in what is known as the “open” convention, where the cards will be reshuffled, especially the votes of the delegates who voted for the president.

This scenario, if it actually happens, would be unprecedented since 1968, when the party had to find a replacement for President Lyndon Johnson, after the latter withdrew his candidacy in the midst of the Vietnam War.

The then-Vice President was nominated by Hubert Humphrey, who lost the election to Republican Richard Nixon.

“Bad performance”

Former US President Barack Obama on Friday described President Biden’s performance in the debate against his potential Republican rival Donald Trump as “bad,” but he stressed that he continues to support Biden.

Obama said on the X platform: “Poor performance in debates is possible. Trust me, I know.”

“But this election is still a choice between someone who has fought for the common people all his life and someone who only cares about himself,” Obama wrote, adding, “Last night did not change that.”

Lawmakers said on Friday that they were “discussing how to move forward” in the wake of the disappointing and troubling debate performance, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch said, “I think we have some decisions to make as a party. We need to have this discussion right away. I like him, he’s a good, decent guy, but the performance last night was appalling.”

Biden’s former public relations director, Kate Bedingfield, acknowledged that “(the president’s) performance during the debate was really disappointing, there’s no other way to say it,” in a comment to the American network “CNN” after the debate ended.

One of Biden’s donors, who requested anonymity, also described the president’s performance as “unqualified” and expected that some Democrats would again consider calls for him to withdraw.

Preliminary data from Nielsen showed that about 48 million people watched the presidential debate, a figure that suggests the final audience will be about a third less than the 73 million who watched the first debate between the candidates in 2020, according to Reuters.

This will be among the three lowest-rated presidential debates since 1976.

The relatively small turnout compared to previous debates in election cycles may be an indication of weak voter enthusiasm for both candidates. The number does not include the full range of online viewers, and online viewing has grown in popularity as traditional television audiences have shrunk, the agency also said.

Possible replacements

The Democratic Party has been continuously defending in recent months the criticism directed at President Biden due to his advanced age, but this matter changed after the first debate between Biden and Trump, according to a report by the newspaper “Washington Post“American.

The report highlighted the names of figures who could be an alternative to Biden in the upcoming elections as a candidate for the Democratic Party, and monitored 10 names, headed by Vice President Kamala Harris.

All eyes are on Kamala Harris

The newspaper pointed out that it is difficult for Harris not to be the alternative to Biden, “unless she decides herself not to run.”

But the report explained that the problem is that she is “not as popular” as Biden, as recent polls showed that “her disapproval rate exceeds her approval rate, between 18 and 16 points.”

The second name proposed is Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, whom the Washington Post indicated is the second candidate after Harris, to be a potential alternative to Biden.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who nearly won the Iowa and New Hampshire presidential primaries in the previous 2020 elections, is also among the possible names.

The newspaper indicated that his problem is that “he does not enjoy the support of some groups, especially black voters, as he received little support from those groups in the 2020 primary elections.”

Other potential candidates include Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, and Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock.

There are also “fantasy” options, as the Washington Post describes them, such as former first lady Michelle Obama. Minnesota lawmaker Amy Klobuchar and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear also stand out.

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