OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Tensions between President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have been heating up for several months.
Former President Bill Clinton strategist Dick Morris claimed that Biden’s aides are leaking stories criticizing Harris because they are concerned she will invoke the 25th Amendment in an attempt to remove the president from office.
Morris began by citing a New York Times article that “talks about how Harris is not ready for prime time. She was antagonizing her staff. She screwed up on the trip to the border.”
Morris said he thinks the leak for the story “must have undoubtedly come from the Biden forces.”
Morris said that this makes sense, because: “The rumor I keep hearing from sources close to the White House is that Biden is getting worse. That the dementia is really becoming noticeable and harder to control and harder to camouflage. I believe there may be a move coming to invoke the 25th Amendment against Biden and replace him with Harris.”
“Biden’s people are pushing back against it by shooting at Harris and saying that she’s not really ready to be president,” Morris said.
Morris said it’s clear to him the leaks to the NYT came from Biden’s allies because “the only reason for them to do that [is to push back] against the 25th Amendment coup.”
Morris added that “the Democrats are realizing they’re cooked in 2022… They will lose the House. The Senate, they might also lose. I think that there is a sense of panic among Democrats.”
Two explosive rumors hit the White House last week.
The first issue came last Monday when CNN’s Don Lemon flat-out asked White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre if President Joe Biden has the “stamina, physically and mentally” to run for a second term in 2024.
Currently, Biden is 79 years old. He would be 82 years old on Inauguration Day 2025 if he were to run again and win.
DON LEMON: "Does the president has the stamina, physically and mentally, do you think to continue on even after 2024?"
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: "That is not a question that we should be even asking" pic.twitter.com/dUfQil9qKp
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 14, 2022
Lemon even asking the question speaks volumes about just how bad things have gotten under Biden.
The second issue came when the New York Times published an explosive piece detailing how Democrats are mulling replacing Biden at the top of the ticket in 2024.
“Many Democratic lawmakers and party officials are venting their frustrations with President Biden’s struggle to advance the bulk of his agenda, doubting his ability to rescue the party from a predicted midterm trouncing and increasingly viewing him as an anchor that should be cut loose in 2024,” the NYT reported.
The NYT report cited “nearly 50 Democratic officials” and “disappointed voters” who are “alarmed about Republicans’ rising strength and extraordinarily pessimistic about an immediate path forward” under the Biden administration.
Things are not looking good for Harris, either.
In a scathing piece from New York Magazine, titled, “There Has to Be a Backup Plan. There’s a Backup Plan, Right? Inside the 2024 soul-searching that’s happening in every corner of the Democratic Party,” author Gabriel Debenedetti discusses how Democrats are facing a reckoning.
Debenedetti notes how there seems to be a major divide between Biden and his allies on one side and Harris and her loyalists on the other.
With Trumpism re-ascendant, ambivalence about Biden’s age and political standing is fueling skepticism just as the image of his understudy, Vice-President Kamala Harris, dips even further than his. The most recent analysis from the Los Angeles Times has her net approval rating at negative 11. The result is a bizarre disconnect within the Democratic Party, with two factions talking past each other.
One group consists of Biden and his loyalists, who are convinced that while the ticket’s numbers are undeniably bleak, they’re historically unsurprising for a president and VP facing their first midterm and will surely bounce back. The second group comprises a broad swath of the Democratic elite and rank and file alike, who suspect that vectors of age, succession, and strategy have created a dynamic with no obvious parallel in recent history.
Debenedetti notes that Harris expects Biden to run again in 2024, but if he did step aside, would he endorse Harris as the Democratic nominee?
Most think Harris would win the nomination if Biden backed her, and no one thinks he would ever actively endorse anyone else. But to her doubters, that itself is reason to think that “Biden has to run again because he desperately has to keep Trump out of the White House and defend our democracy,” as one Capitol Hill supporter puts it. “And I have no doubts Kamala Harris can’t win.”
The inside-baseball gripes and anonymous knifing would be easier to shrug off if not for the flurry of sub-rosa activity elsewhere in the party, which suggests a potential Harris candidacy may not be intimidating enough to keep others away from 2024.
Late last year, a CNN report alleged that White House insiders are painting a picture of total chaos and discontent between Biden and Harris.