OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Rumors are flying that some of President Joe Biden’s allies have at least looked into the idea of replacing Vice President Kamala Harris. In a scathing piece published by Newsweek, Professor Jason Nichols notes how “we are stuck with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”
“It was the meme of the week: Joe’s gotta go. It felt like every liberal news outlet took part in a week of a scathing critique of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, with many even from the President’s own party suggesting he commit to not running in 2024,” Nichols wrote.
“This is not to say that Joe Biden’s presidency has been entirely successful. Many feel he has been unable to secure important legislative victories or fulfill campaign promises, despite having a majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. President Biden also failed to secure voting rights or police reform, both big issues for African Americans, who also happen to be the Democrats’ most loyal and important voting block,” he added.
Nichols declared: “The President also appears helpless in the fight to protect bodily autonomy and healthcare for women and girls in the wake of the reversal of Roe v. Wade, while Biden’s signature piece of legislation, Build Back Better, died in the Senate, where he couldn’t even rally consensus within his own party. And it’s unlikely that the President will be able to deliver much of anything in the final two years of his term, as Republicans are likely poised to take the House of Representatives.”
Nichols is hardly the only one sounding the alarm bells about Biden and Harris.
In an explosive story last month 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.
“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.”
This isn’t a random rumor being pushed, either.
Late last year, a CNN report alleged that White House insiders are painting a picture of total chaos and discontent between Biden and Harris.
“Kamala Harris is a leader but is not being put in positions to lead,” a top Democratic donor said. “[Biden] should be putting her in positions to succeed, as opposed to putting weights on her. If you did give her the ability to step up and help her lead, it would strengthen you and strengthen the party.”
“That chatter has already reached top levels of the Biden orbit, according to one person who’s heard it,” CNN reported.
“She’s perceived to be in such a weak position that top Democrats in and outside of Washington have begun to speculate privately, asking each other why the White House has allowed her to become so hobbled in the public consciousness, at least as they see it,” the report said. “Republicans and right-wing media turned Harris into a political target from the moment she was picked for the ticket. And implicit racism and sexism have been constant.”