OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
An official in President Ronald Reagan’s administration as well as Bush 41 and Bush 43 has laid out a plan in which Democrats could elevate left-wing California Gov. Gavin Newsom to the presidency without him having ever been elected.
In a column for The Hill, consultant Douglas MacKinnon, who was a writer in the White House for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush as well as a special assistant for policy and communications at the Pentagon during the last three years of the George W. Bush Bush administration, wrote that President Joe Biden could essentially install Newsom, who has been mentioned as a potential 2024 Democratic contender anyway.
After noting that last week’s midterm elections turned out better than expected for Democrats, the fact is, both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris remain underwater in terms of their approval ratings. As such, that leaves the party in a precarious position ahead of the next presidential election now less than two years away.
He also claimed that “Trump fatigue” will likely drive voters to the polls to vote against him and, perhaps, Republican candidates, but added the possibility that Trump won’t run or, at best, won’t become his party’s nominee.
“I have written that I don’t believe Trump will run but will drag out the anticipation for as long as possible to keep his ‘brand’ in the news and the campaign donations flowing in. If he does declare that he will not be a candidate in 2024, how much energy will leak out of the Democratic vote machine? Potentially quite a bit,” MacKinnon noted.
— The Hill (@thehill) November 14, 2022
Trump has a major announcement planned from his Mar-a-Lago estate Tuesday evening.
“That possibility, coupled with the drag that Biden and Harris are already attaching to the Democrats’ chances to retain the White House in 2024, raises a critically important question of strategy for their party: Do Democrats jettison both Biden and Harris or keep them and more than likely lose to a strong Republican ticket of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and, perhaps, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley?” the consultant and former GOP administration official continued.
After noting that Tuesday’s election results prove again that the country is very divided and not much political healing is in the offing, MacKinnon laid out the plan:
That reality speaks to the need for a proven vote-getter with lots of money and a logistical machine behind him. In Politics 101, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) meets — maybe even exceeds — those qualifications.
Newsom won reelection easily and now has the luxury of turning his ambitious eyes completely toward the White House. The question then becomes, will his party turn its eyes toward him as the person who might save it from the Biden-Harris dilemma it is surely about to face?
If the answer is “yes,” the “solution” is really not complicated at all. In one scenario, Biden could ask Harris to resign and replace her with Newsom, who then becomes the heir apparent for 2024. Or Biden could replace Harris with Newsom and then resign himself, making Newsom the president before 2024 and arming him with the full force of the Oval Office.
He went on to say that GOP lawmakers and voters can write off Newsom for having “ruined California,” but he argued that Newsom is nevertheless a formidable political opponent who has lots of connections, ambition, and can drive voters to the polls.
“Might the Democrats leapfrog him into the Oval Office before 2024? It would be political malpractice for them not to consider the option,” MacKinnon concluded.
It’s not even clear that Biden will run again in 2024. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants him to run.
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Pelosi claimed on Sunday that Biden “has accomplished so much” and “has a great record.”
“President Biden has been a great president for our country,” said Pelosi. “Over 10 million jobs under his leadership. Working with the private sector, of course. He has just done so many things that are so great.
“He’s put money in people’s pockets, vaccines in their arms, children back to school, people back to work, for starters, creating 10 million jobs,” she continued. “He has made America independent by passing the CHIPS bill that says we’re no longer reliant on those who would withhold products that enable us to manufacture in our country.
“The [Inflation Reduction Act]… $368 billion in good-paying green jobs, clean air, clean water for our children, national security issue to stop migrations and competition for habitat and food, as well as honoring our responsibility to future generations,” Pelosi went on. “The PACT Act, honoring our veterans, the bipartisan infrastructure bill, all of it with justice, with equity, with inclusiveness, with diversity, taking us to a new place. He has been a great president and he has a great record to run on.”