Revolt Strengthens: In Private Meeting, Senior House Dems Say Biden Must Quit

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, Jul 08, 2024 - 12:35 PM

The sand castle that is Joe Biden's re-election campaign was eroded by another wave on Sunday, as senior House Democrats told Speaker Hakeem Jeffries they've concluded Biden should call it quits. The tide will only rise this week, as Congress reconvenes on Monday, with Democrats increasingly worried about Biden's effect on their own races -- and under pressure from Democratic mega-donors who see Biden's campaign as hopeless. 

According to the New York Times, in a private virtual meeting hosted by Jeffries, four senior Democrats who are ranking members of powerful committees said Biden should leave the race: Jerry Nadler (NY), Adam Smith (WA), Mark Takano (CA) and Joseph Morelle (NY). 

The meeting opened with some members speaking in favor of Biden. That spirit was short-lived: The 77-year-old Judiciary ranking member Nadler -- who himself appeared to have soiled his pants at a 2020 press conference -- is said to have been first to declare Biden's candidacy unviable. Running for re-election himself, Nadler may be a hypocrite, but he at least he's immune to accusations of ageism: 

Of course, the Sunday House leaders' meeting wasn't truly "private," as both the meeting itself and the leaks that immediately sprang from it were surely engineered to turn up the heat on Biden. The same can be said of reports over the weekend that Senate intelligence committee chair Mark Warner was organizing a meeting of his peers with a goal of building a united plea for Biden to quit. That meeting has reportedly been put on hold for now, but the weekend headlines about it stand as a salvo across Team Biden's bow.    

While the House heavy-hitters' sentiments were confined to the closed-door session, five rank-and-file House Democrats have publicly said Biden should quit. Meanwhile, a growing number of other Democratic legislators in both chambers are using a less pointed tactic, by expressing deep concern over Biden's health and his potential to beat Donald Trump in November. 

While they stop short of asking Biden to step aside, such comments impart nearly the same damage. For example, in a Sunday appearance on on NBC's Meet the Press, California representative and Senate candidate Adam Schiff wielded just such a dagger wrapped in gentle verbiage: 

“[Biden's] performance on the debate stage, I think, rightfully raised questions among the American people about whether the president has the vigor to defeat Donald Trump. Given Biden’s incredible record and given Trump’s terrible record he should be mopping the floor with Donald Trump. It should not be even close, and the reason it is close is the president’s age.”

Channeling a widespread resentment shared by many Democrats, Schiff also launched a thinly-disguised attack on the undue influence exerted on Biden by his Air Force One-addicted wife and his recovering crack-addict son: 

"What I would advise the president is [to] seek out the opinions of people you trust. He's obviously talked to his family about this. And that's important. But he should seek out people with some distance and objectivity." 

Schiff also said he was "concerned" when Biden on Friday told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that, if he stayed in the race and lost to Trump, he'd be at peace provided "I gave it my all, and I did the goodest job I know I can do." Schiff said, "This is not just about whether he gave it the best college try, but rather whether he made the right decision to run or to pass the torch. That is the most important decision for him to make right now."

Schiff's comments and similar ones from other representatives and senators reflect a hopefulness that Biden can be nudged into exiting the race without having to endure enormous humiliation that would come from dozens or hundreds of legislators using more forceful tactics. However, with only 42 days remaining between now and their convention, panicking Democrats' patience will likely end this week.

“This week is key,” an unnamed Democratic representative told the Financial Times. “After Tuesday morning’s House Democratic Caucus meeting, we will know if there will be a push by members to get Biden to step down, or not.”