Is the DNC Road Testing Biden During the Debate?

Is the DNC Road Testing Biden During the Debate?
Adam Garrie | June 27, 2024

By Adam Garrie, The Kennedy Beacon

Former president Donald Trump gained fame hosting The Apprentice, and during CNN’s forthcoming presidential “debate,” the contestant in the hot seat is none other than President Biden.

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If you are searching for a reason why CNN decided to put itself in the unprecedented position of organizing a “debate” prior to the Republican and Democratic conventions, a plausible answer is that Biden needs to be road tested before his party makes a final decision on whether to “hire or fire” the incumbent.

Typically, presidential debates provide voters the opportunity to determine which candidate’s policies, demeanor, and cognitive strengths are best suited to lead. This time around, Biden must persuade his own party to continue investing in his candidacy, which has been plagued by embarrassments.

For the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the bar is set very low. If Biden can stay awake and remain coherent enough to recite scripted questions aimed at forcing Trump to denounce online influencers deemed “extreme” by the DNC and its corporate media allies, the Democrats and their allies will proclaim victory.

However, if Biden falls asleep, wanders off stage, or mumbles aimlessly while Trump wisecracks about having “never seen anything like it,” the DNC will prepare a replacement.

Meet the Contestants

Although the vice president should be the first person to consider, Kamala Harris’s approval ratings are even lower than Biden’s, according to most polls. Therefore, she fails to even make our list.

Gretchen Whitmer

Making more frequent appearances in the news lately, Gretchen Whitmer may be a hopeful. She was first elected governor of Michigan in 2018 and became DNC vice chair in 2021. Although young in presidential years – she’s 52 – she is a bona fide political insider who fashions herself as a progressive. Although Whitmer has not declared presidential ambitions, a report on Bill O’Reilly’s radio show indicated that DNC insiders see her as a possible contender if Biden is forced to sit out the 2024 election.

But Whitmer may have too much baggage. In 2020, during COVID-19 lockdowns, she became infamous for cruelty, forbidding people to buy seeds and gardening supplies. Later, Governor Whitmer made national headlines when fourteen men were arrested and charged with a plot to kidnap her. Democrats used that event to highlight their hypothesis of a wave of MAGA-inspired extremism. It subsequently emerged that three of the men were FBI informants. Defense attorneys contended that all but two were.

The case fueled the culture wars. Republicans pointed to the kidnapping plot as a “fed trap.”

A Whitmer nomination would amount to Bidenism without Biden. Whitmer represents a key midwestern swing state in which unionized labor has long been a major electoral factor.

Gavin Newsom

Although Governor Gavin Newsom, 56, survived a recall vote in 2021, California has never recovered from the COVID lockdowns.

California’s housing is increasingly unaffordable, and businesses that closed during the lockdowns became permanently abandoned commercial spaces. Homeless encampments and open drug scenes are commonplace on beaches and on city streets, in parks and in sun-kissed middle-class suburbs.

While Newsom is presidential in appearance and manner, he would have to pivot his political optics from one of “woke” coastal progressivism to something more likely to win over purple states in the Midwest.

Josh Shapiro

Josh Shapiro, 51, who was elected governor of Pennsylvania in 2022, seems a likely option. He is less known outside of his home state than Whitmer or Newsom and does not have a major national profile by any metric. He presents himself as a moderate, by 2024 standards.

Like Whitmer, Shapiro supports both the domestic and foreign policy agenda of the Biden administration. And he leads an electorally important Mid-Atlantic swing state. Because he is relatively scandal free, there would be little room to scrutinize his record.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama, 60, has a major national profile as one of the most prominent first ladies in history. Her books, podcasts, and frequent television appearances, in addition to her association with a twice-elected former president, give her a recognition quality vastly higher than that of the three aforementioned governors. As David Talbot wrote in a column for the Beacon, she would be the “smart move for the Democrats.”

However, there is no indication that she would accept an offer to replace Biden, should one be forthcoming. She has, in fact, previously ruled out a presidential run. Maybe there’s a spot for her as vice president pick.

As a private corporation that does not answer to voters, the Democratic Party can pick anyone they want for both slots on the Democrat ballot.

Will Biden Be “Fired”?

Biden’s “fundamentals” look increasingly weak. Poll after poll shows that on major issues, including the economy and the southern border, the president is seen as having failed. In terms of optics, his “senior moments” are increasingly worrying. Despite this, recent “horse race” polls show that he is neck and neck with the equally unappealing candidate, former president Trump.

If someone tells Biden “you’re fired” after the debate, it will be a DNC official not Trump.

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