Not trying to beat a dead horse here, but if you’ve read any of my 2020 election coverage, I’ve been very clear about one thing: I don’t think there’s a chance in hell the Democratic Party actually plans to run Joe Biden as their presidential candidate.
But if it’s not going to be the current frontrunner, who will the DNC choose? And how will they make the swap without being too obvious about how little influence the primary voters really have?
Here’s what we have to work with right now:
- Biden has yet to name a running mate, which suggests to me that he’s being replaced; and
- Democrats don’t want the former VP’s replacement to be Bernie Sanders, which is why they’re still pretending as if Joe is their candidate. They must keep up the charade until the Democratic National Convention when it’s too late for Sen. Sanders to restart his campaign.
Bernie has only suspended his campaign; he didn’t drop out entirely. He can still collect pledged delegates in the remaining state primaries; he just won’t be campaigning for them.
Hillary as the Democratic Nominee
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The delay in naming either a Vice Presidential running mate or a replacement at the top of the ticket, tells me that the DNC insiders want to pick someone who didn’t participate in the primaries. If Biden were to drop out now, there’s no reason someone like Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, or Pete Buttigieg couldn’t resume their candidacy. Democrats and the media would still rally behind any of the moderate options.
No – I think they want to make a significant change, something that will shock the electorate.
I am convinced we are going to see another attempt at winning the White House from Hillary Clinton – the question is how she plans to do it.
Recently, Clinton shot up the odds board, passing Andrew Cuomo to become the second favorite to become the Democratic nominee behind only Biden. Rumors from concerned DNC insiders considering a replacement for Joe have gotten louder – some have even suggested a Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama ticket!
To be safe, I’m considering putting a few dollars on Hillary to become the Democratic nominee at +700 odds. However, for the party to pull this off, they’d need Biden to drop out at – or just before – the national convention. They can’t inject Hillary into the proceedings while Bernie Sanders still has the option of resuming his campaign.
All they need is for Biden to declare himself unfit to continue after all the pledged delegates have been allocated — but before the initial convention vote. As long as nobody receives a majority on the first ballot, all delegates become unpledged, and superdelegates participate in each subsequent round of voting. At which point, the party can steer their nomination to anyone they so choose.
That’s one way to put the ball in Hillary Clinton’s hands and give her another shot at Donald Trump, but I don’t think it’s the most probable. I’m not sure the former Secretary of State would want to expose herself to the possibility of defeat again.
I suspect the DNC wants to set the table in such a way that Hillary has a chance to win the presidency in November, without subjecting her – and her legacy – to the potential shame of losing to someone like Trump twice in a row.
Hillary Clinton as Biden’s VP Pick
It’s with Hillary Clinton’s ego in mind that I find myself loving a bet on the former First Lady to be chosen as Joe Biden’s Vice President. Biden committed to picking a woman running mate back in March but has yet to commit to any of the presumed favorites.
If he was planning to run alongside Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, or Stacey Abrams, wouldn’t we know by now? Quite frankly, he could use a partner to pick up the slack and get out in front of the public while Joe mostly hides away in his basement, only releasing carefully choreographed clips online.
Well, one reason he’s still stringing all of these potential running mates along is because of the Tara Reade allegation. As long as every prominent Democratic woman feels that they’re still in the running for VP, they’ll publicly defend Biden – no matter how hypocritical they make themselves look in the process.
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I believe the other explanation for the wait is the desire to maximize the impact of the announcement. If Joe names Hillary Clinton as his Vice President now, the “Crooked Hillary” stuff starts back up immediately, and the right-wing internet army begins cranking out opposition content. If they wait until the convention in August, they limit Clinton’s exposure to some extent.
More importantly, it allows Hillary to continue choosing her spots in the meantime. Throughout the primaries, she’s kept herself relevant and, in the news, but on her own terms – without any of the rigors of the campaign trail. Once she’s announced as Biden’s running mate, she’ll need to be available more frequently, and the real work will begin.
If Biden and Clinton can defeat Trump in November, the president-elect will step down – citing health reasons – sometime between Election Day and the inauguration. That way, Hillary becomes the first woman president if the Democrats win, but she doesn’t lose to Donald Trump twice in a row if they fall short.
My gut is telling me the Democrats will prefer the backdoor approach – using Joe Biden as a human shield to protect Hillary’s legacy. That said, the DNC has made numerous head-scratching moves this election cycle that made zero sense strategically, so you never know with them.