National Democrats are preparing for the very real possibility of replacing President Joe Biden as the party’s nominee if he struggles at next week’s first debate against former President Donald Trump. Though many believe such a scenario isn’t likely, they also say it’s not being ruled out, according to party insiders who spoke to the UK’s Daily Mail.

It is believed that President Biden would need to perform poorly in the first debate, which his team purposely scheduled early to alleviate concerns that the 81-year-old incumbent may not be suited for another four years in office. If the debate receives overwhelmingly negative feedback within the Democratic party, some top leaders of the party could come together to push the president to withdraw from the race, the report claimed.

“The only people who could force him out would be Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer,” one Democratic strategist told DailyMail.com. “It would have to be the four of them collectively.” Other Democratic consultants, such as Mark Penn and former Obama advisor David Axelrod, have stated that it’s the Biden team’s responsibility to fulfill their commitment to an early debate with an outstanding performance by their candidate.

“They have deliberately thrown down the gauntlet for an early debate,” Penn said, “and I think that’s gonna be the point at which Americans judge: is he ready for another term or not.” Axelrod, who earlier this year publicly urged Biden to consider not seeking reelection for the good of the country, was sharply rebuked by the president in private.

One advisor told the Daily Mail that changing the Democratic Party’s nominee this late in the game is like trying to change the trajectory of the massive container ship that collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, resulting in an accident that left six dead and several others unaccounted for. Other observers suggested that Obama, Clinton, Pelosi, and Schumer could orchestrate Biden’s resignation in conjunction with a seamless Democratic National Convention in August and the promotion of an appealing alternative nominee.

“[A] vigorous young candidate — don’t ask me who — could win over the country with a single convention speech’ in August,” political columnist Joe Klein told the Daily Mail. In this scenario, the new leader would need to deliver an inspiring speech similar to President Obama’s 2004 speech at the party’s convention. This moment positioned him to run for president four years later. The Democrats’ common dislike for Trump would be the force that brings in other party activists who might be upset by a plan to replace Biden.

So far, the key figures who could potentially influence Biden to step aside are instead bolstering his campaign. Presidents Obama and Clinton have co-hosted fundraisers with Biden, while Pelosi and Schumer continue their efforts to secure congressional control in support of Biden’s agenda. However, each of Biden’s trips, stumbles, misstatements, and other senior moments increases the pressure on these four leaders to confront the reality that their leader may not have the stamina to avoid similar embarrassments when facing Trump on stage.

One wildcard in the entire plan is Vice President Kamala Harris, however. It’s not clear whether she would agree to simply step aside and allow the party to pick someone other than her to become president. But her polling has been atrocious over the course of Biden’s presidency—worse than his—so that would be a factor in whether or not the Democratic powers that be would want her to step into the role of running for president.

Also, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) suggested during a Fox News interview earlier this week that the plan would be for Harris to step aside so she could run for governor of her home state of California.

Should Trump Prosecute Biden?*
This poll subscribes you to our newsletter. Unsubscribe any time.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.