Report indicates 'top Democrats and donors' are quietly searching for possible alternatives to Biden

July 16, 2023
Ben Marquis

There are undeniably growing concerns among some Democrats about the electability of President Joe Biden in 2024, due in no small part to his advanced age, evident physical and mental decline, consistently low approval and favorability ratings, and his tendency to utter gaffes and engage in odd behaviors.

All of that and more, including more particular concerns about Biden's nascent 2024 campaign, has reportedly prompted some "top Democrats and donors" to begin looking around for possible alternatives to the incumbent to be the Democratic Party's next nominee, according to the Conservative Brief.

Of course, all of that is taking place quietly and behind the scenes, as publicly there are few if any mainstream or prominent Democrats willing to step forward and challenge Biden for fear of being viewed as disloyal or suffering future political retribution.

Legitimate concerns grow over Biden's lackluster fundraising and stalled campaign

CNN recently reported on the "quiet whispers ... texts, emails, furtive phone calls" that are increasingly taking place as "top Democrats and donors reach out to those seen as possible replacement presidential candidates."

The impetus behind those behind-the-scenes conversations is that "Despite what he has said, despite the campaign that has been announced, President Joe Biden won’t actually be running for reelection," and those discussions are growing more urgent because "They feel like time is already running out and that the lack of the more robust campaign activity they want to see is a sign that his heart isn’t really in it."

Indeed, setting aside the known personal shortcomings of the president, there is reportedly some very real anxiety developing about the exceptionally slow pace at which Biden's 2024 campaign is being built -- including that it hasn't yet established a national headquarters, still lacks numerous top-level staffers in key positions, and hasn't yet laid the groundwork for state-level operations in several crucial must-win states.

There are also legitimate worries among some over the prospect of lackluster fundraising efforts that are predicted to fall well short of the bar set by Biden's former boss and Democratic predecessor in 2012, Barack Obama, as well as the reportedly substantial amounts of funds raised by Biden's two most likely Republican challengers -- former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Gov. Newsom appears ready to claim top spot

To be sure, the CNN report noted that Biden's team and prominent backers have largely brushed off those concerns and insisted that everything is fine, the slow pace of ramping up the campaign and fundraising is part of a deliberate strategy, and that the president and his people will be more than ready to hit the ground running when it really begins to matter, such as later this year in the autumn months or in the early months of next year.

That said, those assurances from the Biden camp have not entirely placated all of the critics with concerns about the current status of the president's re-election campaign, and as referenced above, preparations are quietly underway to make arrangements for a possible alternative Democratic option in the event that Biden is eventually compelled, for one reason or another, to drop out or step back from his bid for a second term.

According to the Daily Wire, one of the top prospects in that regard at this particular moment is Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who by all appearances embarked months ago on a sort of undeclared presidential campaign even as he publicly insists he is not running for the White House and fully supports his party's incumbent president.

That includes traveling nationwide to boost his own profile and rally Democratic support, particularly in red states, hosting successful fundraisers, and engaging in verbal brawls with top Republican leaders, such as Gov. DeSantis.

Other possible alternatives

Yet, Gov. Newsom is far from the only top prospect for Democrats to consider as a possible alternative to President Biden, and the California governor was actually ranked fifth on a Top 10 list compiled by The Washington Post in April of potential candidates who could step in as a replacement for Biden if necessary.

At the top of that list was Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg and Vice President Kamala Harris, along with Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Following behind Newsom on the list were Democrats like Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock, and in a tie for tenth place, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Not quite making that Top 10 list but still deserving of some mention were actual candidates Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson, along with a collection of other cabinet secretaries, governors, mayors, representatives, and senators who could all conceivably throw their hats in the ring and arguably serve as better party nominees with better campaigns than the current incumbent president.

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