Is It Over? Joe Biden to Have Family Meeting Sunday About the Future of His Campaign

Mere days after his disastrous debate performance sent Democrats into a widespread panic, it is now being reported that Joe Biden plans to discuss the future of his re-election campaign with his family on Sunday.

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According to a report from NBC News, Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are scheduled to meet their children and grandchildren at Camp David late Saturday. Allegedly, this trip was planned before the debate.

So far, the party’s top leaders have offered public support for Biden, including in tweets posted by former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Senior congressional Democrats, including Reps. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Jim Clyburn of South Carolina and Nancy Pelosi of California, have privately expressed concerns about his viability, said two sources apprised of those discussions, even as they all publicly back the president.

One Democratic House member who believes Biden should drop out of the race — but has yet to call for that publicly — told NBC News that three colleagues expressed the same sentiment to him during votes on the House floor Friday.

At the same time, there is an understanding among top Democrats that Biden should be given space to determine next steps. They believe only the president, in consultation with his family, can decide whether to move forward or end his campaign early — and that he won’t respond well to being pushed.

“The decision-makers are two people — it’s the president and his wife,” one of the sources familiar with the discussions said, adding, “Anyone who doesn’t understand how deeply personal and familial this decision will be isn’t knowledgeable about the situation.” 

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Joe Biden appeared far more energized at a campaign rally in North Carolina on Friday, even insisting that he has every intention of moving foward.

 “I would not be running again if I didn’t believe with all my heart and soul I can do this job,” he said.

But, according to the report, “Biden was described by one person familiar with his mood as humiliated, devoid of confidence and painfully aware that the physical images of him at the debate — eyes staring into the distance, mouth agape — will live beyond his presidency, along with a performance that at times was meandering, incoherent and difficult to hear.”

“it’s a mess,” the source said. 

A source close to the situation said that  Biden will ultimately heed advice from only one person: his wife. If she decides a change is necessary, it will happen.

Despite recent concerns, Anita Dunn, one of Biden’s closest advisers, emphasized on MSNBC’s “The Weekend” that Biden has not talked about dropping out of the race with his aides. Instead, internal discussions have focused on moving forward. Dunn acknowledged the poor debate performance and stressed that Biden is concentrating on the next steps.

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“We had a bad debate,” Dunn admitted. “What do we do next? You know, the president, above all, is focused on what do we do next? What do I need to go do?”

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The big problem for the Democrats is that there’s no “clear replacement” for him, and there is concern that “his departure could touch off a bloody 11th-hour intraparty battle that might allow Trump to cruise to victory.”

Nearly all delegates to the Democratic convention are pledged to nominate Biden, ensuring he would secure the nomination if he chooses to stay in the race. According to a senior Democratic official, the party would have more control over selecting a replacement if Biden steps down after being nominated, as the Democratic National Committee members would then choose his successor. This means that Biden may ultimately wait to step down after the Democratic National Convention—which may prevent a divisive intraparty battle, but would leave minimal time for a replacement candidate to effectively wage a national campaign.

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