The Biden Campaign Is in Chaos

News & Politics

The Biden campaign is publicly putting on a strong, defiant face in the wake of calls from all over for Joe Biden to step aside. While some of the initial panic has subsided, and it appears that Democrats are realizing that ditching Biden may be too risky, behind the scenes the situation looks bleak. I would say that the campaign is in a state of chaos.

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According to a report from the Associated Press, “A sense of concern is growing inside the top ranks of the Democratic Party that leaders of Joe Biden’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee are not taking seriously enough the impact of the president’s troubling debate performance earlier in the week.”

On Saturday afternoon, DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison and Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez held a conference call with dozens of DNC members nationwide, and it did not go well. In fact, it arguably made things worse.

“Multiple committee members on the call, most granted anonymity to talk about the private discussion, described feeling like they were being gaslighted — that they were being asked to ignore the dire nature of the party’s predicament,” the AP reported. “The call, they said, may have worsened a widespread sense of panic among elected officials, donors and other stakeholders.”

Participants on the call said Harrison offered “a rosy assessment of Biden’s path forward,” and no questions were allowed during the call.

“I was hoping for more of a substantive conversation instead of, ‘Hey, let’s go out there and just be cheerleaders,’ without actually addressing a very serious issue that unfolded on American television for millions of people to see,” said Joe Salazar, an elected DNC member from Colorado, who was on the call. “There were a number of things that could have been said in addressing the situation. But we didn’t get that. We were being gaslit.”  

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A separate call with 40 top Biden donors didn’t go any better. According to NBC News, the call was “tense” and some donors asked to be refunded—which is a very serious problem for a campaign that has largely relied on big donors.

During the call, “campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez laid out what could and could not be done with the campaign’s infrastructure if Biden were to step aside while emphasizing throughout the call that he had no intention of doing so.”

If Biden were, in fact, to step aside, most of the campaign’s campaign cash would go to Kamala Harris, and “a smaller pool of money would be kept by the Democratic National Committee.“

As several donors posited what a participant derisively referred to as fanciful “West Wing”-type scenarios for replacing Biden, Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., who joined for part of the call, emphasized that the process would be “messy” and predicted that Harris would ultimately end up as the nominee.

Sunday’s call was just one of a series of similar conversations top Biden advisers and campaign leaders have been holding with Democratic officials and donors after Biden’s halting debate performance rattled the party elite.

One person on the call said that while many were still with Biden, “a lot of the participants are frightened.” 

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“There were some tough comments from those on the call. Some were upset that they are just hearing campaign talking points,” the participant added.

Make no mistake about it: This is a campaign that is struggling to hold it together. Running a successful campaign is tough in the best of circumstances, yet dealing with this kind of problem is something no campaign can afford.

The campaign is in chaos, and may very well be imploding.

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