LEAKED: Absolute Panic Sets in for Democrats on Donor Call, 'Comatose or Dead Biden' Leads to Desperation

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Reality is starting to set in for Democrats. After a frantic week of desperately trying to find an alternative to Joe Biden, a newly leaked private donor call shows disagreement and panic among the party's operatives.

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The question at hand was where they go from here, and as predicted, the existence of Kamala Harris is the elephant in the room.


ALSO SEE: Kamala Harris Delegate Says They Will Blow Up the Party if a White Man Is Chosen Over Her


Top Democratic consultants debated Wednesday, before an audience of large Democratic donors, whether they could push Joe Biden from the race for president — and whether Vice President Kamala Harris would be worse than a “comatose” or “dead” Biden.

If that's the argument you are having, you are losing, and it is apparent that Democrats are losing right now. James Carville asked a simple question: “Seventy-two percent of people want something different. Why not give it to them?”

Dmitri Mehlhorn, who was one of the advisors leading the call, plainly said that Harris was not an option. 

Swing voters, he said, already believed Biden is feeble — but they like Vice President Kamala Harris even less.

“Kamala Harris is more threatening to those swing voters than a dead Joe Biden or a comatose Joe Biden,” he said. “So if Joe has to go, it’s gonna be Kamala and if it’s Kamala, it’s gonna be harder.”

Mehlhorn is right, at least in my ongoing estimation of the situation. I will offer a caveat, though. There is more risk involved in Harris being elevated. For example, all the derision and division in the news media, which has given the Biden White House a hostile press for the first time, will immediately disappear if the vice president becomes the presidential nominee. They will circle the wagons and the lockstep promotion of Harris will be nauseating. Will that be enough to overcome the unpopularity that has plagued her for the last four years? Probably not, but there's at least a chance. 

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On the other hand, Biden isn't going to de-age, and the White House's plan to insulate him further will only sow more doubt in the minds of voters. The path forward with him is very linear, with the only real hope being some outside force taking down Donald Trump. Democrats were hoping that would come in the form of the upcoming sentencing over the former president's recent criminal conviction. That was delayed, though, in light of the Supreme Court's immunity decision, making the timeline even more perilous for Biden and his advocates. 

Here's the truth about what was on this leaked call. It shows a level of panic that you see when people start to realize they have no good options. 

“What can we as donors do to encourage the change in the ticket?” one donor asked, capturing the sentiment on the call. “Continuing to have President Biden at the top of this ticket is giving people an excuse to vote for Donald Trump,” said another. “If you wake Joe Biden at three-o-clock in the morning and ask him who’s president, does he get it right?” fretted a third.

That's just brutal, and the flailing would be sad if it weren't coming from people who so richly deserve it. With that said, I think you'll see a tightening of the ranks in the next week. If Harris isn't an option, yet she's the only alternative, then that leaves them with a "comatose or dead" Biden. All of these questions about replacing him will fade into a resolute defense because that's the corner Democrats have painted themselves into. 

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How does that work when the cat is already out of the bag about his senility? Again, their hope is the race becomes solely about Trump again, allowing Biden to sneak back into the White House as the less threatening choice (i.e. the 2020 basement strategy). Unfortunately for Democrats, the Trump campaign has been far more disciplined this cycle, and I'm not so sure they are going to oblige such a hope.


Editor's Note: A previous version of this story attributed a quote to James Carville. However, the comment about Vice President Kamala Harris was made by Dmitri Mehlhorn. We apologize for the error.

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