OPINION: Post-Debate, Where Does the Biden Campaign Go From Here?

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Full confession: I didn't watch the debate last night and wasn't available for the RedState live coverage as we have an old friend visiting from the lower 48, and as politics has rules (often ignored), so does hospitality have rules (which I, for one, do not ignore) so we did not watch live. This morning I arose early and looked over a bunch of clips, transcriptions, and RedState's coverage, and I think I have a pretty good bead on how things went. I also know that my friend who is visiting, whose family is of a distinctly liberal bent, received a string of increasingly desperate and despondent messages from his family yesterday afternoon as the debate was underway.

My assessment? The Democrats are in full panic mode, and they are justified in that.

I took a look at the state of the race on Wednesday, and if the way the Electoral College map looked then didn't make Democrats nervous, then there was a lot of whistling past the graveyard going on. But today? This is too big, too obvious a graveyard to whistle past. The Democrats are damn well going to have to change course because if they keep the Biden/Harris ticket, they are going to lose — badly. It's that simple; last night made that perfectly obvious. It's no surprise that we are already seeing Democrats in the legacy media starting to run, run, as fast as they can. 

See Related: Joe Scarborough Finally Drops the Act, Signals He's Throwing in the Towel on Biden

In Brandon's post linked above, Joe Scarborough complains that Joe Biden "did not rise to the occasion." If that's not the self-serving understatement of the century, it will do until a better one comes along.

Prediction: Watch for Democrats and "progressives" to become progressively (hah) more unhinged over the weekend and into next week. The next presidential debate is not until September, after the conventions. Still, they can't hide Joe Biden's increasingly obvious debilitation even that long, and they don't dare let him on the debate stage again. There will be chaos in the ranks as Trump sees a polling bump post-debate in the next few days following the president's pathetic performance on Thursday.

See Related: The Moment Biden Lost the Debate and the Democrats Lost the Election

The Wild New Biden Tall Tale That Made Trump Almost Fall Off the Stage With Laughter During the Debate

Now, loathe as I am to offer advice to the competition, the Democrats only have one option open if they wish to salvage anything from this mess — dump the Biden/Harris ticket altogether. Kamala Harris is no substitute; she enjoys the public approval level of a cockroach and has the intellectual capacity of a hay fever sneeze. Letting her take the reins at this point would be a bloody disaster. The Dems could go with the impeccably coiffed Governor of California, but he would be an easy mark, given what's happened to California under his watch.

But the Dems have the option, at their convention, to install a completely new presidential ticket, and at this juncture, I will be mildly surprised if they do not.

See Related: Yes, Democrats Can Replace Biden - With Newsom or Anyone They Want. Here's How.

And, honestly, who else do the Democrats have? Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, First of That Name, Dowager-Empress of Chappaqua? She has lost twice, so why not give her a third shot at losing? Michelle Obama? She has said repeatedly she has no interest in re-entering that world. The problem the Democrats face here is that they have the weakest back bench they have had, well, ever, and whoever they would install at the convention will be starting from behind, with no state apparatuses set up, no campaign structure other than what the Biden campaign could hand over. And there's no guarantee that the Biden people, many of whom have a lot to gain from keeping old Joe in place, won't resist any such move. Jill Biden, most of all, will fight to keep her FLOTUS seat. She has already demonstrated that the trappings of power mean more to her than her husband's health.

See Related: Jill Biden Treats Joe Like a Child in Sad and Infuriating Remarks After Debate 

WATCH: Troubling Post-Debate Moment With Joe and Jill Biden and Another Handler Has People Talking

Prediction: There will be a drive to replace the Biden/Harris ticket at the convention before a second disastrous debate performance by the president could take place. I will not guess at the outcome, but this will very likely cause serious rifts in the Democratic Party that will take decades to heal, if they do at all, and may well fracture the party completely; a significant number of "progressives" could bail and join the Greens or some other fringe party. If this happens, watch polling numbers for Jill Stein and Cornel West.

See Related: This May Be the Most Incoherent Biden Moment of the Debate

The Democrats face some tough sledding ahead. It's not going to be a bed of roses for Republicans, either, and they damn well better be planning to sprint to the finish because, in politics, one can't take anything for granted. But as for Joe Biden and the Biden reelection effort? The fat lady may not have sung, she may not be singing yet, but she is warming up in the wings, and it won't be long now before the curtain comes down.

As for what may happen after this election, that's a story for another day.


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