Biden confidant talks about possible withdrawal


Lerato Khumalo

Doubts about Joe Biden are growing among Democrats. According to media reports, 25 politicians could now support his withdrawal. One of them is a close confidant.

US President Joe Biden appears to be gradually losing support in his own party. The reason for this is the botched TV debate with rival Donald Trump. Biden seemed absent and could hardly answer questions. Now 25 of his party colleagues could demand his resignation as presidential candidate in a letter. One of them is Jim Clyburn, his close confidant.

Clyburn told CNN on Wednesday that if Biden resigns, he would expect a “mini-primary” before the Democratic convention, with Kamala Harris and Democratic governors competing for the top two spots on the party ticket.

If Vice President Harris were to run for president, she would also need a new vice president herself. “And all of that would give us an opportunity to not only look at who should be at the top of the list, but also who would be best suited to be second.”

A spokesman for Clyburn later told Politico that it was a purely hypothetical question. “He did not call for a ‘mini primary.’ Instead, he explained the existing process. The congressman fully supports President Biden as the frontrunner, and it would be irresponsible to claim otherwise,” the spokesman continued.

His statements are controversial, especially because he is considered Biden’s closest confidant. In the last US election, Clyburn’s campaign was decisive for Biden. He enjoys a reputation as a kingmaker among the Democrats.

He also told MSNBC on Wednesday that he would support Harris as a candidate if Biden withdraws as candidate. For now, however, the race should continue as planned, with Biden and Harris on the party ticket.

Grijalva: Democrats should “look elsewhere”

The news portal “Newsweek” has now published a list of names that have spoken out in favor of Biden’s withdrawal – albeit often with cautious wording. However, there is only one other active Democrat among them who holds a political office. Congressman Raúl Grijalva from Arizona told the “New York Times” that Biden would have his support if he were on the ballot in November, but that he believes the Democrats should “look elsewhere.”

“What he needs to do is take responsibility for keeping that seat – and part of that responsibility is getting out of this race,” he added.

Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett became the first Democrat to go against the party line, calling on President Joe Biden to step down and make way for a “new generation of leaders.” “President Biden saved our democracy by freeing us from Trump in 2020,” he said in a statement Tuesday. “He must not hand us over to Trump in 2024.”

Former Ohio congressman Tim Ryan also called for Biden’s resignation in an opinion piece for Newsweek: “I love America. I love our party. I love Joe Biden,” he wrote. “The Democratic candidate in 2024 should be Kamala Harris.” He believes Biden is a “good and honorable man,” but his performance in the debate was “deeply disturbing” and “heartbreaking.”

In recent days, Democratic circles have also said that Harris is the first candidate, despite all the reservations. The 59-year-old has struggled in her position, and many in Biden’s campaign team have long seen her as a potential liability. In a Reuters/Ipsos survey published on Tuesday, she, like Biden, was effectively tied with Trump. According to the survey, other possible candidates fared worse.