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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Monday, July 1, 2024

Why No Serious Democrat Challenged Biden

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The 2024 race has begun.  It is a fight between two very old men.

After Biden's bad debate performance on Thursday, there has been talk about replacing him on the Democratic ticket.  Why did Democrats wait until now?

Jim Rutenberg and Adam Nagourney at NYT:
Many of them, including the president’s top aides, drew what could prove to be overly encouraging lessons from Mr. Biden’s victory against Mr. Trump in 2020, his run of policy victories as president and the party’s surprisingly strong showing in the midterm elections of 2022.

“It was the ’22 elections,” said David Plouffe, who was the senior adviser to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. “We’ve had three good elections in a row. The feeling was, ‘Let’s stay the course.’”

And some 50 years after the Democratic Party rewrote its rules to marginalize the role of political bosses, there was also no leader to step in and quietly prepare a Plan B. Other key Democratic figures who might have pressed Mr. Biden to consider retiring, or suggested an alternate plan, like Mr. Obama or Bill and Hillary Clinton, have moved on to their own post-White House lives and, operating outside Mr. Biden’s close circle of advisers, did not to appear to be in position to engage the Bidens in such a sensitive conversation.

At key moments, those who tried to sound the alarm about Mr. Biden’s potential weaknesses — among them David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s chief strategist, and James Carville, who helped elect Bill Clinton in 1992 — were slapped down by Democrats, often in the brutal discord of social media sites like X, and chastised by top Biden aides for being disloyal.