Joe Biden, Air Force One, thumbs up
Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, CT, on June 16, 2023. Photo credit: The White House / Flickr (PD)

For now, Democrats wanting Joe Biden to drop out of the presidential race are being polite about it. Don’t expect that to last.

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The number of Democrats (and deep-pocketed donors) who are calling on Joe Biden to drop out of the presidential race is increasing. For now, they are being polite about it.

They thank the president for his extraordinary achievements and his service to the country. They say that they believe that he will do the “right” or “honorable” thing and withdraw.

Here is the latest example, an op-ed from Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT) that appeared in The Washington Post on Wednesday.

I have great respect for President Biden. He saved our country from a tyrant. He is a man of uncommon decency. He cares deeply about our democracy. He has been one of the best presidents of our time.

But I, like folks across the country, am worried about November’s election. The stakes could not be higher. We cannot unsee President Biden’s disastrous debate performance. We cannot ignore or dismiss the valid questions raised since that night.

I understand why President Biden wants to run. He saved us from Donald Trump once and wants to do it again. But he needs to reassess whether he is the best candidate to do so. In my view, he is not.

For the good of the country, I’m calling on President Biden to withdraw from the race.

Of course, Biden has given no indication that he plans to do so. In fact, after a couple of days following the debate in which his campaign was in complete disarray and it seemed as though he might make place for someone else, he now sounds more defiant than ever.

That puts Democrats who want (and expect) him “to do the right thing” in a very tough spot.

Time is running out to replace Biden at the top of the ticket… and it is becoming increasingly clear that he is not the best candidate to take on Trump.

The president is very unpopular, and Americans are gravely concerned about his age and frailty, which were on full display two weeks ago.

So, if you consider all of these factors, we will likely see a greater sense of urgency in the coming days. Expect there to be leaks of unnamed Democrats calling Biden selfish (or something like that) for continuing his run in the face of increasingly long odds, and saying that he is hurting the party.

And, at some point, Democrats will talk about how disappointed they are in the president.

Of course, that growing number of lawmakers, donors, and party officials will face a real balancing act… because the last thing they need is some kind of civil war between the people who think it is best for Biden to bow out and those who continue to believe that he is still the best candidate.

Once we get to that point (and it may only be a few days away), no matter what the president does, his legacy will be tainted.

And that now almost seems like the inevitable outcome.


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a senior editor for Politics and director of the Mentor Apprentice Program at WhoWhatWhy. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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