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Democrats pitch ‘condensed’ blitz primary to ditch Biden and hoist new leader

As the Democratic Party stares at a crossroads concerning Joe Biden and its presidential ticket, a pair of Democrats are proposing a unique solution: a blitz primary to identify a new nominee. Rosa Brooks, a professor at Georgetown Law, devised a strategy to capitalize on the party’s precarious situation in the wake of Biden’s stumbling […]

As the Democratic Party stares at a crossroads concerning Joe Biden and its presidential ticket, a pair of Democrats are proposing a unique solution: a blitz primary to identify a new nominee.

Rosa Brooks, a professor at Georgetown Law, devised a strategy to capitalize on the party’s precarious situation in the wake of Biden’s stumbling debate performance. She said she wants her fellow Democrats to know that “this crisis, like most crises, is also an opportunity.” Her work alongside Ted Dintersmith, a venture capitalist and education philanthropist, has offered a solution she thinks can unite the party around a new presidential nominee for the August Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Vice President Kamala Harris talks with President Joe Biden as they view the Independence Day firework display over the National Mall from the balcony of the White House, Thursday, July 4, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The proposal has Biden selflessly stepping down by mid-July in a “speech for the ages,” according to a memo reviewed by the Washington Examiner. Vice President Kamala Harris would then support his decision and back a blitz primary process, where candidates such as Harris make their claim as to why they should be the party’s nominee. The five to eight candidates with the most votes would pledge to run “positive-only” campaigns in the five or so weeks before the Democratic National Convention.


“The Democratic Party has a deep bench of potentially compelling candidates, and if given the opportunity to lay out their visions of the future, I think the Democratic Party could end up with an impressive and very electable ticket,” Brooks told the Washington Examiner. “But that can only happen if President Biden is willing to pass the torch and bless an orderly and condensed process to identify a new nominee.”

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Biden has faced immense pressure from within his own party to step down as their presidential candidate. While he has pledged to stay in the race, Democrats across the country are worried his doing so would all but ensure former President Donald Trump is reelected.

Brooks said she and Dintersmith are “admirers of Joe Biden,” noting how she worked as a volunteer policy adviser for his 2020 campaign. “I think he’s been a good president, not perfect and I quibble with various things, of course, but overall, I think he’s been a good president. And the debate was just heartbreaking to watch.”

The blitz primary process would include a tactic used by the Democratic National Committee so far this campaign cycle: The inclusion of celebrities, such as Taylor Swift, Oprah, and Steph Curry, to drive momentum forward. Michelle Obama could also be asked to moderate town halls in an effort to get the roughly half-dozen candidates to reach a wide audience in a limited time frame.

Brooks joked that she would vote for a dead sloth over Trump but also argued that Democrats still have a chance to make an inspiring choice and build enthusiasm for the election.

“Nothing is impossible. And I think there are many Democrats, not to mention many independents and some Republicans, who will also vote for a dead sloth over Donald Trump,” the professor said. “So I don’t think that if Biden stays in, that the election is unwinnable for Democrats. I think it still remains tight. But I sure think that Biden at the top of the ticket greatly reduces the Democrats’ chances of winning at the polls in November.”

“The idea that we just have to accept this terrible situation, and just moan about it between now and November doesn’t strike me as a great strategy for a party that wants to win an election,” she added.

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The Biden campaign maintained the president is staying in the race, pointing to notable fundraising so far this month, including from megadonor Amy Goldman Fowler, who gave $27 million in her biggest contribution. “I’m not letting one 90-minute debate wipe out three and a half years of work. I’m staying in the race, and I will beat Donald Trump,” Biden said in Wisconsin on Friday.

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Brooks argued that there’s nothing “magic” about her idea, and Biden’s “blessing” of the plan, along with a united front from Harris, could lead to greater fortune for the party than where it currently stands.

The memo has the eventual candidate being announced by Biden himself on the third day of the DNC convention, which begins Aug. 19, with former Democratic presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton joining them onstage.

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