Big donors quietly turn against Biden

Big donors quietly turn against Biden

The New York Times reports:

Wealthy Democratic donors who believe a different nominee would be the party’s best chance to hold the White House are increasingly gritting their teeth in silence about President Biden, fearful that any move against him could backfire.

As of late Tuesday, the party’s moneyed class was carefully monitoring post-debate poll results and the positioning of elected Democrats for signs that support for Mr. Biden was cracking.

Earlier moves by donors to mount their own campaigns to pressure Mr. Biden to step down as the party’s presidential candidate have either fizzled out or prompted pushback from fellow contributors and operatives.

The deadlock reflects a broader paralysis within the party about how to handle a fraught situation that could inflame intraparty rifts, alienate key constituencies, damage personal relationships and benefit a Republican candidate most of the donors believe poses a threat to democracy.

The dynamic started taking shape mere hours after the debate.

At a breakfast on Friday morning at the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colo., where nearly 50 Democratic donors had gathered for a preplanned meeting convened by the super PAC American Bridge, one person asked the crowd for a show of hands of how many thought Mr. Biden should step aside. Nearly everyone in the room raised their hands, according to two people present.

Some members of the Democracy Alliance network of liberal financiers proposed a public statement calling on Mr. Biden to stand down, setting off a vigorous debate among some members of the group, with some floating their dream tickets. But the group’s board met after the debate and decided to maintain its support for Mr. Biden, according to a person briefed on the decision.

On a private email list including members of another liberal donor collective called Way to Win, participants expressed frustration with the Democratic Party’s circling of the wagons around Mr. Biden and urged that Vice President Kamala Harris be considered for the top spot on the ticket.

A small private online poll distributed after the debate to liberal donors and their advisers found that of dozens of respondents, more than 70 percent indicated that they were “ready to explore Plan B.” [Continue reading…]

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