Democrats start moving to Harris as Biden digs in

Democrats start moving to Harris as Biden digs in

CNN reports:

Amid the ongoing fallout from Joe Biden’s debate performance, talk in many top Democratic circles has already moved to who Kamala Harris’ running mate would be.

That’s how certain a widening group of leading party officials, operatives and donors are that the president’s slow start to salvage his campaign just won’t work, with several close allies skeptical that he is up to the reelection campaign he has pledged to stay in, based on CNN’s conversations with two dozen Democratic politicians and operatives.

Biden always says not to compare him to the almighty, but to the alternative. That’s exactly what a growing number of Democrats looking at Harris are doing.

For her part, the vice president and her staff have deliberately ignored most of the calls and texts coming their way, remaining insistently on message about both her support for Biden and her pride in sticking with him.

But Harris has already made some changes: Only after last week’s debate did her office update her schedule to put her with Biden for the Fourth of July picnic and fireworks. She has not attended the picnic before, instead keeping to her own Independence Day tradition of making a stop at a local fire station. And after Democratic governors rejected the White House’s initial offer to have her speak to them instead of Biden, she was also added to the meeting and closed it with a speech urging unity and sticking with the president.

That’s her keeping close to Biden — but it’s also Biden keeping her close.

Despite her efforts, Democratic politics has started to reshape around her — as has former President Donald Trump’s campaign, which has already begun attacking Harris. Several officials told CNN they have begun chiding donors who complain that they don’t think she can win, arguing that they need to stop and get on board with her. Other officials and advisers said plans are underway to convince Biden to immediately throw his support behind Harris, release his Democratic delegates and ask them to follow his choice. Former presidents and party leaders would then follow suit, they believe, in hopes of avoiding a contentious fight to lead the Democratic ticket.

A more open race, these top Democrats hope, would be for Harris’ running mate, with a focus on leading Democratic governors. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear are the most discussed; the list also includes Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania, J.B. Pritzker of Illinois and Tim Walz of Minnesota. But even that is fraught, as it would deny Harris the deference given to every other modern presidential nominee to pick their own running mate. [Continue reading…]

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