There has been a lot of talk from all sides of the political aisle about President Joe Biden’s fitness to serve a second term. While the forty-sixth president has made it clear that he is running for re-election and the Democrat Party has refused to acknowledge challengers like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Marianne Williamson, there remains some speculation around whether Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will be the 2024 ticket.
Between now and August 2024 when the Democratic National Convention is held in Chicago, there are a number of paths Biden could use to exit the race – though doing so would undoubtedly cause some level of chaos. Once you get past the convention, however, there is a lesser known way a small group of Democrat insiders could replace Biden – presuming he is the nominee – with whomever they desire.
On Wednesday’s show, Megyn was joined by Chris Stirewalt, contributing editor at The Dispatch, to discuss the replacement process and the potential Democratic frontrunners in Biden’s absence.
How It Works
If Biden were to drop out of the 2024 presidential race at any moment between the start of primary season and the Democratic National Convention in August 2024, there would be a scramble to coalesce the support of thousands of delegates around a new candidate (Stirewalt laid out those scenarios here).
But Stirewalt shared that there is another way to replace Biden as the 2024 Democratic nominee that would require buy-in from much less people. As he explained, there is a four- to six-week window from when Biden would (presumably) accept the Democratic nomination at the convention and when he could drop out of the general election race. “This is the sweet spot,” he noted. “If I were writing the screenplay about how Joe Biden steps aside, that’s where I do it.”
If Biden were to exit stage left during that time, the few hundred people who make up the Democratic National Committee, which is currently chaired by Jaime Harrison, would get to select an alternative nominee. “The delegates are gone… and they’re not asked back,” Stirewalt said. “The members of the Democratic National Committee convene.” Rather than trying to herd thousands of delegates, “a much smaller group… who are most deeply invested in the party’s success” would make a choice, he added.
Who Could Replace Biden?
While Stirewalt admitted such a situation is highly unlikely, he said this loophole gives Democrat brass the most control. “You could see Joe Biden calling Jaime Harrison to the White House and saying, ‘I’m going to step aside, I think it ought to be Gavin Newsom, or I think it ought to be Kamala Harris, or I think it ought to be [Biden’s dog] Commander because he really gets tough with people,’” he quipped. “He would certainly be able to start counting noses in a much smaller group.”
This is also a circumstance through which someone like Michelle Obama could emerge without having to go through the rigors of a traditional election cycle. “She wouldn’t have to run for it,” Stirewalt said. “But then a group of, you know, 150 people in a conference room somewhere could select her to be the Democratic nominee and she would arrive right at the moment where the general election campaign begins.”
It’s a situation – however far fetched – that Megyn and Stirewalt agreed would be better than fiction. “Doug Brunt should write this book,” Stirewalt concluded. “Because it probably won’t happen, but it would be a really good book.”
You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Stirewalt by tuning in to episode 640 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.