Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

More Senior Democrats Call for Biden to Withdraw

Joe Biden is not out of the woods yet. Not by a longshot. Every day more Democrats are asking him to call it quits. Sunday, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) held a video conference call with the ranking members of most of the House committees. Now we are finding out how that went: not so good for Biden. Four ranking members are now asking Biden to call it quits. They are Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-NY, Judiciary), Joe Morelle (D-NY, Administration), Adam Smith (D-WA, Armed Services) and Mark Takano (D-CA, Veterans Affairs). They all think Biden has to go for the good of the party and the country. They join five other House Democrats who have already called for Biden to end his campaign, but these four are all prominent Democrats with years of seniority and real power.

Another dozen have expressed their concern. And we thought that Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) had a trademark on expressing "concern." One Democrat who has not taken a clear stand yet is Jeffries. He said he is in listening mode. If he comes out against Biden, it will tough for Biden to continue, but we are not there yet. Two other Democrats who are still on the sidelines, after initial statements of support, are Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Barack Obama. They carry a lot of weight with Biden.

Meanwhile, Biden is touching base with dozens of Democrats to get a feel for where the party is. Some of them are waiting to see how well he does at the NATO summit this week. He will have many unscripted moments then and all eyes are on him to see how well he handles himself.

The House has always been rowdier than the Senate and that is still true. While a number of House Democrats have openly called for Biden to end his campaign, so far no Democratic senators have gone quite that far (though Mark Warner, D-VA, came close). In part, that could be because the Senate is older than the House, with an average age of 64 vs. 57 for the House. People like Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA, 90) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT, 82) get nervous when people say 81 is too old to serve in public office. However, today is the usual lunch for the Senate Democratic caucus. We wouldn't be a bit surprised if the subject of Joe Biden came up. But the Senate doesn't leak as badly as the House, so we might not hear what happened for a while.

Another bit of information came out yesterday that isn't going to help Biden much. The log of visitors to the White House showed that a neurologist specializing in Parkinson's disease, Dr. Kevin Cannard of Walter Reed Medical Center, has visited the White House eight times this year, including at least one meeting with presidential physician Dr. Kevin O'Connor. Why so many visits by this kind of specialist? Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded to this story by saying that Biden was not being treated for Parkinson's. She didn't explain why Cannard was in the White House so often, though.

Maybe there is a good explanation, but the odds of Biden surviving keep decreasing. Then what? James Carville wrote an op-ed in The New York Times yesterday. In it, he says that Biden can't win and must drop out for the sake of the country. He also said that Biden can't just pass the torch to Kamala Harris. The process of replacing him on the ticket has to be open. His plan is to hold four town halls, one each in the Northeast, South, Midwest, and the West. He proposes they be moderated by Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and feature eight candidates they select. Then an open convention would pick the nominee. He closed the op-ed by quoting Winston Churchill: "Never let a good crisis go to waste." (V)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates