Ousting Joe Biden and Obama/Newsom, the Democratic…Dream Ticket?

It’s been apparent for some time that Joe Biden isn’t in any condition to run for president this year. He’s in even poorer condition to serve another four years as president; hell, he’s not in any shape to serve as president now. I’ve written a fair amount recently on President Biden’s manifest unfitness for office, and going into the election cycle, he’s just going to get worse. The question a lot of us are asking is, “What are the Democrats going to do about this?”

Over at the Washington Times, Joe Navarro has some ideas. First, he posits — as I have — a Democrat convention coup to replace the Biden/Harris ticket.

How will Mr. Biden will be persuaded — or forced — to step down in favor of a brokered backroom deal Democratic convention? Mr. Biden wants a grand legacy of his White House days and full pardons to keep him and his family out of prison.
On the legacy front, Democratic strategists will confront Mr. Biden with the reality that if he gets trounced in the general election by Mr. Trump — as polls say he will surely win — Mr. Biden’s place in history will be beside Jimmy Carter as the most hapless president of the modern era.
If Mr. Biden still resists this pressure, key leaders within his party and the legacy media will take Mr. Biden down and thereby clear the path for a fresh ticket. They fear a new Trump presidency as surely as Brutus put the knife to Caesar.

On this note, Mr. Navarro is probably right. If I had to posit a scenario where the Democrats decide to dump the Biden/Harris ticket, at this point, this is about the only path left open to them. And dump the Biden/Harris ticket they must if they wish to have any hope of winning the presidential election. There’s just no way old Joe is going to be able to hack it.

But here’s where I part ways with Mr. Navarro:

Vice President Harris certainly won’t lead the replacement ticket in November. Her numbers are almost as bad as Mr. Biden’s, and she has the worst quality a politician can have: unlikability.

This much is certain. Even people who supported her in her brief Presidential run — there may be more than single-digit numbers of those, but then again, there may not be — are soured on her now.

Instead, Kamala will agree to go quietly into the same bad night as her boss. The quid pro quo will be the promise of dibs on the next Supreme Court vacancy. 
The dream ticket among the Biden coup crowd is most likely Michelle Obama-Gavin Newsom. 
Michelle is the anti-Kamala. She has a robust favorability rating that crosses party lines and a relatively low unfavorability rating.  

That’s the ticket lead, mind you. And boy, don’t presidential spouses have such a great track record of running for president? Granted, Michelle Obama is more likable than Hillary Clinton, but that’s setting the bar awfully low. But what about the #2 slot?

Mr. Newsom will be a youthful face. The California governor’s broad mission will be to ensure no progressive defections to Robert F. Kennedy Jr. or millennial or Generation Z defections to either Mr. Trump or Mr. Kennedy.

This ticket just isn’t going to happen. 

For one thing, it’s unlikely in the extreme that Michelle Obama has the slightest interest in being president. Why should she? She is enjoying the lifestyle of the rich and famous, jet-setting around between the Obama’s mansions on Martha’s Vinyard, Chicago, Hawaii, and their luxury homes in New York and the District of Columbia. Why give that up for one of the most stressful jobs on the planet? This is a job she is already familiar with — and she is also familiar with the financial benefits that can come to an ex-president, benefits which Barack Obama is already taking full advantage of. There’s no need for her to suffer through four to eight years of the presidency to achieve what she already has. And Michelle Obama’s life has been pretty sheltered, pampered even; a series of political patronage jobs, then the wife of a Senator and First Lady. She hasn’t held an actual job since Barack was elected President, and it’s unlikely she sees the need to start now.

The comparison to that other former First Lady falls short on one other factor: Hillary Clinton, from the moment Bill left office, lusted after higher political office as a wolf lusts for a sheep; she carpet-bagged her way into a New York Senate seat, then served as Barack Obama’s Secretary of State, Obama apparently being an adherent to the idea that one keeps their friends close and their enemies, closer. She ran for president twice and lost twice. (Some are pushing her for a third attempt.)

Michelle Obama has done none of those things. No, it’s very unlikely that anyone in the Democratic Party would be able to persuade the former First Lady to run.

Turning to the VP slot — Gavin Newsom has far too many liabilities. California, under his watch, has collapsed. When he was Mayor of San Francisco, that city fell into the squalor it remains in today. And if anyone wants to see how the GOP could hang Newsom’s record around his neck like an albatross, here’s a good template to follow.

There may well be a coup at the 2024 Democrat National Convention. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris may well be booted from the ticket. But the new ticket won’t include Michelle Obama. There is a small chance Gavin Newsom may be on the ticket — but only a small chance. The Republican candidate will still have a hill to climb to win beyond the margin of fraud, but running against the Biden/Harris ticket would be a gift to the GOP, nothing else. In this, Mr. Navarro has a point: The Dems have to do something to oust the incumbents. But this won’t be what the replacement ticket looks like.

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