'It's Over.' The Movement to Replace Joe Biden Is 'Disintegrating'

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Joe Biden's candidacy has been on shaky ground since his poor debate performance, but it appears that he's going to survive this kerfuffle and continue his reelection campaign.


Just before House Democrats convened for their Tuesday morning meeting on President Biden's future, a smaller group of swing-district Democrats held a pow-wow that was reportedly marked by tears and palpable despair.

The group was one of the few remaining strongholds of a once-united push on Capitol Hill to remove Biden from the ticket. According to Axios, that movement is "rapidly disintegrating." 

Why it matters: The bloc of battleground House Democrats is one of the last firm pockets of a rapidly disintegrating movement on Capitol Hill to get Biden off the ticket. 

  • One shell-shocked lawmaker who was present at the meeting would offer only one word to characterize it: "Intense." 
  • Another described the mood as "pretty much unanimous" that Biden has "got to step down," adding, "There were actual tears from people, and not for Biden."

Zoom out: Democrats' full caucus meeting was far less unanimous, with lawmakers both defending Biden and airing concerns about his ability to take on former President Trump, attendees told Axios. 

  • One House Democrat who was in both meetings said: "Most of our caucus is still with him ... meaning he'll stay in. Which sucks for our country." 
  • Going in and out of the meeting, several House Democrats who have previously raised concerns about Biden said they are now with him: "Whether or not I have concerns is besides the point. He is going to be our nominee, and we all have to support him," said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.). 

On Monday, Biden garnered significant backing from House and Senate Democrats, including a supportive call with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, his staunchest allies on the Hill. By Monday evening, even skeptical House Democrats acknowledged Biden appeared to be winning the caucus over. One House Democrat who is "deeply skeptical of Biden" told Axios that members of their party were "folding all over the place" and "becoming resigned to Biden holding all the cards here, and us having no real say in the matter." 

"As someone who wanted the reckoning and is really disappointed that it's over, trust me: it's over," the Democrat added.

Related: Democrats Are Still Trying to Put Trump in Jail

Biden's letter to House Democrats, which was sent on Monday, is cited as a driving factor. In the letter, Biden declared his commitment to staying in the race and urged an end to withdrawal discussions. He went so far as to invite any Democrat who thinks he can't win to challenge him at the Democratic National Convention, which will be held next month in Chicago.


"He clearly did a preemptive effort to try to discourage any questions … with his letter," Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) told Axios. 

"I think there is a pretty strong consensus we need to close ranks," said Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.)

"When there's this kind of show of force, it's hard to imagine people are going to speak up against him," another House Democrat said. 



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