Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Replacing Biden as the Democratic nominee may not be as simple as it seems

Potential Scenarios for Joe Biden’s Future Amid Criticism After Debate

Knives are out for Joe Biden after his poorly received performance in the first 2024 presidential debate against Donald Trump. Mr. Biden has a rally in the state of Wisconsin and a US network television interview slated for Friday. The back-to-back showcases could temporarily quell concerns about his mental sharpness, or if they backfire, make his predicament worse.

The short answer is that unless he agrees to stand aside, it’ll get ugly. Can Joe Biden withdraw? Yes, if – and it’s a big ‘if’ – Mr. Biden decides to step down as the Democratic Party’s standard bearer, it would be relatively straightforward to find another candidate. The party’s nominee will officially be chosen at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Chicago from 19-22 August. According to DNC rules, those delegates are “pledged” to support the incumbent president.

Could he be forced out? If he doesn’t want to go, this is where the process gets really tricky. In the modern political era, a major national party has never tried a hostile takeover of the nomination. However, DNC regulations do have some loopholes that could, in theory, make it possible to push Mr. Biden out. Even if Mr. Biden were suddenly to exit the race, conservative groups have vowed to file lawsuits challenging the legality of any replacement Democrat’s eligibility for the ballot.

Will Kamala Harris replace Biden? Vice-President Kamala Harris would automatically take Mr. Biden’s place if he were to step down during his presidential term. But the same rules do not apply if Mr. Biden pulls out as a candidate for November’s election race, and there is no mechanism in place that would give the vice-president an upper hand at an open convention.

Could the 25th Amendment be invoked? The 25th Amendment of the Constitution allows the US vice-president and the majority of the cabinet to declare the president unable to perform the duties of office. Following the debate, senior congressional Republicans called on Mr. Biden’s cabinet to consider invoking this clause.

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