5 Democrats Who Could Replace Biden If Party Goes Nuclear

The White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
American Liberty News
- July 15, 2024
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, a progressive host and former press secretary for President , voiced deep concerns this weekend about the climate of fear and violence, supposedly towards journalists, following the near assassination of former President .

During an appearance on ' “” with , Psaki addressed the tension and the possibility of violence in the wake of the assassination attempt. She emphasized that attributing the attack to Democrats and the media only heightens fears and escalates the risk.

The possibility of a sitting president stepping down early is rare, but it's not without precedent in U.S. history. Notable instances include Calvin Coolidge in 1928 and Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968. While it's uncertain if President will open the door for other Democrats, let's explore who could potentially step up if he does.

Vice President

Lisa Ferdinando, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Kamala Harris is the obvious first choice, given her current role as vice president. However, her potential candidacy comes with both advantages and challenges.

Pros:

  • Experience and Continuity: Harris has substantial experience at the highest level of government, ensuring continuity of current policies.
  • Diversity: As the first female, Black and South Asian Vice President, Harris's candidacy represents diversity in leadership, which can energize the Democratic base.
  • Progressive Appeal: Harris' current stances on criminal justice reform, climate change and health care have strong support among progressives.
  • Historic Significance: Electing the first female president would be a historic milestone.

Cons:

  • Controversial Record: Her tenure as California Attorney General has been criticized, particularly her actions on criminal justice issues.
  • Approval Ratings: Harris' approval ratings have been mixed, sometimes lower than Biden's.
  • Polarization: Harris is a polarizing figure, potentially mobilizing opposition as much as support.
  • Campaigning Skills: Harris' performance in interviews and debates has been inconsistent at best.

Governor (D-Calif.)

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Gavin Newsom, the charismatic governor of California, is another strong contender.

Pros:

  • Governance Experience: Newsom has extensive executive experience leading one of the largest and most influential states.
  • Progressive Policies: Known for his stances on climate change, health care and social justice, Newsom appeals to the progressive wing of the party.
  • Charismatic Leadership: Newsom is an articulate public speaker, a valuable asset on the campaign trail.
  • Crisis Management: His handling of wildfires, the COVID-19 pandemic and economic challenges demonstrates strong leadership.

Cons:

  • California Politics: Newsom's association with California's liberal policies could be a liability.
  • Economic Criticisms: Issues like high living costs, homelessness and income inequality in California could be used against him.
  • COVID-19 Restrictions: His strict COVID-19 measures were controversial and economically damaging to many.
  • Polarization: His progressive policies might polarize voters.

Governor (D-Mich.)

City of Detroit, PDM-owner, via Wikimedia Commons

Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan brings her own strengths and challenges to the table.

Pros:

  • Crisis Management: Whitmer's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, though controversial, showcased her decisive leadership.
  • Midwestern Appeal: As governor of a critical swing state, Whitmer could appeal to Midwestern voters.
  • Bipartisan Efforts: Whitmer has worked across party lines to secure funding for infrastructure and economic initiatives in Michigan.
  • Public Speaking: Whitmer is telegenic and an effective communicator, which helps connect with voters.

Cons:

  • COVID-19 Controversies: Her stringent pandemic restrictions faced significant backlash.
  • Limited National Experience: Whitmer has less national and international experience compared to other candidates.
  • Economic Issues: Critics argue her economic policies haven't sufficiently addressed job growth and recovery.
  • Name Recognition: Whitmer may not have the same national profile as other candidates.

Governor (D-Pa.)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/governortomwolf/, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Governor Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania is another potential candidate.

Pros:

  • Swing State Advantage: Winning Pennsylvania is crucial, and Shapiro's success there demonstrates his broad appeal.
  • Strong Legal Background: Shapiro's experience as Attorney General gives him a solid foundation in legal and policy issues.
  • Moderate Appeal: His pragmatic approach could attract independents and moderate Republicans.
  • Effective Crisis Management: Shapiro's handling of the opioid epidemic and showcases his leadership.

Cons:

  • Limited National Profile: Shapiro is less known nationally compared to other potential candidates.
  • Relative Inexperience: Critics might argue he lacks the extensive experience needed to be president.
  • Policy Differences: His moderate stance might not energize progressives.
  • Economic Challenges: Pennsylvania's economic issues could be used against him.

Senator (D-Minn.)

Lorie Shaull, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Senator Amy Klobuchar offers another viable option for the Democratic nomination.

Pros:

  • Midwestern Appeal: Her ties to could help attract voters in key Midwestern states.
  • Moderate Stance: Known for her centrist approach, Klobuchar could appeal to a broad range of voters.
  • Experience: Klobuchar has significant legislative experience and a deep understanding of key issues.
  • Focus on Everyday Issues: Her emphasis on health care, education and infrastructure resonates with voters.

Cons:

  • Name Recognition: Klobuchar might struggle with national name recognition.
  • Moderate Policies: Her centrist positions might not energize the progressive base.
  • Handling of Staff: Reports of her tough treatment of staff could be used against her.
  • Electoral Performance: Klobuchar's mixed performance in the 2020 primary raises questions about her broad appeal.

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