(The hill) — Progressives are openly frustrated as the Biden administration wades through issues across the board, but they flatly reject suggestions that former party leaders — or, worse, Republicans — might be the solution.
The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Week all devoted real estate in their opinion sections this week to potential big names, including hillary clinton, to replace either President Biden or Vice President Harris on the Democrats’ next ticket to the White House.
The problem? They have essentially no new relevance or natural connection to 2024.
“Democrats have a rich history of dragging old-school politicians out of the stables for a comeback and slaughtering them,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Campaign Change Committee. “Not just Hillary Clinton in 2016, but Senate candidates like Ted Strickland in Ohio, Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, Phil Bredesen in Tennessee and Walter Mondale in Minnesota,” he added.
“We need forward-looking leaders who champion a new vision and not the old-fashioned politics that everyone hates,” Green said.
The Times’ best-known foreign affairs columnist, Thomas Friedman, raised his eyebrows when he argued for a ticket to the Biden-Cheney general election, in which Biden would theoretically dismiss his current vice president, the first black woman to hold the position, for Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), a white Republican conservative and staunch anti-Trump lawmaker.
When Harris was asked about this prospect, she casually dismissed it, likening the issue to the mindless chatter of media elites.
“I really don’t care about high class gossip on these matters,” she said. told NBC News Thursday.
While Harris has never topped Progressives’ lists for a strong running mate, the thought of Cheney, who voted along GOP party lines for much of Trump’s presidency, replacing her is too hard to entertain. for those on the left.
“They have to find new content to write,” said progressive consultant and Sen alum Michael Ceraso. Bernie Sanders‘s (I-Vt.) first national campaign.
“It can start with these writers moving beyond the past and imagining a future where progressive ideas are front and center,” Ceraso added.
In the Review, who promoted a Clinton candidacy many times over the years despite the obvious conservative slant of her op-ed pages, the Democrats’ latest presidential candidate may be running as a “candidate for change.”
Douglas Schoen, an old bill clinton campaign pollster, and Andrew Stein, a local New York official who has long been critical of progressives, wrote that Biden’s problems were piling up so badly that the former New York senator and secretary of state should step in to to resolve.
President Biden’s low approval rating, doubts over his ability to run again at 82, VP Kamala HarrisThe unpopularity of , and the absence of another strong Democrat to lead the ticket in 2024 – created a leadership vacuum in the party, which Mrs. Clinton could viably fill,” they wrote.
“She is already in an advantageous position to become the Democratic nominee of 2024. She is an experienced national figure who is younger than Mr. Biden and can offer a different approach from the disorganized and unpopular one the party is currently adopting,” said they added.
The wish cast, or nightmare scenario, depending on how you see it, comes as Biden faces arguably the toughest hurdles of his presidency to date. And progressives have been among the loudest in expressing their displeasure.
Biden’s Build Back Better (BBB) agenda stalls amid negotiations that came to nothing, culminating in Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) saying he wouldn’t vote for it late last year.
Opposition of Manchin and Sen. Kirsten Sinema (D-Arizona) to change the filibuster also jeopardized Democrats’ voting rights efforts, sparking public skepticism about the party’s direction.
The Liberals are also unhappy with what they see as a lack of meaningful progress on police reform, student debt and climate change.
It all led to a sense of aimless assumptions about what else might be out there, said a senior progressive aide. But few take it very seriously.
“None of this is real,” the assistant said. “It’s just that nobody knows what to do since the right to vote is dead and BBB is completely blocked.”
Another progressive strategist added that there is “no hero who can save the Democrats from themselves.”
“There’s no amount of posturing from future candidates that can help get BBBs through or get bills without full caucus support at the finish line,” said Marcela Mulholland, the group’s political director. left reflection Data for Progress.
“We need President Biden and Senator Manchin to come to an agreement — or Biden can spend his State of the Union address caucusing for presidential candidate Kyrsten Sinema.”
These problems, as serious as many Democrats acknowledge, are further compounded by omicron, the variant of COVID-19 that the administration has been unable to effectively stop despite advances in vaccines and testing.
The disappointment is confirmed by a recent survey. A Quinnipiac University Poll taken between Jan. 7 and Jan. 10 puts the president at his lowest point yet in the survey, with 54% of registered voters surveyed saying they disapprove of the way he is behaving at this point, compared to just 35. % who approve.
Worse still, this trend has dramatically diminished over the past year. In early February 2021, 50% of voters said they approved of Biden’s position in office.
Despite all the bad news for the party, however, some progressives still see more of a problem with other possible candidates who have been splashed on the opinion pages. They view Hillary Clinton and Cheney, in particular, as unacceptable options for moving the country toward a better future.
In The Week, meanwhile, writer Damon Linker offered another option to remove Harris from the ticket.
The vice president, who has spent much of 2021 battling her public perception, tried to turn the tide. But with her poll about as grim as Biden’s, some have openly entertained the idea of the president ushering in someone else to replace her.
Linker wrote that Maryland Gov. larry hogan, another Republican official who reliably opposes Trump, could eventually switch parties and be selected as Biden’s No. 2.
“Let’s assume Hogan turns to the Dems,” he wrote. “And Biden continues to flounder. And Harris’ approval numbers continue to drop. And polls show that Biden’s surest path to wider popularity is to step away from the progressive left and boldly embrace the ideological center. If all of these conditions line up perfectly, isn’t Biden obligated to dump Harris and tap Hogan instead?
Linker suggested, however, that even he doesn’t believe such a situation is at all likely.
Progressives see these types of lists that inflate numbers for the GOP or parts of past political dynasties as a mixture of laughable and insulting. At best, they deviate from the goal of electing new Democrats who can actually advance the ideological agenda, some suggest.
“It’s just a big distraction,” said Kelly Dietrich, who heads the National Democratic Training Committee. “All of this infighting and speculation is hurting our electoral prospects.”
“Democrats need to stop thinking that the politics of the past can save us from the future,” he said. “The political world has changed, if Democrats cannot recognize and adapt to this new reality, I have serious concerns about the future of our democracy.”
Ceraso agreed, likening the situation to star athletes who don’t know when it’s time to get out of the game.
“These recommendations are akin to Michael Jordan returning from retirement to play for the Washington Wizards,” he said.
“As Jordan returns to play after his prime, we don’t want or need these leaders to come back and take the limelight. Jordan didn’t take the Wizards to the playoffs! he added.