Carville calls for Clinton, Obama to help select fresh options to replace Biden

Democratic strategist James Carville is arguing that former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama should play roles in selecting choices to replace President Biden as the party’s nominee if the incumbent ends his reelection bid.

Carville said in an op-ed in The New York Times on Monday that he expects Biden will drop out of the 2024 race, saying it will only take time before the president will bow to pressure from Democrats and public and private polling. He also wrote that the sooner this happens, the better.

But Carville said the Democratic Party should not choose to automatically nominate Vice President Harris or another prominent Democrat to replace him.

“We’ve got to do it out in the open — the exact opposite of what Donald Trump wants us to do,” Carville said. “For the first time in his life, Mr. Trump is praying. To win the White House and increase his chances of avoiding an orange jumpsuit, he needs Democrats to make the wrong moves in the coming days — namely, to appear to rig the nomination for a fading president or the sitting vice president or some other heir apparent.”

Biden has remained adamant that he does not plan to drop out despite public and private calls for him to do so following last month’s debate with former President Trump. The public calls have come from a handful of Democratic officeholders so far.

The former head of Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential run, Carville said he wants to build on the “mini primary” that Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Times opinion columnist Ezra Klein have called for. He said Democrats should hold four town halls, one in each region of the country, between now and the start of the Democratic National Convention in mid-August.

He said Clinton and Obama are the two “most obvious and qualified people in the world to facilitate substantive discussions.”

“They may not represent every faction under our party’s big tent. But they care as much about our democracy as our nation’s first president, they understand what it takes to be president, and they know how to win,” he said.

Carville said the two former presidents should pick eight of the top contenders who choose to run, including Harris, to participate, noting that he views the vice president as a “formidable opponent” to Trump. He added that they could potentially turn to the 23 Democratic governors for consultation to make the process more democratic.

“Town halls will give Americans a fresh look at Ms. Harris and introduce them to our deep bench of smart, dynamic, tested leaders,” he said. “In addition, Democratic delegates will get to further grill and stress-test these leaders in public and private meetings before a formal vote of all the delegates at the Democratic convention.”

Carville said he trusts the delegates, whom he described as “pragmatic patriots” who care about their communities, to be able to reach a majority decision after this public and substantive process. He said he is not worried about the delegates, Democratic talent, money, time or the Democrats’ opponent.

A “super democratic process,” the opposite of what Trump wants, is the answer, he concluded.

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