Maher urges Democrats to hold open convention, throws support behind Newsom

Television host Bill Maher called on President Biden to withdraw from the presidential election to allow for an open Democratic National Convention, arguing it would benefit the party and its chances of winning in November.

Maher, in a New York Times op-ed published Monday, offered a plan akin to a television series, claiming Americans are “already bored” with Biden and former President Trump as candidates.

“Let’s move the plotline forward. Democrats could not buy, with all of George Soros’s money, the enthusiasm, engagement and interest they would get from having an open convention — and in Chicago no less, famous for Democratic convention drama,” Maher wrote.

“Suddenly, instead of rehashing the debate from hell — worst episode of ‘The Golden Bachelor’ ever — they would be hosting a competition, something Americans love. Who will get the rose this August in Chicago?” Maher continued, listing off a series of Democratic politicians who could possibly vie for the presidency should Biden step down.

Biden’s poor debate performance last week raised concerns for some within the Democratic Party over his ability to beat Trump in November and lead the nation for another four years. The president is facing a growing chorus of calls to step down following the debate, though no national officials have publicly joined these calls yet.

Maher, who voiced concerns over Biden’s viability in the months leading up to the debate, said his suggestions to replace the incumbent were often dismissed by Democrats until now.

“What happened at the debate last week wasn’t a tragedy, it was a blessing in disguise,” he wrote, adding later, “‘Get on board,’ they’d say, the Democrats will never replace him, it’s off the table. Well, now it’s on the table, where it always should have been. And far from being some kind of disaster for the Democratic Party, it plays right into what works best in 21-century American culture. Americans like new.”

Biden has already won the primary and thus cannot be overthrown at the convention, meaning the decision is ultimately up to him.

As of now, Biden is the only candidate those attending the Democratic convention could even vote for, after he received 99 percent of his party’s delegates in the primaries.

Should Biden and the Democrats take up Maher’s advice, the “Real Time with Bill Maher” host said he would support California Gov. Gavin Newsom, whose name has been repeatedly floated as a potential replacement.

“Watching him [Newsom] make the case against Mr. Trump in the pre-debate interviews, and defend Mr. Biden post-debate, reminded me: This guy is good at this,” Maher said. “Yes, he has too much ‘California baggage’ — some of which I myself don’t love — but the contrast to how he prosecutes the case against Mr. Trump and how Mr. Biden did couldn’t be clearer. He’s forceful, never at a loss for words or stats, never stumbles, never intimidated. He’s un-bullyable, and that’s important against Mr. Trump.”

Newsom after the debate called talk of replacing Biden “unhelpful and unnecessary.”

“I am old-fashioned, but on the substance Joe Biden won the debate last night. That is what matters to me,” Newsom wrote in a Biden campaign fundraising pitch last Friday. “All this other talk … it’s unhelpful and unnecessary.”

“We aren’t going to turn our backs because of one performance. What kind of party does that?” he added.

Democratic National Committee (DNC) rules require delegates that Biden won to pledge their support for his nomination unless Biden were to willingly decide to stand down. Before the convention opens Aug. 19, the DNC could change the rules to block Biden, but that is highly unlikely given current party dynamics.

Maher said it will take a group of the “most respected senior statesmen” from the Democratic Party to urge him to step aside.

“I like Joe Biden, as many of us do. And I have been a full-throated critic of ageism for a long time, calling it out for being the last acceptable prejudice. We all age differently, it’s a true case-by-case, and the debate illustrated that vividly. Mr. Trump, whatever you think of him, was vigorous; Mr. Biden was vigor-less,” he wrote. “But the critique of ageism only has credibility if we admit that there is some time when age inevitably catches up to all of us.”

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