Veteran political strategist James Carville is now calling for a “mini primary” for Democratic candidates to make the case on why they should replace Joe Biden. Carville is envisioning a town hall event in each corner of the United States, facilitated by Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, in which the presidential hopefuls could win the approval of Democratic voters in a transparent way.

In an essay published in The New York Times on Monday, Carville openly stated his belief that Biden cannot win the 2024 election against Donald Trump and took it upon himself to suggest an alternative plan. Out of fear that Trump would seize on a swap-out of Biden as an opportunity to blast the Democratic donors and power players for “putting the fix in,” Carville is now calling for an out-in-the-open debate that the Democratic base can participate in. He emphatically said Kamala Harris “can’t be” anointed, nor can any other “presumptive Democratic nominee.”

Most significant is the fact that Carville did not write the essay in a suggestive tone, but in a declarative one. “[Trump] needs, in other words, for Democrats to blow it,” Carville writes. “We’re not going to do that. We’re going to nominate a new ticket in a highly democratic and novel way, not in the backrooms of Washington, D.C., or Chicago.”

Learn more about the 2024 Vault Conference and secure your ticket today!

Always one for marketing, Carville asked readers to imagine the eyeballs that the party could get on such events. “Town halls — high-stakes job interviews for the toughest job in the world — would surely attract television and cable partners and generate record numbers of viewers,” he says. “Think the Super Bowl with Taylor Swift in the stands. The young, the old and everyone in between will tune in to see history being made in real time.”

Despite Carville’s resistance to the idea of Biden resigning and Kamala stepping forward, he thinks the Vice President should get a “well-earned invite” to the debates. He says she has a “hell of a story” and could be sold to the populace as the “prosecutor” to Trump’s “criminal.” Nevertheless, he also urges Obama and Clinton to make a shortlist selection of leading contenders, while claiming there are “a lot more than eight Democrats who could beat the pants off Trump.”

The New York Times editorial board also wrote an op-ed yesterday saying Biden should be spoken to “plainly” about his declining faculties and the importance of his resignation.

Mr. Biden has disregarded the concerns of those voters — his fellow citizens — and put the country at significant risk by continuing to insist that he is the best Democrat to defeat Mr. Trump,” they write.

Regarding the letter Biden sent to Democratic members of Congress Monday telling them he wouldn’t step down, the Times editors say: “It’s not enough to blame the press, the donors, the pundits or the other elite groups for trying to push him out, as he did in the letter. … Mr. Biden has to pay attention to the will of the broader electorate that will determine the outcome in November.”


Shane Devine is a writer covering politics and business for VT and a regular guest on The Unusual Suspects. Follow Shane’s work here.

Add comment