Democratic power players propose plan for Biden exit, ‘snap primary’

Two Democracy with a powerful network of friends circulating a proposal for President Joe Biden bow out Race 2024 and hold a Democratic primary to select a new candidate before the convention in August.

Rosa BrooksA Georgetown University law professor who previously served in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, and Ted Dintersmith, a major Democratic donor, co-wrote the proposal, a copy of which was obtained by CNBC. Semafor was the first to report the memo.

The proposal comes as pressure mounts Biden to exit the race after his embarrassing June 27 debate with former President Donald Trump. The president’s debate performance raised alarm bells for Democracy strategists, lawmakers, donors and voters, fueling persistent concerns about Biden’s age and ability to beat Trump.

Brooks said she and Dintersmith initially sent the memo on Tuesday to dozens of powerful Democrats, including major donors, Biden appointees and campaign officials.

As Brooks said in an interview with CNBC, they sent the plan to “anyone we thought might be heard by anyone who had any influence on the president’s decision-making process.”

The proposal lays out several key steps, starting with Biden announcing he will drop out of the race in mid-July in a “speech of a lifetime,” as the memo’s writers envision it.

“Overnight, Biden was hailed as a modern-day George Washington, not an octogenarian clinging to power with a 37% approval rating,” the proposal reads. “From goat to hero.”

The next phase of the plan is a “lightning primary,” in which potential Democratic candidates file their nomination papers and delegates to the Democratic National Convention ultimately narrow the field down to six candidates.

According to the memo, the hypothetical accelerated primary would include a massive social media campaign to engage voters, including forums between candidates moderated by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Taylor Swift or Stephen Colbert.

Brooks and Dintersmith’s vision ends with delegates voting for the eventual nominee at the DNC, which would theoretically benefit from the increased viewership and donations from the viral hype of the previous primary.

Brooks, who noted that she is not a political strategist, said the proposal should be treated as a living document and many details of the plan have changed as Democrats have hypothetically reviewed the memo with their ideas.

“We know we don’t have the ability to determine what actually happens, but we’re excited by the collective reaction of, ‘Wow! If something like this happens, America will be out of its doldrums,’” Dintersmith said in an email to CNBC.

Since submitting the proposal on Tuesday, Brooks said they have received dozens of responses, most of which are in favor of the plan, even if the chances of it being implemented are slim.

“The tone is often, ‘Oh my gosh, this is probably impossible, but this is a great idea,’” Brooks says.

The longer it went on, she added, the more she felt people were starting to see the plan as viable: “Within a few days, the thought of ‘Oh, this would be great if it could happen, but it probably isn’t’ turned into ‘Why not?'”

In response to a request for comment on the proposal, the Biden campaign said July fundraising was by far its “strongest start to the month ever.”

The campaign also pointed to Biden’s remarks in Wisconsin on Friday: “I will not let one 90-minute debate erase three and a half years of work. I will stay in the race and I will defeat Donald Trump.”


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