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Stubborn Biden can’t survive this crisis – he shouldn’t either

IN SEATTLE – Can Joe Biden save his political skin?

The 81-year-old has always insisted that when he gets knocked down, he gets back up. Bet against me, he likes to say, pointing to the fact he only won the presidency on his third attempt.

But who would bet on Biden bouncing back from this? And should anyone want to?

A week after his disastrous debate with Donald Trump it feels like time is up. Amid a series of fresh gaffes over the Independence Day holiday, donors such as Abigail Disney, heir to the Disney family fortune and said to be worth $120m (£93m), said they were ending donations unless the party selected a different candidate. “This is realism, not disrespect,” Ms Disney told CNBC.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden claps hands next to U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris while hosting a Juneteenth concert on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. June 10, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo
His Vice President Kamala Harris is seen as a top pick to replace him (Photo: Leah Millis/Reuters)

Other donors are working behind the scenes to raise $100m (£78m) to back an alternative choice. If Biden refuses to quit the race, the money would be used to help the other Democrats, such as members of Congress and governors.

But the mood of the money people underscores a deeper anxiety within the party and its supporters about Biden’s ability to win in November and serve another four year-term.

While only a handful of Democrats have publicly called on Biden to end his campaign, the number is likely to leap if more polls show a loss of support for the party.

It already took a hit after the debate and if that support continues to fall and if Biden continues his gaffes, reports suggest senior figures such as House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries, Senate leader Chuck Schumer and party stalwart Nancy Pelosi, could make a private appeal to Mr Biden to stand aside.

Defenders of Biden claim the media unfairly ignores the often-garbled comments of the 78-year-old Trump, a convicted felon.

Meanwhile, some commentators say Biden has for too long been wrongly isolated from reality by the White House and his campaign staff, while family members such as son Hunter Biden and wife Jill Biden, have assumed too much control of his decision-making process.

It seems many were genuinely shocked when they saw Biden during the 90-minute debate, his gaze often in the distance and his sentences often ending abruptly.

Support for Vice-President Kamala Harris has been growing, in part because of the disciplined way she has defended him and protected the party in recent days. Biden is known to be a stubborn man and it appears the party is hoping a dignified exit can be be found for him.

And that might be better for everyone. Many think it is wrong to have someone serve as president until they are 86 and that it would also be in Biden’s interest if he could see that.

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