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  • Writer's pictureNewsmakers with JR

Press Clips: 3 Possible Pathways Forward for Dems, as Biden Digs in and Control of House and Senate Hang in Balance


Joe Biden's unforced error, of engineering an unprecedented, early debate with Donald Trump will rank as "one of the greatest political miscalculations of modern times."


That's the take of Mark Z. Barabak, graybeard political columnist for the Los Angeles Times, who returns to Newsmakers TV this week to survey and traverse the treacherous political landscape the president configured with his faltering performance at the June 26 presidential fiasco.


Barabak said that Biden's epic fizzer was by far the worst showing he's seen from any candidate in covering every presidential and vice-presidential debate since 1980.


In our conversation, the political beat veteran and the genial host break down the pros, cons, and probabilities of the three basic scenarios that the president and his party now confront, at a time when Trump and his MAGA allies openly vow to transform the federal government into an engine of white Christian nationalist authoritarianism:


  • Retain the 81-year old Biden at the head of the party's ticket, despite record-high disapproval, and widespread public opinion surveys that show a large majority of voters -- including a majority of Democrats - say he is too old and frail to serve a second term.

  • Pivot to Vice President Kamala Harris as the presidential nominee, in hopes her relative youthfulness, energy and connection to the Democratic base overcome Trump's current lead in six crucial swing states, despite her own considerable political deficiencies.

  • Concoct a novel process to open up the nomination, not only to Harris, but also to other, younger Democratic pols, like governors Gretchen Whitmer and Josh Shapiro of Michigan and Pennsylvania, and Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, at or before the party's convention, starting on Aug. 19.


All of these options carry considerable risk, particularly with Republicans already favored to win back control of the Senate, and Democrats needing to win a host of swing districts in California and New York to re-capture the House of Representatives; the latter may become their best, if not only, chance to cling to power in Washington, with the U.S. Supreme Court now dominated by a conservative super-majority.


Barabak also discusses the salience of the abortion rights issue in the election; Trump's dodgy effort to distance himself from the radical "Project 2025" plan for a right-wing government, as well as his attempt to appear more moderate on abortion; and Gov. Gavin Newsom's calculated actions amid the uncertainty of the Democrats' future.


All this and more, right here, right now, on Newsmakers TV.


JR


Check out the new episode via YouTube below, or by clicking through this link. The podcast version is here. TVSB, Channel 17, airs the program M-F at 8 p.m. and at 9 a.m. on weekends. KCSB, 91.9 FM, broadcasts the show at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.


You can read Barabak's columns here, and subscribe to his newsletter here,







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