Greg Craig, impeachment lawyer for Bill Clinton and briefly the White House counsel for Barack Obama, has fallen a lot in standing among Democrats over the last decade. But there’s always further to fall. Today he has a piece in the Times arguing that to take account of his age, Joe Biden should announce that he is going to leave the choice of his vice presidential nominee in 2024 up to Democratic voters. In other words, a contested primary for vice president. I should give you this context: I’m not a big Kamala Harris partisan. I started off as one but her performance in the 2020 primaries — before she got the veep nod — made me question her political and campaign instincts. But this is such a spectacularly bad idea that it’s barely possible for me to understand how this piece even got published let alone how Craig came up with the idea.
Let’s start with something the article — stunningly — doesn’t even acknowledge: this just means kicking Harris off the ticket and doing it in the messiest way imaginable. The first part is the key. This is kicking Harris off the ticket.
That is a big problem on many levels even if you doubt her political and campaign acumen. Let’s stipulate that a lot of Democratic voters, certainly many women and African-American voters, would not see Harris as a negative, and the dismay at her ouster would by no means only be with those two groups. But think of the other one. One big advantage of being the incumbent is no chaotic, contested primary. But why not have one anyway just for no good reason at all?
But let’s not forget the truly big reason this is a terrible idea. Joe Biden is an old guy. There’s little doubt that’s a significant drag on his popularity. Joe Biden at 70 would be a strong favorite for reelection as opposed to, I think, a more likely than not one. But it is what it is. He’s not going to stop being an 80 year old man. But if you wanted to you could make sure it’s the central and overriding issue of the entire campaign by holding a bizarre contested vice presidential primary, the subtext of which is “we’re fairly confident Joe Biden will be dead by 2026.”
I can only chuckle about how deeply moronic an idea this is. If you wanted to drive home the idea that Joe Biden is definitely in his dotage and so far gone that we’re going to somehow try to run a presidential primary on the sly, this is it. Like the worst Succession reboot ever, basically.
Is Greg Craig mad and he became a Republican? Because I can’t see any other way that an actual Democrat would come up with this idea.