On Capitol Hill, Democrats Panic About Biden but Do Nothing

The president has yet to do what many Democrats said he must to show he is up to remaining in the race. But so far, they have thrown up their hands, doing nothing to nudge him aside.

Senator Christopher S. Murphy, an ambitious young Democrat from Connecticut, went on television on Sunday with a carefully worded warning to President Biden about the viability of his campaign.

“This week is going to be absolutely critical; I think the president needs to do more,” Mr. Murphy said, arguing that Mr. Biden needed to hold a town hall and participate in unscripted events because “the clock is ticking” for him to put to rest the doubts about his candidacy raised by a disastrous debate performance. Multiple times, Mr. Murphy emphasized his deadline, saying that he, as well as voters, must see more action “this week.”

Senator Michael Bennet, the Colorado Democrat who briefly ran for president himself, said Mr. Biden had to “reassure the American people that he can run a vigorous campaign to defeat Donald Trump.”

Senator Patty Murray of Washington, a senior member of the Democratic leadership team, put out a statement that passed for fighting words, saying that the president “must do more to demonstrate that he can campaign strong enough to beat Donald Trump.”

So far, Mr. Biden has done none of that.

And yet, Democrats on Capitol Hill are stifling their doubts and falling in line behind him anyway.

Having spent the last week and a half in various stages of private panic and public skepticism about Mr. Biden’s viability as a candidate and whispering among themselves about what the best way to push him aside might be — a strongly worded letter? a White House meeting? a high-level intervention? — top Democrats on Tuesday settled on a strategy many of them conceded could be disastrous: They would do nothing, at least for now.

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Source: Elections -


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