James Clyburn Drops Foreboding, Cryptic Clue on Biden’s Future

Representative Jim Clyburn, whose 2020 primary endorsement paved the way for Joe Biden to lock up the Democratic nomination for president, says he would support Vice President Kamala Harris if Biden were to step aside in November’s election.

Clyburn, a 2024 Biden-Harris campaign co-chair, expressed his support for Harris on MSNBC Tuesday, defending her role in the White House and the Democratic Party.

“I will support her if he were to step aside,” Clyburn told Andrea Mitchell. “I want this ticket to continue to be Biden-Harris, and then we’ll see what happens after the next election.… No. This party should not, in any way, do anything to work around Ms. Harris. We should do everything we can to bolster her whether she’s in second place or at the top of the ticket.”

Is Clyburn alluding to the possibility of Biden being replaced? Whether he is or isn’t, the South Carolina Democrat stressed that Harris should not be bypassed or replaced with anyone else, which could determine what happens with Biden’s status on the Democratic ticket. Clyburn was very much the Democratic kingmaker in 2020, as his endorsement led to Biden winning South Carolina. His endorsement would be critical to any would-be Democratic replacement in the next few months.

Clyburn’s cryptic statement joins less vague rhetoric from other prominent Democrats who worry about whether Biden will have enough support to defeat Donald Trump. Notably, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi echoed those fears on Tuesday, and Representative Lloyd Doggett, a 15-term congressman, even called for Biden to withdraw from the 2024 presidential race.

Meanwhile, Biden plans to speak with Democratic governors from across the country in a private phone call to try and allay their concerns, likely on Wednesday, which would be two days after governors discussed Biden in a phone call among themselves. Right now, the mood within the Democratic Party is tense and anxious, with even former President Barack Obama being unable to calm the party faithful.

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Kim browne

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