Monday, June 07, 2021


One reason I believe reports that Donald Trump thinks he'll be reinstated as president in August is that he's just as credulous as the average consumer of right-wing "news" -- he'll believe whatever he's told by conservative sources, and the more preposterous the pronouncement, the savvier he thinks it must be.

Case in point: this story from a forthcoming book on the 2020 campaign by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender:
... Bender writes that Trump held back on focusing his firepower on [Joe] Biden during the primary stage of the election because he was convinced that the Democratic Party was scheming to switch out now president Biden for a different candidate—such as Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama—over the summer. The source of this conspiracy theory, per Bender, was Dick Morris, a former Clinton White House adviser who was “quietly advising Trump” last year. “Dick Morris told Trump that Biden was too old and too prone to gaffes to be the nominee,” Bender writes, while others in Trumpworld felt Biden would exit the race and be replaced by someone else if Trump began bashing him too hard.
Dick Morris shouldn't get all the blame for this "conspiracy theory." Quite a few other commentators believed it -- or at least they said they did in order to stir up trouble.

In May of 2020, Douglas MacKinnon, a staffer in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush White Houses, wrote this for The Hill:
Some Democrats tell me they fear that Biden’s political survival is getting more problematic with each passing day. They cite three main issues. The first is their concern that an allegation of sexual assault leveled against Biden by former staffer Tara Reade won’t go away anytime soon....

Next, they worry that another shoe could drop regarding questions related to Biden’s son Hunter and his business dealings. Lastly, some Democrats are concerned about Biden’s age and possible cognitive issues....

For those reasons, and a few more, might we envision Biden being privately talked into retiring from the race or voluntarily doing so himself? ...

Who might be in consideration to become the new nominee — and who would be selected as the vice presidential running mate? ... one particular, truly out-of-the-box combination stops the discussion in its tracks: Hillary Clinton as the nominee and Barack Obama as her running mate.
No, really, he wrote that.

This ran two days after another Hill opinion writer, Liz Peek, a longtime Fox News contributor, published a column titled "As Biden Struggles, Hillary Waits for the Call."

And then there was Victor Davis Hanson:
A host of Democratic donors and operatives would like Biden to disappear, clearing the way for a replacement such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, failed 2016 nominee Hillary Clinton or former first lady Michelle Obama.

But even if Democrats know why Biden must go, they haven’t a clue about when or how.
This idea went global. Here's a segment from a Sky News Australia broadcast in June 2020:

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is plotting to make a comeback because presumptive nominee Joe Biden is “seriously senile,” according to Sky News contributor John Ruddick.

“With senility, unlike a lot of other afflictions, you only get worse, you don’t get better,” Mr Ruddick told Sky News host Chris Smith....

“Hillary Clinton is the biggest political animal in the last 100 years; she’s four times the political animal than Richard Nixon was”.

“I believe Hillary Clinton is plotting to make a comeback because Joe Biden is seriously senile.”
English-language news sites based in China and Italy also considered the possibility that Clinton or Obama would replace Biden, but rejected it.

And here's the New York Post in April 2020 claiming that Democrats wanted to replace Biden on the ticket with Andrew Cuomo, according to "poll results shared exclusively with The Post." (The poll was conducted by the Club for Growth.)

Some people on the left discussed dumping Biden in the spring of 2020 -- Alex Pareene in The New Republic, Lyz Lenz in The Washington Post. But mostly it was right-leaning pundits making mischief while trying to appear savvy to the gullible.

Donald Trump was one of the gullible. As he might have put it, many people were saying Biden would be replaced. That doesn't mean he should have believed it.

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