A whispering campaign among panicked Democrats to force Joe Biden to resign in favor of a younger 2024 nominee is reaching a fever pitch, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Behind the scenes, there is widespread and growing concern about the 80-year-old president’s recent string of blunders, and growing frustration about his determination to seek re-election.
A senior former White House official who worked with Biden told DailyMail.com: “We are one figurative or literal trip away from Biden, which underlines that he is simply too old, and by then it may be too late to to field another candidate.
“There’s a lot of hand-wringing and a lot of Democrats are losing sleep worrying about what this will look like a year from now.
Joe Biden falls on the stairs while boarding Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland
“The Democratic party must move on, and Biden must recognize that this is about more than one person, more than one president. It’s a chance (for him) to ride off into the sunset after moving across country to safer waters.”
If he doesn’t retire, there are increasing calls from senior figures for Biden to at least hold a wide-open primary to face any newcomers.
A current Democratic National Committee member told Dailymail.com, “People have expressed concerns to me about his age and indicated they have some hesitation.
“I think a primary is always a good way to make sure you have the most effective candidate.”
It came as Dean Phillips. a Democratic congressman from Minnesota, broke cover and said he was “thinking” about a primary challenge, though he said there were other, more widely known figures.
Names mentioned privately by disgruntled senior Democrats include Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, Senator Cory Booker and Senator Amy Klobuchar.
Potential younger candidates: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (right) and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker (center) chatting with Hillary Clinton
But the White House has been accused of keeping them out of the spotlight as they desperately try to control dissent.
One source said there was a deliberate campaign by the White House to “expel” anyone in the party who publicly criticizes Biden
He has already refused to debate his two current challengers Robert Kennedy Jr. and self-help guru Marianne Williamson.
Those who want to oust Biden before 2024 told DailyMail.com there is no appetite for a simple coronation of Vice President Kamala Harris as the candidate.
“I don’t think you’ll find many people in this town who believe Kamala Harris is our best alternative to Biden,” the senior former White House official said.
“She has had a shaky term as president and we need to put forward our strongest candidate. There are several more.’
California Governor Gavin Newsom is said to have irritated the White House because of his high profile
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has said she will not run for Democratic presidential nomination, but many Democrats want her to do so.
It comes as the strongest argument for keeping Biden – that he is the best placed to beat Donald Trump – is being sharply eroded.
A Washington Post/ABC poll last week showed Trump ahead by 10 points in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup.
Meanwhile, an Associated Press/NORC poll found that 77 percent of Americans believe Biden is too old for re-election. That included 69 percent of Democrats.
The whisper campaign became public in recent weeks when David Ignatius, a Biden supporter, wrote a column in the Washington Post arguing that he should not seek re-election.
But according to a former staffer, there is no one who can stop Biden from running for office even if they wanted to, including his immediate family members.
It is said that he believes his policies are paying off and that his achievements have not been properly communicated to the American people.
However, his staff has spent much of their time dealing with the fallout from a litany of blunders, which have become increasingly common.
In the past week alone, Biden repeated the same story twice within minutes, confused a black group with a Hispanic group and mangled LL Cool J’s name, also calling him “boy.”
The White House has allowed him to hold few news conferences because he has previously had to deal with ad hoc policy announcements and confusing statements.
Biden underwent his final annual physical at Walter Reed National Medical Center in Maryland in February and was declared healthy, but his cognitive skills were not assessed.
An emerging White House tactic is to answer questions about his age by making jokes about it, as well as attacking the 77-year-old Trump about his age.
Veteran Democratic strategist James Carville said it was overwhelmingly clear that voters don’t want a choice between Biden and Trump.
He told DailyMail.com: ‘Age is a factor that people consider quite seriously.
Bill Clinton strategist James Carville said it was clear the public wanted a choice other than Biden or Trump
“All I can tell you is what the public thinks. And the public does not want this choice. It is very clear. The political system must decide whether it is going to offer them an alternative choice. But I can tell you that it is repeated, overwhelming and consistent data that the public does not want this choice. I can’t say it any other way.’
He said it “could change” and that it was “never too late” for another candidate, adding: “There is no magic cutoff day here.”
Carville, a key strategist in Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 campaign, has warned that Biden could lose.
His advice to the current Biden team was to “do what they do” and “get it out of there.”