Democrats Eye Whitmer as Biden Backup Amid Election Fears

In the latest episode of Democratic Denial, Gov. Gretchen “Big Gretch” Whitmer of Michigan has suddenly become the last-minute fantasy candidate for liberal donors desperate to ditch President Joe Biden. After Biden’s embarrassing debate flop, party donors are in a frenzy to find a suitable replacement, and Whitmer seems to be their latest savior despite her apparent reluctance.

Even though some in the Democratic Party are pushing for Whitmer through the catchy “Draft Gretch” movement, she has reportedly supported the faltering Biden. But in an equally comic twist, she also declared Michigan—a crucial swing state—“unwinnable” for the President. That’s a glowing endorsement if there ever was one. If Biden can’t secure Michigan, his chances for a November victory plummet faster than his approval ratings.

Whitmer isn’t the only Democrat mentioned in the speculative game of musical chairs. The usual suspects—Vice President Kamala Harris, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg—are also being floated as potential replacements. With the debate disaster fresh in everyone’s mind, the Democratic Party faces two grim options: invoke the 25th Amendment to oust Biden and promote Harris or gamble on a chaotic revolt at the Democratic National Convention.

Should Biden be pushed out, the odds are that Harris would be the party’s torchbearer. However, the Democrats might be wise to pause before backing someone who has spent nearly four years treading water in the administration without much to show. Meanwhile, Whitmer and her cheerleaders cling to the hope that she represents the fresh, younger face the party needs. Of course, Whitmer’s executive experience doesn’t wash away the disastrous aftermath of her lockdown policies and bureaucratic blunders.

In a desperate plea for attention and dollars, former House member and lobbyist Chet Atkins hit inboxes with an email showering Whitmer with praise. According to Atkins, anyone nicknamed “Big Gretch” by Detroit rappers must be presidential material—never mind the minor detail Whitmer had no clue about in the email. Atkins boldly claims that the road to the White House runs through Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, implying that Whitmer understands these voters. His rallying cry? Send money, and lots of it, to Whitmer’s political committee.

But saving face for Michigan’s governor by playing up her possible 2028 candidacy is likely just another pipe dream. Politico reports that despite all the buzz, almost anyone would struggle to leapfrog Harris if Biden steps down. Whitmer’s short-lived attention in this year’s race underscores the Democrats’ desperation and the likelihood of her staying on the bench until 2028.

To add insult to injury, national polls post-debate show former President Trump comfortably leading. In head-to-head matchups, Whitmer fares only marginally better against Trump than other Democrats, still losing by 2%. Meanwhile, a hypothetical poll asked Democrats who they’d pick to replace Biden, and Whitmer’s support languished at a measly 6%. Whitmer might want to hold off on ordering new business cards with “Commander-in-Chief” just yet.

For Democrats grasping at straws, Whitmer might seem like a Hail Mary. But let’s face it—if the best hope is a governor who can’t even claim her home state for the incumbent, the party’s Blue Wave dream for 2024 might turn into a Red Tide.

Written by Staff Reports

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