The Hill Explains How Democrats Could Propel Gavin Newsom To The Presidency, No Vote Necessary | JP
The Hill published a possible plan that could propel California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) directly to the presidency, passing by Vice President Kamala Harris, without it ever coming to a vote before the American people.
The plan was outlined by former Pentagon and White House official Douglas MacKinnon — who worked under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush in the eighties and early nineties — and it earned an enthusiastic thumbs down from fivethirtyeight statistician Nate Silver.
“The competition is fierce but this is a top 5 worst political take of all time,” Silver said.
The plan MacKinnon described was simple: all President Joe Biden had to do was replace VP Harris with Newsom — after which he could resign, leaving Newsom seated comfortably in the Oval Office less the wear and tear from an actual campaign.
Despite the plan being simple, MacKinnon noted, the situation was quite complicated. First, he argued that the expected “Red Wave” that failed to materialize as a result of Tuesday’s midterms elections was the result of either “Trump fatigue” or plain vanilla hatred of the former president — but what could have been channeled into massive gains for the Democrats was tempered by the fact that voters just don’t like Biden (or Harris) much either.
“As long as [Trump] is still considered a potentially viable candidate for 2024, or a political force by the left, that fatigue and hate will be enough to drive many Americans to the polls to vote against any Republican,” MacKinnon continued, positing that Biden was only as strong as his potential Republican opponent was weak.
But he said that he didn’t believe the former president was likely to run — although he did expect a fair amount of protracted drama surrounding his potential “announcement” — which meant that Democrats would have to be prepared to face a stronger ticket. The ticket MacKinnon thought was likely — and strong — included Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and possibly former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
“What Tuesday’s voting demonstrated is that our country is still equally divided and deeply polarized, with no political healing on the horizon,” MacKinnon wrote. “That reality speaks to the need for a proven vote-getter with lots of money and a logistical machine behind him. In Politics 101, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) meets — maybe even exceeds — those qualifications.”
MacKinnon offered two possible routes that Newsom could take to the White House, and neither required him to win a Democratic primary or a general election without the power of White House experience behind him. Not only that, but he argued it would be “political malpractice” for the Democrats to not at least consider this option.
“In one scenario, Biden could ask Harris to resign and replace her with Newsom, who then becomes the heir apparent for 2024. Or Biden could replace Harris with Newsom and then resign himself, making Newsom the president before 2024 and arming him with the full force of the Oval Office,” he said.