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Dems Scrambled To Protect Biden From Manchin

During the early moments that followed the debate debacle from Joe Biden, White House aides scrambled to prevent one of the most prominent members of the Senate from demanding the president step down.

Democrats got wind of a plan from West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and convinced him to hold off “as a growing number of White House officials say they are ‘freaking the f–k out,'” according to reports.

The Washington Post writes that Democrats put all hands on deck to stop the bleeding from their own party’s supporters.

As panic and confusion over President Biden’s faltering debate performance swept the ranks of Democratic lawmakers late last week, Sen. Joe Manchin III informed a few key allies that he would soon break from Biden in an interview on a Sunday news show, a high-profile defection that would underscore the president’s weakness.

Democrats feared Manchin — a moderate senator from West Virginia who recently registered as an independent but caucuses with Democrats — would call for Biden to step aside. If he did, the senator would then become the first prominent elected official allied with the party to call for Biden to exit the presidential race.

But he didn’t. Senior Democrats heard of Manchin’s plans and started making calls to the independent-minded senator, who once used a Sunday show appearance to announce his opposition to Biden’s top agenda item and effectively kill it. The “full-court press” was quickly assembled to help dissuade Manchin from appearing on the show, according to two people familiar with the response who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

The effort included a weekend phone call with Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), who discussed the matter with Manchin, according to those people. Schumer talked with Manchin after the senator had already decided not to go on a Sunday show, one person said. The shows typically serve as a vehicle for prominent elected officials to discuss the news of the day and make their views known, both to the public and others in politics.

In May, Manchin left the Democratic Party, fed up with how far left it has moved under Biden. He registered as an independent.

The West Virginia centrist has frequently played a crucial role as a swing vote in the Senate. His choice to leave the Democrats was portrayed as the canary in the coal mine for liberals this election season, underscoring dynamic changes within the political landscape.

Biden’s poor debate performance has caused chaos among the Democrats over the past week. A White House staffer told Axios, “The uncertainty after Thursday is palpable and anxiety is only increasing… People are looking for leadership and direction that they were told to trust, and hoped was there, but aren’t yet feeling in what is now clearly a defining moment for this presidency.”

[Read More: Media Circles The Wagons]


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