Opinion | Biden should stay on the ticket. But he should replace Harris.

    Opinion | Biden should stay on the ticket. But he should replace Harris.

    To all of those naysayers who declared President Biden should drop out after the first presidential debate, I say hold on. This race is about where you stand as much as who is your candidate. I, for one, am very clear.

    Do I believe in a party that values a woman’s right to choose, and that prioritizes her access to physicians who will care for her without fear of legal reprisals? Do I believe in a government that meets the threat of climate change by promoting alternative energy sources rather than by brazenly courting gas and oil companies for campaign contributions? Do I believe in every taxpayer paying their fair share so we can rebuild our infrastructure and invest in education? Do I believe in global alliances to preserve world peace and contain nuclear proliferation? Do I believe in preserving Social Security and valuing our elders? And do I believe in religious freedom, a basic right that defines this country?

    I know where I stand on these critical issues and so many more. If your values are clear, you know what you need to do. Go, vote with conviction. Believe in your future and that of your children and grandchildren. Say yes with conviction, and don’t look back.

    Eileen Fitzgerald, Rockland, Maine

    Democrats need to do now the one thing we can never seem to do: get a grip and close ranks.

    Yes, President Biden looked old and tired at the first presidential debate. I imagine being president will do that to a man.

    The idea that he should drop out is just absurd and is not based in a track record of any type of success for Democrats. The last time a sitting Democratic president decided to bow out and a challenger was chosen at the convention was 1968. What we got was Hubert Humphrey and a crushing 301-191 electoral college defeat at the hands of Richard M. Nixon.

    Remember the Sam Hogin and Gretchen Peters song “Dance With the One That Brought You?” Mr. Biden brought us to the White House once, so fire up a song and get dancing.

    With the end of the debate came the predictable torrent of media demands that the Democratic Party react by shooting itself in the foot. At least since the McGovern campaign, the party has maintained an embarrassing and useless tradition of throwing its own people under the bus.

    The probability of finding a truly electable alternative is akin to finding a needle in a large haystack that might not contain a needle in the first place. As E.J. Dionne Jr. pointed out in his July 1 op-ed, “What Biden owes his country if he stays in,” the short vetting period virtually assures failure. Note that the Democrats lost anyway after nominating alternative candidates in 1968 and 1972.

    No other candidate — or commentator — has two vital qualifications. Only President Biden has successfully campaigned against Donald Trump. And only Mr. Biden has successfully managed the country in the aftermath of Mr. Trump’s presidency.

    A presidential debate is nothing more than a contest to be won or lost. Mr. Trump won this debate with excellent makeup, no knowledge, a pack of lies and one talking point: fear of immigrants. Rather than calling for Mr. Biden to drop out, Democrats should demand the following from his campaign: Fire the prep team. Ditch the second debate. Go all in on your candidate, one of history’s most successful presidents and the man who defeated Mr. Trump.

    Mr. Dionne says that we cannot unsee what we saw, but by November, the electorate will not remember or care about it.

    J.M. Picone, Falls Church

    In response to question about who could replace President Biden as the Democratic nominee, the answer is no one! Changing horses at this late date is a losing strategy. And no one seems to have any idea who that replacement should be.

    Top tier Democrats should get the twist out of their knickers, toughen up and recognize that they have a good candidate. One bad night is not the end of anything. If they keep panicking, they will sink the Biden reelection campaign faster then Donald Trump or his minions can and may even cost down-ballot candidates their chance. Get over yourselves and be quiet, everyone. We have problems to solve.

    Pam Massey, Gig Harbor, Wash.

    Just a reminder to all the people who wrote in stating President Biden should resign: the example of the GOP’s greatest president, Ronald Reagan, who addressed concerns about his age and condition by surrounding himself with good, smart, seasoned people who knew how to run the country. There are people to pick up the reins in the Biden administration, if something happens. I can’t say the same for Donald Trump, who has his own cognitive and psychological issues.

    Replace Ms. Harris, not Mr. Biden

    Yes, the debate was painful to watch, but in truth, it didn’t have much effect on President Biden’s base. Not many who have been supporting Mr. Biden have now decided to vote for a felon who wants to turn America into a dictatorship. It is the “undecided” voter we need to be concerned about.

    Should Mr. Biden somehow be convinced to step down, the Democratic Party could become split and chaotic as a wide variety of candidates emerge. In addition, many people do not feel that Vice President Harris adds anything to the ticket and, in fact, may be a significant detractor. She does not project the presidential image that people want to see.

    A strong, vital vice-presidential choice could dramatically boost the ticket. Adding someone committed to Mr. Biden’s ideas and goals would give him a partner in governing, bring the strong body and voice that may currently be lacking and project an overall image that voters find reassuring.

    The Democrats do not need to replace Mr. Biden. Mr. Biden needs to replace Ms. Harris.

    Merrill Grumer, Philadelphia, Pa.

    With Mr. Jeffries or Ms. Whitmer

    I believe President Biden is unlikely to step aside as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. And, in my view, the reason he is the nominee is that he has been a good president and there was and is no other viable choice. However, his age and the debate debacle have raised legitimate concerns about his ability to govern.

    In my view, the best thing to do is replace the deeply unpopular Vice President Harris with a better choice for campaigning and for stepping in if the president should become unable to fulfill his duties during his next term of office. This action would help reassure the electorate and the Democratic Party. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), among others, would be good choices.

    Mr. Jeffries has outstanding experience that qualifies him for the presidency. His presence and speaking ability will help greatly on the stump, and he will likely attract votes from Black men, who are emerging as a problem for Mr. Biden. In 2020, Mr. Biden considered Ms. Whitmer as a vice-presidential pick. She represents a critical swing state and her successful governorship helped the Democrats win in the midterms. I hope the Democratic Party and Mr. Biden will seriously consider this potential solution to a matter of great import to our nation.

    Judith Keith, Bradenton, Fla.

    President Biden is right: Among all the possible Democratic contenders, he has the best chance of defeating Donald Trump. But if Mr. Biden is also correct that democracy is on the ballot, perhaps what is needed is not a change of candidate but a change of ticket.

    What is needed is a national-unity ticket. If Mr. Biden replaced Vice President Harris with former New Jersey governor Chris Christie (R), he would have the support of a great number of moderate and independent voters, Democrat and Republican alike.

    The last successful American national-unity government was during the Civil War, when Republican Abraham Lincoln ran for his second term under the banner of the new National Union Party with Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, as his running mate.

    Today, a Biden-Christie ticket would show the world that the United States is not as divided as some politicians think. In times of international uncertainty, it would also show that the United States is able to stand united against enemies, both foreign and domestic.

    Andrew Irvine, Kelowna, British Columbia

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