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Why I Told Joe Biden to Quit, by New Yorker’s David Remnick: ‘Breakthrough Moment’


Why I Told Joe Biden to Quit, by New Yorker’s David Remnick: ‘Breakthrough Moment’

When The New Yorker’s editor David Remnick watched Joe Biden’s disastrous debate performance against Donald Trump, it was the culmination of long-held doubts. On Saturday, he published a column headlined “The Reckoning of Joe Biden,” calling for the president to end a re-election campaign that Remnick called “a national endangerment.”

Remnick told the Daily Beast, “It’s just become more and more evident, and the debate was just the kind of breakthrough moment.”

The column is the latest salvo from a media elite demanding Biden step aside. Those making the call have included Biden’s long-term friend Thomas Friedman, who wrote in the New York Times that he wept as he watched the debate. Remnick told the Beast that, unlike others, he does not have a personal relationship with the 46th president. “I don’t know Joe Biden,” Remnick said. “That’s not my role.”

Remnick wrote: “Watching Thursday’s debate, observing Biden wander into senselessness onstage, was an agonizing experience, and it is bound to obliterate forever all those vague and qualified descriptions from White House insiders about good days and bad days.

“You watched it, and, on the most basic human level, you could only feel pity for the man and, more, fear for the country.”

The New Yorker editor David Remnick.

The New Yorker editor David Remnick.

Bryan Bedder/Getty for The New Yorker

In the column, the New Yorker editor offered candidates including Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, and Josh Shapiro, the governor of Pennsylvania–where Biden was born—as alternatives to the president. “[These] are just a few of the office-holders in the Party who could energize Democrats and independents, inspire more younger voters, and beat Trump,” Remnick wrote. Notably, he did not name Vice President Kamala Harris.

Of those he named, he said that he doesn’t have a favorite as a substitute for Biden, who he called a “good and decent president.” Which Democrat takes the presidential nomination will have to be decided by the final day of the party’s convention in Chicago, which is Aug. 22. “A lot has to happen between now and then,” Remnick told The Daily Beast. “The first thing that has to happen is that Joe Biden has to think this through.”

The column came hours before NBC News reported that Biden would speak to his wife, children and grandchildren Sunday about whether to remain in the race. It described his mood as “humiliated.”

Remnick’s voice was part of a wave of calls for the 81-year-old president to step aside. Critique after critique of a debate performance that often saw him stumble his sentences and lose his train of thought has piled on the pressure. While former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton reiterated their support for the president on Friday, Obama’s was sufficiently lukewarm to fail to staunch the bleeding of elite media support. “Bad debate nights happen,” Obama wrote on X. A few hours later the New York Times editorial board called for Biden to leave the race.

While the White House did not respond to an immediate request for comment, the Biden campaign pointed to campaign co-chair Cedric Richmond’s remark about the Times editorial board’s column. “The last time Joe Biden lost the New York Times editorial board’s endorsement it turned out pretty well for him,” Richmond said, according to NBC News.

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