A headache of President Joe Biden’s own making appears to be on the verge of graduating to a full-blown migraine.
Democrats and top Biden campaign officials are “scrambling” after the incumbent president could, somehow, cede the first unofficial contest of the 2024 Democratic primary race.
And it all could have been avoided had Biden not been so bad at managing relationships, according to a damning report Thursday from Politico.
To wit, the president could have the very embarrassing situation of losing New Hampshire by default because he might not show up on the primary ballot.
Biden and his top officials altered the Democratic presidential nominating calendar in a curious bit of favoritism.
New Hampshire has long been the first state when it comes to primary season, a tradition dating back more than 100 years.
For Democrats, that tradition may have ended after Biden pushed to change the party’s nominating calendar to give “first in the nation” status to South Carolina.
Granting South Carolina this new place in the line was a way for the president to thank the Palmetto State for helping save his then-sagging 2020 primary bid, per Politico.
One major problem/oversight: New Hampshire has state laws in place that mandate its primary contests take place a week before any other state.
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu and GOP lawmakers in New Hampshire understandably are not too keen on changing those state laws to help out their Democratic counterparts.
That leaves Democratic leadership frantically searching for some sort of salve or solution before a June deadline.
“If there’s any opportunity for this to get resolved by New Hampshire having more time, all of us will say, ‘Give New Hampshire more time,’” said Randi Weingarten, the widely derided teachers union leader and one of the Democratic National Committee members who voted to alter the calendar.
James Roosevelt, Jr., co-chairman of the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, added: “In states where state legislatures have refused to comply with the party rules, the state parties have run primaries that are conducted by the party.”
Surely, Weingarten, Roosevelt and other top Democrats are working in tandem with their New Hampshire counterparts to figure this out on Biden’s behalf, right?
Well. Not quite.
New Hampshire Democrats, unhappy about the upending of the state’s cherished “first in the nation” status, seem perfectly content to sit on their hands and let the process play out — whether or not Biden is on the ballot.
“We can’t change our laws and that’s that. We’re hosting the first primary,” said Ray Buckley, chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. “The president can decide if he wants to put his name on the ballot.”
According to Politico, Democrats’ plans amount to little more than stalling: They are just looking to buy more time to avoid having Biden not appear on the ballot.
For Biden, this could get his re-election campaign off to a bad start.
Already a historically unpopular president who is primarily being blamed for the poor state of the economy, he can ill afford to give his Democratic challengers — Marianne Williamson and Robert Kennedy Jr. — an opportunity to present themselves as legitimate alternatives.