Washington Examiner, June 2023
President Joe Biden‘s reelection campaign is being complicated by a primary challenge from a Democratic candidate with a famous political last name and another third-party bid. But as the White House and Biden campaign downplay the challenges created by Democratic challenger Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and independent bids by the Green Party’s Cornel West and No Labels, Democrats are imploring them not to be complacent. What Democrats should have learned from past experience is that “ignoring” candidates, even from protest campaigns including those of Ralph Nader or “gadflies” such as Jill Stein, is “a bad idea,” according to Democratic strategist Matt Bennett. “So, Biden and all Democrats must pay attention, first to Kennedy and then to No Labels and West,” Bennett told the Washington Examiner.
For instance, Kennedy may have “no chance” of winning the Democratic nomination, but he represents a “considerable” lack of enthusiasm for Biden, per Dan Schnur, the former communications director of Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain‘s 2000 presidential campaign. “No incumbent president in the modern era has ever won reelection after facing a significant primary challenge,” Schnur said, citing former Presidents Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush.