Report: Meeting of House Democrats Devolves Into Biden Grievance Fest—There's a 'Donkey in the Room'

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You’d have to assume any meeting of House Democrats to discuss political messaging these days would be tense, considering that the leader of the party just laid a rotten egg at the presidential debate last Thursday.

As Biden sees his odds of winning reelection plummet, party leaders have been freaking out, with some even calling for the president to leave the race.

It’s no surprise, then, that a Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC) meeting reportedly devolved into a grievance fest Tuesday, with panicked members openly criticizing the president and his strategy (or lack thereof). There were even reportedly mentions of the “donkey in the room”— and we all know who that is. Per Axios:

The virtual meeting Tuesday afternoon was a listening session the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC) held to go over messaging ahead of the 2024 election.

Much of the meeting was taken up by members expressing their irritation and misgivings toward Biden and his team, according to a member in the meeting and another source briefed on the matter.

Biden was repeatedly referred to derisively as the “donkey in the room,” both sources said.

As we reported early Tuesday, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) formally became the first elected House Dem domino to fall in what soon may become a cascade:

Lawmaker Becomes First Elected Democrat to Call for Biden to Drop Out of the Race

Another representative may soon follow suit because he says he’s been receiving all sorts of unpleasant calls from his constituents:

One House Democrat shared in the meeting that the phone calls he has received have been overwhelmingly negative toward Biden, while Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) alerted members of his statement calling for Biden to withdraw from the presidential race.

Doggett wants Biden to make the same difficult decision that LBJ made in 1968:

I represent the heart of a congressional district once represented by Lyndon Johnson. Under very different circumstances, he made the painful decision to withdraw. President Biden should do the same.

The news cycle continues to be tough for Biden following the debate disaster.

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Doggett’s words were strongly felt at the Dem meeting and made lawmakers fret that this might only be the beginning.

“There were a lot of people not very happy,” the lawmaker who was in the meeting told Axios.

They warned that Doggett’s statement will not be a “one-off” and more members will likely follow his lead if the White House doesn’t “start to show that they get it.”

Another Democratic lawmaker said even members who support Biden “feel like, at a minimum, he needs to show a decisive change in course by replacing his top campaign advisers,” while others “think he should step aside outright…”

One of the lawmakers and a House Democratic leadership source said Biden still had not called House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) as of Tuesday evening.

When Democrats are openly talking about the “donkey in the room,” one can’t help but wonder just how much longer Biden can hang around watching his support slip down the drain. Once a negative news cycle as humongous as this one gets rolling, it’s very, very hard to stop. 

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