A Democratic bundler who knows Newsom texted Peter Savodnik: “Gavin represents everything cartoonish about California and politicians. . . All the plasticky stuff middle America hates.” (Andrew Harnik via Getty Images)

If Not Biden, Then Who?

Publicly, everyone is behind him. Privately, Democrats are panicked and plotting. Peter Savodnik reports.

On the record, everyone important in the Democratic Party is behind Joe Biden. 

“The question everyone’s asking is: ‘Who can pull together the raucous and rowdy Democratic Party coalition in a way that allows that coalition to beat the coalition pulled together by Mr. Trump,’ ” said Dmitri Mehlhorn, a Democratic strategist and fundraiser in northern Virginia. Melhorn insists the perfect—the only—candidate who can do that remains Joe Biden.

“Master Yoda is exactly what you need to protect against the Dark Side,” added Melhorn, who works closely with Reid Hoffman, the billionaire co-founder of LinkedIn who has become one of the party’s biggest donors. “As Joe Biden gets older, he’s like Master Yoda.”

Jamie Patricof, a movie and television producer in Los Angeles, added that debates are not that important. “If it were, then Hillary Clinton would have been president,” Patricof told me. “I trusted Joe Biden to be a great president, and he has delivered on that. I trust him to know if he can do it again.” 

So those are the kind of things prominent Democrats will say publicly. Privately, it’s a different story

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