The political landscape is being rocked by unforeseen developments as the 2024 presidential campaign season heats up. Pundits, including advisors to President Joe Biden, have taken notice of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s unexpected challenge to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for a one-on-one discussion. According to reports, some Biden team members are not happy with Newsom’s planned debate, fearing it would draw focus away from the Biden-Harris reelection campaign.
According to sources close to the White House, Biden’s advisers feel “angered” by the prospect of a discussion between Newsom and DeSantis because they think it would be insulting to the Democratic ticket, which consists of Kamala Harris and Joe Biden. The advisors worry that the discussion will overwhelm the current campaign and divert attention from the incumbents running for president and vice president.
Furthermore, some Biden aides are speculating that Newsom’s challenge against DeSantis is a component of a “shadow 2024 campaign” aimed at defeating President Biden. This viewpoint makes one wonder about Newsom’s motivations and if he is trying to establish himself as a different kind of candidate inside the Democratic Party.
While some Biden advisors have voiced reservations, others have applauded Newsom for his choice to debate DeSantis. They see it as a suitable function for a surrogate, supporting the Biden-Harris campaign without putting the president or vice president in direct contact.
Kevin Munoz, a spokesman for Biden’s campaign, stressed the cooperation between Newsom and the Biden-Harris team. According to Munoz, Newsom’s surrogate position is essential to the campaign’s fundraising and media appearances. The Biden team had supported Newsom’s initiative in putting out the debate concept.
When Newsom proposed a three-hour standoff debate in an interview with Sean Hannity in June, the idea of a potential discussion between him and DeSantis initially surfaced. Shortly later, DeSantis accepted the challenge on social media. Hannity will apparently moderate the debate, despite the fact that the specifics of the schedule and venue are still unknown. This is according to reports from both sides.
In the event that Biden decided not to run for reelection, Newsom had previously declared his ambition to run for president in 2024. In April 2023, Biden finally declared his bid for reelection in 2024, and Newsom quickly endorsed the sitting president. The Newsom-DeSantis debate’s changing dynamics serve as another example of how complicated the approaching election season will be and how important it is for candidates and their surrogates to make calculated decisions.