In a surprising turn of events, Representative Dean Phillips from Minnesota has officially announced his entry into the 2024 presidential race, challenging the incumbent President Joe Biden. However, this unexpected move seems to be met with indifference and disregard from the Biden camp. With little recognition from the president’s allies and campaign spokespeople, Phillips’ candidacy appears to be nothing more than a blip on the political radar.
While Phillips aimed to make a significant impact with his campaign launch, the response he received from President Biden’s team was far from what he expected. The Biden 2024 campaign spokesman, Kevin Munoz, conveniently omitted mentioning Phillips by name in his prepared statement. This omission, along with Biden’s refusal to take Phillips’ phone calls on two separate occasions, clearly indicates a lack of acknowledgment and interest in his candidacy.
Despite registering to appear on New Hampshire’s Democratic primary ballot, Phillips faces an additional roadblock due to the revised primary calendar approved by the Democratic National Committee this year. With South Carolina now taking precedence over New Hampshire as the first primary state, Phillips may find it difficult to gain traction and visibility in the race. This change further diminishes the impact of his entry into the political arena.
A significant number of Biden’s allies and campaign aides contacted by CNBC declined to comment on Phillips’ challenge, effectively dismissing it as inconsequential. However, a few individuals did express their opinions. Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens criticized Phillips’ candidacy as a “side-show vanity project” that detracts from the real issues at hand, especially for Black voters. This sentiment reflects a general belief that Phillips’ campaign is detrimental to the Democratic Party and the nation as a whole.
Not all reactions to Phillips’ candidacy were negative. Representative Brendan Boyle, a fellow member of Congress, voiced his support for Phillips, highlighting his personal respect for the candidate. However, Boyle made it clear that his loyalty lies unwaveringly with President Biden, emphasizing his position as a “Day One” supporter. Similarly, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, despite his criticism of the campaign, serves alongside Phillips on the Biden campaign’s national advisory board. These mixed reactions only further exemplify the lack of a unified response to Phillips’ candidacy.
Phillips maintains that his decision to challenge President Biden does not align with the conventional belief that a primary to a sitting president benefits the alternative party. He argues that such assumptions are nonsensical and fails to provide a clear rationale for his campaign’s objectives. Without a defined strategy or concrete goals, Phillips leaves voters and political analysts questioning the purpose behind his presidential bid.
While Phillips has intimated in previous interviews that he believed President Biden was too old to effectively serve as president, his motives for entering the race still remain unclear. He has vaguely stated that a competitive primary would make Biden a stronger candidate if he were to win. However, this statement lacks substance and fails to articulate a viable reason for challenging an incumbent president who is backed by a significant portion of his party.
Rep. Dean Phillips’ entrance into the presidential race brings about more confusion than excitement. His campaign is met with indifference and disregard from President Biden’s allies, leaving Phillips scrambling to define his purpose and goals. With the Democratic primary calendar favoring other states and his lack of a compelling strategy, Phillips’ candidacy risks being nothing more than a vanishing blip in a crowded political landscape. As the race unfolds, it remains to be seen whether Phillips can overcome the existing narrative surrounding his campaign and prove his viability as a presidential contender.