How real is the chance that Hillary Clinton is forced to bow out of the presidential race over her continued heath problems? Real enough that a former Democratic National Committee chairman is now sounding the alarm about the immediate need for a contingency plan to replace her. It’s official: full-on panic over their physically and politically collapsing candidate has set in for the Democratic Party.
While Don Fowler, chairman of the DNC from 1995 to 1997 (during Bill Clinton’s presidency) and a faithful supporter of Hillary, is not calling for her to step down, as Politico stresses, he is calling on the party to put into place a clear replacement plan for the ailing candidate — and as soon as possible.
“Now is the time for all good political leaders to come to the aid of their party,” said Fowler in an interview Monday. “I think the plan should be developed by 6 o’clock this afternoon.”
Saying he fully expects her to recover from her “pneumonia” (the convenient diagnosis revealed by her personal doctor hours after the potentially game-changing “stumble” on 9/11) soon, Fowler urged the party to be prepared for the worst nonetheless. “It’s something you would be a fool not to prepare for,” he said.
Though Fowler has personally been involved in the replacement of a Democratic vice presidential nominee, Thomas Eagleton in 1972, he noted that this was a very “different time,” citing supporters of both Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden as potentially wanting to “wrest control” of the selection process. “I think you’re likely to have at least discussions and perhaps controversy,” he said.
The former Democratic leader also offered some advice to Clinton: Don’t come back too soon.
“She better get well before she gets back out there because if she gets back out there too soon, it might happen again,” said Fowler.
As the Daily Wire reported earlier, the DNC bylaws present a rather wide-open process for selecting a replacement candidate, requiring the DNC chair — currently Interim Chairwoman Donna Brazile (who replaced the recently ousted Debbie Wasserman Schultz) — to call a “special meeting” in which a majority of the members present would have to approve of a candidate, with no proxy votes allowed. However, one clause effectively allows the Rules and Bylaws Committee to change the procedure as they see fit.
Fowler urges the DNC and Democratic leaders, including President Obama, to create “unanimity,” in party by tightening the rules, including a signature-gathering requirement for nominations.
“There should be a concerted, unified effort on behalf of the president and the Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate and from the officials of the DNC as well — I think unanimity would be absolutely critical,” he said. “The quicker that unanimity develops, the easier and better the process.”
It’s been a bad three weeks for Hillary Clinton, and things just got a whole lot worse.