Your Questions on Open Conventions, a Gaza Schism and Biden’s Chances

Produced by ‘The Ezra Klein Show’

[You can listen to this episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” on the NYT Audio App, Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

A transcript of the full episode is available here:

Ezra Klein: Last week I did an audio essay arguing that Joe Biden right now does not seem up for the campaign he is going to have to run. He is behind in the polls. He is skipping things like Super Bowl interviews, having trouble in press conferences and that if things don’t change, this is not going to go well. And that there is another option for Democrats, that Biden could step aside and Democrats could do what parties have done many times before and go to a convention.

Then we had Elaine Kamarck on the show to talk about how the convention would work. And this is something I said we would also do in this little series, which is take questions on it. And we got a lot of them. We got thousands of responses to the initial audio essay.

Our great senior editor, Claire Gordon, has joined me here to sort of be the audience representative and make sure I’m actually answering questions. So let’s jump into it. Where do we begin?

Gordon: Yeah, Ezra, you threw a bit of a grenade into the world, and now it is time to take a little bit of fire. And our first question is from MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes.

Voice-mail recording: I mean, I think a lot of people share this acute sense of Biden’s campaigning ability, like his candidate quality, to be significantly diminished, even if they think he’s not diminished in the actual office. But my big question about all of these scenarios — and there’s been many about Biden not, you know, being the nominee — is: It seems like there’s one person who gets to decide if Joe Biden is going to run for president again, and that’s Joe Biden. And I can’t imagine a scenario in which he decides that, absent some medical situation that happens. So I can’t get past that first step, so I’m just curious how you think about it.

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