Anthony, Schor sticking with Biden

Lansing state senator backs Harris if president quits race


FRIDAY, July 5 — Two of mid-Michigan’s leading elected Democrats, state Sen. Sarah Anthony and Lansing Mayor Andy Schor, said they stand by President Joe Biden’s bid for reelection.

“I think he should stay,” Anthony, of Lansing, said. “We’re in July, and I don’t see a path for any other Democrat to win the presidency at this point. And just as a practical matter, it doesn’t make any sense for us to base the future of our Democracy off of a loss in a debate.” 

“Democracy is at stake in this election, and I believe Joe Biden supports democracy,” Schor said. “Biden will show that he has led through tough times and will continue to have the right policies for our nation.”

Both were reacting to national concerns raised over Biden’s sluggish performance in a live debate on CNN on June 27. The 90-minute session, held in Atlanta, exacerbated fears over Biden’s ability to serve a second term in the White House at the age of 81. Since then, calls for him to step down in favor of an alternative candidate have enveloped the national media.

To mitigate the damage, Biden’s administration has agreed to a 30-minute interview with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos in Madison, Wisconsin, which will air in full at 8 p.m. It could mark the most pivotal moment in his 52-year political career as he looks to dispel accusations that he’s in cognitive decline.

In an interview with City Pulse today, Anthony acknowledged that Biden “didn’t look strong” in last week’s debate, but said she felt his campaign was still the best path forward for Democrats this November.

“You do want your commander in chief to demonstrate strength and sharpness. At the same, I’ve been in politics now for 20 years, and I know that it’s more important for the executive to have both a moral compass as well as a strong team around him,” Anthony said. “Just over the last couple years, we’ve seen Biden stand up for us in ways that we know the former occupant of the White House never did. So, while we would love to see young, charismatic Obama-like presidential candidates, at the end of the day we have to become more sophisticated and not always want to fall in love with our political leaders. Sometimes, we have to do the strategic choice, which is retain people in office that have a track record of standing up for us.”

In that sense, Anthony said, Democrats may want to take one page out of the Republican’s playbook.

“When I am in the capital and I’m speaking to rank-and-file Republicans who are going to vote for Trump, they know he’s not the best candidate. They know he’s not 100% the person that they would like to have occupy the White House, but they look beyond the person and they see the policies,” Anthony said. “That’s why they coalesced around what many people perceive as a flawed candidate, because they know that it doesn’t do much good to have 16 different ideas about the path forward. They are smart and strategic in aligning behind one person that’s going to advance the policies that they care about.”

Anthony added that she trusts Biden and his team would choose to withdraw from the race if he were at a point where he could no longer execute his official duties in a second term.

“The one thing that I’ve always admired about President Biden is that he’s demonstrated to be a man of good character. I believe that if he was slipping to the point of incompetency, he would have the integrity to step away from the position. I do believe that,” she said.

If that were to happen, it would have to occur before the Democratic National Convention begins in Chicago on Aug. 19.

“I don’t want to play the guessing game. I think we cross that bridge if and when we get there, but I don’t think we’re there yet,” Anthony said.

If Biden does choose to step aside, Anthony said she would support a bid from Vice President Kamala Harris, whom she cited as her “sorority sister” and “someone who is really inspirational to me.”

“I have never seen her role as performative. It is a serious role as vice president that, in the event a president is not able to continue their duties, she would be able to step in and fill that role,” Anthony said. “Ten or 15 different things would have to happen before she would assume that office, but I think she would be ready to go.”

Regardless of who is on the ballot on Nov. 5, Anthony said the Biden administration deserves credit for what is has been able to accomplish since he took office in Jan. 2021.

“Whether it’s investments in our community under all of the federal COVID dollars, where this administration has been on civil rights and economic justice, these are things that you can’t overstate,” Anthony said.

“It hasn’t just been President Biden at the helm. It’s also been Vice President Harris,” she added. “So, I do have confidence, in the event that he was no longer able to perform the duties, that she could step in.”

Schor, Lansing’s second-term mayor, also endorsed Biden’s continued candidacy.

In a written statement Wednesday, which he reconfirmed today, Schor said: “While I was concerned with the debate performance, I know personally that governing is not done in two minute increments; governing takes thought and evaluation and negotiation and honesty.”

“Joe Biden showed these necessary character traits for a President, while Donald Trump stretched the truth and out-and-out lied to the public (check the fact-checkers). I hope those in Lansing, Michigan, and the nation see the damage that Donald Trump would do to our nation. His election as President would threaten our democracy,” Schor wrote.

Anthony reiterated these sentiments.

“No one is perfect, but we have to in some ways look beyond the individual and think about the policies they champion and the people that surround them in order to move agendas forward that we care about,” she said.

Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Sarah Anthony, Mayor Andy Schor, local, politics, presidency, election, national, race, candidacy,


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