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Democratic power players are circulating a proposal for Biden to exit, launch ‘blitz primary'

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  • Two Democrats with a powerful network of friends are circulating a proposal for President Joe Biden to bow out of the 2024 election race and then launch a "blitz primary."
  • Rosa Brooks and Ted Dintersmith, the co-authors, sent their plan to dozens of high-dollar Democratic donors, Biden administration officials and campaign staff.
  • The hypothetical accelerated primary would focus on producing viral content like candidate forums moderated by Oprah Winfrey or Taylor Swift to quickly engage voters.

Two Democrats with a powerful network of friends are circulating a proposal for President Joe Biden to bow out of the 2024 race and launch an expedited Democratic primary to choose a new nominee before the August convention.

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Rosa Brooks, a Georgetown University law professor who previously served in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, and Ted Dintersmith, a high-dollar Democratic donor, co-authored the proposal, a copy of which was obtained by CNBC. Semafor was first to report the memo.

The proposal comes as pressure builds on Biden to exit the race following his stumbling debate on June 27 against former President Donald Trump. The president's debate performance triggered alarm bells for Democratic strategists, lawmakers, donors and voters, escalating lingering concerns about Biden's age and ability to beat Trump.

Brooks said that she and Dintersmith initially sent the memo on Tuesday to dozens of powerful Democrats, including significant donors, Biden appointees and campaign officials.

As Brooks put it in an interview with CNBC, they sent the plan to "Everybody who we thought might have the ear of anybody who has any influence over the president's decision-making."

The proposal lays out several key steps, beginning with Biden announcing that he will exit the race in mid-July in a "speech for the ages," as the memo's authors envision it.

"Overnight, Biden is hailed as a modern-day George Washington, not an octogenarian clinging to power with a 37% approval rating," the proposal reads. "From goat to hero."

The next phase of the plan is a "blitz primary," where prospective Democratic candidates submit their bids and delegates to the Democratic National Convention ultimately narrow down the list to six contenders.

The hypothetical accelerated primary would involve a massive social media content campaign to engage voters, including forums between the candidates moderated by celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Taylor Swift or Stephen Colbert, according to the memo.

Brooks and Dintersmith's vision ends with delegates voting on the final nominee at the DNC, which would theoretically benefit from boosted viewership and donations from the viral hype of the preceding blitz primary.

Brooks, who noted that she is not a political strategist, said that the proposal should be treated as more of a living document and that many of the details of the plan have changed as the Democrats who saw the memo hypothetically toyed with its ideas.

"We know we're not in any position to define what actually happens, but we're so encouraged by the uniform reaction: 'Wow!  If something along these lines happened, America would be lifted up from our current doldrums,'" Dintersmith said in an email to CNBC.

Since initially sending the proposal on Tuesday, Brooks said they have received dozens of responses, most of which liked the plan, even if it has a slim chance of actually being executed.

"The tone has very much been, 'Oh my God, this is probably impossible, but what a great idea,'" Brooks said.

She added that the more time that goes on, the more she feels that people are beginning to see the plan as viable: "It's gone, in a few days from, 'Oh, this would be so great if only it could happen, but it probably can't,' to 'Why can't it?'"

In response to a request for comment on the proposal, the Biden campaign said that July fundraising had so far been its "strongest grassroots start to a month ever."

The campaign also pointed to Biden's remarks in Wisconsin on Friday: "I'm not letting one 90-minute debate wipe out three and a half years of work. I'm staying in the race, and I will beat Donald Trump."

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