Worried Dems pitch "blitz primary" plan suggesting Taylor Swift moderate forum to replace Joe Biden

Two prominent Democrats pitched an accelerated primary including candidate forums hosted by celebrities

By Gabriella Ferrigine

Staff Writer

Published July 8, 2024 12:00PM (EDT)

Taylor Swift performs onstage during "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at Johan Cruijff Arena on July 04, 2024 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)
Taylor Swift performs onstage during "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at Johan Cruijff Arena on July 04, 2024 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

Amid growing anxiety over President Joe Biden's June 27 debate performance and subsequent fallout, some Democrats have devised a plan to turn to celebrities like Taylor Swift for help.

In a proposal first reported by Semafor and subsequently obtained by CNBC, Georgetown University law professor and prior Obama and Clinton administration staffer Rosa Brooks and Ted Dintersmith, a deep-pocketed Democratic donor, detailed a "blitz primary" scenario that would see Biden step out of the presidential race. “Overnight, Biden is hailed as a modern-day George Washington, not an octogenarian clinging to power with a 37% approval rating,” the proposal reads, per CNBC. “From goat to hero.”

The accelerated process would see a new slate of Democratic candidates submit bids and delegates to the Democratic National Convention before whittling the competition to six prospective replacements for Biden. The proposal also includes a broad social media content campaign meant to engage voters by having celebrities like Swift moderate forums amongst the new candidates. Other public figures named in the memo as potential moderators were Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, and Stephen Colbert.

“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,’” Brooks told CNBC.

“The tone has very much been, ‘Oh, my God, this is probably impossible, but what a great idea,’” she added. 

Speaking to Semafor, Dintersmith said that in the “midst of malaise and crisis, we can forge an uplifting path.”

Swift has not yet endorsed Biden or his GOP opponent, former president Donald Trump, for the 2024 presidential nomination; however, the pop singer previously vocalized support for Biden, indicating in October 2020 that she would be voting blue. “The change we need most is to elect a president who recognizes that people of color deserve to feel safe and represented, that women deserve the right to choose what happens to their bodies, and that the LGBTQIA+ community deserves to be acknowledged and included,” Swift said at the time, speaking to V Magazine. “Everyone deserves a government that takes global health risks seriously and puts the lives of its people first. The only way we can begin to make things better is to choose leaders who are willing to face these issues and find ways to work through them.”

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On Super Tuesday of this year, Swift took to her Instagram stories to urge her hundreds of millions of followers to vote, though she did not mention endorse any campaign.

“Today, March 5, is the Presidential Primary in Tennessee and 16 other states and territories,” she wrote. "I wanted to remind you guys to vote the people who most represent YOU into power. If you haven’t already, make a plan to vote today. Whether you’re in Tennessee or somewhere else in the U.S., check your polling places and times at vote.org.”

Swift inadvertently found herself at the center of several baseless right-wing conspiracies this year after she began dating Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. A February poll published by Monmouth University indicated that almost 1 in 5 Americans believe that Swift is a "psyop" trying to control American political life through the National Football League (NFL) by participating in a federal plot to see Biden re-elected. 

By Gabriella Ferrigine

Gabriella Ferrigine is a staff writer at Salon. Originally from the Jersey Shore, she moved to New York City in 2016 to attend Columbia University, where she received her B.A. in English and M.A. in American Studies. Formerly a staff writer at NowThis News, she has an M.A. in Magazine Journalism from NYU and was previously a news fellow at Salon.

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