When philosopher, activist, and social critic Dr. Cornel West announced on June 5 he was going to run for president in the 2024 election, many wondered how his third-party candidacy would affect the Democrats. It turns out his run has some Dems shaken.
Initially, the former Democrat and former Harvard professor was going to be a candidate for the People’s Party but just weeks later jumped to the Green Party.
“I enter for the quest for truth. I enter for the quest of justice. And the presidency is just one vehicle we pursue that truth and justice,” the former Harvard University professor said following his first announcement.
As the campaigns start to get into high gear, some prominent supporters of President Joe Biden’s re-election bid are worried that West will lure away a significant number of Democrats, The Hill reported.
“This is not the time in order to experiment. This is not the time to play around on the margins,” warned DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison, a close Biden confidant, about West’s campaign.
When Hillary Clinton lost to former President Donald Trump in 2016, many Dems blamed Green Party nominee Jill Stein as one of the reasons for the loss. The party doesn’t want a repeat of this.
“In 2016, the Green Party played an outsized role in tipping the election to Donald Trump,” wrote David Axelrod, who served as former President Obama’s chief strategist, on Twitter recently. “Now, with Cornel West as their likely nominee, they could easily do it again. Risky business.”
“In 2016, it was clear to me and other organizers that a significant number of voters were unwilling to vote for Hillary Clinton because of her record supporting disastrous wars and were willing to vote Green Party as a protest vote, under the assumption Clinton would win anyway,” Alexander McCoy, a progressive operative and organizer, told The Hill.
Democratic officials and strategists have publicly expressed reservations about former Harvard University professor Cornel West’s 2024 presidential bid.
“This is not the time in order to experiment. This is not the time to play around on the margins,” warned Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison, a close ally of President Joe Biden, over the weekend, according to reports.
After Hillary Clinton was defeated by former President Donald Trump in the 2016 campaign, some Democrats claimed that Green Party nominee Jill Stein caused Mrs. Clinton to lose the presidency. Mrs. Stein drew about 460,000 votes, or about 1 percent of the popular vote, during that election.
West is centering his progressive platform around left-wing proposals, which, says some observers, could attract younger voters and Black voters away from Biden.
West, who passionately supported democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders in his presidential bids in 2016 and 2020, is also likely to have some hard words on the campaign trail for Dems. He was a hard critic of former President Barack Obama, calling Obama a “war criminal.”
West has already set himself apart from the Democrats. On his website, he stressed he wants to end wars, disband NATO, forgive all student debt, expand Social Security, and invest in green energy, The Epoch Times reported.
Cornel West speaks at a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., at the Whittemore Center Arena at the University of New Hampshire, Feb. 10, 2020, in Durham, N.H. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)