President Biden Has a New Democratic Primary Challenger: Meet MN Rep. Dean Phillips

“I think President Biden has done a spectacular job for our country, but it’s not about the past. This is an election about the future. I will not sit still, I will not be quiet in the face of numbers that are so clearly saying that we’re going to be facing an emergency next November.”

Dean Phillips — liquor heir, gelato prince, step-grandson of the advice columnist Dear Abby, and Democratic congressman from Minnesota — is challenging Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination for president. Phillips filed his paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday night.

Phillips is expected to formally announce his campaign Friday in Concord, where he’ll file to run in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary. He launched the first ad of his campaign Friday morning, a 60-second spot in the Granite State that shared some biographical information about him and did not mention Biden by name.

The three-term congressman, who recently left his House Democratic leadership position in the face of intraparty frustration over his calls for a Biden alternative, has argued that the president would be a weak general election candidate due to his age and low approval ratings. Still, Phillips’ campaign launch comes as Democrats are seeking to unify around Biden, fend off spoiler independent candidates and lay out the administration’s accomplishments to voters. Biden allies have described talk of Phillips running as a distraction that would only serve to highlight the president’s weak points.

Although he stands a snow ball’s chance in hell of securing the Democratic nomination, he has a good shot of winning the Democratic primary in New Hampshire — because Biden will not appear on the ballot.

The Democratic National Committee stripped New Hampshire of its delegates for its refusal to abide by the party’s order to move its primary later in the year. (New Hampshire officials say their hands are tied by state law.) Biden, who led an effort to move South Carolina (his first victory in 2020) to the front of the Democratic primary calendar, opted out of the contest. It’s the first time that a sitting president will not appear on the ballot in New Hampshire.

And…he will have some help with his campaign. Remember Steve Schmidt “probably best known as the campaign manager who advised John McCain to select Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008?” The same Schmidt who has the coolest kitchen on this planet, appeared on MSNBC, and also a co-founder, with other disaffected Republicans, of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project? Yeah, that guy will be lending a hand to help Dean Phillips go nowhere.

This is Dean Phillips just a few months ago:

Phillip’s ‘Scampaign:’

Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson, the former consultant to George H.W. Bush. Wilson has called Phillips a “suicide bomber” who has been pushed by “a couple of consultants of extraordinary venality” into announcing this “scampaign.” (Wilson, it should be noted, was also a former consultant to Evan McMullin, who launched a longshot third-party bid in 2016.)

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