Joe Biden isn't going anywhere. Why are pundits still calling for a new Democratic nominee?

Speculation about President Biden stepping aside has reached a ridiculous fever pitch. Forget it: It’s Biden vs. Trump.

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Wearing suits but no ties, President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama stand together onstage during a campaign fundraiser.

President Joe Biden (left) stands with former President Barack Obama onstage during a campaign fundraiser at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Mandel Ngan/Getty

The presidential election is less than five months away, and the Democratic National Convention that will officially nominate sitting President Joe Biden is exactly two months away.

You’d think by now, and with these events fast-approaching, we’d have finally moved through the stages of grief to acceptance that Joe Biden, for all his flaws and weaknesses, is the Democratic candidate.

But it seems some are still stuck in denial and bargaining, and they’re offering up speculative, baseless and, in some cases, delusional hypotheticals to soothe their anxious minds.

Talk of replacing Biden with someone like Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer or California Gov. Gavin Newsom started way back in 2022, perhaps a reflection not of Biden’s unpopular policies but of his advancing age and missteps.

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As time to decide approached, a never-ending swirl of speculation and stories about whether he would run again — and whether he should run again — became a regular distraction for the Biden administration, with reporters stopping Democratic members on Capitol Hill to ask if Biden was fit for reelection. Enough hedged, wavered, or flat-out said no to be worrisome.

But the time to turn worry into action was then, years ago, when Democrats could have given voters time to get acclimated to the idea that there would be a new nominee.

As we all know, in April 2023 Biden formally announced he was running for reelection. For better or worse, that should have ended all hypothesizing about a Biden replacement.

Instead, the speculation has continued to stalk the Biden campaign, and it’s finally reached a ridiculous fever pitch.

Here’s Business Insider earlier this month with “7 Democrats Who Could Replace Biden if He Drops His Reelection Bid.”

And pollster Nate Silver, founder of FiveThirtyEight: “Biden just hit a new all-time low in approval (37.4%) at 538 yesterday. Dropping out would be a big risk. But there’s some threshold below which continuing to run is a bigger risk. Are we there yet? I don’t know. But it’s more than fair to ask.”

If you say so.

New York Times columnist Bret Stephens wrote a column last week titled, “The Most Courageous Thing That Joe Biden Can Do.” One guess as to what Mr. Stephens has in mind.

Fox News personality Tomi Lahren believes that the Democrats will go ahead and replace Biden.

Reporters at the Daily Mail wrote of a “Democrat plot” to replace Biden, citing a Democratic strategist who said, “The only people who could force him out would be Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.”

Here’s Newsmax host Greta Van Susteren, sounding less like a journalist and more like someone you’d call at the psychic friends network:

“I admit, I am the only one who thinks this … and I have been saying this for 2 years … but my wild guess is that Hillary Clinton will be top of the Dem ticket.”

Fever dream: Clinton instead of Harris for vice president

The speculation isn’t limited to Biden, either.

Last week, Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker was entertaining an absolutely wild, somewhat offensive, and utterly pointless fever dream: Replace Vice President Kamala Harris with Hillary Clinton.

No one has mentioned her as a possible running mate for Biden far as I know, but why not replace Harris with Clinton? At 76, she might want no part of it, but it’s hard to retire when you feel your job isn’t done.

Maybe no one’s mentioned it because it’s an insane thought. For one, Clinton lost her presidential bid — twice. She’s a deeply divisive figure in American politics, and that’s without throwing in her husband’s baggage.

She’s also insisted she’ll never run for president again.

For another, Harris isn’t the one needing replacing — Biden is. If you’re going to keep him on the ticket and replace the younger veep with a 76-year-old woman, what’s the point?

And finally, I can think of few things more offensive and obtuse than the suggestion of replacing the woman of color on the ticket with a white woman, just as Dems are trying to shore up the Black vote.

But fever dreams can be fun. They can also be delusional and distracting.

Biden is the candidate. If Democrats wanted someone else they should have insisted on it two years ago. Replacing him at this juncture would be disastrous, an explicit admission that they were wrong all along and their judgment can’t be trusted, and a tacit admission that his policies are deeply unpopular and problematic. They can’t afford that.

So get over it, it’s Biden vs. Trump. We’ll have to wait until 2028 to do a better job of selecting candidates, if we care to.

S.E. Cupp is the host of “S.E. Cupp Unfiltered” on CNN.

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