John Delaney's Campaign Staffers Are Reportedly Begging Him to Quit the Race

Photo: Mary Schwalm (AP)

John Delaney’s campaign for president isn’t looking... great, we’ll say. Axios reported this morning that Delaney’s senior staff “sat him down and told him to drop out” of the race by the middle of August, throwing in the towel on a costly campaign that Delaney has been running literally since 2017, something I had completely forgotten.

The campaign isn’t expecting he’ll qualify for the third round of debates in September, his polling sucks, and he’s hemorrhaging his own money. Delaney squeaked onto the stage for the upcoming July debate on CNN, but everyone, apparently including his senior staffers, figure he’s doomed in the next round, which has much higher barriers to entry. Some anonymous quotes, per Axios:

  • They thought he flopped at the first debate in Miami. “There was no real breakout moment, which is what everyone in leadership had been hoping for,” said one former staffer.
  • “Every other day he would have a different position,” whether on economic policies or racial issues. That’s a common refrain that came up in my conversations with these sources close to the campaign, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.
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Lol. Earlier this month Politico reported that the former Gov. John Hickenlooper campaign was “in shambles” for similar reasons, with his senior staff also telling him to throw in the towel. Turns out inspiring exactly nobody is not a winning strategy for president! Let’s check in one last time with how Delaney’s message of “no, you can’t have that” centrism is landing. Per the site:

  • And others, who made sure to tell me they “genuinely” like the guy, painted Delaney to be the most Republican-Democrat who’s just “not made for the moment.”

Weird. You mean people aren’t connecting with a guy who, for some reason, tried to debate an enormously popular member of Congress (who isn’t even running for president) and got shot down?

The Axios post has a few more weird tidbits, like staffers complaining that Delaney’s wife and other “outside forces” have had undue influence on his campaign. We’ll see Delaney—perhaps one last time—on the debate stage in Detroit on July 30, where he’ll get the chance to take shots at Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren’s Medicare for All plans and probably get booed again. 

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About the author

Jack Crosbie

Contributing Writer, Splinter