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DNC chair says she almost replaced Hillary Clinton with Biden as candidate after her collapse at 9/11 memorial

Donna Brazile, vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, answers questions on the floor on July 25, 2016, at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. (Michael Bryant/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

What Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile saw as Hillary Clinton’s lifeless campaign and 9/11 swoon nearly led her to replace Clinton with Joe Biden as their presidential candidate, according to Brazile in her new book.

Brazile, in her tell-all memoir of the contentious 2016 presidential race, reveals she pondered taking Clinton off the ballot after she collapsed while leaving a Ground Zero memorial service.

By then, the Clinton campaign was permeated by the “odor of failure,” according to Brazile, and Brazile thought the sitting vice president might energize the troops, according to The Washington Post.

“Again and again I thought about Joe Biden,” Brazile writes in the book. “(But) no matter my doubts and my fears about the election and Hillary as a candidate, I could not make good on my threat to replace her.”

Brazile, before scrapping the plan, envisioned New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker as Biden’s running mate on the revamped ticket.

The Post obtained an advance copy of the 288-page “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-Ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House.”

Brazile writes about what she perceived to be the lack of enthusiasm surrounding the Clinton campaign, whether on the streets of Latino neighborhoods or in the candidate’s Brooklyn headquarters.

“Calm and antiseptic, like a hospital,” Brazile said of the 10th-floor offices that housed Clinton’s senior staff. “It had that techno-hush, as if someone had died. I felt like I should whisper.

“Everybody’s fingers were on their keyboards, and no one was looking at anyone else. You half-expected to see someone in a lab coat walk by.”

Clinton’s collapse after the Sept. 11, 2016, lower Manhattan memorial ignited the talk of perhaps replacing the ex-secretary of State. Brazile said she heard from representatives of Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

But in the end, she couldn’t go through with it.

“I thought of Hillary, and all the women in the country who were so proud and excited about her,” Brazile writes. “I could not do this to them.”

Top officials from Sanders’ failed presidential campaign, responding to another charge in the book, said they were never told about a fund-raising deal between the DNC and the Clinton campaign.

“We had no addendum like this, no memorandum, no agreement like this,” according to Mark Longabaugh, chief liaison to the DNC for the Sanders campaign.

“They basically came to us and said, ‘Here’s the agreement, take it or leave it,’” Longabaugh told NBC News. “I had no idea there was this side memorandum with the Clinton campaign.”

Brazile wrote that the Aug. 2015 deal between the DNC and the Clinton campaign gave the front-running candidate control over financing, staff decisions and strategy.

“This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party’s integrity,” she wrote.


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