Biden Challenger Dean Phillips Signals He Might Not Leave the Race Quietly

Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) during a Democratic Candidate debate at the New England College Convention in Manchester, New Hampshire on Dec. 8.CJ Gunther/Zuma

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.Dean Phillips may not go quietly into the night after the expected fizzle of his longshot primary challenge to President Joe Biden  The Minnesota Democratic Rep. told the New York Times Saturday that he would mull running on the ticket of No Labels, the third party organization loathed by liberals that is considering mounting a presidential bid.  
Phillips said that he might join No Labels if Biden and Trump were set for rematch—as it appears they currently are—and if polls showed that “Biden is almost certain to lose.” Currently general elections polls suggest a dead heat.
No Labels has courted self-styled centrist figures like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and former Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland to lead its potential ticket. The dark money group denies that its possible entrance into the presidential race would drag down Biden more than Trump, but it has received funding from longtime GOP donors, Mother Jones has revealed, and reportedly also received support from Harlan Crow, the eccentric consevative donor whose lavish gifts to  Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas have ignited scrutiny of high court corruption.
Phillips, who told the Times that he is in touch with Nancy Jacobson, No Labels’ chief executive, insisted that he would only join No Labels in an effort to stop Trump. “If they put someone at the top of the ticket who could actually drive votes from Donald Trump, every Democrat in the United States of America should be celebrating it,’ Phillips said. “They haven’t made that determination.”
Phillips, meanwhile, lost an unusual supporter on Saturday. The artificial intelligence company OpenAI banned the account of the company that build “Dean.Bot,” which mimicked Phillips and was intended to converse with voters on his website. The company took down the bot after the suspension. The ban followed reporting by the Washington Post pointing out that OpenAI’s rules bar using its technology in political campaigns. The late bot was paid for by a superPAC backing Phillips which has received $1 million from hedge fund investor Bill Ackman, the seemingly ubiquitous critic of lefty campus activists and diversity initiatives who gained notice recently for pushing successfully for the ouster of Harvard President Claudine Gay over plagiarism charges. Ackman has recently been busy penning extremely long tweets defending his wife, former MIT professor Neri Oxman, against similar allegations.