Whatever the presidential primary calendar is in 2024, it absolutely will not be the one President Joe Biden dumped on the Democratic National Committee last Thursday night.

Yes, it was approved by the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC) the next day, and yes, it is all but certain to be passed by the entire DNC early next year. But the South Carolina – New Hampshire/Nevada – Georgia – Michigan scheme Biden foisted on his party is a political fantasy.

Instead, it is part of a White House political strategy: Protect Joe Biden from the Democratic primary voters of New Hampshire.

“Politics is a messy, uncomfortable business,” said former Granite State Congressman Paul Hodes (D). The president is no stranger to power politics. He’s clearly planning to run again.”

Or as veteran political reporter Dan Balz at The Washington Post put it, “Boss Biden has flexed his muscles as the leader of the party and the party has fallen in line.”

Except, it hasn’t.

Yes, the calendar is designed to give Biden the friendliest-possible kick-off for his 2024 re-election bid, with South Carolina and Georgia both early in the process, instead of progressive-friendly Iowa and New Hampshire. (Don’t believe their primary voters lean left? Ask Bernie Sanders.)

Democratic political strategist David Axelrod put it this way: “He’s created a firewall against any insurgency.”

The problem is the calendar firewall is largely a fiction. And not just because of New Hampshire’s First-In-The-Nation law.

For South Carolina to kick off the presidential primary season on Saturday, February 3, 2024, the state GOP’s executive committee would have to approve it, thus blowing up the IA-NH/NV-SC schedule it has already agreed to and pushing the other contests into January. That is extremely unlikely — as in “never going to happen.”

“It doesn’t matter what Democrats do with their schedule,” state GOP Chairman Drew McKissick told The Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier. “South Carolina is proudly First in the South for the Republican primary and we’re more than satisfied that it will stay that way. The RNC has already voted, and our schedule has already been set with no changes.”

And then there is Georgia which, like the Palmetto State, has a GOP trifecta in state government. Why would it break the Republican National Committee’s calendar to do Joe Biden a favor?

New Hampshire’s not going to play ball, either.

“New Hampshire will hold the first-in-the-nation primary, no matter what sanctions may be out there,” said Secretary of State David Scanlan.

So, what has Biden actually accomplished?

For one thing, he has killed Melanie Levesque’s candidacy for New Hampshire Secretary of State. Levesque has a long record as a political partisan. Until recently she listed herself as a “senior advisor” to the state Democratic Party. As such, she was always a longshot candidate given the GOP’s likely advantage on Organization Day this Wednesday.

But now that the DNC is trying to kill the First in the Nation primary, her Democratic support is at risk, too. “Who wants to put the party trying to end the primary in charge of running it?” is a powerful argument.

Another Biden accomplishment: Delivering a blow to state party chair Ray Buckley’s reputation. Buckley’s portrayed himself as an influential member of the DNC whose seniority is an asset to his party. Just hours before the vote, Buckley claimed he had “the commitment of a number of very influential members of the RBC,”

That “number” now appears to have been “one.” Only Iowa voted with New Hampshire and against the Biden calendar.

“Clearly, Ray Buckley and [state] Sen. Donna Soucy’s time is up,” an influential state Democratic operative told NHJournal. “They slunk home from the DNC early, with the FITN primary all but lost. Ray’s main extortion scheme is now dead (the voter file rip off). Any competent candidate for chair should be able to beat him now.”

And longtime political strategist Tom Rath believes Biden’s move will make the Granite State’s four Electoral College votes more competitive for the GOP in 2024.

“There is going to be a Republican [presidential] primary, and that’s where all the action is going to be, anyway,” Rath said. “And now the Republicans are going to be able to beat the crap out of Joe Biden with every penny in their media budget and make the primary a part of the campaign for the November election.

“It gives the Republicans running for president a common target to shoot at, and a way to reach out to independent voters and remind them what the Democrats have done. Sure, it was the national party, but it’s going to create a heavy lift for local Democrats.”

In fact, Rath says, the entire mess is one of Biden’s making, with no benefit for himself or his party.

“He could have come here and campaigned and he would have won big. It would have been a non-story. Instead, he’s given the back of his hand to people here in New Hampshire who’ve been very loyal to him.”

One of those New Hampshire Democrats is J. Michael Donovan of Hampton Beach. Political journalist Mark Halperin published an email from Donovan in his Saturday newsletter.

“If Joe Biden runs again in 2024 and has a primary challenger, he may as well just skip New Hampshire,” Donovan wrote. “He probably won’t need the NH delegates to win the nomination, but the general election will be tight, and I for one very committed Democrat feel so betrayed, that I will sit 2024, even at the risk of handing the Oval Office to Mike Pence, or someone only marginally less worse. I doubt that I am alone.

“I would have crawled to the polls on my hands and knees to keep the presidency and (the Supreme Court) out of Republican hands except for this stunt. But I agree with David Gergen, who recently admitted on CNN that, as he has aged, he realizes that he has “lost a step” and that he has seen the same signs in Joe Biden’s demeanor. At age 77, I know exactly what David Gergen is talking about, though I would have voted for Joe Biden anyway. But now, not again.”