Biden's Early Financial Footing: A Look at His Recent Fundraising Blitz
30 Jun 2023 9:16 AM GMT
Joe Biden Fundraising Keywords: Joe Biden,...
Joe Biden Fundraising Keywords: Joe Biden, Fundraising, Democratic Party, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Small-Dollar Donors, 2024 White House Contest Joe Biden Fundraising Keywords: Joe Biden, Fundraising, Democratic Party, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Small-Dollar Donors, 2024 White House Contest Joe Biden President Joe Biden has been busy wooing high-dollar donors in recent weeks - from Upper East Side penthouses in New York to West Coast decks. He is set to wrap up the quarter with two more fundraisers in Manhattan on Thursday, aiming to put him in good financial standing for a 2024 White House contest that is expected to set spending records. Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Jill Biden, and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff have followed suit, holding a total of 10 fundraising receptions in the past two weeks. The Biden campaign has remained tight-lipped about the amount raised at the events, although they are confident the amount is considerable. The Democratic Party has also been called upon to join Biden's fundraising efforts, from former President Barack Obama to governors Gavin Newsom of California and J.B. Pritzker of Illinois. Obama has even appeared in a new campaign video encouraging small-dollar online donations before the July 15 deadline. According to Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Hollywood mogul, major Democratic donor and co-chair of the Biden campaign, the president's party is solidly behind him. Katzenberg noted that Biden's first, second and third job is running the country, and thus the campaign was required to make the most of their limited window of opportunity before the traditionally slow summer season. However, they are not in a rush to raise or spend vast sums, as Biden currently lacks a credible challenger in the primary and the election is 16 months away. That said, the Biden campaign is aiming to make a statement with their early fundraising totals. Katzenberg shared that there are “very optimistic signals” for Biden's ability to exceed his 2020 fundraising levels, including a significant number of first-time Biden donors. Meanwhile, Biden's aides are trying to motivate donors to dig deeper. The president's fundraising events are closed to cameras and feature a far less guarded Biden than the public usually sees. He usually starts behind a lectern but often shifts to using his preferred handheld microphone, which allows him to roam the room and speak more personally with guests. He often makes a personal nod to the hosts, and his remarks are full of anecdotes about his lengthy time in public office, peppered with references to issues such as tougher gun restrictions and abortion rights that animate Democrats. In more intimate settings, Biden can open up, as evidenced when he made a rare reference to his personal views on abortion while speaking about the issue at a fundraiser in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Biden often does not shy away from criticizing Republican candidates at these events, from Donald Trump on down, and recently caused a diplomatic dust-up after calling Chinese President Xi Jinping a “dictator”. The fundraisers have also been a reminder of the inequality between the wealthy and average U.S. worker. Last week in the San Francisco area, Biden attended events near homes whose Zillow price listings were about four times higher than an average U.S. worker’s lifetime earnings. Despite polls showing lagging enthusiasm among the Democratic base for the 80-year-old president, Biden's allies insist that his party is solidly behind him and he is on track to exceed his 2020 fundraising levels. Aides also make it a point not to engage with prospective 2024 opponents. Biden's campaign will not share the total amount raised from any individual event, but the figures will be shared when the campaign submits its filing to the Federal Election Commission in July.