George Clooney Speaks Out About Joe Biden Campaign

George Clooney Speaks Out About Joe Biden Campaign

President Joe Biden’s campaign is gearing up for a significant fundraiser in Los Angeles next month, featuring former President Barack Obama and Hollywood icons George Clooney and Julia Roberts. This high-profile event aims to bolster Biden’s fundraising efforts as Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee work to close the financial gap, now that Trump has secured the delegates needed for the nomination.

The mid-June event will include a contest with Clooney and Roberts, promoted across the campaign’s social media platforms to engage grassroots donors. The two Academy Award winners will also lend their names to campaign emails and text messages to attract more contributions. This strategy mirrors the successful fundraiser Biden held with Obama and former President Bill Clinton in New York City in late March, which raised $26 million—a Democratic fundraising record for a single event.

Biden is also expected to hold a fundraiser with Bill and Hillary Clinton on the East Coast early this summer. For months, Biden’s campaign has enjoyed a cash advantage over Trump, allowing it to build infrastructure in battleground states and hire staff. A Biden campaign adviser acknowledged that Trump might narrow the financial gap but emphasized that the time and resources already invested by Biden’s campaign are irreplaceable.

Biden recently concluded a West Coast fundraising tour through Northern California and the Seattle area, raising $10 million in two days. The campaign is preparing for new campaign finance filings that may show Trump’s campaign gaining ground financially. As of the end of March, Biden’s campaign had $85.5 million in cash on hand after raising $43.8 million that month, nearly tripling Trump’s haul during the same period. When combined with the Democratic National Committee, Biden’s financial position is almost double that of Trump and the Republican National Committee—$131 million versus $67 million.

The Biden campaign’s strong March fundraising was boosted by the three-presidents fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall. However, Trump quickly responded with his own high-dollar event in Palm Beach, Florida, raising $50.5 million. The Republican National Committee, along with the Trump campaign, expects to report raising a combined $76 million in April. The Biden campaign plans to release its April fundraising figures closer to the May 20 deadline.

Biden campaign communications director Michael Tyler emphasized that the campaign has been leveraging its cash advantage to build a significant re-election effort on the ground and boost its message across battleground state airwaves. Biden has seen significant spikes in small-dollar donations around major events, such as Trump’s victories in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries, as well as the State of the Union address in March. However, April was largely dominated by Trump’s court cases, while Biden focused on battleground-state visits to discuss the economy, abortion rights, and student debt.

In April, Biden attended only two high-dollar fundraisers in Chicago and the New York area. A New York-based Biden campaign donor noted that the number of events featuring Biden and other surrogates had decreased after the event with Obama and Clinton, but expects the pace to pick up again this summer. Obama has been a key part of Biden’s fundraising efforts, with digital ads featuring Obama and Biden pitching viewers to make small-dollar donations. Small-dollar solicitations from Obama have helped generate more than $17 million for Biden’s campaign.

The Biden and Obama teams continue to discuss the scope of Obama’s engagement, including a recent in-person meeting between Obama and Biden senior adviser Mike Donilon. Obama is also expected to do fundraisers for the Democrats’ Senate and House campaign committees, as well as the National Democratic Redistricting Committee.

Celebrities are increasingly lending their star power to Biden’s campaign, hoping to energize their fans to vote for him in November and entice donors to contribute to his re-election effort. On Saturday, George Clooney and Julia Roberts will team up with Obama at a Biden fundraiser in Los Angeles, where they will be interviewed by late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. Roberts and Kimmel have already begun soliciting donations via text for Biden.

Director Steven Spielberg is involved in storytelling efforts for the Democratic National Convention in August. Other celebrities who have supported Biden’s campaign include Lenny Kravitz, Barbra Streisand, James Taylor, Connie Britton, Carole King, Shonda Rhimes, Christina Aguilera, Queen Latifah, and Mark Hamill.

Lexi Underwood, an actress from the streaming series “Little Fires Everywhere,” has participated in virtual “Students for Biden” events and campaign events focused on women’s health issues. Underwood emphasized the importance of using her influence responsibly to inform and motivate people to vote.

Biden’s campaign focuses on finding authentic and trusted messengers to promote the president’s policy achievements and raise awareness about GOP “extremism.” The campaign has produced ads featuring everyday supporters, such as a Pennsylvania union worker, a Black entrepreneur in Detroit, and women affected by strict abortion limits in Texas.

During the pandemic-era campaign of 2020, Biden’s campaign featured celebrities in virtual events, showing the importance of staying flexible so that stars can present themselves authentically. Adrienne Elrod, Biden’s 2020 director of surrogate strategy and operations, noted that famous Biden supporters often come forward with their own ideas on how to help the campaign.

Robert De Niro has taken on an increasingly prominent role in Biden’s campaign, attending fundraisers and narrating a campaign ad accusing Trump of having “snapped” after losing the 2020 election. Trump’s campaign spokesperson, Karoline Leavitt, criticized Biden’s celebrity supporters, claiming that Trump speaks for the “forgotten men and women” of the country.

Despite the involvement of celebrities, the Biden campaign aims to cultivate the image of someone in tune with ordinary people. During a campaign swing through Saginaw, Michigan, Biden visited a public golf course and met with community activist Coleman Hurley III and his son. Hurley emphasized the importance of Biden relating to ordinary Americans and understanding their struggles.

Source: NBC News, Associated Press

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