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Politics

Biden Is Spending Most of the Week Raising Money at Events with James Taylor and Steven Spielberg

December 5, 2023

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is making a big push to raise money for his reelection effort before the end of the year, appearing at seven events through next Monday — with more to come.

Biden was traveling to Massachusetts on Tuesday to schmooze with donors at a trio of Boston fundraisers to benefit his campaign and the broader Democratic Party, including an event in the city’s theater district featuring a concert by singer-songwriter and guitarist James Taylor.

Later this week, the Democrat will touch down on the West Coast on Friday for his first Los Angeles fundraisers since the end of the strikes by actors and screenwriters, featuring film director Steven Spielberg and “Scandal” showrunner Shonda Rhimes, among other celebrities.

Biden will also attend a fundraiser Wednesday near the White House and another one on Monday in Philadelphia.

“This next election is going to be different,” the president said last week at a money event in Denver, where he sought to draw contrasts with former President Donald Trump, expected to be Biden’s Republican opponent. “Not because I’m running, because of the nature of what’s at stake.”

The burst of fundraising comes as the holiday season sets in and as candidates make their final pushes to raise needed cash before the quarter ends on Dec. 31.

Biden is also headlining fundraisers in Washington, D.C., and in Maryland later in December.

November was the campaign’s strongest grassroots fundraising month since Biden formally announced last April that he was seeking a second term, according to a campaign official who requested anonymity to discuss campaign finances before details are made public. The numbers will be released in January.

In October, Biden and the Democratic National Committee reported raising more than $71 million for his reelection in the three months ending Sept. 30, a sign that donors remained behind him going into the 2024 presidential race.

One of the Boston events, titled “You’ve Got a Friend in Joe,” is billed as an “evening concert” with Taylor and Biden. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the red-white-and-blue invitation.

Taylor, the winner of six Grammy Awards, helped kick off a White House event in 2022 celebrating the Inflation Reduction Act, a climate and health care bill that Biden signed into law.

On Friday, Biden will head to Los Angeles for a big-dollar event that will be his first since strikes by writers and actors effectively ground his fundraising to a halt in the heart of the entertainment industry, which has long served as a major source of campaign money for Democrats.

The event is slated to be at the home of Michael Smith, a celebrity interior designer who decorated the White House for President Barack Obama, and Smith’s partner, James Costos, a former HBO executive who was Obama’s ambassador to Spain. It is expected to raise millions of dollars and draw a crowd of celebrities. Rocker Lenny Kravitz is slated to perform.

Spielberg and his wife, Kate Capshaw, who starred in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” are among the hosts of the event, as are recording industry mogul David Geffen, Rhimes and “This is Spinal Tap” director Rob Reiner, according to an invitation obtained by the AP.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is also a co-host. Barbra Streisand is set to attend.

As of the last fundraising reporting deadline at the end of September, Biden and his party reported $91 million cash on hand. He is helped by the fact that as the party’s leader he has entered into a joint fundraising agreement with the Democratic National Committee, as well as state parties, which enables him to receive a check from a single donor that is in the range of $1 million.

 

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