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By Sarah May on
 March 29, 2024

Obama, Clinton presence at $25M Biden event seen by some as sign of trouble for campaign

Democrats on Thursday were basking in what they described as a “historic” fundraising haul orchestrated on behalf of President Joe Biden, but the New York City event responsible for the staggering financial influx is, in the eyes of some observers, a sign of trouble for his re-election campaign.

Biden's reliance on big names such as former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton as well as celebrities such as Stephen Colbert, Queen Latifah, and Lizzo to help boost his campaign coffers suggests to many the truth of rumors that the commander-in-chief is unable to muster much donor enthusiasm on his own, due in part to his advancing age, as Fox News reports.

Star-studded event makes headlines

As NBC News explains, Biden's re-election coffers received a staggering injection of $25 million thanks to this week's blockbuster event at Radio City Music Hall.

The guest list was a veritable who's who of political and entertainment industry notables, with tickets that included a photo opportunity with Biden, Obama, and Clinton commanding $100,000 apiece.

While supporters of the president pointed to the fundraising success as a phenomenon indicative of a surging campaign, others characterized the evening as something altogether different.

Skepticism abounds

Though there is no denying the importance of Thursday's influx of liquidity to any political campaign, Republican megadonor Hal Lambert opined during an appearance on Fox News' Your World that things for Biden may not be nearly as rosy as some believe.

The well-known founder of Point Bridge Capital claimed that it was not any particular enthusiasm for Biden himself that drove ticket sales to the event, but rather the presence of marquee names such as Obama, Clinton, and more.

“Having the celebrities there and having the former presidents there says a lot about Biden's effort to be able to raise money on his own,” said Lambert.

He went on, “I don't think he would come close to that number of $25 million had he not had all the celebrities and not the former presidents there.”

Lambert indicated his suspicion that without the big names joining him on stage, Biden would have struggled not just to entertain, but also to communicate effectively with the audience, given his advanced age and seeming cognitive limitations.

Challenges, uncertainties ahead

Despite the clear success of Thursday's extravaganza in terms of raising funds for Biden's campaign, some unmistakable challenges lie ahead, particularly with regard to former President Donald Trump's own ability to generate financial support.

As ABC News reports, Trump, in a joint effort with the Republican Party, is poised to host a Palm Beach fundraiser next week that is slated to bring in upwards of $33 million, surpassing Biden's Thursday tally.

Billionaire John Paulson, who is spearheading the event, told the outlet, “The response to our fundraising efforts has been overwhelming,” and he added that there is “massive support amongst a broad spectrum of donors....”

Though Biden's support from the Hollywood contingent appears solid at the moment, as evidenced by this week's NYC spectacle, increasing pressure from celebrities for him to push for a ceasefire in Gaza may put the president in a rather more precarious position as time goes on, perhaps making the funding race between the incumbent and Trump all the more competitive as November nears.

Written By:
Sarah May

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