Politics As decision day nears, VP hopefuls rake in big money for Biden

As decision day nears, VP hopefuls rake in big money for Biden

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Sen. Kamala Harris — who headlined two fundraisers alongside Biden and appeared at a number of different occasions — has raised more than $5 million, in accordance to a source accustomed to the entire. And Sen. Tammy Duckworth has co-headlined three fundraisers with Joe and Jill Biden, and appeared at different occasions, bringing in more than $three million for the marketing campaign.

For the VP hopefuls and their donor backers, internet hosting occasions that generate eye-popping totals is “a flex,” or a means of displaying off their political muscle, said one Democrat affiliated with one of the thought of operating mate candidates. Another Democrat aligned with a totally different VP contender referred to as it a “measurable sign of enthusiasm behind certain people.”

Though Biden has said he’s wanting first and foremost for a governing associate with whom he’s “simpatico,” fundraising prowess is certainly a plus.

“They’re going to park the VP in a basement and have them do nothing but media interviews and Zoom fundraising calls. Maybe they’ll let them out for bathroom breaks,” said Pete Giangreco, a Democratic strategist who has labored on 9 presidential campaigns. “Raising money is going to continue to be a big deal, and if you’re looking for someone with a fundraising base, like Kamala Harris, or a real draw on a Zoom, like Tammy Duckworth, then they bring more assets to the table than someone who is a nontraditional pick.”

Notably, Susan Rice — a VP finalist who was nationwide safety adviser under President Barack Obama and has by no means run for workplace herself — hasn’t hosted any fundraisers for Biden. But she has headlined two fundraisers with out Biden present, in accordance to a source accustomed to the occasions.

Biden’s delayed decision on a operating mate isn’t slowing down the equipment to roll out the duo: The marketing campaign is making ready for a high-dollar occasion, billed as “Introducing our Running Mate.” Tickets vary from $500 to $250,000, in accordance to an invitation obtained by POLITICO. Those paying $100,000 or more will get a pre-event meet-and-greet. Details for the fundraiser “will be sent to all confirmed participants 24-48 hours prior to the event,” the invitation learn.

Fifteen of Biden’s fundraisers since March — or one of each 5 — have featured a person on Biden’s VP list, in accordance to presidential fundraising pool reports and interviews. The occasions have collected more than $20 million.

Last week, California Rep. Karen Bass headlined an occasion for Biden, elevating more than $2.2 million. A source accustomed to the occasion said it exceeded the preliminary fundraising goal by more than double. Gretchen Whitmer, in the meantime, has hosted two fundraisers with Joe and Jill Biden. The Michigan governor has drawn renewed consideration in recent days after she reportedly met with Biden for an in-person assembly, chartering a flight from Lansing, Mich., to Delaware.

Florida Rep. Val Demings, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms have all headlined one fundraiser alongside Joe or Jill Biden.

Raking in big money for the nominee shouldn’t be restricted to vice presidential candidates, of course. Pete Buttigieg, his onetime rival in the Democratic major who’s seen as a doubtless appointee in a Biden administration, has raised more than $6.7 million by way of occasions, emails and digital advertisements for the marketing campaign, in accordance to a source accustomed to the entire.

“They’re all trying to show off their fundraising abilities, and the advantage definitely goes to the more established candidates with broader bases,” said Doug Herman, a California-based Democratic guide. “These are all folks who are auditioning for a spot, and this is a box that needs to be checked and they all need to demonstrate they can do it.”

Biden has almost closed the fundraising hole with President Donald Trump. But after outraising the president two months in a row, Trump and the Republican National Committee topped Biden and the Democratic National Committee by almost $30 million in July.

The fundraisers held by VP hopefuls also provide a platform for donors to pitch their most well-liked No. 2 to the Biden marketing campaign.

Earlier this month, Gerald Acker, a Michigan-based lawyer who led a fundraiser with Whitmer, told Jill Biden that “when she gets off this Zoom tonight and goes to see the vice president for dinner, the name she ought to take to him for vice president is Gretchen Whitmer,” in accordance to the fundraisers’ pool report.

Florida state Sen. Annette Taddeo made a related pitch to the previous second woman in May on behalf of Demings. “Obviously, I’m trying to push for her, as a Floridian,” Taddeo said on a fundraising call. And before Sen. Amy Klobuchar took herself out of the operating for vice chairman, a donor told the Minnesota Democrat and Biden on a May 5 fundraising Zoom call that “you look really great together.”

“Do donors lobby for the person they want? Yes. If their person wins, they know the VP now,” said one Democratic donor. “They’re going to show up for them in force.”

The semi-public exchanges at fundraisers between Biden and potential vice presidential candidates are one of the few glimpses of the pair’s dynamic — one other side effect of the coronavirus pandemic. One moment that raised eyebrows got here when Biden told Harris on April 8: “I’m so lucky to have you as part of this, this partnership going forward, because I think … we can make a great deal of difference,” Biden said. “I’m coming for you, kid.”

Just last week, at a digital grass-roots fundraiser, Biden apologized for speaking too long in response to a query about dismantling systemic racism. Warren, Biden’s co-headliner for the occasion, interjected: “No! Don’t be sorry, I love everything you had to say.”

“It’s all through Zoom, and that makes it hard — I’m sure it makes the chemistry part of the decision harder,” said Taddeo, who was vetted and chosen as Charlie Crist’s operating mate throughout his unsuccessful 2014 Florida gubernatorial marketing campaign.

The Biden marketing campaign is also leaning on his numerous VP choices to increase money on-line, primarily by way of emailed solicitations. In late July, through the end-of-the-month fundraising push, Biden’s marketing campaign sent 4 emails signed by Rice, Duckworth, Harris and Warren.

Warren, together with her huge e mail list, has been notably useful on this front. Biden has sent 4 e mail solicitations to Warren’s own e mail list of supporters, as nicely as lending her name to more than a half-dozen emails to Biden’s list. An e mail saying her endorsement of Biden on April 15 broke Biden marketing campaign records on the time.

With days till his announcement, Biden’s marketing campaign is fundraising off the anticipation surrounding the selection. In an e mail last week, he told supporters they’re invited to a grassroots occasion. He said he’d be sending “the precise date, time and all the opposite details once they’re finalized, but I didn’t want to wait on providing you with the chance to reserve your spot at this historic occasion.”

Natasha Korecki contributed to this report.

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