May 27, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Bill and Hillary Clinton to headline Virginia fundraiser for Biden

Bill Clinton and Joe Biden stand together at the Kenyan state dinner at the White House

Former US President Bill Clinton, left, and US President Joe Biden during a state dinner in honor of Kenya's president William Ruto on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, May 23, 2024. Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden and former President Clinton will team up for a mega fundraiser inside the Beltway in late June, hosted by former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The event will be the third iteration of a successful fundraising formula that includes an evening with two (or three) Democratic presidents for the price of one.

  • Scheduled for June 18, it follows the "three president" extravaganza in New York in April and a planned event with Biden, Clinton and former President Obama in mid-June in Los Angeles, hosted by George Clooney. The New York event brought in $26 million for Biden's re-election effort.
  • In addition to Biden and Clinton, First Lady Jill Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will also attend, according to people familiar with the matter.
  • McAuliffe, a former DNC chairman and longtime confidant of both presidents, will host the fundraiser at his home in McLean, Virginia.

Organizers are planning a two-tiered event, with a reception, followed by a more exclusive — and expensive — dinner to hoover up big-dollar contributions in the D.C. area.

  • Clinton and Obama both attended the state dinner for Kenyan President William Ruto last week, giving donors and potential donor a chance to catch all three presidents in one evening at the White House.

Zoom out: With Trump tied down in court, and Biden maintaining an ambitious fundraising schedule, the president's re-election campaign has amassed a cash advantage over Trump for the first part of the year.

  • April was the first month where Trump outraised Biden. Trump campaign and affiliated committees brought in some $76 million, compared to Biden and the Democratic National Committee's $51 million.
  • The Biden campaign and its various committees ended the month with $192 million cash-on-hand, which it said was more than any Democratic candidate in history at this point in the cycle.

Between the lines: Biden's campaign has been spending heavily on television ads, trying to persuade voters that the economy is booming, and targeting the African American and Hispanic voters who are crucial to his coalition.

  • In May, the campaign launched a $14 million advertising onslaught, including an ad narrated by Robert De Niro, which calls Trump, "baby-in-chief."

Zoom in: Ahead of the first presidential debate, scheduled to take place in Atlanta on June 27th on CNN, Biden has a jammed-packed month.

  • He'll attend the 80th anniversary of D-Day invasion in France on June 6, and then is expected to attend a G7 summit the following week in Italy, before flying to L.A for the Clooney fundraiser.
  • Next is the D.C.-area fundraiser.

The other side: Republicans received a major boost when Stephen A. Schwarzman — chairman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone, the private equity and real estate giant — announced that will support Trump as a "vote for change."

  • Schwarzman, a long-time Republican centrist and generous donor, pointedly did not back Trump in the GOP primary.
  • The billionaire's decision to contribute to Trump, as well as various Republican Senate candidates, will have ripple effects across the GOP, as Schwarzman is signaling that it's acceptable to support Trump.
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