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HomeNewsBiden, Obama, Clinton, Join Forces for Biden’s Re-election Fundraising Event

Biden, Obama, Clinton, Join Forces for Biden’s Re-election Fundraising Event

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A picture of Biden, Obama and Clinton
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President Biden participated in a star-studded fundraiser with former Democratic Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton in New York City. According to reports, the event is expected to raise more than $25 million for the president’s reelection campaign.

The New York City fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall was hosted by actress Mindy Kaling and featured performances by several musical guests and artists. Artists who performed include Queen Latifah, Lizzo, Ben Platt, Cynthia Erivo, and Lea Michele.

They capped off the event with a nearly hour-long discussion between Biden, Obama, and Clinton moderated by “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert. The mood at Radio City Music Hall was electric as Obama praised Biden’s willingness to look for common ground. He said, “That’s the kind of president I want.”

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Clinton said simply of voters’ choices in 2024, “Stay with what works.” Biden himself went straight at Donald Trump, saying his expected GOP rival’s ideas were “a little old and out of shape.”

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The Democratic Show of Support 

In an armchair conversation with the trio, Host Stephen Colbert called them “champion talkers.” Also, Colbert took a dig at Trump’s many legal woes. He joked that the three presidents had come to town, “and not one of them is here to appear in court.”

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The eye-popping fundraising haul was a major show of Democratic support for Biden at a time of persistently low poll numbers. The president will test the power of his campaign cash as he faces off with Trump.

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Obama and Clinton’s Statement 

During the nearly hour-long conversation, Obama and Clinton explained how hard Biden’s job is. They spoke of loneliness and frustration over policies that work but aren’t immediately felt by the public. They gave an insider’s view of the office as they sought to explain why Biden was best for the job.

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“It is a lonely seat,” said Obama, who had hitched a ride to New York on Air Force One with Biden. The talk was humorous and serious, ending with all three donning sunglasses in the mostly dark music hall, a nod to the trademark Ray-Ban sunglasses that Biden often wears. 

The Reelection Bid Brought About Democratic Leadership 

The sold-out Radio City Music Hall event was a gilded exclamation mark on Biden’s recent burst of campaign travel. In the three weeks since his State of the Union address served as a rallying cry for his reelection bid, he has visited several political battlegrounds. The event also brought together more than three decades of Democratic leadership.

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The music hall’s marquee advertised the big-dollar night as “An Evening with Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.” NYPD officers lined surrounding streets as part of a heavy security presence.

What Was the Protester’s Reaction to the Fundraising?

Protesters angry at Biden’s handling of the war in Gaza and strong support of Israel briefly disrupted the show. Notably, they drew a pledge from Biden to keep working to stop civilian deaths, particularly of children. Though he added, “Israel’s existence is at stake.” 

Hundreds more protested outside in the drizzling rain, many demanding a cease-fire and waving Palestinian flags. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., first warmed up the crowd of about 5,000 supporters.

Entertainers, too, lined up to make the case for Biden. Lizzo belted out her hit “About Damn Time,” and emcee Mindy Kaling joked that it was nice to be in a room with “so many rich people.” She also joked about loving that they supported a president who openly promised to “raise your taxes.”

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Obama’s Choice at the Bid

Obama laid out the choice for the audience, saying, “At the end of the day, you do have to choose who sees you and cares about you. I’m pretty confident the other guy doesn’t.”

A picture of Joe Biden
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At one point, Colbert said he suspected some Americans had forgotten some of the more concerning aspects of Trump’s presidency, including January 6, 2021, when a mob of Trump supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol in a failed effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. 

Biden said concerns over the riot reverberated outside the U.S., with foreign leaders questioning the stability of the U.S. democracy. That democracy is still fragile, he said.

Lastly, the fundraiser had different access tiers depending on a donor’s generosity. Other participating celebrities included Queen Latifah, Ben Platt, Cynthia Erivo, and Lea Michele—tickets sold for as low as $225.

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