WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s campaign is trying to hold a first-of-its-kind fundraiser that officials hope will be lucrative and headline-grabbing, while also energizing for Democratic voters. they did not show enthusiasm According to four people familiar with planning for the party’s 2024 ticket.
The idea is for the three Democratic presidents — Biden, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama — to appear together at a fundraiser this spring, according to four people familiar with the discussions.
Discussions are underway to coordinate the presidents’ schedules, but no date has been set, the people said. The fundraising is likely to take place in March or April, two sources familiar with the discussions said.
The plan underscores a belief among Biden’s allies that the party needs a comprehensive approach to help him win a second term. It’s also just one of a growing list of ways Democratic leaders and the Biden campaign are gearing up for a general election they think has the highest stakes.
The Biden campaign did not respond to requests for comment. Spokesmen for Clinton and Obama declined to comment.
In recent days, the Biden campaign has moved into general election mode — sooner than the president’s aides expected. Their long-held expectation was that former President Donald Trump would be Biden’s challenger after the Republican primary process ends this fall. But that moment came this week, Biden aides said later Trump’s victory in New Hampshirewho followed him He won in Iowa.
As a result, the campaign is ramping up recruitment, particularly in battleground states, and focusing on voters whose support it believes will decide the November election. For example, Biden has tailored recent events, including Saturday’s in South Carolina, to black voters. Vice President Kamala Harris kicked off a series of small events with Latino voters in Nevada on Saturday.
The president’s travel schedule — already ramping up — will accelerate so that he is in the country at least two days a week, Biden officials said.
“It’s going to be very aggressive,” one White House official said.
The Biden campaign is also set to launch a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign aimed at contrasting Trump, according to two people familiar with the plans. One of the sources said Biden could make his debut around the State of the Union address, which is scheduled for early March.
A previous general election campaign also requires additional campaign money.
A fundraiser with Biden, Clinton and Obama sharing a stage was intended to raise a significant amount of money, two people familiar with the discussions said. The expectation is that the event will bring in donations both large and small.
But the Biden campaign is also hoping the trio of presidents will help mobilize the party’s base.
“There’s a real focus and urgency to make sure we defeat Trump,” the Biden adviser said. “Everybody’s in. The initial run of this kind of event is just the latest demonstration of that.”
A person familiar with the discussions said that if the campaign’s charity event is considered successful, a second one could be organized at the end of the year.
What Democrats see as the party’s show of strength may be viewed differently by some voters who helped Biden win in 2020, such as moderate Republicans. Clinton and Obama have been lightning rods for the GOP, and Clinton has faced criticism from some Democrats in recent years over sexual assault allegations against her in the 1990s.
However, both Clinton and Obama remain popular among Democrats. And they are more popular Democratic leaders than Biden, even though former presidents tend to be more liked by Americans in general than the current one.
One potential warning sign for Biden is his low approval rating in the third year of his presidency as he campaigns for re-election. down At the same point in Obama’s and Clinton’s presidencies. The numbers underscore the challenge Biden faces with voters this November.
Meanwhile, aides to the president say key economic indicators are showing promising signs of recent improvement that they believe will benefit the president in the coming months and help turn his approval ratings around. To try to capitalize on that momentum, the White House has expanded how Biden delivers his economic message, pushing him to engage with Americans on specific issues, including student loan debt and small businesses.
“We mixed things up so the president could talk to people there privately,” a White House official said.