2.1 C
London
Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Biden steps up his courtship of top donors ahead of the 2024 presidential election

Must read

RCap Resolution: NCLAT issues notices to Torrent Investments and others at the lender’s plea

The appeals court has ordered the petition to be listed on February 9, 2023 and says the appeal will be heard and decided by...

A single ticket in Washington State wins the $754.6 million jackpot

The lucky owner of a single Powerball ticket in Washington state has won a jackpot worth $754.6 million after matching all six numbers drawn...

WhatsApp allows users to post voice notes as status updates • londonbusinessblog.com

WhatsApp Status, the feature introduced in 2017 as the company's take on Snapchat Stories, has received a number of updates to make it more...

SoftBank loses nearly $6 billion in a quarter as recession continues • londonbusinessblog.com

SoftBank Group's investment vehicles posted a loss of nearly $6 billion in the quarter ended December as the Japanese tech investor continues to bleed...
Shreya Christinahttps://londonbusinessblog.com
Shreya has been with londonbusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider londonbusinessblog.com team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

President Joe Biden’s top political supporters complained of being shut out for most of his first two years in the White House, many of them grumbling about the perceived lack of gratitude from a team whose victory they helped fund.

But that is all changing.

With Biden and party officials looking forward to the 2024 presidential election — and on the heels of legislative victories and better-than-expected interim results — the same White House that greeted its high rollers with cold shoulders is now warming to them.

“Is it a surprise?” Alan Kessler, a longtime fundraiser in the Philadelphia area, said. “We are past the midterms. Guess what the next election is? Honestly, I think they’re doing the right thing.”

The White House is ramping up its courtship of donors, a strategy most evident in a shower of social invitations for big-dollar supporters: this week’s state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron, the arrival and lighting of the national Christmas tree, Biden’s Christmas parties and, among them, Vice President Kamala Harris’ Hanukkah celebration. They offer more policy briefings to long-time supporters, Zoom calls with top officials, and tours of the White House as well.

The donors have noticed and are already praising the change of a team they long complained was not available to answer questions in dark political moments for Biden, according to interviews with more than 20 people who contributed to Biden, raised money for him or helped secure White House invitations for his supporters.

An expanded social calendar means “they get a little further down the list,” in terms of who gets face-time with the president, a White House official said. And that could pay off for Biden if he takes office in 2024.

Donor maintenance is a critical step for the administration if Biden seeks re-election and even beyond when he likely wants to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for a presidential library.

Despite all of the Biden administration’s victories and the absence of a midterm shelling, the president’s polls remain under water, with an NBC poll just ahead of the Nov. 8 election. show him at 44%.

Perhaps a more ominous sign, however, is that two-thirds of midterm voters polled in an NBC exit poll said they did not want Biden to run for re-election.

“Suddenly,” said Alan Patricof, a longtime Democratic fundraiser, “things start to change as we get close to the next election.”

On Thursday, when Macron arrives at the White House for his official state visit, Biden campaign supporters and fundraisers will be among a large crowd invited to attend the ceremony on the White House lawn. It will be Biden’s first state dinner since taking office in 2021. It will honor Macron and celebrate the United States’ longstanding ties with France. State dinners have been a hallmark of the US presidency since 1874, but Covid had limited the government’s ability to host such events until now.

“For one of the first times in this administration, the president’s supporters — at least some — will be invited,” said a person familiar with the White House’s take on the matter. “And that’s essentially a return to a level of normal that you see in any administration.”

People close to the White House admit that Biden’s political operation has left longtime Democratic fundraisers feeling marginalized and unappreciated. They point to the pandemic as the main reason why Biden has eschewed outreach that donors see as a reward for past work and an incentive to raise more campaign money ahead of the 2024 election.

The source with knowledge of White House thinking, granted anonymity to speak freely, noted that the pandemic had proved “incredibly challenging in terms of gathering indoors in these extraordinary spaces. Now that we’re testing safely, we can do it again. I do believe there have been many more events where we were able to bring people back together. That has always been the vision of the first lady and the president. It’s just a matter of timing it right.”

Among those invited to the state dinner on Thursday night on Macron’s behalf is Christopher Korge, chairman of the Democratic National Committee’s finance committee, people familiar with the schedule said.

“This is the most popular ticket in town; everyone wants to go,” said the person familiar with the White House’s view of its donor outreach.

In the past, White Houses have rewarded donors with large benefits, some of which have sparked controversy, such as nights spent in the Lincoln Bedroom during Bill Clinton’s presidency.

Yet some donors also point out that Biden has never been as attentive to money-making as Clinton, the gold standard of the modern presidency.

Biden is “less concerned, less interested, less engaged,” than Clinton or former President Barack Obama, Patricof said. “I haven’t been to the White House since he was elected. It’s not like I’m sitting here waiting. But there seems to be much less interaction with the donor community than I’ve seen in the past.”

This year, Biden backers are enthralled by something much simpler: The White House is opening its doors for the holiday season with parties and tours scheduled for December. And some who spoke to NBC News acknowledged that their worth isn’t what it once was, noting that Biden managed to rake in a lot of money online from small donors.

“The $500,000 people like me, we’re not going to be players in 2024,” said Dick Harpootlian, a longtime Democratic donor and South Carolina state senator.

For the White House, the shift is an acceleration of a courtship campaign that began more modestly before the midterm elections. As Biden secured a handful of major legislative victories this year — including laws to combat climate change and China’s lead in semiconductor manufacturing — the White House invited a wide range of supporters to celebrate at signing ceremonies. Invitations also went out to an Elton John concert at the White House.

Biden’s defenders have long said the White House was closed to many of the president’s allies because he took office at a time of much greater sensitivity to the Covid-19 pandemic. Amid concerns about the Omicron variant last year, the White House was forced to abandon plans for a more complete lineup of holiday parties. But there is no such restriction this year.

“They only invite an obscene number of people” to events in December, a Democratic official said.

The new level of TLC is a sign of a Biden team gearing up for a possible re-election campaign and comes after top fundraisers urged Biden’s aides to change tactics.

“I encourage them to court more major donors,” one of them said over the summer. Part of their argument was that the president will need far more donors in 2024 than in 2020 during a pandemic and when Democrats eagerly opened their wallets to oust Donald Trump from the Oval Office.

Biden’s engagement with donors is important for another reason, top fundraisers have told his aides: Donors are questioning his ability to get back to business, making them hesitant to continue lowering checks . A major Democratic fundraiser said donors regularly ask the president, “Is he really there?”

Donors who spoke to NBC News said they’ve noticed a change in how they’re being treated, including a more conscious effort to make phone calls to supporters, more regular briefings and even photo lines during visits like Obama’s to key states during the split times. The amplified effort involves both the White House and a Democratic National Committee, which serves as the political arm of Biden’s operation.

“The DNC has been pretty much dormant for two years now,” said one committee member. “They’re stepping up their game.”

Different donors had different expectations. Tim Lim, a Democratic strategist and Biden bundler, was among those frustrated with the White House’s attention to donors, and filed his complaint with the Democratic National Committee.

“It’s childish, to be honest. I even admit that now,” said Lim. ‘There’s no reason to do it. But when you try to get your family an Easter Egg Roll ticket, you get a little desperate.

The White House’s shift to pay more attention to supporters was evident, he said, citing invitations to a tour of the garden, the unveiling of Obama’s White House portrait, trick-or-treating at the White House and holiday parties.

Another donor, who has complained about insufficient access in the past, cited a recent Zoom conversation with White House senior adviser Steve Ricchetti and Deputy Chief of Staff Jen O’Malley Dillon, addressed to some of Biden’s early supporters. Some of those same people were invited to the White House next month for a personal policy briefing.

However, some donors feel the White House took too long to step up its game.

“Getting up to speed has taken longer than it should have,” said Susie Tompkins Buell, a longtime high-dollar Democratic donor. She said supporters recognized that the administration was swallowed up early on by “excessive workload and trauma”.

“I think donors understand, but communication definitely needs more effective attention,” Buell added. She said she sees more examples of the White House acknowledging that it should value donors, but that it “seems like it wasn’t a natural instinct.”

A running question in this administration has been whether Biden, who turned 80 years old last week, will run another campaign or step aside.

Kessler said he spoke with Biden at a Pennsylvania Democratic Party event in late October and thanked him for his recent confirmation of his intention to re-enter.

“I know you get tired of hearing, ‘Is he really running?'” Kessler recalled to the president. “But when you come out with strong statements like that, it’s really helpful for people like me who get asked all the time.”

And how did Biden react?

“He liked it,” Kessler said.

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest article

RCap Resolution: NCLAT issues notices to Torrent Investments and others at the lender’s plea

The appeals court has ordered the petition to be listed on February 9, 2023 and says the appeal will be heard and decided by...

A single ticket in Washington State wins the $754.6 million jackpot

The lucky owner of a single Powerball ticket in Washington state has won a jackpot worth $754.6 million after matching all six numbers drawn...

WhatsApp allows users to post voice notes as status updates • londonbusinessblog.com

WhatsApp Status, the feature introduced in 2017 as the company's take on Snapchat Stories, has received a number of updates to make it more...

SoftBank loses nearly $6 billion in a quarter as recession continues • londonbusinessblog.com

SoftBank Group's investment vehicles posted a loss of nearly $6 billion in the quarter ended December as the Japanese tech investor continues to bleed...

Angel Iris Murphy Brown: all about Eddie Murphy and Mel B’s daughter

Angel Iris Murphy Brown is the daughter of the American writer, comedian, producer and singer Eddie Murphy (aka Edward Regan Murphy). Her father...