Biden embarks on fundrasing tour of reliably liberal Hollywood
With recent polls showing President Joe Biden losing traction with reliable Democratic voting blocs such as younger Americans and minorities, he is now turning to a failsafe method of drumming up liberal support by embarking on an arguably unseemly begging tour of Hollywood, as The Hill reports.
The weekend jaunt, which also includes first lady Jill Biden, was delayed considerably by since-resolved entertainment industry strikes, which would have made for difficult presidential optics over the summer.
Friday saw the Bidens attend a glittering gathering of high dollar showbusiness donors who were treated to a performance by famed rocker Lenny Kravitz.
According to the Associated Press, the haul for the night approached $8 million, a result the president appreciatively told the crowd made it “an incredibly successful night.”
On hand for the affair were stars and industry moguls including Rob Reiner, David Geffen. Barbra Streisand as well as political notables such as former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). California Gov. Gavin Newsom, and the mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass.
During the evening, Biden took a few shots at former President Donald Trump, telling guests, “He refused to show up at my inauguration. I can't say I was disappointed” and predicting that “he won't show up at the next inauguration.”
Saturday house party
Keeping the fundraising momentum going, on Saturday, Biden attended an event at the home of DreamWorks founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, who is also serving as a national co-chair of the president's reelection campaign.
Speaking at least for those inhabiting the rarified circles in which he travels, Katzenberg said of Biden's supporters, “The pent-up excitement, enthusiasm is really unprecedented.”
“People are excited. They're mobilized. And they've been waiting months to show their support for him,” Katzenberg insisted.
Getting in his own dig at Trump, Katzenberg went on, “Whether the enthusiasm is because of the exceptional accomplishments of President Biden, or because of the extreme alternative of someone who is declaring themselves to be an autocrat, either way, you get to the same place. Which is, Joe Biden's your person.”
Despite the gushing, deep-pocketed reception Biden received from Hollywood's elite, he also encountered visible signs of opposition to his presence in southern California, as CBS News noted.
A group of protesters said to total upwards of 1,000 assembled outside of Friday's fundraiser, expressing their frustration with U.S. support of Israeli military strikes in Gaza.
Some of the demonstrators engaged in unruly conduct that included hurling objects at passing cars and at law enforcement officers, resulting in an unlawful assembly and dispersal order having to be issued.
It is not just pro-Palestinian activists who had no interest in Biden's swing through the Golden State, with National Republican Congressional Committee spokesperson Ben Petersen noting, “Today, Biden will listen to the concerns of Hollywood elitists instead of ordinary Californians suffering a violent crime epidemic, increased cost of living and Gavin Newsom's record $68 billion deficit,” and that is a dichotomy the president cannot avoid forever, try as he might.