Joe Biden’s presidential campaign says that former President Obama’s return to the campaign on his behalf is already a success.
The alleged campaign by the Democratic presidential candidate announced hours before Tuesday afternoon a virtual grassroots fundraiser jointly organized by Obama and Biden that so far $ 4 million had been raised from more than 120,000 taxpayers.
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Biden’s aides noted that the run of the Obama-Biden event had already far exceeded the $ 1 million raised from 35,000 donors in a grassroots fundraiser last month with Biden and former Democrat 2020 rival Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
For Obama, the virtual event marks a return to the presidential campaign. It is the former president’s first event for Biden since he supported his right-hand man in the White House for 8 years. Obama remained neutral in the open Democratic primary race, which at one point had a roster of more than two dozen candidates. He backed Biden in April after former vice president’s final rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, suspended his campaign and backed Biden.
The joint fundraiser is expected to begin a busy schedule for the busy former president scheduled before the fall on behalf of Biden and voting for Democrats.
A Democratic strategist familiar with Obama’s thinking tells Fox News that “Tuesday’s grassroots fundraiser is a smart first campaign event for President Obama: it helps direct resources to the campaign while reinforcing his messages. deeply rooted in all of his public life: the importance of grassroots, building a movement, getting involved. “
The strategist, who asked to remain anonymous, said that in 2018 Obama “was the most requested substitute in the country.” His approval rating is 20 points higher than President Trump. And in 2020, there is no one better positioned to defend Joe Biden. “
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Obama’s appearance at Tuesday’s fundraiser is much more than money.
The event comes amid the coronavirus pandemic and protests across the country last month over police brutality against minorities and the broader issue of systemic racism that was triggered by the death of George Floyd.
And it occurs when Biden continues to reach the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, as well as the voters who backed Obama in 2008 and 2012, but voted for President Trump in 2016.
“Now that the primary season is over, President Obama can play the role of chief unifier within the Democratic Party,” said Mo Elleithee, founding executive director of the Georgetown University Institute for Policy and Public Service and a contributor to Fox News .
Elleithee, lead spokesperson for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, who later served as communications director for the Democratic National Committee, said Obama is also “an important voice during these tumultuous times.” As polls show that President Trump’s handling of crises is declining, President Obama can help defend Joe Biden’s very different approach. “
Strategic communications consultant Ben LaBolt, an Obama White House veteran who served as national press secretary for the president’s 2012 re-election campaign, emphasized that his former boss can do what no one else can do to help Biden.
“Barack Obama is in a unique position to defend the case of Joe Biden’s time in the executive branch,” LaBolt told Fox News. “President Obama appointed Joe Biden to lead the economic recovery the last time we were on the brink of a major depression, they worked together to rescue the auto industry, provide health care coverage to millions of Americans, and prevent Ebola from becoming in a pandemic in the United States “
But while political strategists and experts agree that an active Obama can only help Biden, as well as the candidates on the ballot this fall, in the end there is only so much that a substitute can do. Then-President Obama aggressively assaulted Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general election, but the Democratic candidate fell short.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign hit Biden for Obama’s help.
“The appeal of President Barack Obama still cannot give the Biden campaign the unprecedented level of enthusiasm we see from millions of supporters of President Trump,” said Trump campaign deputy press secretary Ken Farnaso. “President Trump built a historically strong economy once and is doing it again. In contrast, the sad Obama / Biden record of record economic recovery and high taxes devastated our economy and in November the American people will not put our country in hands of that same failed leadership. “