The first event took place on Friday night in the backyard of celebrity designer Michael Smith’s and his partner, James Costos’s home. The event drew big names, including legendary director Steven Spielberg, Broadway star Barbara Streisand, producer Rob Reiner, and television titan Shonda Rhimes.
Rock star Lenny Kravitz performed at the event, and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was also in attendance and addressed the crowd.
“The pent-up excitement, enthusiasm is really unprecedented,” Jeffrey Katzenberg, a co-founder of DreamWorks Pictures and longtime Democratic presidential fundraiser in Los Angeles, told the Associated Press. “People are excited. They’re mobilized. And they’ve been waiting months to show their support for him.”
Ticket prices for Friday’s event ranged from $1,000 for general admission to $500,000 to attend at “chairman” level.
This weekend’s events are aimed at helping the president reach a fundraising target of roughly $67 million for the fourth quarter of the year. He raised at least $8 million on Friday night alone.
The trip to Los Angeles marks the first time the president has campaigned there since announcing his reelection bid. Most presidential candidates try to raise funds in California, but Biden stayed away from the area during the union strikes in Hollywood. Because a deal has been reached, experts expect the president will be back to raise more money several times before the next election, but some people do not believe he should be back frequently.
“I think donors understand that, between Israel, Ukraine, another potential government shutdown, he’s got a big job to do,” said Brian Goldsmith, a Democratic consultant based in California. “The best thing he can do to get reelected is continue to do a good job being president.”
The president has also been campaigning and fundraising on the East Coast, including a trip to Boston earlier this week for three events, including one that featured singer-songwriter James Taylor. He will return to the East Coast on Monday for an event in Pennsylvania with Gov. Josh Shapiro (D-PA). He is also scheduling a reception in Maryland with Gov. Wes Moore (D-MD).
Biden is currently the front-runner for the Democratic nomination and is expected to face former President Donald Trump in November next year.
Original Location: Biden seeks star power from Hollywood in California fundraising blitz
Washington Examiner Videos