The Hill is reporting this morning that former Vice President Joe Biden has recently been aggressively attempting to line up donors for his possible presidential campaign. He is expected to announce that he is running for the 2020 Democratic nomination soon, assuming that he gets enough funding commitments to make a strong start.
“It’s a priority,” said one friend of Biden. “If you don’t have a good second quarter showing that could be problematic.”
People close to the former vice president say that over the past several weeks he has been spending most of his time calling possible donors to get them to commit to supporting him.
Biden’s pitch is that he has a plan to win in the highly competitive Democratic primaries and then beat Donald Trump in the 2020 general election. He refers to last year’s midterm elections and how he was able to campaign for Democratic congressional candidates throughout the entire country, including both blue and red states.
This shows, he argues, that he has the broadest and most widespread appeal of any Democratic contender. He has also been leading most 2020 polls of possible Democratic candidates.
On a book tour last year he announced, “I am the most qualified person to be president.” Some people also believe he is the one candidate best able to unite the country after a period of extreme divisiveness.
Compared to other candidates, fundraising has always been one of Biden’s weaknesses. Asking for money doesn’t come naturally to him. It’s not clear that he can compete with people like Bernie Sanders, who took in $10 million in less than a week after entering the 2020 race.
“It’s never really been his thing,” said one major Democratic fundraiser. “And the truth is, he’s never been very good at it.”
When Biden ran for president in 2008, he raised just $11.3 million, well below the amount he needed to compete in early primary states. He left the race after receiving just one percent in the Iowa caucuses.
But Biden will be a much stronger in candidate in 2020, his supporters believe. He has great appeal among working class voters in his home state of Pennsylvania and the Upper Midwest.
He also will be able to benefit from leveraging some of Obama’s donor network. Many Democratic primary voters, after two years of Trump, are feeling nostalgic about the Obama years.
Last fall, Biden “lit up the crowd,” at a Los Angeles fundraiser co-hosted by Hollywood heavyweight Jeffrey Katzenberg and other Democratic fundraising “bundlers.”
“He was very impressive,” one fundraiser in the room recalled.
If he enters the race, Biden will be the front-runner in an increasingly crowded field and he will have a staff in place.
As one adviser said:
“People connect with him and there will be an outpouring of support if he decides to run”
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.