Sun. Jul 21st, 2024


EXCLUSIVE: Joe Biden’s reelection campaign has a problem with some of its top donors after last night’s debate fiasco, and they may have just made it worse.

To mollify the agitation and quell a “cooling,” as one insider put it, among some of the most generous entertainment industry donors on both coasts, the president’s reelection campaign this evening reached out with what it likely hoped was words of solace – “hoped” being the operative term

“I am sure many of you tuned into the debate last night,” said Hailey Sasse, the Biden Victory Funds Southern California Finance Director in an email sent out Friday. “Our team has received feedback from folks today, and I wanted to share a couple of highlights and resources to help navigate conversations you might be having.,” it added with words from another dimension.

Hollywood has some of the incumbent most loyal and deep pocketed supporters, but the combination of the disastrous performance by Biden against Donald Trump on CNN on Thursday and the tone deaf correspondence by the campaign has the C-suite class deeply shaken.

“The choice in this election is as simple as this: Donald Trump will destroy our democracy, Joe Biden will defend it,” said campaign staffer Sasse, went on to say, almost acting like the debate free fall never happened and the likes of the New York Times Editorial Board isn’t pleading with the president to drop out for the good of the nation.

“This is the same race that it was before the debate, and post-debate polling shows that voters’ opinions were not changed in any significant way,” the campaign email added. “This race is going to be decided in individual battleground states in November 2024, just as it was in April 2023.”

Read the full email from the Biden Victory Fund below

The email came just hours before Vice President Kamala Harris flew back to LA from a fundraiser in pricey Park City, Utah for some expensive facetime with Hollywood check writers – a meet-up that could prove awkward for many concerned.

The top tier likes of Jeffrey Katzenberg have said nothing so far on the donor front about Biden’s stumbling and rambling debate showing. But from frequent Democratic donor sources I’ve spoken to today, the money train could be coming a halt or at least a pause unless the campaign has either a come to Joe moment or a radical reset,

One industry kingfish who is a regular at POTUS fundraisers told me they and others are now taking “a wait and see” approach before writing another check. An entertainment bigwig based in NYC echoed the sentiment. “That was a nightmare, we would be enabling it if we just kept giving,” she said.

“There’s going to be a pause at the very least,” another West Coast political insider said “How long it last depends on how bad it gets, and if the campaign takes real action. We can’t have a repeat of last night.”

Even for all the good will Biden has earned in entertainment circles over the years, some weren’t as polite.

“A f*cking joke!”

That’s what another top Tinseltown donor simply called the campaign take on the debate after receiving the email today. “Do that really think we’re idiots, we have eyes!” he added of the frail performance the president put on and the way an unchecked Trump batted Biden around.

In particular, entertainment donors said they were insulted by campaign claims that Biden won the debate, when he clearly had a very bad night at best.

“Based on research we conducted during tonight’s debate, it is clear that the more voters heard from Donald Trump, the more they remembered why they dislike him,” said Biden advisor  Becca Siegel and campaign Chief Analytics Officer Meg Schwenzfeier in the additional takeaways and resources accompanying the Biden team damage control Friday.

 “Meanwhile, President Biden started slow but finished strong. In a survey of undecided voters in a Midwest state, debate-watchers agreed that President Biden won the debate and the more they saw of Donald Trump’s erratic and vindictive behavior, the more they remembered why they voted against him in 2020,” they went on to say in a quote heavy package.

Regardless of the rose colored glasses the campaign want to put on what happened on that debate stage in Atlanta last night, the millionaires in LA are restless. Something the Biden campaign is going to have to address, sources tell me – sooner, not later.

Read the full email from the Biden Victory Fund to top Hollywood donors here:

Dear Southern California Supporters,

I am sure many of you tuned into the debate last night. Our team has received feedback from folks today, and I wanted to share a couple of highlights and resources to help navigate conversations you might be having. Please see below for key data points and takeaways:

• Focus groups and live-dialing both show undecided and independent voters pulled away from Trump. The more they hear from him, the more they dislike him. 

• Team Biden-Harris raised $14M on debate day and the morning after in a sign of strength of our grassroots support. 11-12 PM – the one hour after the debate – was the single best hour of fundraising since the campaign’s launch in April 2023.

• President Biden was strong, and forceful this afternoon in North Carolina with a fired up crowd. You can watch his remarks here.

◦ The president clearly laid out the fundamental choice in this election: He believes that we are a nation of honesty and decency and treating people with respect, that gives everyone a fair shot and leaves no one behind. Donald Trump believes America is a failing nation and is motivated by revenge and retribution. 

◦ As the president said: he doesn’t debate as well as he used to, but when he gets knocked down, he gets back up. (And we have his back!)

The choice in this election is as simple as this: Donald Trump will destroy our democracy, Joe Biden will defend it. This is the same race that it was before the debate, and post-debate polling shows that voters’ opinions were not changed in any significant way. This race is going to be decided in individual battleground states in November 2024, just as it was in April 2023. 

A full readout can be found below, but please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or would like to discuss anything further. 

We are incredibly grateful for your support and partnership,

Hailey Sasse
Southern California Finance Director
Biden Victory Fund




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#Biden #Campaign #Mollify #Hollywood #Donors #Debate #Fiasco

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