Failed 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will hit the ground running for her successor to the party’s nomination, headlining a major “virtual fundraiser” for former Vice President Joe Biden.
Attending the livecast won’t come cheap: to be listed as an event host, donors will have to fork over $100,000, even though the online chat won’t feature the typical dinner, speeches, or photo opportunities associated with high-dollar political fundraisers.
Instead, donors will tune in to watch Clinton “in conversation” with Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez — and nothing else, per an invitation obtained by Politico.
There are less expensive slots available. “Donors can contribute funds at multiple levels,” according to The Hill, including some ‘limited availability’ seats at $2,800,” the cutoff for an individual donation to a single presidential candidate under Federal Election Commission rules. Most seats, though, cost far more than that. For $5,600 attendees can be considered a “guest,” for $15,000, they’ll be labeled a “friend, for $41,100 they’re a “supporter,” and a “champion” at $50,000.
Biden can, technically, raise upwards of $300,000 per person thanks to a deal inked with the DNC sometime last month. According to the provisions — which are similar to those in an agreement President Donald Trump has with the Republican National Committee — as long as Biden is willing to split fundraiser proceeds with his party’s committee, the limit on individual gifts can be significantly higher than the FEC’s $2,800 cap.
Both candidates are doing high-dollar fundraisers, but so far, only Biden’s Zoom-based events have captured headlines. The Clinton event seems particularly egregious, given that it comes at a time where nearly 30 million Americans are unemployed, and nearly half have felt some financial impact of the coronavirus lockdowns.
That hasn’t stopped Clinton, though, who joined the Biden campaign early, endorsing the former Veep last week in a surprise appearance on one of Biden’s public livestream events.
“I am thrilled to be part of your campaign — to not only endorse you but to help highlight a lot of the issues that are at stake in this presidential election,” Clinton said in the interview.
“I’ve been in the lobby of the Senate. I’ve been in the cloakroom and I’ve watched Joe bring people together. We have a lot of the same values in common, the same work ethic, the same belief in America, the same focus on family,” she added. “We need a leader — a president — like Joe Biden.”
One former White House official told The Hill last week, though, that Clinton may have an ulterior motive in putting herself front and center on Biden’s campaign: if the current 2020 presidential nominee flames out (or, in Biden’s case, simply disappears from view), it gives her the ability to step in to his shoes quickly. That said, of course, Clinton would have to edge out younger candidates who do not have her track record of losses in order to snag any available nomination.
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