Former Vice President Joe Biden has announced his intentions to save “the soul of this nation” by running for president. As with his fellow candidates, an immediate and enthusiastic outpouring of love through campaign donations began flowing into the coffers while team Biden celebrated its success.
Biden, 76, is a card-carrying member of the old guard. A man who has mostly been on the government payroll since the 1970s, and who does not have one ounce of progressive ideas rattling around in his brain. And he’s not a shining example of a good guy in the era of #MeToo. Yet, proving detractors wrong, Biden rose to the top in the burgeoning 2020 presidential field in first-day fundraising.
As Democratic presidential hopefuls go, Biden’s foray into the financial race has so far been impressive, eclipsing the efforts of a field now holding at 20 in the all-important money grab. Within 24 hours, Team Biden reported receiving $6.3 million from 107,431 online donors, including but not limited to 96,926 private individuals across 50 states – and boasting 97% of those donations under the $200 mark. Small, but many, contributions are a mantra that all Democrat hopefuls are embracing, to appear as the middle-class American’s guy or gal. Relatable. Trustworthy. Approachable. An example of a for-the-people candidate, much like the current Oval Office occupant. Small-dollar donations via the internet appear to be the litmus test used by the Democratic Party elite to measure candidate appeal and sustainability over the long haul.
Litmus Test Pass/Fail
The latest Democratic presidential hopeful surpassed the efforts of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who raised $5.9 million, and Texas-based Democrat Robert Francis O’Rourke, who brought in $6.1 million. In one day, the most unlikely and challenged contender – a wealthy white guy at age 76, with baggage of racial issues and groping hands – was the guy taking the hot wind out of the sails of the other election wannabes.
Sanders and O’Rourke were no longer the latest shiny objects, and both panicked spectacularly, sending beseeching campaign emails flying through the ether. Bernie’s email arrived with the ominous subject line “Joe Biden,” and begged:
“It’s a big day in the Democratic primary and we’re hoping to end it strong. Not with a fundraiser in the home of a corporate lobbyist, but with an overwhelming number of individual donations in response to today’s news. Contribute before midnight. It would mean A LOT to our campaign.”
Sanders is reporting an impressive $18.2 million haul in the first quarter.
O’Rourke, spasming in desperation, has sent five emails in as many days, listing the variety of reasons he needs America’s hard-earned dollars. Team Beto’s email also features the ominous “Joe Biden” in the subject line, but, knowing full well he’s irritating people daily with donation requests, O’Rourke figuratively tap-dances around Democratic Party-laid land mines. Realizing that size does matter in politics, he submits this pleading missive:
“Joe Biden just announced he raised more money in his first 24 hours than Beto or Bernie – $6.3 million. The good news is more people contributed to Beto’s campaign, and there’s strength in numbers. Still, we cannot risk being heavily outspent in this primary.”
O’Rourke is lagging behind in first quarter tallies, raising only half of Sanders’ pile – $9.4 million. But he did it all in only 18 days, proving he is still in the race … at least this week.
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), who remains below-the-basement-level low in tracking polls, quietly amassed $12 million. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is still tacking up her pony and hasn’t made it to track yet, managing to convince supporters to hand over a piddly $6 million in this telling first quarter. Even political outsiders know that won’t keep the teepee fires burning for the next several months.
Heck, those numbers equate to donors, and low numbers might keep several of the 20 hopefuls off the first primary debate stage. To qualify, the Democratic contestants must receive financial donations from 65,000 different donors. Biden breached that mark in the first 12 hours after launching his campaign.
In Comparison …
There is a lot of money filtering through Democratic circles and candidates are crowing about their grassroots efforts and low individual donation amounts. But let’s put this in perspective. In four months, 261,598 Americans donated $22.2 million on veteran Brian Kolfage’s GoFundMe page to help build the border wall between Mexico and the United States. The recent rallies that President Trump has held, reminiscent of those from the 2016 campaign trail, are filling arenas to capacity. The president is utilizing giant-screen televisions to bring in those who don’t get the opportunity to join the packed events.
A KY3 reporter in Springfield, Missouri, commented that crowds outside the stadium during a Trump rally were huge: “… It’s more like 30-plus thousand people … [They’re] just coming out of the woodwork. There’s only a certain amount that can get inside. I was saying we’re going to have mass riots in the streets because people here are just staunch supporters.”
Trump hasn’t lost his appeal, and his impressive base is continuing to grow. Oh, and to top the ice-cream sundae with a yuuuge fat cherry, the Trump campaign is reporting $40 million in the first quarter.
Maybe Sleepy Joe, as Trump has nicknamed him, will rise to the top and be the man to challenge the sitting president. After a relaxing four years of being unemployed and meddling in foreign relations behind the president’s back, does Biden have a plan? Or is he going down the rabbit hole with the others whose only message appears to be that Trump is a horrible human?
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