Former vice president Joe Biden announced his 2020 run for president Thursday, then hopped on a train to portray himself as the common man.
But Biden’s priorities in his first days as an official candidate won’t be to a soup kitchen or Iowa town hall, but rather exclusive high-dollar fundraisers that cost more to get in than most Americans make in a week.
Video posted to YouTube shows Biden headed directly to the home of Comcast executive David Cohen in Philadelphia for his first event following his big announcement. There, tight security screened to ensure only invited guests gained access, while everyone else was relegated to watching from the sidewalk as the steady stream of expensive SUVs streamed.
“A big part of that is his appeal in places like here in Pennsylvania, states like Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin,” Biden spokesman Bill Russo told cameras at the curb. “The Biden campaign feels he is perhaps the best Democratic candidate to potentially win those back.”
And while Biden is counting on working-class Americans to carry him to victory against the strongest economy the country has seen in a long time, it’s clear he’s more interested in hearing from folks with deep pockets.
Biden’s campaign sent out invitations for donations before most people even knew for sure whether or not he was in the race.
Invitation for VP @JoeBiden Presidential Campaign fundraiser taking place tomorrow night in Philadelphia. Make checks payable to “Biden for President” @CBSPhilly #JoeBiden2020 pic.twitter.com/MbapBa1lRu
— Stephen McKenzie (@SteveMcKCBS3) April 24, 2019
“Invitation for VP @JoeBiden Presidential Campaign fundraiser taking place tomorrow night in Philadelphia,” KYW-TV editor Stephen McKenzie posted to Twitter Wednesday. “Make checks payable to ‘Biden for President’ @CBSPhilly #JoeBiden2020”
The included invitation lists Rhonda & David L. Cohen as the hosts, along with several other important locals. Eight state lawmakers were also listed for the April 25, invitation only soiree.
Not that the average Philadelphian could afford to go anyway. Requirements for the RSVP included a standard “contribution” of $2,800, or a discounted “young professional” contribution of $250.
Invitations for similar Biden stops leaked online show access to Obama’s former number two is even more costly in other places.
Here’s the invitation for Joe Biden’s May 8th fundraiser in Los Angeles —> pic.twitter.com/RxZVfg6tsq
— Ken Thomas (@KThomasDC) April 25, 2019
Biden for President will be at the Los Angeles home of Ambassador James Costos and Michael Smith on May 8. The RSVP in that invitation, posted to Twitter by Wall Street Journal reporter Ken Thomas, offers those invited two options to attend: “$10,000 Co-Host” or “$2,800 Guest.”
The other noted guests in LA include investment banker Richard Blum, entertainment titan Peter Chernin, film exec Jeffrey Katzenberg, left-wing activist Cooke Parker, tech entrepreneur Joe Kiani, among several other executives, politicians and one-percenters.