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After former President Trump’s successful fundraising trip through California, President Biden has returned to the West Coast to tap into the state’s Democratic stronghold and raise money for his reelection campaign. Late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel will be hosting a fundraiser featuring Biden and former President Obama, along with Hollywood stars George Clooney and Julia Roberts, which has already raised a record-breaking $28 million. Biden’s campaign is touting this event as the biggest fundraiser in Democratic Party history, surpassing a previous event in New York City that brought in $26 million. Trump, however, raised over $50 million at a fundraiser in Florida, setting a new record for fundraising at a single event.

National politicians have been flocking to California to raise money, with both Biden and Trump collecting more funds from the state than any other. The lavish fundraiser in Los Angeles featured tickets ranging from $250 to half a million dollars for special access, photos with Biden and Obama, and invitations to an after-party. Trump’s recent fundraising efforts in California and Las Vegas netted an expected $27.5 million, along with an additional $6 million for outside groups supporting his potential 2024 rematch against Biden. The former president has been working to close the fundraising gap with Biden and recently announced a record-breaking $141 million haul in May.

While Trump’s fundraising in California was supported by wealthy GOP donors, Biden’s event in Los Angeles was organized by Hollywood elites. The entertainment industry has a history of supporting Democratic candidates, and Biden’s campaign has enlisted the help of stars and performers to raise funds for his reelection bid. Despite not having the same Hollywood connections as his Democratic predecessors, Biden can still draw support from the entertainment industry. The president has been making up for lost time after labor strikes delayed his fundraising efforts in Los Angeles, and his campaign has been boosted by celebrity endorsements from actors like Robert De Niro and Mark Hamill.

Trump’s recent fundraising activities in California and Biden’s star-studded event in Los Angeles highlight the divergent strategies of the two campaigns. While Trump has been meeting with everyday Americans in Michigan, Biden has chosen to attend the Hollywood fundraiser instead of a peace conference on Ukraine. The Trump campaign and Republican allies have criticized Biden for prioritizing celebrity donors over international diplomacy. Nonetheless, Biden continues to leverage his ties to the entertainment industry to raise funds for his reelection campaign, with help from stars like Steven Spielberg, Robert De Niro, and Octavia Spencer. The president’s fundraising efforts have been bolstered by high-profile events and celebrity endorsements, setting the stage for a competitive race in 2024.

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