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Former President Barack Obama, President Joe Biden, and former President Bill Clinton attended a fundraising event at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, which raised a record-setting $25 million for Biden’s reelection campaign. The event was a display of Democratic support for Biden, who is facing persistently low poll numbers. The three presidents delivered speeches praising Biden and criticizing his expected GOP rival, Donald Trump. Obama, Clinton, and Biden arrived together at the event and were met with a heavy security presence.

Protesters briefly disrupted the event to express anger at Biden’s handling of the war in Gaza and his support for Israel. Inside the venue, entertainers such as Lizzo and Mindy Kaling performed, and donors had different tiers of access depending on their level of contribution. Some celebrities present included Queen Latifah, Ben Platt, and Cynthia Erivo. The fundraising event aimed to bolster Biden’s already substantial financial advantage over Trump, with Biden having $155 million in cash on hand compared to Trump’s $37 million.

The money raised at the New York City event surpassed what Trump raised in February. The event was seen as a significant show of enthusiasm for Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, with co-chair Jeffrey Katzenberg highlighting the campaign’s fundraising success. Trump is planning a fundraiser in Palm Beach, Florida, where he is expected to raise $33 million, according to reports. Some Republican leaders have expressed concerns about the readiness of Trump’s campaign for a general election battle with Biden.

Biden’s campaign has emphasized his administration’s focus on reducing crime and supporting law enforcement, contrasting it with Trump’s record on these issues. Former government official Leon Panetta described the fundraiser as an important moment for Biden’s campaign and suggested that Obama and Clinton could assist in developing a more effective reelection message. Obama’s presence at the event underscored his support for Biden, as both have worked together to raise funds for the campaign.

As Biden gears up for reelection, the support from Democratic leaders and celebrities, as well as the significant fundraising success, are seen as key elements of his strategy to secure a second term in office. The campaign is focused on building a broad base of support and reaching out to donors early in the election cycle. With the upcoming presidential race intensifying, both candidates are working to shore up their financial backing and ensure they have the resources needed to compete in a highly contested election.

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