President Biden to join Barack Obama, salvo of Hollywood star power in Southern California

President Joe Biden is coming to Hollywood on Saturday, surrounding himself with big-name celebrities led by late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel who will interview him at a live event, along with former President Barack Obama and mega-stars George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

The Biden re-election campaign hopes to top the haul from a similar, celebrity-studded campaign stop in New York City in March, when he was interviewed by Stephen Colbert, host of “Late Night with Stephen Colbert.” That event included Obama, former president Bill Clinton, and several Broadway stars. It raised $25 million for Biden’s campaign.

But many say there’s nothing better than a Los Angeles gathering of superstars to pad the campaign’s cash reserves. And California, a blue state projected as an easy win for the president, will play a familiar role for out-of-state candidates.

“California has been called the ATM machine of national politics,” said Joel Fox, adjunct professor at the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University on Thursday, June 13.

“They come out to California to collect money to spend someplace else,” Fox added. “The state serves as an ATM for the Republican side, too, it is consistent.” He was referring to former President Donald Trump’s recent fundraising stop in Beverly Hills.

Trump and the Republican Party outraised Biden in April, raking in $76 million as compared to $51 million for Biden and the Democratic National Committee that same month. Biden said he had a $192 million war chest at the end of April, the same as previous months, meaning he appears to be spending it as fast as it comes in.

For example, Biden on June 13 launched a seven-figure ad in Spanish and English in battleground states on “lowering costs for food and rent,” raising wages and creating jobs, the campaign reported. Campaign ads are rarely aired in California.

FILE – In this Jan. 4, 2017 file photo, then Vice President Joe Biden, left, watches then President Barack Obama, center, at Conmy Hall, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) 

Some wonder if hob-knobbing with rich celebrities sends the wrong message to Black and Brown voters struggling to make ends meet. Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair Mark Gonzalez disagreed.