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Biden Campaign Rakes in $25M at Historic Fundraiser with Obama, Clinton

US President Joe Biden, accompanied by former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, hosted an unprecedented election fundraiser in New York City.

The star-studded evening, held at Radio City Music Hall, was projected to generate over $25 million (£20 million) for the campaign, setting a new record for a single political event.

Biden’s team aims to widen the financial gap between the president and his Republican opponent, Donald Trump, as polls indicate a closely contested race for the White House.

Among the 5,000 Democrats in attendance was Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who emphasized the high stakes of the upcoming election. Schumer urged the crowd to mobilize against the potential return of the “dishonest, chaotic, ineffective regime of Donald Trump.”

Comedian Mindy Kaling emceed the event, taking the stage just after singer Lizzo’s performance of her hit “About Damn Time.” Notable stars like Queen Latifah and Cynthia Erivo also graced the stage with their presence.

However, the most fervent applause was reserved for the arrival of the three presidents: Mr. Biden, Mr. Obama, and Mr. Clinton.

The auditorium erupted into chants of “four more years” in support of President Biden.

Comedian Stephen Colbert lightened the mood with a jest, quipping, “Three presidents… and none of them are here to go to court,” a playful reference to Mr. Trump’s legal challenges.

Reuters Stephen Colbert moderates a discussion with presidents Biden, Obama and Clinton.
The discussion between the three presidents was moderated by comedian Stephen Colbert.

The late-night comedy host then facilitated a discussion among the three presidents.

Mr. Biden kicked off the conversation by reiterating a familiar slogan, emphasizing the critical importance of democracy in the upcoming election. He criticized Mr. Trump for holding a “twisted worldview,” citing his vocal endorsement of individuals involved in the January 6 Capitol Riot and his support for authoritarian leaders overseas.

“However, I remain optimistic,” the president remarked. “If we successfully navigate through this election, we can chart the course for the next several decades.”

Mr. Obama chimed in, highlighting Biden’s legislative achievements. He praised the president for accomplishments ranging from reducing medication costs to fostering job creation, particularly within the African American community.

Furthermore, Mr. Obama expressed concern that Mr. Trump and his followers appeared to be increasingly indifferent to the core principles of America. He emphasized the importance of unity and progress, asserting that the essence of America lies in “bridging our differences and moving forward.”

Mr. Clinton, on the other hand, accused Mr. Trump of “appropriating a few prosperous years” from the tail end of Mr. Obama’s administration and then claiming these successes as his own in a remarkably short span of time.

To conclude their segment, the four men donned aviator sunglasses in a playful imitation of Mr. Biden, eliciting a standing ovation from the audience.

First Lady Jill Biden was scheduled to host an exclusive after-party for 500 guests, which would include the president’s son, Hunter Biden, and his family.

Tickets for the event ranged from $225 to half a million dollars. For $100,000, attendees had the opportunity to have their photograph taken with Mr. Biden, Mr. Obama, and Mr. Clinton, with renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz behind the lens.

While the three presidents shared a harmonious stage presence, the event was not without its moments of controversy.

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