The Biden re-election campaign is deploying Vice President Kamala Harris to Chicago on Wednesday afternoon for a donor retreat, where she’ll seek to motivate deep-pocketed supporters to act with more urgency — without panicking.
Why it matters: As recent polls draw a new round of Democratic hand-wringing, the campaign needs its donor base to be both confident of President Biden’s prospects in November and a little scared about the chances of a Trump restoration.
Between the lines: Biden’s team is convinced it will raise more than the combined $1.6 billion the campaign and affiliated groups collected in 2020, with former President Trump likely to once again win the GOP nomination.
Zoom in: Harris’ appearance, which resulted from a direct request from the campaign, is also an opportunity for the VP to meet with some of the party’s most prolific fundraisers and showcase her central role in the re-election effort.
What they’re saying: “The campaign’s cash on hand and ability to reach grassroots donors will set Biden up well for the next 14 months,” Jim Messina, former President Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, told Axios.
Driving the news: To kick off the three-day retreat, Harris will be interviewed by campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez in a closed-door discussion Wednesday afternoon.
The big picture: Biden officials are bracing for a tight election next year and are focusing on replicating their 2020 map by spending resources — and the president’s time — in the upper Midwest, as well as Nevada, Arizona and Georgia.
What we’re watching: Biden advisers express confidence they will report solid fundraising numbers for the campaign’s third quarter, which ends Sept. 30.
Flashback: The Biden campaign raised over $72 million with the Democratic National Committee from April to July.
The bottom line: Money is unlikely to be a major problem for the Biden-Harris campaign. But it still needs to do the hard work of raising it — and that requires donor maintenance with VIP treatment and intimate briefings.