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Ranking Biden’s campaign trail star surrogates

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President Biden’s reelection campaign has deployed high-profile surrogates across the country to give him all the help he can get ahead of 2024.

The president’s persistently low approval rating has raised concerns among Democrats over his ability to win in November — possibly in a rematch against former President Trump.

To help Biden, his campaign will be relying on allies to raise enthusiasm among Democrats and get out the vote.

Here is a ranking of Biden’s top surrogates.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

Newsom is a rising star in the Democratic Party who already has emerged as a key Biden surrogate.

The governor recently sparred on Fox News with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), almost looking like a presidential candidate himself.

If Biden were not running, it seems certain Newsom would be in the race to replace him.

Newsom is the governor of a blue state in California, where Biden doesn’t need much help electorally. But he’s shown an ability to get attention that could pay dividends for his White House ally.

In the debate against DeSantis, he won strong reviews with his parries with DeSantis, himself a GOP presidential candidate.

“If they’re looking for a surrogate in chief, he is it. He knows how to argue for Biden’s policies better than Biden can,” said one former Biden and Obama campaign aide. “He’s not scared to throw a punch, not scared to do media like Fox News and Latino media.”

Newsom could also help Biden with younger voters put off by Biden.

“Gavin exudes the confidence and charisma that appeals to several generations of voters and his ability to perform is unmatched,” the former campaign aide said. “His only negative is that he outshines Biden and has a lot of voters wishing he was on the ballot instead.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Clinton brings major fundraising chops to the Biden team and comes with her long Rolodex of Democratic donors who backed her presidential run in 2016.

The former first lady and secretary of State has held onto her popularity among factions of the Democratic base, especially with women.

Her fundraising events with top donors also can include appearances by former President Bill Clinton, who popped in during a donor event for Biden’s reelection in November, NBC reported.

Hillary Clinton, who is considered a defense hawk, has been outspoken about the Israel-Hamas war and has defended Biden’s foreign policy decisions. She published an Atlantic op-ed in November about the need to destroy Hamas, a stance that aligns with Biden’s.

Former first lady Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama has star power like few others, and her rare campaign appearances make a particularly strong splash.

When she bashed Trump at the Democratic National Convention in August 2020, Trump fought back and argued the Obama presidency brought him to the White House. Michelle Obama then gave Biden an October 2020 boost in the form of a video shared by the campaign, during which she called for people to vote for Biden like their lives depended on it.

Political watchers have for years floated her as the future of the Democratic Party and a formidable candidate for president. Obama herself has repeatedly made it clear she has no interest in running for office.

For Biden, her high individual approval rating will make her support valuable and she will likely help him with Black women voters in particular in 2024.

Most of her work comes behind the scenes through her organization “When We All Vote.”

The mission is to increase participation in every election and to educate and register new voters.

When it was launched in 2018, major celebrities from Tom Hanks to Jennifer Lopez joined her as co-chairs.

Former President Obama

Former President Obama is another strong Biden surrogate who has already been stepping up his activity.

Biden and Obama teamed up for a video released Friday promoting the Affordable Care Act, dubbed ObamaCare, on the final day of open enrollment and amid renewed threats from Trump to kill it. Obama made an undisclosed trip to the White House to film the video.

In June, the former president participated in two fundraising videos for Biden’s reelection campaign. 

Obama rallied with Biden three days before the midterm elections in Philadelphia, campaigning for Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) and Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D). The two then-candidates both won their elections in 2020 in a state that will be critical to Biden in 2024.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Whitmer could give Biden a swing state boost he needs. The rising star is quickly becoming one of the most high-profile female politicians in the country, which will be significant when Democrats are looking to appeal to women voters on reproductive rights issues in 2024.

She is a co-chair of the Biden 2024 campaign and has made the media rounds for months to tout Biden’s record and sell his accomplishments. Other governors, like Wes Moore of Maryland and J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, have similarly been seen as good voices on the airwaves for Biden.

Recent polls have shown Trump leading Biden in multiple key swing states, including Michigan, where a CNN/SSR poll showed the former president with a 10-point lead.

Biden won Michigan by less than 3 points in 2020 and earlier this year competed with Trump, who won the state in 2016, for support from autoworkers during the strike.

Hollywood

Hollywood stars typically come out for Democratic candidates, whether through big-dollar fundraising or appearances on the trail.

Biden campaigned in Los Angeles this month and reportedly hauled in $15 million, attending several fundraisers alongside stars like Barbra Streisand and Shonda Rhimes.

In November, Biden and Vice President Harris campaigned in San Francisco alongside Newsom and film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg. Also in San Francisco, Biden hosted a welcome reception for APEC, which included a video from sports stars Steph Curry, Steve Kerr and Kristi Yamaguchi and a performance by pop star Gwen Stefani.

During the 2020 campaign, Biden received official endorsements from dozens of stars. The actors from the television show “Parks and Recreation,” including Amy Poehler, Aubrey Plaza, and Adam Scott, participated in a virtual event to boost Biden and Democrats in Wisconsin and brought in more than $4 million.


Source: The Hill

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