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Jill Biden preparing ‘active fundraiser’ role in early stages of campaign

<i>Cheney Orr/Reuters</i><br/>First Lady Jill Biden is pictured here in Nashville in March.
Cheney Orr/Reuters
First Lady Jill Biden is pictured here in Nashville in March.

By Arlette Saenz, CNN

(CNN) — First lady Dr. Jill Biden will hit the 2024 fundraising circuit next week, marking her first solo efforts to promote her husband’s reelection campaign.

The first lady will speak at a fundraiser for the Biden Victory Fund, Biden’s joint fundraising committee, in New York City on Monday followed by a West Coast swing that includes two fundraising events in San Francisco on Tuesday and another in Los Angeles on Wednesday. She’s expected to attend more fundraisers later in month, advisers say.

The first lady’s push with donors comes as the campaign looks to scoop up cash as the fundraising quarter, the first since President Joe Biden announced his reelection, comes to an end this month. But it also showcases how the Biden team plans to utilize the first lady in the early stages of the reelection bid, courting high-dollar donors to build up the campaign’s war chest.

“In this first phase of the campaign, she will be an active fundraiser, helping to build up the Democratic Party’s resources and infrastructure for the 2024 campaign, and reminding supporters what’s at stake in the upcoming election,” said Elizabeth Alexander, a senior adviser for the Biden campaign.

It’s similar to the campaign’s activity seen so far during the reelection bid. The president has eschewed traditional campaigning in these early months, focusing instead on the work of commander-in-chief with a few fundraisers sprinkled along the way. He’s expected to make a fundraising push of his own in the final weeks of the quarter, including stops in California and Illinois, a source close to the campaign says.

But advisers say the first lady does plan to reprise her role as a frequent campaigner for her husband down the road, balancing her work as first lady and teaching with the demands of a campaign.

“Her warmth and approachability, combined with her 30-plus years as a classroom teacher, make her an effective messenger on the campaign trail,” Alexander said. “As she has been for all her husband’s presidential campaigns, she will continue to be a formidable presence on the stump.”

The first lady was a prominent fixture on the presidential campaign trail in 2020, holding solo events throughout Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. She was one of the Democratic Party’s most active campaigners during the 2022 midterm elections, traveling to more than a dozen states with close to 40 campaign and fundraising appearances for Democrats.

Much of her focus during those midterm events was touting the accomplishments of her husband’s administration – something she’ll turn to promoting again in the upcoming campaign season.

But she also used some of her 2022 campaign appearances to make a case for protecting abortion rights after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer, a message that’s likely to arise again as the campaign has made reproductive rights a focal point of its early push.

“I was shocked when the Dobbs decision came out. For me, I felt it was devastating. You know, how could we go back to those times?” the first lady said, referring to the pre-Roe era she grew up in.

On Friday, the first lady is accompanying her husband to North Carolina to highlight the administration’s efforts to promote workforce training programs for jobs that don’t require a four year college degree and an executive order to help military spouses remain in the workforce.

While it’s an official event, North Carolina also represents a state the campaign hopes to make competitive in the upcoming presidential election after Biden lost the state to former president Donald Trump by only one point in 2020.

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