‘Whoever earns our nomination, he or she will have a strong, united, and well-organized DNC ready to spring into action…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Former President Barack Obama is hitting the campaign trail once again, heading to Silicon Valley, where he plans to raise money for the Democratic Party—even though he has yet to specifically endorse any of the current presidential hopefuls.
The event one of several mega-fundraisers the Democratic National Committee has held, but it’s the first Obama has headlined. Ticket prices run as high as $355,000—the lowest being $10,000, according to Vox.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has also headlined DNC fundraising events when she ran for Senate, raising the question whether she’d accept the large dollar donations if nominated, despite the claim that she’s personally opposed to big money politics.
A cash-strapped Joe Biden has already flip-flopped on this issue, announcing he’d begin accepting money raised by super-PACs.
Some campaign watchers are skeptical Warren will honor her earlier pledge, especially since she’s already been caught seeding money from her past Senate campaign into her presidential run.
“I will help the party,” Warren said during an event in South Carolina last week. “I am not going to ask Democrats to unilaterally disarm in the face of an onslaught of money.”
Just a few weeks prior, Warren claimed that she would stand up to the DNC and that she would “not be forced to make changes in how I raise money.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont also rejects big money politics, and his campaign has said it would attend large-dollar fundraisers during the general election only if they are grassroots-driven and open to low-dollar donors.
Obama’s fundraising event will likely draw a number of big donors, many of whom have urged the former president to play a more active role in the 2020 race.
Speculation has run rampant that his wife, former First Lady Michelle Obama, is secretly planning a late run for the Democratic nomination. However, she has unequivocally denied those rumors.
If she were to run, she would potentially have several well-funded super-PACs—including those managed by close Obama allies like Eric Holder and her former chief of staff, Tina Tchen—at her unofficial beck-and-call.
The couple also has a Netflix development deal worth hundreds of millions—if not billions—of dollars and could effectively provide a free advertising platform for quasi-Democratic messages even if Michelle were to recuse herself.
Unlike another Democratic power couple—Bill and Hillary Clinton—who have been unable to resist inserting themselves into the current campaign, the Obamas have thus far gone out of their way to avoid the partisan fray, even as House Democrats pursue impeachment against the current president.
Obama, on the other hand, has kept a low profile for the most part. He has stuck largely to fundraising and advocating for the Holder-run National Democratic Redistricting Committee.
Earlier this year, he announced the Democratic Unity Fund, which seeks to support the yet-to-be-determined victor in the Democratic primary, regardless of who it may be.
“The Democratic Unity Fund is a promise that whoever earns our nomination, he or she will have a strong, united, and well-organized DNC ready to spring into action the moment the general election starts,” Obama said in May, “a DNC that’s ready to lift us all to victory in November.”
Liberty Headlines’ Ben Sellers contributed to this report.