Jill Biden makes multiple fundraising stops on West Coast to rally support for husband's re-election campaign

 May 11, 2024

President Joe Biden is struggling -- both in terms of his declining physical and mental capabilities along with his re-election bid -- and increasingly needs a miracle to ensure victory and a second term in office.

Enter first lady Jill Biden, who embarked on a whirlwind West Coast trip over the past few days to to raise funds and rally flagging support for the incumbent president in three states he won in 2020 -- two of which typically aren't at risk of being lost by Democrats, according to a travel advisory.

Busy weekend campaign schedule for first lady

The president's wife first visited Portland, Oregon, for a fundraiser event on Thursday before heading down to another fundraiser in Northern California that evening.

On Friday, the first lady flew down to Southern California for an afternoon fundraiser in Los Angeles, after which she traveled to Arizona for a campaign event in Phoenix.

Her trip will be capped off on Saturday in Arizona with an appearance as a guest speaker at Mesa Community College's graduation ceremony in Tempe.

Fundraising and campaign events

On Thursday, local Portland Fox affiliate KPTV reported that first lady Jill Biden made a "rare visit" to Oregon to meet with local Democratic leaders and deliver remarks at a small fundraising event at a private home in Lake Oswego.

The visit to the state was deemed necessary after a Republican nearly won the governorship for the first time in decades in 2022. Progressive Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler told the outlet, "I think it shows Oregon is not sitting on the sidelines. They see Oregon as an important part of their campaign strategy. We seem important to the 2024 election cycle and I think that’s the appropriate judgment. We will probably see the Republican Candidate as well."

On Friday, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported that Biden paid a visit to the Los Angeles area, albeit only for a few hours, and spoke at a private fundraiser in Beverly Hills after arriving in Burbank.

Her remarks at that event predictably praised President Biden as a "steady leader" and "faithful warrior" who was "battling for the soul of our nation," and drew a sharp contrast between him and his "dangerous" political rival, former President Donald Trump, whose tenure in office she blamed for creating the current "uncertain, unpredictable, and tumultuous times."

The outlet noted that this was the first lady's fourth visit to the Los Angeles area since December, and further highlighted the disparity between the president's successful fundraising efforts versus his poor job approval and polling numbers.

Biden was then off to Phoenix on Friday night, according to the Arizona Republic, where she addressed a state teachers' union annual meeting and played on their emotions and fears as she drew distinctions between the education policies of her husband and his rival Trump.

Poor polling for the president

All of this comes as President Biden continues to trail former President Trump in most of the 2024 general election polls -- currently lagging by an average of 1.2 points.

A big factor in that reality, and likely a compelling reason for the first lady's increasing deployment as a campaign surrogate on Biden's behalf, is that a majority of the American people believe that the president no longer has the physical and mental capacity to handle the job.

Indeed, an NBC News poll in February found that 76% of voters had "major" or "moderate" concerns about Biden's physical and mental health in a second term, while an AP-NORC poll that same month revealed that 63% of Americans were "not very" or "not at all" confident that the incumbent had the "mental capability to serve effectively as president."

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