President Joe Biden swung by George Lucas’ $32 million Bel Air mansion on Saturday night to woo Democratic supporters who were in town for the Grammys.
Biden arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon and headed straight for the 9,000 square foot, 9-bedroom and 8-bath home in a private, gated community. Jill Biden, who was traveling with her husband to the West Coast, swung off to go to her own event with supporters.
Biden was reported to be meeting with black entertainment leaders. Lucas’ wife Mellody Hobson is the CEO of Ariel Investments and the chairwoman of Starbucks Corporation. She is the former chairwoman of DreamWorks Animation.
The president’s meeting comes as polls show the president’s support among black voters as falling and as Donald Trump appears to be wrapping up the Republican presidential nomination.
And it comes after the United States and Britain struck 36 targets Houthi targets in Yemen on Saturday in a second wave of assaults intended to further disable Iran-backed proxy militias.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are greeted by (from left) Senator Alex Padilla, his son Diego Cruz Padilla and Rep. Maxine Waters after arriving in Los Angeles
President Biden is meeting entertainment leaders at the Bel Air home of George Lucas and Mellody Hobson (see above in 2016)
Biden is on a three-day West Coast trip focused on his re-election bid. He’ll head to Las Vegas on Sunday for events there. It’s his third round of political visits this week – on Tuesday he was in Florida for fundraisers and, on Thursday, he went to Detroit to speak to auto union workers.
Many of the attendees for his Los Angeles meeting are in town for Sunday’s Grammys ceremony.
The Biden campaign will run a campaign ad during the Grammys that will focus on Biden’s support for abortion rights, which Democrats are pushing as a massive issue in the 2024 election.
The Bidens will not attend the music awards ceremony – although Jill Biden did go last year – but will talk with the industry leaders about the issues at stake in the election and how they can use their platforms to mobilize voters, Deadline reported.
Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars franchise, and Hobson bought the house in 2017 from a corporation with ties to Texas billionaire oilman Ross Perot. They paid $33.9 million for the home, which was built in 1929. It features a swimming pool, fountains, and a putting green.
Hobson’s name was, at one point, in the running for Treasury Secretary when some black lawmakers wanted an African American nominee. Biden eventually nominated Janet Yellen. Hobson, a black billionaire businesswoman, donated to Biden’s 2020 campaign.
Biden’s declining support among black voters is one of the many red flags Democrats have been waving as polls show a Trump-Biden rematch in 2024 is essentially a tie.
After Trump won the New Hampshire primary, the Biden campaign declared him to have essentially locked up the Republican nomination and has focused their firing power on the former president.
Some Democrats fret Biden isn’t being tough enough on his Republican nemesis as his campaign focuses on hiring staff – particularly in key states – and increasing its massive campaign chest.
Key White House staff – including Jen O’Malley Dillon, Mitch Landrieu and Mike Donilon – have moved over to the campaign. O’Malley Dillon was the campaign manager for Biden’s successful 2020 run.
Biden raised more than $97 million in the final three months of last year for his re-election campaign.
Trump, meanwhile, is bleeding money out of his PAC in the form of legal expenses.
Donald Trump’s Save America leadership PAC and the Make America Great Again PAC spent $56 million on legal fees last year, a figure that includes $30 million in the last half of the year.
Still the president has vulnerabilities that has loyalists worried. In addition to his age – at 81 he is the oldest American ever elected president – a USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll out last month showed he has the support of just 63% of black voters, a group he carried by a whooping 87% in 2020.
Biden has stepped up his wooing efforts, including making trips to South Carolina, whose black voters gave him his first primary win in the 2020 contest. He won the state’s Democratic primary easily on Saturday with 97% of the vote but only faced token opposition.
President Joe Biden visited his campaign staff in Wilmington
President Joe Biden speaks to campaign staff as first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff listen
Before heading to the West Coast on Saturday, he and Jill Biden formally opened his campaign headquarters in Wilmington, Del.
During his remarks, Biden rallied his team and said Trump was behaving even worse then he did in the 2020 campaign.
‘The guy we’re running against, he’s not for anything, he’s against everything. And no, I mean it, it’s the weirdest campaign I’ve ever been engaged in, it’s even worse in terms of his behavior than the last time in 2020,’ Biden said.
‘This is more of a mission,’ he told them. ‘We cannot lose this campaign. For the good of the country.’
‘It’s well beyond me, it’s the good of the country,’ he said.
The entire Democratic ticket was in Wilmington to mark the official opening of their 2024 campaign headquarters.
Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff flew up from Washington D.C. to join the Bidens in speaking to staff.
Meanwhile Biden, on Sunday, the president will be in Las Vegas for political events. Biden’s stop comes as Nevada wraps up early voting for the presidential preference primary. Election Day for the primary is Tuesday, Feb. 6.
He will speak to voters in the Historic Westside section of the city about what is at stake in the election, his campaign said.
The LA swing will be the Bidens’ first trip to the region since December, when they were in town for a fundraising swing.
First lady Jill Biden wears a pin in support of her husband, President Joe Biden, while visiting the Biden campaign headquarters in Wilmington
Vice President Kamala Harris addresses campaign staff in Wilmington as President Biden listens on
James Costos (center) posted a photo from the fundraiser he hosted at his Los Angeles home in the fourth quarter of 2023 with (from left) first lady Jill Biden, President Joe Biden, Speaker Emeritus Nancy Pelosi, and Costos’ partner Michael Smith on the Bidens’ last LA visit
His fundraisers during that three-day swing were filled with celebrities, including Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand, Shonda Rhimes, Rob Reiner, and David Geffen.
President Biden only has mild opposition for the Democratic nomination and most of the funds he raised will be used for the general election.
Biden’s focus on the campaign trail has been on Trump. He has made defending democracy a centerpiece of his reelection bid and has repeatedly said Trump threatens the principles on which the country was founded.