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Biden’s $2B Sausage Factory & Three Comma DeSantis Concerns

The past weekend was a Politics 101 refresher for the Biden bundling network.
Democrats are looking to Biden and the White House to make sure that this shutdown is painful for Republicans. Photo: Brendan Smialowski via Getty Images

At around 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, Tom Steyer, the billionaire hedge fund manager, climate activist, and onetime presidential candidate, slipped into a room in the recently-rebranded five-star Salamander Hotel. Steyer was one of 120 or so Democratic bundlers and mega-donors who had come to Washington to meet Joe Biden’s re-election team and hear his most senior advisors—Jen O’Malley Dillon, Steve Ricchetti, Mike Donilon, Emmy Ruiz, Julie Chávez Rodriguez, and Ron Klain, among otherslay out their plan for victory. It was an amusingly understated atmosphere in a hotel basement ballroom, especially considering that the presentation was limited to people who raised or donated $1 million to support Biden’s campaign last time around. But attendees got a boxed Biden-Harris mug, some pasta, some KIND bars, and plenty of access.

The event was heavier on ego-stroking than insider details, based on conversations with a half-dozen attendees. While Biden worked the photo line just across from Jeffrey Katzenberg—who was busy with some gripping-and-grinning of his own—there was no announcement about whether Katzenberg, or anyone else, will serve as Biden’s national finance chair. Some attendees were similarly disappointed that the campaign didn’t reveal who will win the race for finance director, although D.N.C. fundraiser-in-chief Michael Pratt—the favorite for the latter role—earned rave reviews for the two-day confab, raising expectations that he’ll soon get the nod.