Joe and Kamala 2024

The Country Is Better Off, Biden Raises Lots Of Money, The Democratic Party Is Strong

Happy Monday all. Got a few things for you today: 

Are We Better Off? Hell Yeah! – I’ve been a little surprised Republicans have begun to ask this question as the answer is so clear. Remember where we were on Jan 20, 2021? – COVID was raging, vaccines still had not been distributed, and the country was reeling from Trump’s historic mismanagement of the pandemic; the American economy was in a deep recession, the deficit was soaring, millions had lost their jobs, and the global economy was teetering; there had just been the first Inaugural without a peaceful transfer of power in our history, the Congress had been attacked, and the Capitol was under military occupation. Joe Biden inherited one of the greatest messes in American history, perhaps the greatest. And look at where we are today – booming US economy, lowest uninsured rate in US history, stock market setting records, new business being created at record rates, violent crime and murder rates have plummeted across the US, domestic energy production of all kinds are breaking records and the US produced more oil last year than any country in history, our big investment agenda will create prosperity and opportunities for American workers for decades to come….

Once again, when Democrats are in the White House, things get better; the country is better off; progress on so many fronts keeps getting made. 

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Here’s Axios today, writing about it calls America’s “phoenix economy”: 

Over the past 14 quarters, since the global economy screeched to a halt in the face of the COVID pandemic, U.S. gross domestic product — the value of all the goods and services produced within this country — has surged by an astonishing 40%.

Why it matters: This is an unprecedented — and largely unheralded — economic miracle, one that nobody expected during the depths of the COVID recession.

The big picture: Global supply chains shattered and international commerce suffered its greatest blow in a century — one from which it still hasn’t fully recovered. But far from ushering in a “Greater Depression,” the pandemic destroyed a lot of suboptimal jobs and replaced them with something much more productive.

If anything, the U.S. economy emerged from the pandemic toostrong — forcing the Fed to hike rates aggressively to control surging inflation.

What they’re saying: “The enormous labor market churn of COVID in 2020-21 had the unintended benefit of moving millions of lower-income workers to better jobs, more income security, and/or running their own businesses,” Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, tells Axios.

The bottom line: In burning down much of the old economy, we created the preconditions for a phoenix to rise from its ashes.

For a reminder about how bad things were under Trump, let’s turn to comedian Sarah Cooper in this videofrom April, 2020. It’s important to watch. 

Biden Raises $53m in February, Dem Grassroots Keeps Getting It Done – From the Washington Post

President Biden notched record fundraising receipts in February with donations from nearly half a million people…..

The strong results bolstered the Biden campaign’s argument that grass-roots energy will swell as the November election approaches and voters come to terms with the choice between Biden and Donald Trump….

…..The Biden campaign has moved this month to capitalize on its financial advantage over Trump, who is just now integrating his operation with the Republican National Committee. The Biden team has announced plans to open more than 100 offices this month and has launched a $30 million spring advertising campaign in key states.

“Every single dime that we raise right now is going to talk to voters, whether that is on TV in ads, whether that is online in ads, whether that is opening offices,” said Rufus Gifford, the campaign’s finance chair. “Our opponents are spending tens of millions of dollars on legal fees. This is a huge, huge, huge advantage that we do have, and we are excited about that.”

Trump political committees spent more than $55 million last year on legal fees defending the former president as he faces multiple lawsuits and four separate criminal prosecutions, according to campaign finance disclosures….

…..Biden clearly eclipsed Obama in another measure. While Obama reported nearly 350,000 donors in February of 2012, the Biden campaign claimed 469,000 unique donors at the same point in the current cycle. The Biden effort has received 3.4 million donations since the start of the campaign from 1.3 million donors, the campaign said in a release. Gifford said the totals had beaten the campaign’s internal expectations, which he declined to disclose.

Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg — a co-chair of the campaign who appeared in a picture with the president prepping for the State of the Union address at Camp David this month — said the biggest shift in recent months came from Biden’s increased campaigning, including a Jan. 5 speech in Pennsylvania to commemorate the U.S. Capitol attack before Biden’s inauguration.

“As it has become clearer and clearer that this is now a choice, the enthusiasm and the excitement really started coming out of Valley Forge in January, where the president really started to hit the campaign trail and got into campaign mode and started talking to and engaging much more actively with donors,” Katzenberg said. “You know the more they see him, the more their confidence and enthusiasm [grows].”

We talk all the time here how important a supercharged Dem grassroots has been to helping us overperform expectations in 2022, 2023 and in early 2024. The money we raise and the work we do has been giving Democrats the biggest and most powerful campaigns we’ve ever had, which is pushing our performance to the upper end of what’s possible, again and again. Here’s the q4 2023 fundraising report from ActBlue: 

Steady Giving. In the final quarter before election year, small-dollar donors continued their steady giving, fueling the candidates and organizations that matter most to them. This quarter, 1.9 million unique donors gave 8.6 million contributions to 15,754 Democratic campaigns and progressive organizations, totaling more than $353 million. This is an increase in total dollars given, compared to this same period in the last presidential election cycle, which included a highly competitive Democratic presidential primary.

Protecting our Rights and Democracy. This quarter, House and Senate races saw an increase in fundraising. Driven by the rampant dysfunction in the GOP-led House that left the chamber without a Speaker for three weeks, small-dollar donors focused their giving on House races that will be crucial to flipping the chamber this November. House races had a 24.7% increase in total dollars raised compared to Q4 2019, and Senate races had an impressive boost with a 32.3% increase in dollars raised and a 24.8% increase in the number of donors compared to Q4 2019. Small-dollar donors know that we need leaders in Congress who will focus on improving people’s quality of life rather than obstruction, and who will defend our democracy and personal freedom.

Victory at the Statehouse. This quarter, small-dollar donors played a key role in Democratic victories in November and demonstrated how powerful they are at the state and local levels. In Virginia, Democrats took full control of the statehouse, and in Kentucky, an energized base re-elected Gov. Andy Beshear to his second term. Local races had a 52.2% increase in dollars raised, a 36.4% increase in contributions, and a 33.8% increase in unique donors compared to Q4 2019. This quarter, gubernatorial contributions increased by 48.6% compared to 2019. Additionally, the number of unique gubernatorial donors grew 47.1% compared to Q4 2019. These state and local victories supported by small-dollar donors in this quarter help lay the foundation for the grassroots community to make an impact in 2024.

Great work everyone. Feeling good about where we are. Lots to do, but remember: 

Joe Biden is a good President. The country is better off. The Democratic Party is strong, unified, and winning elections all across the country. 

And they have Trump. 

Kennedy Family Rallies Behind The President At The White House – Here’s a remarkable photo of the Kennedy family (minus RFK) at yesterday’s White House St. Patrick Day’s celebration. And note the very full of Hopium sentiment from Kerry Kennedy (“Hopium is hope with a plan. We don’t just hope to win elections and defeat MAGA. We do the work to make it so”): 

Why I Am Optimistic About Winning This November – New resources for your viewing, listening and reading pleasure: 

Posts, Analyses, Op-Eds – Why I Am Optimistic About Winning This NovemberThere’s Only One Party Good At This Capitalism ThingMoving On From The Trump TrialsBiden’s Chances Are Much Stronger Than People Realize (MSNBC), 4 Things Biden Should Do Now (New Republic), The President Is Clearly Fighting For Us. Now We Need To Fight For Him

The GOP Is Splintering/MAGA Is A Failed PoliticsThe GOP Has Worse Than Nothin’

Video Presentation – My Latest Election Overview – “I’d Much Rather Be Us Than Them” (with Anderson Clayton too), Gov. Gavin Newsom Joins Us To Talk State Of The Union, 2024 Election, Hopium’s 1st Birthday!

New Audio Podcasts – The New Republic’s Daily Blast With Greg SargentNewDEAL’s An Honorable ProfessionDeep State Radio with David Rothkopf and Tara McGowan

Thurs, March 21st 1pm ET – With Democrats, Things Get Better – Come join me this Thursday for my signature presentation, “With Democrats, Things Get Better.” It is a 30 minute deep dive into American politics since the Cold War ended and a new age of globalization began. And what it finds is that when Democrats are in the White House, things get better for America. When Republicans are in charge, we get recession, higher deficits, failed foreign policy and American decline. Register for the live presentation this Thursday, and if you can’t make it live a recording will be shared on Friday. 

Let’s Do More, Worry Less – Here at Hopium we strive to channel all this worry and anxiety we have about our current moment into concrete action – do more, worry less – as we say here. Here are a few things you can do right now, today: 

Donate to and join the Biden-Harris campaign – This is very important. The general election has begun and it’s time to get on board the Biden-Harris train. Please donate whatever amount you can – $5, $10 – just to get started.

So far we’ve raised $164,000 from 1,900 of you for Biden Harris – thank you all! 

Make an early investment in North Carolina – North Carolina is our most important 2024 battleground expansion state. Please donate today

For more on why I think North Carolina is so important watch my in-depth interview with Anderson Clayton, the dynamic new NC Dem Party chair; learn about the extremists running statewide in North Carolina this year and why they give us a great opportunity to grow, expand and flip NC blue; and hear Anderson give us an update on her work and the impact our investments are having there. 

So far we’ve raised $117,000 from over 1,400 of you for Anderson and the NC Dems – thank you all!

Help Ruben Gallego Win Arizona – Last week I endorsed Ruben Gallego in his race to become the next Senator in Arizona. The polls are encouraging there, and this is a very critical 2024 battleground state – must win Biden-Harris state, must win Senate, two House pick up opportunities (and maybe the state house too). Because Senator Sinema stayed in for so long, Ruben is a bit behind where he should be financially and organizationally, and needs our help today. Please donate today, and I will be posting some volunteer opportunities in the coming days. We have already raised over $59,000 from over 800 of you – thank you all!

Spread Hopium – Encourage people in your networks to become a Hopium subscriber. Our goal is to get to 50,000 subscribers by March 31st (we’re at 48,000 today!). With your help, we can hit our goal, grow our community, and bring the upbeat, data-filled analysis here to more and more people. You can also become a paid subscriber which helps us grow here.

Keep working hard all. Proud to be in this fight with all of you – Simon

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