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‘No One Is Picking Up The Phone’: Biden’s Fundraising Confronts New Hurdles

President Joe Biden pays for a takeout order at Tacos 1986, a Mexican restaurant, in Los Angeles, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022. With the president are Rep. Karen Bass, D, Calif., and Los Angeles County supervisor Hilda Solis. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Joe Biden’s fundraising operation started showing cracks in its once formidable armor, almost 10 days after his disastrous presidential debate performance.

Some of Biden’s campaign bundlers have stopped making calls to potential donors since the June 27 debate, according to people familiar with the matter.

“No one is picking up the phone,” said a well-connected Democratic fundraiser, who raises money for Biden and the Democratic Party. This person and others were granted anonymity in order to speak openly about private conversations on a sensitive topic.

A few of his bundlers are limiting their outreach to people in their personal fundraising networks, after they either received no response at all to asks, or else they received furious replies from people who questioned why they should give money to Biden after his substandard debate performance, according to people familiar with the matter.

Bundlers are a crucial piece of any campaign’s financing strategy. Typically wealthy and well connected themselves, bundlers agree to reach out directly to people in their personal networks — both social and professional — to ask for donations for campaigns and joint fundraising committees.

Bundling is more of an art than a science. Some bundlers only ask people they know for small contributions, while others feel comfortable asking for six figure checks. The key is that a bundler spends his or her personal capital asking friends, family, clients and colleagues for what is essentially a favor — to give money to a candidate who shares their values.

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