Former Vice President and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden attended a fundraiser just off Stanford’s campus on Thursday, eating lunch at the Greek restaurant Evvia Estiatorio from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Biden later attended a fundraiser hosted by Sen. Dianne Feinstein ’55 (D-CA) in her San Francisco home.
During the Palo Alto event, Biden announced that his campaign raised $15 million over the last three months, less than fellow candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who raised $25.3 million and $19.1 million, respectively, over the same span. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has not announced her third-quarter fundraising total.
Speaking to a crowd of 80-100 people at the restaurant, Biden targeted President Donald Trump amid controversy over Trump’s requests that foreign leaders investigate the former VP.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Biden said. “You’re not going to destroy me. And you’re not going to destroy my family.”
Thursday’s event comes just three weeks after Trump attended a luncheon to charm some of Silicon Valley’s biggest tech moguls at the San Mateo County mansion of Sun Microsystems co-founder Scott McNealy. Despite attempts to keep details surrounding the fundraiser secret, protesters still showed up at Portola Valley. No arrests were made, and the demonstrations did not reach the violent levels of those in response to Trump’s last two Bay Area visits.
Biden was joined by tech executives at his own fundraising event, including Dashboard Technology President Wade Randlett and Michelle Kraus, Head of Government Affairs at Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.
Also at Thursday’s event were Palo Alto City Council member Liz Knis and City Council candidate Arthur Keller. Ticket prices ranged from $1,500 to $10,000.
Biden’s Palo Alto visit is the closest that a current 2020 presidential candidate has come to Stanford since Julian Castro ’96 visited campus to meet with the local chapter of the Service Employees International Union on March 23.
Silicon Valley is a popular destination for political fundraising. McNealy has donated nearly $1 million to Republican candidates since 2000, according to The Mercury News. Presidential candidate Cory Booker ’91 M.A. ’92 has made at least four trips to Silicon Valley since announcing his candidacy in February, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has made at least six trips to the Bay Area since that time. Jill Biden attended numerous events last month, including three in Los Altos and San Francisco on Sept. 27 and two in Sonoma and Fremont on Sept. 28.
Meanwhile, some politicians are focused on breaking up some of Silicon Valley’s powerful tech giants, with Warren and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) being among the most vocal about their plans for an antitrust investigation that will likely target at least Facebook and Google.
The next campaign-funding reporting cycle closes on Oct. 10. Before then, Booker is scheduled to appear at events in Menlo Park and Los Altos.
Contact Holden Foreman at hs4man21 ‘at’ stanford.edu and Elena Shao at eshao98 ‘at’ stanford.edu.