Biden Fundraisers Feature Caviar, Langoustine Tail, and Jazz Bands

Joe Biden
Joe Biden / Getty Images
May 21, 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden has pitched himself as "middle-class Joe" to voters on the campaign trail, but a recent report from the New York Times suggests his high-dollar fundraisers are anything but simple affairs.

The Tuesday morning story from the New York Times delved into the lavish details of the fundraisers Biden has held since beginning his presidential campaign last month.

Described as "lavish affairs" by the Times, the story mentioned some fundraisers have featured "a live jazz band," while another featured "langoustine tail and caviar."

Langoustine tail is "a rare and expensive delicacy," according to the Browne Trading Company, one of the premier providers of fine caviar in the United States, which also describes the seafood as "a cross between a crayfish and a lobster." Sometimes referred to as "Norway lobster," langoustines generally "cost more than twice as much as lobster," even though they yield less than half of the meat of a traditional lobster.

Biden, unlike some of his other Democrat competitors, has not sworn off high-dollar fundraisers in his battle to win the Democratic presidential nomination. The fundraisers, which the Biden campaign has allowed a select group of reporters to attend, can net his campaign hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single evening. Attendees have been asked for as much as $2,800 apiece to participate.

"Biden has constructed much of his early schedule around vacuuming up as much campaign cash as possible, as his operation presses to assert his front-runner status with a show of financial force," the Times added.

Candidates such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) have derided the Democrat Party's reliance on wealthy donors, whom they argue have undue influence on the policy choices made by party leaders. Instead, the Warren and Sanders campaign have chosen to rely on a vast network of small-dollar donors to fuel their campaigns.

Sanders has not been shy to hit Biden over the lucrative fundraisers, including in a recent email where his campaign knocked Biden, albeit not by name, for raising $1.4 million in just two fundraising events.

"That’s easy money. But it’s also corrupting money," the campaign said.