George Clooney calls on Biden to drop out of the 2024 race weeks after co-hosting a Democratic fundraiser for him. Here's why it matters.

George Clooney is calling on President Biden to step aside in the 2024 race for the White House just weeks after co-hosting a splashy Democratic fundraiser for his reelection campaign.

📢 What did Clooney say, exactly?

In an op-ed published by the New York Times on Wednesday, the Academy Award-winning actor said that he loves Biden and considers him a friend, but as much as it pains him to say it, the 81-year-old president has clearly diminished with age.

“The one battle he cannot win is the fight against time,” Clooney writes. “None of us can.”

🎥 The big picture

Clooney, a lifelong Democrat and donor, has hosted numerous high-profile fundraisers for the party. In 2020, he donated more than $500,000 to Biden’s campaign effort and co-hosted a virtual fundraiser for him that raised $7 million.

On June 16, Clooney co-hosted a star-studded fundraiser for Biden with fellow actors Julia Roberts and Barbra Streisand in Los Angeles which took in more than $30 million for his reelection campaign. At that event, Biden and former President Barack Obama were interviewed onstage by late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.

In his op-ed, Clooney said Biden has noticeably deteriorated.

"It's devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fundraiser was not the Joe 'big F***ing deal' Biden of 2010," Clooney wrote. "He wasn't even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate."

Clooney said that after Biden’s halting performance in last month’s debate, he no longer believes the president is capable of defeating former President Donald Trump in the fall.

“We are not going to win in November with this president,” Clooney writes. “On top of that, we won’t win the House, and we’re going to lose the Senate. This isn’t only my opinion; this is the opinion of every senator and congress member and governor that I’ve spoken with in private. Every single one, irrespective of what he or she is saying publicly.

“The dam has broken,” he added. “We can put our heads in the sand and pray for a miracle in November, or we can speak the truth.”

↘️ Why does Clooney’s opinion matter?

Clooney has deep ties to Washington, D.C., and this administration. In December 2022, he visited the White House when he received the Kennedy Center honors. Last year, Biden appointed Clooney to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, which advises the president on cultural policy.

In May, the Washington Post reported that Clooney called one of Biden's top aides to complain about the president's criticism of the International Criminal Court's action against Israeli leaders — a case his wife, Amal Clooney, an international human rights lawyer, worked on.

🎬 What are other Hollywood donors saying?

Clooney is not the first high-profile Hollywood donor to call on Biden to leave the race. Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings and Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel have said that Biden should step aside as the nominee. Billionaire IAC chairman Barry Diller, who donated $100,000 to the president and the Democratic Party's joint 2024 super PAC, said this week he wouldn't donate to Biden anymore and is no longer supporting him.

In the op-ed, Clooney dismissed concerns that if Democrats chose a new nominee that the cash raised by the Biden-Harris campaign would go to waste.

“All of the scary stories that we’re being told about what would happen next are simply not true,” he writes. “In all likelihood, the money in the Biden-Harris coffers could go to help elect the presidential ticket and other Democrats.”

🇺🇸 What does Clooney want to see happen?

Clooney argued that the party should pick a new nominee at its convention next month and said he’d like to “hear from” Vice President Kamala Harris and Govs. Wes Moore of Maryland, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Gavin Newsom of California and Andy Beshear of Kentucky.

“We Democrats have a very exciting bench,” Clooney writes. “We don’t anoint leaders or fall sway to a cult of personality; we vote for a president.”

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