Published : Sunday, July 21, 2019 | 5:36 AM
Former Vice President Joe Biden spent a chunk of his two-day visit to the Southland at a Friday fundraiser at the home of Pasadena City Councilmember John J. Kennedy. Biden was joined for the first time on the campaign trail by his son, Hunter.
At least five other Democratic contenders have already stumped in Pasadena over the past two months, including California Senator Kamala Harris and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
“I have known Joe Biden for over 30 years,” Kennedy told the Pasadena Weekly beforehand. “So it is with an abundance of history and respect … as well as personal affection that I am hosting Vice President Biden at an intimate lunch gathering.”
A national poll released Friday by NBC News said Biden is leading the pack of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, with Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren tied behind him.
Biden spoke for about 20 minutes about the Trump presidency and the state of racial affairs in the United States, according to a media pool report.
“Let’s take this Biden family and take them all to the White House,” Kennedy told the lunchtime gathering.
The Councilmember was referring not just to Biden but to Biden’s son Hunter, who was making his 2020 presidential campaign trail debut in Pasadena with his new wife, Melissa Cohen, and 19-year-old daughter, Finnegan.
Hunter and Cohen wed May 16, about a month after Hunter split from Hallie Biden, his late brother Beau’s widow. The New York Times reported a Biden campaign adviser confirmed the Pasadena fundraiser was Hunter Biden’s first appearance for his father’s 2020 campaign.
Kennedy had asked the pair to come to the front of the room.
“Yes, Joe is all the attention, but it’s family. Hunter is part of the family, you’re part of the Biden family,” Kennedy said.
Biden told CNN earlier this month that “Hunter is my heart” and that “He’s fighting. He’s never given up.”
Pool reports said the event was “packed with donors.”
Kennedy’s sister Lena L. Kennedy and District 6 City Councilman Steve Madison were expected to be in attendance.
Biden’s visit to Pasadena was the latest in series of visits by other Democratic presidential candidates over the past two months.
In May, Pasadena Now reported on visits by New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Senator Sanders, Senator Harris, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.