The President and First Lady were in Los Angeles for less than 24 hours on the day of the Grammys, during which time they met with celebrities and leading Black entertainers to court their endorsement. The goal was to secure the political support of the entertainers’ fans.

On Saturday, February 3, President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden arrived at LAX on board Air Force One, where Senator Alex Padilla and Representative Maxine Waters greeted them. From there, the President swiftly boarded an M1 helicopter bound for Santa Monica while the First Lady joined a motorcade with a different destination.

The trip takes advantage of the Grammys, which concentrates many celebrities and entertainment leaders in the LA area. The President and First Lady did not attend the event but planned to quickly depart for a Las Vegas campaign event set for the following day.

“Getting entertainment surrogates is a long-held tactic Democrats use in presidential campaigns,” Michael Trujillo, a veteran Democratic strategist, told the Los Angeles Daily News. “And, the base of the Democratic Party is African American voters, so we need the base to turn out to make sure Biden gets reelected.”

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“LA is a longtime ATM for presidential candidates,” Trujillo said. “Because of the strikes, they are probably not where they would like to be in terms of engaging the Hollywood and entertainment types.” The recently resolved WGA and SAG-AFRA stopped those in the entertainment industry from organizing political actions like fundraisers.

The Bidens had planned several campaign stops and important meetings during the whirlwind trip. According to a Friday report by Deadline, this included specific plans to speak with Black leaders, in particular, about the upcoming election.

The trip takes place during a time of political pique for the Bidens. As the President’s motorcade traveled from the Santa Monica Airport to Bel Air for a campaign meeting, reporters alongside the President took count of passing vehicles flying Palestinian flags. The trip also coincided with the day of the first Presidential Primary. Voting occurred Saturday afternoon as Biden conducted his LA meetings and campaign stops. He swept the South Carolina primary. The defeat of longshot challenges was not unexpected.

The real test of campaign efforts for the Bidens will not come until much later. “Between now and November, you’re going to have the dog days of summer, and traditionally, once Labor Day comes around, that’s when folks are paying attention to politics,” Trujillo said. “Then, I think there’ll be no shortage of celebrities, from the Taylor Swifts to the Tyler Perrys, supporting President Biden.”

Current projections by most pollsters predict a November rematch between President Biden and current GOP frontrunner Donald Trump. In such a presidential election, President Biden would need the Democratic base—primarily made up of Black voters—to turn out in large numbers, much as they did in the 2020 election, which saw the most significant voter participation of the 21st century. Given Biden’s low approval ratings, reportedly down to 37%, such a turnout isn’t being taken for granted.