Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) is getting serious about raising money. At a series of meals and meetings in Los Angeles recently, aide Ted Kaufman said Biden lined up commitments from more than 100 people to raise money for a Biden presidential campaign, should he run, and for now to give $1,000 to Biden's 1990 reelection campaign.

Robert Farmer, who raised money for Sen. John Glenn's presidential effort, said Biden is doing what he needs to. "You start behind the eight-ball, if you are Joe Biden," he said. "Candidates go three places to start raising money: California, New York and their home state. Biden doesn't come from a state where he can raise a lot of money."

Kaufman said Biden is reaching out to traditional Democratic fund-raisers and to people who previously have not been involved in presidential politics, like Ted Field, an heir to the Marshall Field fortune.

Nathan Landow, a major Democratic Party fund-raiser, predicted that Biden "will be very successful in getting people to support him financially and politically." One reason: "Biden knows you have to get to the hearts of people," Landow said. "So does Mario Cuomo."