Another day with 31 emails, but this time, they were delivered by 18 campaigns. The candidates are finally (mostly) calming down about Trump’s announcement, but they’re getting excited about the debates next week.
Tim Ryan must have felt threatened by how many emails Cory Booker sent yesterday, because he made sure to fill my inbox with 4 today. Little did hee realize that Booker has backed off, sending only 2 emails along with Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Steve Bullock, Julian Castro, Kamala Harris, John Hickenlooper, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Marianne Williamson.
While talk of the debates and raising money before the FEC deadline were the big topics of the day, 6 out of the 31 emails (19%) were repeats of earlier messages. Both Kamala Harris and John Hickenlooper repeated messages they had sent earlier on the same day, while Steve Bullock trotted out a old favorite “Tell Trump: Public Lands should stay in Public Hands.” This was the third time he had sent that exact email.
Amy Klobuchar spoke about her campaign’s exciting momentum, including the exact same story about people peeking in the windows of her birthday celebration. She first referenced this event in a June 6 email. If that is still the most exciting moment of her campaign, I’m not sure why she keeps telling me that her momentum is still growing and people are getting even more excited.
Joe Biden copied an email from Wednesday without even tacking on a “wanted to make sure you didn’t miss this” like so many others did. He did make one small change, though. The email starts like this:
We don’t mean to alarm you, but we have some bad news:
Donald Trump raised nearly $25 million on the day he launched his campaign
Wednesday’s email said “over $24 million.”
I’m not sure that Biden’s team is being entirely honest when they say “We don’t mean to alarm you.” Especially not since they didn’t get enough of an alarmed response so they tried again. “We don’t mean to alarm you…”
“I said, ‘We don’t mean to alarm you!'”
I’m so over politicians trying to alarm me. I’ve been on-edge politically ever since 2016. Give me a politician who values calm.
Give me a politician like Pete Buttigieg, who returned from several days of silence with an email touching on the grief his city is feeling. Recently, a white police officer shot and killed a black man. Buttigieg took a few days off the campaign trail to return to South Bend to be their mayor. After several days, he reflected on the shadow of racism that poisons our country.
When someone sees police car lights in his neighborhood and is filled with fear instead of reassurance, that should move all of us to demand a change in how policing is done. When someone gets followed around a store by a security guard because she committed the sin of shopping while Black, that should spark outrage in all of us, whether we know her or not. When a parent is forced to discuss with their child how they – differently than their white peers – must be cautious in how they move and speak when confronted by a police officer, that should break all of our hearts.
There is a direct relationship between what happened in our nation’s past and what’s happening now. We cannot take racist policies and replace them with neutral policies and expect things to even out; the consequences of racial hurt for the economic and physical security of all Americans, and especially Black Americans, shape our times.
Buttigieg responded to this tragedy by stepping out of the presidential spotlight, refusing to profit off the death of a member of his community. There is no exaggerated outrage in his return, no pounding the table and demanding money in exchange for talking about the problem of racism (there isn’t even the standard “donate” button in his email). There is only a quiet leadership determined to set an example of how to respond to tragedy.
Buttigieg gets a lot of flack for being the youngest and most “inexperienced” in the crowded field, but as we can tell from the current President, age does not mean maturity. Though very few of these campaign emails are actually written by the candidates themselves, the tone at the top sets the tone for the whole campaign. It has been fascinating to watch the various tones take shape. Some examples just from Thursday include:
Kirsten Gillibrand is a fighter, unflinching feminine and determined to smack some heads together and get stuff done.
Marianne Williamson speaks frequently of the power of love and togetherness and really makes me feel like she’s about to sell me a healing crystal.
Cory Booker is honored to be among such amazing Democratic opponents in this opportunity of a lifetime and sees a way forward for the whole country.
Steve Bullock doesn’t understand why anyone else is running or why he’s doing so poorly, because he’s the only candidate who has won a Trump state.
Bernie Sanders is angry at everyone with money and feels like the system is rigged against him specifically, but he’ll keep fighting it anyway.
And Joe Biden knows we’re not focused nearly enough on Trump, the only thing that actually matters this election cycle.
In the middle of all of this, Julian Castro is struggling to find his voice. His latest email had a Sanders-esque subject line of four full sentences summarizing the entire email:
I’m personally asking you to make a $15 contribution. Breaking polls show we’ve skyrocketed to the top. I need your support to give this growing movement the resources it deserves. Will you help me hire more staff, run more ads, and build towards victory?
Castro has definitely struggled the most with defining himself this campaign. He started off as the neediest candidate, but after giving himself a 700-donor-a-day deadline and immediately falling short, he backed off on the emails, only really talking about campaign events such as media appearances or preparing for the debates. As much as I want to like him as a candidate, I don’t think 2020 is the right year for him to run. Castro might be able to go far once he has taken some time to figure out who he is as a politician.