17 campaigns sent a total of 28 emails yesterday, though surprisingly few outright asked for money. With the debates just days away, the focus was definitely on watch parties and surveys.
Michael Bennet, Tim Ryan, and Elizabeth Warren were the most prolific Monday mailers, with 3 emails each. Joe Biden and Cory Booker maintained a steady 2 emails and were joined by the women: Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, and Amy Klobuchar.
Michael Bennet was across the board with his emails, asking me to sign a petition to stand with Planned Parenthood, host a watch party, and donate to get a sticker.
Tim Ryan managed to keep 2 of his emails on the same message. Unfortunately, it was a groan-worthy message. “All the cool kids are wearing this,” declared the subject of one email containing an image of his branded hoodie. “Flyin’ off the shelf like hotcakes” proclaimed another with his t-shirts. Altogether, he has sent me 7 emails in 3 days trying to get me to buy from his campaign store. Ryan also sent a short email to let me know that one of the things he loves most of spring down with people and learning what affects their lives and that the economy should work for all Americans, not just the wealthiest, did I agree? That was it. The whole email.
Elizabeth Warren did the best with all 3 of her emails on the same subject: fundraising. 2 emails reminded me that Elizabeth fundraisers differently. She doesn’t do private parties or PACs of any kind, so it is crucial that I give her money to keep her support up. Her third email launched a new program where I can make my own custom fundraising page to share with friends and family to get them to donate to Warren.
Andrew Yang launched a limited-edition commemorative debate pin. Only 500 were made, and they were sold at $20 each…and they’re already sold out. Limited edition collectibles definitely seem the way to go.
Julian Castro presented a Pre-Debate Focus Group survey with more ALL-CAPS and pleas for just five more Democrats from my city for a 100% response rate from my city than I cared to read. Castro seems to be taking a page out of ECU’s playbook, and I, for one, am not impressed.
Kirsten Gillibrand launched a new fundraising goal: $200,000 before the FEC deadline. Unfortunately for Gillibrand, her goals have always been more ambitious than her support. I’ve lost count of the number of times she’s had to extend a deadline or change a goal because she couldn’t meet it. This $200,000 goal is actually a rework of last week’s failed $100,000 goal by Saturday. It’s okay, though. She has a new strategy to pull in donations. In a recent New York Times interview, she was asked her favorite comfort food and answered “a glass of whiskey before bed.” This inspired her/her team to come up with a completely original contest: donate anything and win a chance to have a glass of whiskey with Gillibrand!
Absolutely no connection to Elizabeth Warren’s “have a beer” contest.
Not all of the candidates are focused on the debates or fundraising in their emails. Pete Buttigieg returned to the campaign trail after a particularly harrowing week. His city, South Bend, suffered a tragic officer-involved shooting where a white police officer shot and killed a black man (who allegedly attacked him with a knife, but the body cam was not on to confirm this). Racial tensions were running high in the city, and Buttigieg took time to be the city’s mayor and not a presidential candidate. About a week later, there was a mass shooting in a bar in South Bend with one fatality, and then after a raucous town hall in which Buttigieg took the anger of his community and tried to provide a path forward, a tornado struck the south side of South Bend.
(Full disclosure: South Bend is close enough for me to consider it local news.)
After all of these hits, Buttigieg sent out a heartfelt email to stress the importance of handling these issues during his lifetime. He did not ask for a donation, even removing the standard donate button from the signature and the link to his website from his logo.
Safety and justice are inseparable. Making them a lived reality for all is one of the great challenges of our time. And the solutions will have to come from cities like South Bend, where people are ready to come together to struggle and repair. I’m running for president as a mayor of an American city because the toughest issues we face locally are also important national issues. I get why people are not satisfied. I’m not either. This is why as mayors we have the opportunity to change the national conversation.
We must tackle the problem of racial inequity in our lifetime, otherwise it will undermine the entire project of America. The issue of systemic racism, and its effect on our institutions and relationships, has been created through centuries. Turning it around will take action, intention, and persistence. We can and must be the generation to finally do so.
I read every single campaign email that hits my inbox. Most of them spark no reaction in me. A few of them actually trigger negative reactions (some candidates I liked before this blog have dropped many rungs based on their emails alone). But some, like this one from Buttigieg, make me sit up and pay a little more attention to the race. Some actually manage to inspire me.
And that’s the exact opposite of typical political email spam.