Thank god the end-of-quarter/end-of-month/debate high all fell on a weekend. There is no way I would have been able to keep up with the amount of emails if I also had to do my day job!
195 emails came in over 2 days from 22 campaigns.
20 campaigns sent 120 of those emails to my non-donor account.
A different 20 sent 75 of those emails to my donor account.
And yes. I read every single one of them.
With an actual fundraising deadline looming, everyone was letting me know how critical it was that I donate, but none so fervently as Elizabeth Warren. Not only did she send 11 non-donor emails, but 7 of them came in on Sunday.
I don’t know what she was thinking. If the first six pleas for money didn’t make me open my wallet, why would a seventh sway me?
Bernie Sanders was the next most prolific writer at 9 emails to one list, and after him I was finally back in familiar territory with Julian Castro filling my inbox. Castro, along with Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, and Beto O’Rourke all sent 8 emails in 2 days.
Let’s begin with the obvious: everyone wanted money. The fundraising deadline was on everyone’s mind. Every campaign sent at least 1 Fundraising email, even Joe Sestak, who only sent me 1 email at all.
The debates were a popular button to push, with many campaigns either boasting about their candidate’s performance in the previous ones or asking me to help guarantee their presence in the next.
Most of the emails contained bald-faced pleas for money. Click a button, click a link, have my donation matched (Michael Bennet was offering 2x-matched donations, while Cory Booker was asking me to be the matcher on my donor account). The ask didn’t vary. The method of asking didn’t vary much either.
Several candidates attempted to coax me into opening their emails by promising it was the last one they’d send me that day. Julian Castro, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobuchar all sent me a “last chance!” email and then fell blissfully silent late at night.
Jay Inslee sent his first “last chance!” email at 10:40 AM on Sunday, then his staff forwarded it to me to make sure I saw it at 4:35 PM, and then he sent the exact same “last chance!” email again at 9:36 PM. Oh, and he sent it to both donor and non-donor accounts, so I ended up seeing his “last chance!” 6 times in 1 day. (To be fair, the average Inslee email recipient would only have seen it 3 times.)
For once, Sunday was the busiest day of my inbox.
70 of the 115 emails on Sunday were to my non-donor account, which would have smashed any single-day record on its own. With everyone asking for money, though, I want to focus on the few who didn’t.
Kirsten Gillibrand sent me an email asking for my opinions, but this was part of her standard welcome packet.
John Delaney started Sunday morning with a lot of positive news reviews of his performance in the debates over 2 emails. He didn’t want to ask me for any money, just wanted to point out that he did really really well on that stage.
Beto O’Rourke attempted to differentiate himself from the crowd by talking about how he visited a migrant detention facility in Clint, Texas, just outside of his beloved El Paso. He detailed the inhumane conditions and called out the administration for letting it happen. Then he did the unthinkable:
Conventional wisdom tells us that today we should be hosting big fundraising events and making phone calls to donors. But this is a human rights crisis that demands immediate action. These children deserve respect, dignity, and humane living conditions. Moving them out of these facilities quickly, providing them adequate shelter and support, and uniting them with family members should be this administration’s immediate priority.
That’s why Beto just held a rally outside of the facility with political leaders and activists from all over the country to demand that this mistreatment of children — as well as the separating of families and indefinite detainment of immigrants — immediately end.
We’re asking you to make a donation — not to our campaign, but to the Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services of El Paso. They’re an incredible organization that provides legal services for adults and unaccompanied immigrant children in the local immigration detention centers and shelters. 100% of your contribution will go to them. You can chip in here: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/diocesan-migrant-refugee-servicesTeam Beto
He asked, on an end-of-quarter fundraising deadline day, for a donation to be made to help the migrants and refugees and not himself. Not split with himself. And his followup self-fundraising emails all pointed back to this crisis as well.
Way to go, O’Rourke.
Pete Buttigieg sent a couple emails asking if I could ask others to donate to him and letting me know when he hit his $250,000 fundraising goal and saying thank you for what I’ve done to help.
Cory Booker also said thank you.
And… that was it. All the non-donate and non-merch emails I received on Sunday.
There were a few other notable emails, but none of them were notable in a good way…
Julian Castro basically said the exact same thing in every email, with a little different wording each time. What made me cringe was when I received an email from his brother that said exactly the same thing, just worded from a different perspective:
My life hasn’t always been easy, and I know yours hasn’t either. I understand the struggle real people in this country face.
I watched my grandmother clean other people’s houses for a living. She never got passed the 4th grade. She came here from Mexico when she was seven, rolled up her sleeves, and worked 20-hour days to give us a better life.
My mom was a single mom. She experienced first-hand that gut-wrenching feeling of not being able to put food on the table when my brother and I were little. I felt guilty when I got sick because it meant that my family would be crushed under bills from the doctor.
I know what it feels like to be from an immigrant family, in a neighborhood that doesn’t have much privilege. I grew up in one.Julian Castro
Our grandmother immigrated to America from Mexico when she was around 7. She worked as a maid. We were raised by a single mom who worked long hours to pay our rent.
Our family knows the struggle of the American worker, because we’ve been there. We know what it’s like to choose between going to the doctor and eating dinner. We know what it feels like to have your heart sink into your chest when you get your first college tuition bill.
My brother will always have your back, because he’s overcome adversity too. I’m hoping you’ll have his back today.Joaquin Castro
This story has cropped up in some form or another in pretty much every single email Castro has sent. I’m glad he’s overcome adversity, but I don’t think that alone qualifies him for Presidency.
As much as I groan and roll my eyes every time I hear about Castro’s grandmother and mother, Joe Biden earned an even bigger reaction out of me when he started sending emails with this sign off:
None of the other candidates have started including their photo in their signature. It might have helped me tell John Hickenlooper and John Delaney apart at the first debate. Biden, however, is one candidate I actually could recognize from the start.
Speaking of John Delaney… remember how I complemented Cory Booker yesterday for his great graphics?
Not every graphics team is created equally.
And not-created-equal includes this graphic from Bernie Sanders. I guess being the first person from my city is almost as good as slipping a donation in before the deadline.