Day 65: 7/24/19

On Wednesday, Robert Mueller went before Congress to testify about his report. 18 of the 59 emails from 19 campaigns referenced this testimony in a variety of ways. Of those emails, 31 came from all 19 campaigns to their non-donor lists, while 16 campaigns sent the other 28 emails to their donor lists.

I have new colors ready to go once the Google color bug is fixed.

Elizabeth Warren pulled out a surprising victory in her email count with 4 donor emails. Joe Biden and Tim Ryan were both left behind with only 3 emails each. Warren was one of the campaigns not talking Mueller today. She instead wanted to reiterate (three times!) that her fundraising is critically important right now, she’s only taking money from grassroots donors, and it is super important that I donate again to keep her momentum strong!

Also, she has a merch shop.

Lots of petitions to impeach Trump.

Outside of money and watch parties, the biggest ask was to sign petitions against Trump. Tom Steyer, Julian Castro, and Kirsten Gillibrand all asked me to sign their petition to demand impeachment or stronger investigation from Congress. John Hickenlooper emailed me twice to stress how important it was that we defeat Trump. Amy Klobuchar, Tim Ryan, and Joe Biden all added their voices to his, with all of them calling for a protection of democracy.

Steve Bullock had the oddest anti(?)-Trump offer: buy a shirt from his brand new merch store to never forget that 6 Trump campaign advisors were charged or plead guilty as a result of Mueller’s investigation..

Not that the shirt actually said that.

Where does it say these people did something bad?

I don’t know about you, but there is no way I will ever honor these six men by giving them real estate across my front and keeping their names spoken. Furthermore, this simplistic design (Helvetica List or Ampersand List are common names for this design, which has become incredibly popular this last decade) is a sort of touchstone between people. There’s nothing else on this shirt, so only someone else “in the know” would be able to look at your shirt and understand it.

Usually, this sort of design is for members of a band or a group that you like. Without any other indications of opinion (except the Bullock branding on the sleeve, and Bullock is obscure enough it might not be recognized as a Democratic shirt), this could easily be worn by someone who sees these six as noble martyrs for the Trump cause or something like that. A shirt with names such as Feinstein& Schiff& Clapper& Comey& Rosenstein& Mueller would have been much more solid in its meaning and interpretation.

Mueller was a News Event.

Not all of the candidates were focused on Mueller on Wednesday. Several of them chose to focus on their policies and ideas.

Beto O’Rourke sent an email from a woman in Texas whose family has struggled with healthcare bills. One child was born 11 weeks premature and suffered from medical problems most of his life. Her other child was diagnosed with a rare cancer. She drained her life savings to pay for their care, and both children are now healthy, but she is terrified: both children now have pre-existing conditions. If their health insurance isn’t guaranteed like it is currently under Obamacare, they could be denied coverage. This woman believes in O’Rourke’s health care plan, and his plan is why she supports him.

Bill de Blasio pointed out that Wednesday was the 10 year anniversary of the last minimum wage increase. He proposed a 21st Century Worker’s Bill of Rights to strengthen American workers and asked me to tell him what I thought about his plan.

Michael Bennet talked about his affordable pre-K idea, pointing out that pre-K sets children up for success and a higher chance of high school graduation. He wants to make sure every child has access to pre-K regardless of income or ZIP code, and he wants me to sign my name if I agree.

Over a third lashed out at Trump.

While many candidates struck at Trump by referencing the Mueller investigation, Amy Klobuchar took a different approach. She lashed out at Trump for saying he was going to win Minnesota, tweeting back at him.

Technically not foreign policy.

Klobuchar isn’t President right now, and talking to Trump isn’t making policy, but Klobuchar has slammed Trump for tweeting too much.

She’s talking about tweeting.

Maybe, Klobuchar, maybe if you’re going to heckle Trump for using Twitter for politics, you shouldn’t? Or at least shouldn’t be flaunting it?

Meanwhile, Joe Sestak was advertising a series of events called “Cup of Joe on the Issues.” Nevermind that Joe Biden has “Cup of Joe” swag in his merch store already, and if you have the same name as someone else in the race, maybe you shouldn’t focus on that as your branding. Sestak was very formal in his invitation and ask for me to share this information. I felt like I was receiving a letter from an old man. (Sestak is 67.) In today’s hotly contested primary, mature is good but old is not. Biden and Sanders are both constantly arguing that they’re not too old to run. In this digital age, being unable to communicate well in a digital form must be brutal. The last thing any of the younger generations want is someone in power who doesn’t “get” the internet.

Maybe I’m being too hard on Sestak. Maybe I’m just biased by how much he was asking for physical checks. What do you think?

I’ve spoken at events at local Democratic Party groups, chambers of commerce, churches, veterans’ groups and other venues across Iowa for the past few weeks. This week, I’ll be kicking off the first of a series of our own events: “Cup of Joe on the Issues.”

We’ll be starting with a conversation on Iran – at Wobbly Boots Roadhouse Iowa 1301 NW 114th St, Clive, Iowa 50325 in Clive, Iowa, at 9am CDT on Saturday, July 27th. This follows on from a recent op-ed I authored in the Des Moines Register (link) where I wrote on the folly of potential conflict with Iran, and the need to return to the nuclear deal and honor our word. It’ll also be a chance to talk more generally about foreign policy and national security issues. As President Bill Clinton’s former Director for Defense Policy and a former 3-star Admiral who commanded an aircraft carrier battle group in the Arabian Gulf, I hope you’ll find my insights useful.

Please share the event with your friends and family. For those interested in learning more about me, my biography is here and my latest brochure is here. You can also check out more details on the event on Facebook (link).

For any queries, please email my communications team on

Joe Sestak
The sheets bug is getting worse. Actual total emails: 2314

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