Day 67: 7/26/19

In Friday’s emails: Tim Ryan lands two huge endorsements, Pete Buttigieg launches a new policy, and Bernie Sanders forgets all about the golden rule of email subjects.

Also on Friday, Andrew Yang and Michael Bennet viciously attacked each other on Twitter, and while it was not mentioned in their emails, it is an absolute must-read.

Three is the magic number today.

Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Tim Ryan all slammed my inbox with 3 emails each on Friday, all vying to get the most money out of me.

Think I’m joking? Of course you don’t, you’ve been reading this blog. But humor me for a minute.

Michael Bennet believes in protecting elections from foreign interference, and the best way to do that is to send him money so he can be President. He then told me he was still short of his fundraising goal and needed my money, and then he followed up with one more email pointing out that Trump and the Republicans were making money hand over fist, so he really needed my help.

Joe Biden started off without a money ask, simply reminding me that I’d never filled out the survey about issues I want to hear about at the debate, and I really need to do that. He followed it up with an email crowing about how a recent poll in a key state that is so important it will remain unnamed showed that Biden was the only candidate capable of beating Trump in that state, and they needed money. Not only did they need money, but in the donor version, they added a $500 donation button to their usual spread, asking for an average donation of $185 in that email. A few hours later, he tried a slightly different tactic, pointing out that key unnamed polls showed Biden was the best chance to defeat Trump, but he had much less cash on hand than the other candidates, and this was a huge problem. I narrowed my eyes a bit at him, as Biden had been the second-largest fundraiser in Q2, and if he was spending that haul faster than other candidates were, that’s on him, not on me.

(The key state is Ohio, according to a recent Quinnipiac University Poll. Thanks Google.)

Cory Booker was unusual in asking me for money in that he didn’t really seem to care how much I gave him. He was 3,246 donors away from the 130,000 donor goal as of 11:20 AM ET, and by 6:14 PM ET, he was 2,739 donors away. The amount of money didn’t matter (at this point). He just needed the warm bodies to tip him over the edge to qualify for the September debates. In-between asking about money, Booker did ask if I could host a watch party in my city.

Kamala Harris is unashamedly after my money. All of her emails were about fundraising and donations. She started by pointing out that because she wasn’t asking for big money from PACs or lobbyists, she needed me more than ever. (So too does everyone else in this race, Harris). She reminded me later that this was the worst time to fall behind on fundraising, and she was falling behind. Finally, she managed to take an opportunity to celebrate–Trump was being briefed on the three top threats to his re-election, and Harris was number one!–and turned it into a mixed-message “but we’re doing so bad, we neeeeeed all of you to chip in to seize this opportunity.” I was honestly shocked that even when they had the headline from Politico that Harris was being viewed as the biggest threat by Trump’s team, they couldn’t manage a fully positive message.

And finally, Tim Ryan. Oh Ryan. He reminded me this morning that every minute leading up to the debates counts, and really, he’s not asking for a commitment, just asking me for money. His wife emailed later to tell me how proud of him she was, and how I can show my pride in him by sending money their way. Finally, he concluded with HUGE BREAKING NEWS. Two of Joe Biden’s longtime African-American supporters in South Carolina, Biden’s 2008 South Carolina political director and Biden’s 2008 campaign co-chair, have decided to endorse Ryan instead. This is a great chance for me to give Ryan money!

Tom Steyer forwarded an email he had sent me earlier reiterating that on day one of his presidency, he’ll declare a climate emergency, and he laid out some of his ideas to combating this problem. John Hickenlooper talked about the importance of cybersecurity, especially in light of what Mueller revealed, and offered a link to read up on his thoughts about this critical issue.

Meanwhile, Pete Buttigieg started the morning off with an email highlighting a few key points of his new policy plan dealing with workers’ rights. Buttigieg has a habit of naming his plans (A New Call to Service, the Douglass Plan) and launched this one as “A New Rising Tide: Empowering Workers in a Changing Economy.” He included a link to his website for the full plan and discussed the importance of strengthening workers across the country regardless of the type of job they are doing.

Amy Klobuchar decided to take a leaf out of Julian Castro’s book, the same leaf that Steve Bullock had borrowed. She decided to explain her reasoning for running for President by going all the way back to when she was a little girl and “nobody expected” this from her. After finishing her three paragraphs about her history, she says “This campaign isn’t about me, it’s about all of us.” If that’s the case, why did she send me an email all about her? Why did she say it wasn’t about her in the same email she talked all about herself?

Tulsi Gabbard wanted to tell me about her recent media appearance on The View, and how it was so much nicer and more relaxed this time. What was different? Meghan McCain had been impressed by her debate performance and done a complete 180° in attitude. Instead of being hostile, McCain was impressed and read out Gabbard’s July 4th message of freedom and love for the country.

Some of that info wasn’t all that helpful.

As Elizabeth Warren asked for money on Friday, she shared that she had hit an important milestone: 1 million donations! She’s super excited, but she still needed more money.

Bernie Sanders is also chasing a million, though he’s after a million individual donors, but he didn’t talk about that today. Instead, he wanted me to sign his petition. That wasn’t the only thing he said in his email subject though:

Sign my petition — tell Congress you support my legislation that would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate with drugmakers for lower prices and would allow for the importation of less expensive but safe and affordable drugs from other countries.

Bernie Sanders

That quote above was the entire email subject. Not a paragraph from the email. That was what plopped into my inbox. Oh Sanders. Haven’t you learned by now that email subjects are meant to be short and to the point?

And through all of these emails, Beto O’Rourke’s staff somehow reached across the country and into my brain. They found an idea I had for campaign emails and they made it a reality: an opt-in newsletter currently called The Write Place. They sent the first one to their mailing list but included several links to sign up to get the newsletter on a regular basis (I chose not to).

The newsletter was everything I thought would work well in a campaign email: some updates on what the candidate was up to, some facts about him (in this issue, music he was listening to on the road), upcoming events, some supporters highlighted on why they supported the candidate, what your contributions have gone toward recently, and a spotlight on a member of staff to introduce people to the people behind the candidate’s big name. It was fun and light and still informative, and while it had a suggestion for a donation in the middle, it felt like something I would actually be interested in reading if I had a draw for that particular candidate. I was very impressed with the newsletter. Well done, O’Rourke’s team!

Finally, I did mention a Twitter feud between Andrew Yang and Michael Bennet.

Many campaigns have been signalling that they are going to go into the next debates much more aggressively, with some even calling out specific candidates they would potentially be going after. The press had been jumping on these stories, and Yang didn’t want to miss the bandwagon.

Bennet was quick to respond.

In the June debate, Yang only had about 3 minutes of actual talking time in the entire two hour debate. He was very aware of this.

Demonstrating his Presidential appetite for a challenge, Bennet did not back down, and instead fired back with a reference to the allegation that Yang had been muted for most of the debate.

Just in case there was any confusion over this exchange, Andrew Yang and Michael Bennet are on very friendly terms, and they were jokingly poking fun at the posturing of the other campaigns and the overreaction of the press. This is the sort of attack I like to see between the Democrats. Many of the candidates have said before that they all liked each other and were not looking to smear each other. Good-natured “trash talk” shows that it is a competition, but at the end of the day, they’re all on the same side and don’t have to be cruel. This was definitely an example of good sportsmanship and the true American way of having a rival.

Actual email count: 2,462. Google thinks they’ll have the chart bug fixed on Monday.

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