On Friday, Bill de Blasio confirmed what everyone’s thinking about him is true, Andrew Yang is feeling confident, and the DNC asked the candidates to make a specific ask.
Michael Bennet was the busiest beaver, sending out 3 emails. Joe Biden, Bill de Blasio, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang all only sent 2.
The events of the past weekend was all but left behind as candidates focused on Fundraising. Most of them weren’t even fundraising to get into the debates!
Bill de Blasio made an interesting choice to talk about a media appearance. Chirlane McCray, working for de Blasio 2020, was questioned about her candidate.
Earlier this week, a host on The View asked me, “What do you think people get wrong about Bill de Blasio?” I responded that “it’s not so much that people get anything wrong. It’s more that they haven’t had a chance to get to know him.”Chrilane McCray, de Blasio 2020
Now, that was a very interesting choice for several reasons. McCray is correct: most people actually don’t have much experience with de Blasio. Those who do tend to know one of two things about him: either he was the loud, tall, interrupty guy from the debates or he is the highly unpopular/unhelpful/inactive mayor of New York City.
Neither of those are good opinions for people to have for your candidate. Especially not the latter one. Many New Yorkers have made it very clear that they don’t support de Blasio and feel he’s done more harm than good for the city. So when you say “people don’t have the wrong opinion of him,” you’re lending credence to the story that New York thinks their mayor has been worse than useless.
Compare that to Pete Buttigieg, the other active mayor in the race, whose city has been overflowing with praise for his work. There are detractors, of course, but when it’s always the same couple of names cropping up in the negative pieces, it’s indicative that maybe the reporters can’t find anyone new with something bad to say.
I feel like if you’re going to run for President, you should at least have the support of your immediate constituents. After all, they know exactly how you govern.
Andrew Yang decided to do some reflections on the debate, now that he’s had more than a week to process it.
Some reflections from the debate stage itself:
The evening was very regimented. The conversation on-stage might have seemed a little hectic, but the moderators had an idea of where the conversations would go based on paying attention to the campaigns ahead of the event. Telegraphed fights were given priority, downplaying candidates who didn’t pick Twitter battles ahead of the debate.
Having now been with the other candidates a number of times, my relationships with them range from cordial to genuinely warm and friendly. We make small talk and commend each other during the breaks.
CNN’s staff was top-notch and their technical details/audio were best-in-class. I could hear myself and others. That stuff makes a huge difference.Andrew Yang
Yang made a big production about how NBC’s mics were muted and that caused his poor performance in the first debate, so it’s a relief to see that he approved of the best-in-class technical details and audio. I do seem to recall some mic problems during the CNN debate, some poor-quality audio, especially on Kamala Harris at the outset. He was correct in the fights being given priority. Everyone I’d spoken to who had watched the debates had been frustrated at the manufactured level of drama the moderators were trying to stir up.
One other takeaway I had from debate night – I can 100% compete with and beat the other candidates in this race. I’d known it from prior meetings and cattle calls where we’d each do our thing in front of a crowd in South Carolina or Iowa. You get a sense of your capacities relative to other people. But doing it on the debate stage was another level.
We can win.
Our sense of the problems is better, our ideas are fresher, and we are free of the constraints that limit what politicians can say or do. They are predictable in a way that we are not. We will continue to grow and get stronger and peak at the right time.
Somehow, even though we were seen by millions last week, they will never see us coming.Andrew Yang
Yang was certainly bringing his confidence to this email. It’s too bad his staff didn’t entirely share it. In the very next email from the Yang campaign:
And since Andrew challenged all of us to raise $250,000 in the next 48 hours, I’ve been staring at our numbers to see if this team can hit this big goal. We have big plans for organizers to hire and offices to open if we hit it.
After looking at the numbers, here’s the truth: If we stay on our current pace — we will fall short. But if everyone in the Yang Gang pitched in our average donation today of $28, we can hit this goal in no time.Carly Reilly, Finance Director, Yang2020
This quarter-million fundraising goal has been giving Yang problems since he announced it. It will be interesting to see if he hits it, or if he lets it fade without another mention.
Cory Booker has a different approach to trying to get people to donate.
We are blown away by the news: since we raised our fundraising goal to $350,000, this grassroots team has really stepped up. We’ve already raised $117,382!
One of the things I’ve consistently appreciated about Booker is that he doesn’t take his supporters for granted. At no point has he tried to guilt me into giving more by pointing out that other candidates are getting more support or try to scare me into donating by threatening that bad things will happen to his campaign if I fail to give him enough. He is always so excited that people are actually donating money to him, and whatever his average donation is, he is happy for it. He appreciates that nobody has to donate if they don’t want to, and these thousands of people have all chosen to donate.
I don’t know about you, but I appreciate being appreciated.
Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, has pulled out the old 2016 hashtag and made the first ever official sticker for it:
Like most candidates offering stickers, you’re welcome to donate anything you want to get one. Sanders does have a suggested donation:
$8. One sticker. That definitely feels fair to me.
Pete Buttigieg has launched another policy paper. This time, it’s called Securing a Healthy Future for Rural America.
In 1982, the year I was born, Americans in rural communities could expect to live as long as Americans who lived in cities. Since then, too many rural areas have become economically marginalized and politically neglected. As a result, the gap between urban and rural life expectancy is wider than it’s been in at least half a century.
We need to lift rural communities up as places of opportunity, both for this generation and future ones. It is time to break with the politics of the past and usher in a new era for rural America.
Our work begins by deploying investment and innovation to secure the health of all rural residents, whether that’s a veteran struggling with mental health challenges or a woman seeking reproductive care.Pete Buttigieg
What is truly fascinating about this plan is that it specifically talks about people usually overlooked when “rural America” is talked about. People of color, Tribal Nations, and veterans are all called out as groups that need attention in rural America.
The most intriguing email of the day, however, was the one split across 9 campaigns.
Beto O’Rourke wrote about the horrific ICE raids that detained nearly 680 people in Mississippi, leaving children as young as 11 expected to fend for themselves. He asked for a straight donation to help the victims of the raids, no campaign contribution, just please, help them.
Especially in this moment, with our nation still reeling from a white supremacist terror attack, it’s unconsionable that the Trump administration would launch record-breaking anti-immigrant raids. But that’s exactly what they’ve done.
These actions are being done in our name as Americans — it’s on all of us to end this madness. But before we do anything else, we need to make sure these children and families are okay. That’s why we need your help right now.
I do have to say this about O’Rourke: he excels as helping people. This sort of impassioned plea has made up all of his emails that have stood out to me, and in fact, most of the political emails that have stood out to me. I would love to see him continue on as an activist truly fighting to end this horrific treatment of other living people.
O’Rourke was the only candidate whose Outside ask was not for the Democratic Unity Fund. 9 candidates all asked me to split a donation between their campaign and this fund, which is part of the DNC.
- Kirsten Gillibrand
- Tom Steyer*
- Joe Biden
- Kamala Harris
- Julian Castro
- Amy Klobuchar
- Elizabeth Warren
- Cory Booker
- Pete Buttigieg
* Steyer technically asked for a donation to the Democratic Party and not the Democratic Unity Fund, but his language matched the others.
What caught my attention was how obviously they were using DNC talking points to compose their message. Many of them referenced how much the RNC had raised:
Here’s why making your donation today is extra important: Trump and the RNC have already raised $180 million this year.
That’s the war chest that’ll be supporting Trump—and Republican candidates at the state level—during the general election next yearKirsten Gillibrand
Can you chip in to ensure that whoever we pick as our nominee has the resources they need to take on Trump and the Republicans $180 million warchest?Greg Schultz, Campaign Manager, Team Joe
Trump and the RNC have already raised $180 million this year. That means our programs need to be firing on all cylinders to take on Republicans’ huge political machine. Anything less than that will put our nominee for president at a disadvantage.Kamala Harris
This election is too important not to give it our all — and considering Trump and the RNC have already raised $180 million this year, we need you right away.Amy Klobuchar
And look: Donald Trump’s campaign and the RNC are already stuffing their pockets with gigantic checks from self-interested megadonors. They’ve already raised $180 million this year to keep propping up a corrupt system — where the rules are rigged to benefit the wealthy and well-connected, and where working people get kicked in the teeth.Elizabeth Warren
The RNC has already stockpiled millions upon millions of dollars to help Donald Trump win a second term. In the last fundraising quarter alone, Trump’s campaign and the RNC raised over $100 million. That’s alarming, team.Cory Booker
They focused on the DNC needing to make important investments in infrastructure and training.
This year, while we’re focusing on winning the primary, the DNC is hard at work investing in advanced technology to connect with voters, training the next generation of campaign staff, and holding Trump accountable.Kirsten Gillibrand
That’s why they’re already working hard to make sure our eventual nominee inherits the infrastructure needed to take on Trump. With one contribution, you can support party infrastructure, and make sure that the next Democratic debate features the one candidate willing to make impeachment a central issue.Team Tom
The DNC’s Unity fund makes sure our party has the resources to make critical investments in data, technology, and cybersecurity to ensure the integrity of our campaigns and help candidates connect to voters.Greg Schultz, Campaign Manager, Team Joe
We have to make investments in data, technology, and cybersecurity that keep campaigns at every level safe and give them best-in-class tools to connect with voters; a Best Practices Institute that equips our eventual nominee and other candidates with highly trained campaign staff; and a DNC War Room that holds Trump accountable for his lies.Kamala Harris
It’s a commitment to making sure Democrats at all levels have the resources they need to win.Julian Castro
Your donation today will help Democrats at every level access election-winning tools, prepare campaign staff for a hard-fought presidential race and give our party the resources to hold Trump accountable for his lies and broken promises.Amy Klobuchar
Right now, the DNC needs to make powerfully important investments in the nuts and bolts that win elections — including grassroots organizing, honing technology and tools to reach more voters and engage more volunteers, training staff, and getting our message out to hold Donald Trump accountable every day.Elizabeth Warren
As the RNC is spending millions hiring staff and building party infrastructure, we’re in danger of falling behind. It’s also vital that the DNC has the funding for important investments in data and technology to respond to cybersecurity threats that have become all too common in our elections. I know it’s hard to believe that this is the reality here, but we need to be prepared.Cory Booker
When we make it past the primary, it’s the DNC that will provide invaluable resources and technology not only for our campaign, but for Democrats across the country. They have a plan to organize everywhere and ensure that every ZIP code counts to live up to this defining moment.Pete for America
All of them had a message of “we need to elect more Democrats and we need to get started NOW.” Some of them were able to make it sound more like an on-message email from their campaign than others. If blindly asked, I could pick Julian Castro’s out of the pile instantly (even though it didn’t mention his family):
In a moment, I’m going to ask you to give to the DNC’s Democratic Unity Fund. But first, let me explain why:
— Mitch McConnell has a stranglehold over the Senate
— He’s even bragged that he’s the “guardian of gridlock”
— And polling shows that we can defeat his Senate
I won’t sugarcoat this: Unless we defeat Mitch McConnell’s Republican Senate, all of the progress I’m fighting for will be dead in the water.
I refuse to let that happen.
I’m counting on your help to get 500 gifts into the DNC’s Unity Fund before midnight. They’ll use every cent to defeat McConnell’s Senate, hold the House, and elect Democrats up and down the ballot.
Can I count on your $15 before midnight?Julian Castro
Castro’s wasn’t the only one that was clearly written in his voice instead of just regurgitating the DNC talking points. Pete Buttigieg had almost no common language with the others (I was highlighting them to compare):
What’s at stake this election is the shape of a new American era. As a party, winning that era — and a fresh start for our country — depends on building political power from the ground up. That means more Democrats in Congress, in State Houses, in constitutional offices, and in governorships. Everywhere.
That’s how we will harness the change our country faces. That’s how we will call to our highest values and cement them not for an election cycle, but for a generation.
We must do it together, as the party that has the back of working Americans. As the party that keeps families together no matter where they come from. As the party that strives for equality and freedom in every aspect of life and demands an economy where everyone can succeed.Pete for America
Interestingly, Buttigieg did not mention the Republicans at all. He didn’t mention Trump. His email wasn’t about beating “them” or protecting our party from “them.” It was about the amazing things we could do if we let ourselves grow stronger.
A frequent refrain on this blog: It’s harder to motivate with hope than it is with fear. But when there is hope, why should any of us choose fear?