Over the weekend, the campaigns all went to Iowa (except John Delaney and Wayne Messam). Joe Biden was feeling attacked, Julian Castro was feeling threatened, and Cory Booker was rallying his troops.
Joe Biden is continuing his push for most emails by sending 7 over the weekend to his non-donors. Cory Booker followed up with 6, while Kamala Harris fell to a distant third with only 5 emails in 2 days.
Though the two days were nearly fifty-fifty, Sunday did have a few more emails as several campaigns reflected on Saturday’s Polk County Steak Fry, an energetic showing of Iowa Democrats. More than 12,000 people showed up in somewhat drizzly weather to hear 17 of the candidates speak. (John Delaney was attending his daughter’s wedding, and Wayne Messam… was doing his own thing.)
It seems like the Steak Fry is a sort of mini-caucus, where campaigns try to marshal their supporters and drum up the most energy for their campaigns. Campaigns can buy tickets and distribute them to their supporters, while they also set up mini-rallies in the various corners of the fairgrounds to gather their fans. They then march into the main area as a show of strength.
Signs were apparently a requirement, the taller, the better. However, not all campaigns believed in the showy displays of enthusiasm. Bernie Sanders didn’t email me about this event at all, and his “rally” was a small tent with a door saying he was out door-knocking. Elizabeth Warren also didn’t have a large rally, but instead, her volunteers were moving through the crowd to spread the word of Warren, and her home base was a tent to teach her volunteers how to canvas for her.
Joe Biden had a bouncy house. Julian Castro had a mariachi band. Pete Buttigieg bussed in a marching band from a South Bend high school to play him on.
Another thing the candidates did was actually fry the steaks (and vegetarian options!). They all seemed to have a lot of fun getting friendly with the grill, even vegan Cory Booker.
Of course, there was another topic of importance being talked about over the weekend: Trump pressuring Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. Biden himself has decided this must mean Trump is terrified of him.
Why is President Trump pressuring foreign leaders to make up dirt on me and my family?
It’s simple: he knows I’ll beat him like a drum.
Donald Trump will do whatever it takes to stay in power. And right now, that means pressuring a foreign government to take me down.Joe Biden
“Beat him like a drum” is apparently the new Biden slogan. There are already stickers.
Steve Bullock, on the other hand, simply called him incompetent.
This is incredibly alarming:
Donald Trump reportedly urged the Ukrainian President to dig up dirt on a political opponent’s family not once, not twice, but 8 times.
This is behavior you’d expect from an incompetent mobster, not the President of the United States.Team Bullock
Michael Bennet seemed a bit mixed in his messaging. The good news, he said, is that the team has really stepped up, donation rates are high, and they’re optimistic about hitting their goal of $150,000 by the end of the month. However, the bad news is that they’re still falling short. His finance director doesn’t want to share that bad news with Bennet in the wake of all this amazing momentum, and I’m just left scratching my head and wondering how you can have amazing momentum and still not have good news to share with your boss.
Julian Castro, meanwhile…
You all know how I feel about Castro by now. His Saturday email was no less exhausting than his communications usually are. He started with a note of TERROR and PANIC.
He then followed up with the body of his email.
Ordinarily, the body and the header should match in tone, right?
Yes, he highlighted just his numbers. Because. I don’t know. He’s extra?
Regardless, he started by trumpeting terror, sandwiched in all the good things happening with his campaign, and ended on a note of desperation. Is this really the tone of his campaign? How do any of his staffers have safe blood pressure?
His Sunday email had the same clickbait tendencies. In his subject was this ALL CAPS promise.
He then wanted to talk about the debate.
I know what happened at the last debate was unexpected.
The press’s unfavorable coverage of me makes it very clear how they feel — but it’s important to me I take this opportunity to hear your feedback instead.
I’ll admit… I clicked. I wanted to see if he had actual open-ended questions, or if he was just supremely biased.
He asked what issues were most important to me, and then…
I didn’t finish the survey.
Cory Booker finished up the weekend with an update on his fundraising. He needed to pull in $1.7 million by the end of the month to continue to have a shot at the nomination. As of Sunday night, he’d received 12,088 contributions totaling $440,907. Between this rallying and the energy at the Steak Fry, Booker feels like his campaign is on the cusp of a breakthrough.
We shall see.