Wednesday was full of woe from the campaigns, both in regards to the beginning of impeachment hearings for Trump and in regards to their campaign finances. Joe Sestak took an unusually talkative turn on Wednesday, releasing several lengthy statements on his stance on topical issues. Pete Buttigieg remained hopeful and optimistic. After a lengthy discourse on why Julian Castro is totally not the bad guy in the last debate, his staffers seized control of his email account and sent out a much more fun email themselves. All this and more came Wednesday, as the email counts started creeping higher…
Kamala Harris maintained her steady 5-email-a-day stream, while Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Joe Sestak, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang all shot off 3 emails in a day.
In the busy chart above, you might be able to make out the thick band of Harris’ emails roughly in the middle. It’s honestly a bit surprising that despite her volume, she hasn’t actually cracked the top spot for most emails sent. That honor goes to Joe Biden, currently.
While most of the candidates talking about news events have been focused on the elephant in the White House, Joe Sestak has released several statements on Autism, why he’s running, and the recent rash of suicides in the navy.
The problem with all of these statements is probably apparent at a glance.
They are walls of text. Of dry, boring text. While the Navy suicides may be topical, that is not the topic the rest of the country is discussing. When talking about why he is running for office, he gives a longer quote than he does an explanation.
And can we please talk about how his logo is an eyeball? Big brother is always watching, much?
While other candidates were worried about their fundraising goals, Pete Buttigieg looked back fondly on that day when he asked his team to raise $750,000 in 24 hours and they, you know, did it. And then some. He’s decided to put out a new goal for the end of the FEC deadline: $1.5 million.
Joe Biden is worried about the soul of our country. Kamala Harris carries a list of Trump’s impeachable offenses around with her. Bernie Sanders is ready to declare war on the 1%.
And Pete Buttigieg says this:
To participate in politics is to be hopeful. And I can tell you that every day of this campaign, I’ve grown more hopeful. It’s the sum of the stories you’ve shared with me. It’s the hard work of volunteers and organizers on the ground who are adopting communities as their own — communities that are, in turn, adopting them.
We want to bring a message of hope to more places — on the ground, online, over the air. Where people are, this campaign will go. We’ll bring a message of hope. We’ll take with us a vision that sets out to solve our greatest problems with new ideas, ones bold enough to meet our challenges and big enough to bring people together to get them done.
To do all this, it’s critical we hit the goals we set for ourselves. We need to hope, yes, but also do the work of bringing those hopes to life. With your support, I know we can do this. That’s why I’m asking for your help — can you help us by donating today, before the end of the quarter?
You’ll hear from more of the team about this goal — and thanks in advance for your patience as they write with reminders and updates as the deadline nears. We have five days to hit it — and these next five days will influence what we do over the coming months. We can meet this moment, so long as we meet it with urgency and unity.Pete Buttigieg
And if that wasn’t enough, Buttigieg’s husband writes with this little gem.
When people ask me what it’s like to see this campaign take off, I return to the same feeling: pride. Pride in Peter and the new, bold vision he has for our country. Pride in this community of staff and volunteers who’ve dedicated themselves to electing him president. Pride in you and in this team, which has shared our stories and powered the campaign through generosity and a spirit of togetherness.
So if no one else has said it today, I will: I’m proud of you…
…Thank you for being by our side. Thank you for responding when we make big asks like this. Thank you for helping us build a fundamentally different campaign!
I know these emails can be a lot. I only write them because I truly believe that America deserves Peter (and Buddy and Truman) in the White House. With your help, we’re going to make it happen.Chasten Buttigieg
There is a saying in politics that when an incumbent President is defeated, it is by someone who is the polar opposite of the guy kicked out. There’s a lot of talk about how the polar opposite of Trump is an “Asian guy who likes math” or a Black woman, or a Hispanic man… but can we say that (almost) all of those features are superficial? With Trump, we have a man who is mean. Everything about Trump swirls out from that locus of cruelty. When we defeat Trump, and we have to defeat Trump, I feel like the outside of our candidate won’t matter nearly so much as the inside. Our candidate needs to have a core of kind to counter Trump’s mean. Kind doesn’t mean pushover. You can be firm while being kind. You can put your foot down kindly. Kind involves having a certain level of empathy for your fellow human.
Kind is something I fear is lacking in Julian Castro. At the last debate, he went after Joe Biden hard, criticizing him for “forgetting what he said two minutes ago.” However, what Castro was actually calling Biden out on was a misspeak. Biden said if you qualified, you would “automatically buy-in” to his health care plan, while Castro said that unlike Biden’s, his didn’t require you to buy-in. Biden said his didn’t require you to buy-in either, it happened automatically, and Castro went for Biden’s age and memory.
An “automatic buy-in” seems to be a bit of an oxymoron. I suspect Biden was trying to say you were automatically folded in, but he misspoke. Is this a problem with Biden? Sure. He misspeaks all the time. So much so that he actually sent an email about it a few days ago (and didn’t actually address the issue). But the way Castro went after Biden was seen as vicious from the audience and the pundits, and Castro was feeling the pain.
This is a long email. I’m going to be brutally honest, and say some things I’ve never said before — I hope I can count on you to read until the end.
I got a lot of backlash from the last debate.
I spoke my mind. And I did what I told you I would do in this campaign — I stood up for people who were being ignored.
And frankly, my fundraising numbers have taken a hit because of it.
But do I regret it? Absolutely not.
When I announced my campaign for president, it wasn’t because the establishment or mainstream media expected me to.
It wasn’t because I knew I’d be at the top of the polls, or because I had the personal wealth to build a campaign from my own pocket.
I’m running because I refused to sit by while no one with my voice, from my background, or with my story was part of the conversation.
Why do we expect Democratic voters — the most diverse base in history — to settle for more of the same?
I know my campaign is bigger than just me, or this election. It’s a testament to how we won’t stay quiet anymore. Will you pitch in $5 before midnight to help me earn my way onto that next debate stage and ensure that no one else can silence our message? >>
My grandmother was a Mexican immigrant.
She cleaned houses and worked as a babysitter to earn her piece of the American dream.
My mother was a second generation immigrant.
She raised me and my twin brother as a single parent, pouring her heart and soul into community activism to make a better future for us.
We kept our heads down and trusted that if we worked hard enough, we would be deserving of the promise of this country.
Imagine how it felt when Donald Trump’s first campaign pledge was to demean, brutalize, and attack Mexican immigrants like my family.
To see his bigotry and hatred make its way up to the highest office in our nation wasn’t just heartbreaking… it was devastating.
We can’t ignore that this is a part of our history now.
And we can’t deny that we need voices like mine on that debate stage taking this head on like we’ve never done before.
I don’t mind if my ideas get backlash — but I won’t be told to sit down.
I need your support now more than ever before to earn my place on that next debate stage and keep speaking truth for us.
I need you to chip in $5 before midnight. I need you to forward this to a friend or a family member and explain why we need their help, too. And I need you to not give up on me.Julian Castro
Castro seems to be missing the entire point of the backlash. He came across as mean when he attacked Biden. Not politically aggressive, like Kamala Harris did in the first debate, but petty and mean-spirited, and that is what people were rejecting. If he can’t recognize that in himself, if he can’t learn from that… I’m very concerned about the future of his candidacy.
Thankfully, his staffers seem to share my concern. They seized control of his email and sent one of their very rare positive Castro updates.
I really wish his staffers would handle all his emails. I dread seeing his name in my inbox.
Enough about Castro. Let’s talk about fundraising.
Cory Booker made waves earlier this week with his announcement that if he didn’t manage to raise $1.7 million by the end of the month, his campaign had no legitimate path forward. He was pleased to let me know on Wednesday that he had already raised $1 million of his goal, though he did still need $41,232.25 by midnight to stay on track.
Beto O’Rourke was pleased to announce that they just crossed their first $200,000 of their $750,000 goal by the end of the month, though like Booker, he still needs my help to keep going.
Elizabeth Warren is hard to read. She has two goals running concurrently: 100,000 donations by the end of the month if I’ve already donated, and 25,000 new donors by the end of the month if I haven’t.
Somehow, completely miraculously, those two goals have lined up. So while she needs 100,000 donations, she only needs 209 more donations from my state to keep her on track. She also only needs 209 more donations from my state to keep her on track for the 25,000 new donor goal!
Later in the day, both goals had dropped to 178. I am just completely blown away at how perfectly in sync they are.
Or, you know, dropping the sarcasm, rolling my eyes at how that completely undermines the “No, really, they aren’t arbitrary numbers!” argument candidates like to make.
And Amy Klobuchar is just happily chugging along, hoping to raise another $235,871 by the end of the quarter, which she illustrated for me.
One thing I have noticed, and I’ve been pleased to notice, is that the only person talking about how Trump is trying to smear Joe Biden is Biden himself. The other candidates seem to have decided that was a non-starter, and none of them are implying that there may be more to that story (there isn’t: there have been investigations and fact checking in the past, and there is no sign of corruption from Biden or his son in this matter).
Biden, however, is absolutely using it to hammer home how dreadful Trump is, and how much Biden is under attack.
However, despite everything, the one thing that is making me laugh about this whole debacle is Steve Bullock.
Look — no matter what happens with the calls for impeachment proceedings, we need to make sure we’re ready to make sure Donald Trump is a one-term President next November.
And who terrifies his campaign team? GOVERNOR STEVE BULLOCK.Team Bullock
Bullock has been pushing hard for impeaching Trump. But with this email, I just had to shake my head.
If Trump is so frightened of you, Bullock, then why did he try to smear Biden?