Over the weekend, Joe Biden worried about his money, Marianne Williamson became a tsunami, and Kamala Harris was accused of flip-flopping.
For all new readers: Welcome! I am currently on the mailing lists of Joe Biden and Donald Trump, though I have previously been on the mailing lists of 28 Democratic candidates! This blog breaks down recent emails with charts and excerpts. If you already know all of this, feel free to skip to the next chart!
It took some time for the Trump emails to kick in, so I started officially tracking his list on July 7. I have been tracking Biden’s for longer, but I will start comparing them as of July 7. All of these emails are going to a new email, and I have not donated, filled out surveys, signed petitions, or otherwise interacted with either candidate’s emails.
The rules I try to follow for the various categories are laid out in The Framework.
Pete Buttigieg tied with Julian Castro for the most emails sent this weekend, at a grand total of 8. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris each sent 7, while the next most prolific were Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, and Andrew Yang at only 4.
I believe Kamala Harris went through her mailing list and stripped out duplicates and that is why I am no longer receiving her donor emails: I accidentally donated $50 through a misclick via my personal email, and though I had it refunded, I’m now getting donor emails from Harris to my personal and not my BTE account. I suspect this is because the $50 donations was larger than the $1 donation, and therefore the personal account was considered the better one. I’ve sent the Harris team a request to switch my email back to my BTE account. We’ll see if it works.
There were 7 additional emails sent on Saturday. Usually the weekend is fairly similar in terms of emails sent, but Saturday did mark 100 days to the Iowa Caucuses, so everyone wanted to make sure I knew.
Bernie Sanders was inspiring to countless people in 2016, including one Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who realized she didn’t have to accept her life as it was and could actually make a difference by running for Congress. We all know how that worked out! She asked if we could split a donation between Sanders’ campaign and her own.
Beto O’Rourke was asking for money himself, but he said that a select amount of lucky donors will get a text from O’Rourke himself, so chip in now!
Of course, if we’re talking about people asking for money, we can’t overlook Joe Biden.
We’ve been hearing one question a lot over the past few weeks:
Why do Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have so much more cash than Joe Biden?
Well, we expected an uphill climb. While other campaigns have been building campaign war chests for years, we started with no offices, no staff, and no dollars. Zero.
But we didn’t expect to fight a Democratic primary AND fight outright lies from Trump’s campaign AND face an international conspiracy led by the President of the United States simultaneously.
And here’s the good news: You all have responded in a BIG way. We’re looking to raise $850,000 more by Thursday to make this our BEST online fundraising month since we launched our campaign!
So, while we don’t have resources stockpiled from a Senate campaign, we do have you. Which is why we’re asking:Joe Biden for President
Yes, that’s right. Joe Biden is painting himself as an underdog (because financially, he actually is). Also, it’s all Trump’s fault. There are three reasons he’s lacking in funds, after all: Democratic primary, Trump is lying about him, and Trump is trying to get others to lie about him.
So, yeah. Trump’s the reason Biden doesn’t have money. Also, he didn’t pull money from a Senate run (also true: both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders started their 2020 campaign with big transfers from past campaigns).
Biden went so far as to illustrate what the problem is.
This is legitimately an email from the Biden campaign. I do not fully understand the reasoning behind it, but I suspect it has something to do with his changing his perspective on accepting Super PAC money. As Sanders and Warren have both vocalized displeasure about, and Julian Castro and Beto O’Rourke chimed in, Biden has reversed his position and is signaling to his rich allies that a Super PAC would be acceptable.
O’Rourke actually came out with a full statement (that miraculously changes depending on how much he’s asking me to give).
Super PACs can receive UNLIMITED contributions from corporations and special interests. So it’s no wonder CNN asked Beto if he’d reconsider taking these giant checks. But take a look at the transcript of what he said:
“We see far too much influence from those who can buy access and increasingly outcomes in our legislation and in our elections…There is no room for political action committees, or super PACs…I haven’t taken PAC money for more than five years. We’re running a grassroots campaign. Everyone who has gone to betoorourke.com and donated $3 has fueled this effort to make sure that we can get out to voters. That’s the way that our democracy should work, and I’m going to stay with my commitment not to take PAC money or super PAC money in this race.”
We’re proud of Beto’s answer. He is taking a bold stand against the corruption, greed, special interests, and corporations that have influenced our elections — and Washington, DC — for far too long. That’s the leadership we need.Team Beto
Castro is much more simple about his criticism. He’s just listing all of the other candidates who have unfair advantages these days.
This is down to the wire. Julián is fighting to keep his campaign alive against:
— Billionaires like Tom Steyer — who personally wrote a $47 MILLION check to buy a spot in the next debates.
— Establishment favorites like Joe Biden — who just went back on his word to reject all super PAC money.
— Previous candidates like Bernie Sanders — who has a huge fundraising list from his first presidential run.Team Julian
Meanwhile, Marianne Williamson is trying a bit of a reboot. I had to laugh when I saw this ask at the end of one of her weekend emails:
“We don’t want large sums from a few,” reads Williamson’s email.
Just last weekend, Williamson’s emails would say: “Please donate to my campaign so that we can continue to expand and get back on the debate stage. No donation is too small and the upper legal limit is $2,800.”
Her donation buttons frequently asked for $500, $1,000, or $2,800.
Did Williamson realize that by asking for such big donations, she was coming off as a bit out of touch with the Democratic party as a whole this cycle? Maybe.
Williamson also rebranded in another way. Her campaign manager decided it’s time to retire the WilliamsonRising hashtag that they had been promoting in all their emails.
Driving home from the Yale speech on Friday, I contemplated whether the #WilliamsonRising hashtag still fits. Rising? Nope. Marianne is a wave that’s cresting—meaning the point at which a wave peaks, crashes thunderously, and then accelerates up the shoreline.
Let’s help Marianne generate a full on Love Tsunami comprised of all of you, supporting this campaign.
Donate now to make the Love Tsunami even bigger.
We don’t want large sums from a few. We ask for small donations from tens of thousands of you. Small amounts turn into a giant Tsunami when we come together.Patricia Ewing, Campaign Manager, Marianne Williamson for President
As Ewing wrote, when a wave is cresting, it is at its peak. A cresting wave doesn’t get any bigger, and it’s all downhill from that point, literally.
But it’s not just a wave: Ewing is comparing Williamson to a tsunami. A terrifyingly immense, destructive force of nature that crushes everything in its path. You can put “love” in front of “tsunami” all you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that Ewing is comparing Williamson to a natural disaster.
Being crushed by love is still being crushed.
Despite only emailing me via my non-donor account, Kamala Harris had a lot to say about the events of the weekend. She boycotted a bipartisan discussion and Trump had it out for her on Twitter. She was accused of “flip-flopping,” which is a cardinal sin in politics.
The facts are these:
On Friday, the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center honored Trump with an award for criminal justice on the campus of an HBCU (historically black colleges and universities). Only 10 students were invited, and the rest of the majority black students were encouraged to stay in their dorms while Trump held his rally on their campus. This was part of an ongoing forum.
On Saturday, Presidential candidates were invited to speak, but Harris refused to attend so long as the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center was a co-sponsor and the students were kept in their rooms.
Trump lashed out at Harris for her boycott and blew his own horn over all the work he’d done to improve the lives of African-Americans.
The college chose to remove the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center as a co-sponsor and made it clear that the candidates speaking were sponsored by the city and the college only, and all students were welcomed and encouraged to attend. Harris agreed to speak at that point.
Harris has been accused of changing her stance, but she seems to have made her case clear to me: she would not speak at an event sponsored by a group that though Trump did good things for criminal justice reform in the country. The group stopped being a sponsor, and Harris was willing to speak.
No other candidate who spoke at the forum joined Harris in her boycott.
However, what did happen was that supporters indicated they supported Harris.
What most inspired me about the last 48 hours is how quickly our grassroots supporters joined me in the fight.
Thousands shared your thoughts with me and my team online — and thousands more pitched in donations of $5 and $10 to show you’re in my corner.Kamala Harris
On this matter, I do have to side with Harris. It is disgusting that a college held an event in which their students were literally not safe on campus. Having Trump on campus did nothing for the students of Benedict College, but it did give Trump the illusion of having African-American support.
And on top of all of the drama from the weekend, Pete Buttigieg was rising above them all.
Pete’s running a fundamentally different campaign because our country is at a make-or-break moment. He has solutions big enough for the challenges we face and the vision to bring our country together. It’s why we believe in him. It’s why we know he’ll make a great president.
But we know, too, that winning takes more than a single person. It requires a movement. One that’s big, inclusive, and hopeful — one that inspires people, everywhere, to unite and take action.
That’s why we’re so happy to report: We received a surge of support as we entered the final 100 days before the first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucuses (only 99 days now!). Thank you!
We succeed on the strength of our care for one another. Whenever we arrive at moments like this, we rise to meet them as a community. We’re grateful. It’s how we’re going to win the whole thing.
So, thank you. You fill us with hope. You’ve brought this campaign to life.
Thank you!Pete for America
Presidential elections aren’t the only important elections, and presidential candidates aren’t the only candidates who can have good (or bad!) emails. If you get any emails that you feel are brilliant, you can forward them to me at TheirsToo@ButTheirEmails.33mail.com. I’ll try to highlight ones worth your attention!
Congresswoman Lucy McBath was rising above in her own way as well. Rebecca sent me this email from the Representative of Georgia’s 6th District.
Content Warning: the following email contains talk of gun violence that some readers may find disturbing.
Hi Rebecca —
I wanted to share a little bit more of my own story with all of you:
On a Friday that began like any other in 2012, my son Jordan did not come home.
As you probably know, Jordan was shot and killed at age seventeen by a man who thought the rap music he and his friends were playing on their car stereo was too loud. As Jordan lay dying, the shooter drove away from the scene.
My son’s shooter probably thought the blood he’d just shed would soon be washed away by Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. After all, he just had to prove he reasonably believed he was threatened by four black boys in a red Dodge Durango, and they intended to cause him bodily harm.
Under Stand Your Ground, that claim alone could give him the right to use lethal force with a deadly weapon.
I will never forget the way breath left my body when I grasped that the value of a black boy’s life and an NRA written law had been part of the shooter’s thinking BEFORE he reached for his gun.
As the criminal trial played out on TV in front of national media, my son’s killer tried to defend himself with Stand Your Ground, and was eventually convicted of first degree murder.
And in the aftermath, I did not know what to do with my grief. For a while, I prayed for guidance to find a new path forward. And then, I knew what I had to do.
It was too late for my own son, but I vowed to fight to make sure no other families would have to suffer this pain.
I would tell Jordan’s story to anyone who would listen, so the world would know my son had been a smart, creative, and opinionated young man, cherished by his family and friends. He was always laughing, deeply caring, and completely loved.
So, I retired from my career as a flight attendant with Delta Airlines, and I became a professional gun violence prevention activist. And six years later, here we are today… I’ve taken my story — Jordan’s story — to Congress, to fight for common-sense solutions to prevent gun violence in our nation’s capital.
So, why did I feel like it was important to share my story — and Jordan’s story?
In my work in Congress, and before that as a national spokesperson for Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, I’ve learned that one of the most effective tools in our fight for ending gun violence is to share our stories…
We can do this. We must. For Jordan. For Trayvon. For Amadou Diallo, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Oscar Grant, Natasha McKenna, Sean Bell, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson, Stephon Clark, Botham Jean, Philando Castile, Haidya Pendleton, and countless others.
So, I hope you’ll continue to share these stories with your friends, families, and communities about the gun violence epidemic in America, and join our fight to change hearts and minds.
By telling the stories of all those like my son, who lost their lives to gun violence, and pushing for common-sense solutions, we carry on and honor their legacies.Rep. Lucy McBath
Stories are powerful. People remember stories more than they remember facts. McBath was able to use her story to explain how policies like Stand Your Ground can impact real families in a real way. A man genuinely believed he could murder a teenager simply by saying he was afraid for his life.
And horrible as it was, that also had the consequences of a mother without her son becoming a member of Congress and being a national spokesperson for Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action. Stories are powerful, and when used right, they can move people to action.