Day 179: 11/15/19

On Friday, many campaigns needed money, Kamala Harris wrote a strong email, Joe Biden is scared of Trump, and Elizabeth Warren wants to exploit our government systems for good.


For all new readers: Welcome! I am currently on the mailing lists of 18 candidates for the Democratic Presidential Nomination! 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!

I signed up to all mailing lists either on May 21 or the day the candidate announced, whichever was later. Using a different email address, I have donated at least $1 to all candidates who have been on a debate stage (I have given additional donations to my preferred candidates through my personal email, but the campaigns have linked the two accounts together and may ask for more as a result).

When showing breakdowns by campaigns, there will usually be 2 numbers. Emails to my non-donor account will be indicated by a darker color/top bar in horizontal bar charts. Emails to my donor account will be indicated by a lighter color/bottom bar.

Unless otherwise specified, all other charts combine the donor and non-donor numbers, as they are roughly 1-for-1, so the percentages and relative differences don’t change much. You can divide the numbers in half to get the rough estimate for what someone not signed up twice would be receiving. The rules I try to follow for the various categories are laid out in The Framework.

If you want specific data on any particular day, feel free to drop a comment!

Active, but then again, it IS Friday.

Joe Biden had the most emails, with 4, followed by Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, and Julian Castro with 3. Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang each sent out 2 emails.

The date explains the topic.

November 15 is halfway through the month of November, which is halfway through the fourth quarter of the year, which means campaigns were screaming about the FEC deadline at the end of December.

It’s ALWAYS important.

There were a variety of goals in play, but the urgency was similar across all of them.

Julian Castro did not have a financial goal.

Michael Bennet’s $15,000 goal was not a partial goal, but that was actually his full mid-month deadline. I almost feel bad for him. He was desperately trying to get those last few dollars in without making it sound like he was desperate.

Maybe he does know something I don’t.

Pete Buttigieg’s 500 donor goal may seem small, but he’s actually trying to get 500 donors from every single state. Since he announced that goal, donations have been rolling in, he said.

There is just something so satisfying about good design.

Buttigieg wasn’t the only one with snazzy graphics. Amy Klobuchar’s design team also stepped up to the challenge.

Amy's on the road to the White House! DONATE NOW >>>
I like how the campaigns have grown to love their buses.

Kamala Harris also broke out the graphic designers, though I have to admit, I wasn’t so impressed with what she came up with.

Somehow, it is both too busy and too boring.

I read an article in Politico yesterday about the struggles Harris’ campaign was having. I really do feel for her. While she’s never impressed me with her emails, she’s never offended me either, which is apparently possible (looking at you, Castro). In fact, one of her emails from Friday was actually one that I rather liked.

In just a moment, I’m going to ask you to make your first donation to our campaign for president. I hope you’ll let me explain why this matters so much right now.

I’m running for president because I believe that, in 2020, justice is on the ballot.

When in our country, there is a father anywhere who will be sitting at his kitchen table tonight, trying to figure out how to pay the bills through the end of the month, economic justice is on the ballot.

I’m running to enact the largest middle class tax cut our country has had in generations.

When in America, on any given day, there is a mother sitting in the parking lot of the Emergency Room, her child has a raging fever — and she’s hesitant to go through those doors because she knows she’ll be out of pocket a massive deductible. Health care justice is on the ballot.

I’m running for president to ensure health care is a right and not just a privilege for those who can afford it.

When in America, our babies have to go to school to endure a drill during which they’re taught to hide in a closet from a shooter, justice for our children is on the ballot.

I’m running for president to take executive action to curb our country’s gun violence epidemic — a major difference between me and my friends on the debate stage.

When in America, teachers are working two and three jobs because they can’t afford to follow their calling, educational justice is on the ballot.

I am running for president to enact the first federal investment to close the teacher pay gap.

When in America, we have a policy of putting babies in cages, separating them from their parents in the name of border security, justice for immigrants is on the ballot.

I’m running for president because I believe that immigrants have made America great — and they must not be vilified.

Here’s the epitome of what it means when I say justice is on the ballot: nobody is above the law, including the President of the United States. We have a criminal living in the White House, and it’s on us to get him out.

Listen: I’ve been in this race for about 10 months, so I’m all about real talk. I know that there are a lot of conversations about which candidate voters consider to be “electable.”

I’ve heard this conversation before, and it goes something like this: “I don’t know if America is ready for a woman of color to be President of the United States.” Or, “It’s not your turn,” and “It’s not your time.”

This is not the first time I’ve heard this conversation. I’ve heard this conversation in every campaign I’ve won.

I share this with you not to say anything about me, but to say something about you and who I know the American people to be. We have the ability to see what is possible, even when we’ve never seen it before.

I’m reaching out to you today to ask you to invest in our historic campaign for president. Right now, we’re up against a critical mid-month deadline. Whether or not we reach it will determine if we can invest fully in our campaign strategy. I wouldn’t ask you if it wasn’t important.

Can you add your first donation to our campaign today? Justice is on the ballot in this election, and I’m counting on you to join me in this fight for the future of our country:

I believe in an America where everyone has access to health care, where our children can go to school and feel safe, and when we greet a perfect stranger, we see a neighbor. That’s why I’m running for president.

Kamala Harris

If you take out the ask/explain at the start, it’s a very good message about what is driving her to run for President to change things.

Unfortunately, it came over eight months into her campaign, after she peaked and crashed in the polls and has been hemorrhaging money. A strong and hopeful message that united her campaign from the start might have made all the difference to Harris.

Now, it just feels like we’re waiting for her to realize she’s dead in the water.

And speaking of being dead in the water, Julian Castro has doubled down on attacking Tom Steyer, then told me he was still waiting to hear from me on that survey he sent me. Except he hadn’t sent me a survey–he sent me a petition. And he wanted to remind me about his massive SURGE in the polls, that 9% among Californian Latinx voters who were 31% in favor of Bernie Sanders.

Joe Biden had a full day on Friday, letting his worries about Trump show through his emails. He started with an email about one of Trump’s favorite people in the world: Kim Jong Un.

I cut out the donation buttons. We all know what those look like by now.

Bill Russo is right about one thing: we can’t let ourselves get desensitized to this. If we do, Trump wins.

But I’m not so keen on his decision to begin the email by talking about how Kim Jong Un said Biden needed to be beaten, and then closing his email by saying that Kim Jong Un (and Trump, and other dictators) needed to be beaten. Yes, Kim Jong Un was using beat in the physical blow sense and Russo was using it in the “win a competition” sense, but it goes back to the Biden team’s theme of “threaten physical violence on our foes.” If it’s not okay when they do it, it’s not okay when we do it.

Putting aside the bizarre love affair between Trump and Kim (is there fanfiction written about this yet? No, don’t tell me. I don’t actually want to see it.), Biden went on to reflect on his past.

When I first ran for the U.S. Senate in 1972, this is how I closed out one of the ads we ran:

“Politicians have done such a job on the people that the people don’t believe them anymore. And I’d like a shot at changing that.”

For decades my signature quality as an elected official has been my trustworthiness.

Voters trust me. They know me. They know that I’m always willing to sit down at the table and listen. And they know when I go to Washington, I get things done.

In 1972, I asked for a shot at going to the U.S. Senate to be a politician that the people of Delaware could trust. They gave me that shot and I delivered with an assault weapons ban, the Violence Against Women Act, and more.

Now, Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell have derailed our country and rolled back much of the progress we’ve made.

So just like I did in 1972, I’m asking you for a shot today. A shot to go to the White House, clean up the mess that Trump has put us in, and get our country back on track so that we can lead the world once again.

Joe Biden

The problem with this message is that it implies before Trump and McConnell, after Biden got to the Senate, people could trust politicians. And yes, maybe Biden is more trustworthy than most politicians, but politicians still have a horrible reputation for being incredibly shady and duplicitous. If Biden ran on “I’ll change that” in 1972 and he… didn’t, then why on earth would I believe he could change things in 2019?

Finally, we finish the night with a good dollop of the Biden scare tactics.

Here’s what happens if we fall short tonight:

We’ll have to give Joe the disappointing news that we missed our fundraising goal.

We could have to cut back on our grassroots operation to win the Democratic primary.

We could lose ground in critical states we need to secure the nomination.

With less than 90 days until voting begins, we absolutely cannot afford to fall short now.

I know you’ve been getting a lot of emails from us, but we wouldn’t reach out if it weren’t critical for us to keep ramping up our campaign through these next three months.

Greg Schultz, Campaign Manager, Biden for President

I’ve said it before, but the message apparently isn’t getting through. If you are relying on scaring me into donating or guilting me into donating, you do not deserve my money, and shame on you for trying to emotionally manipulate more vulnerable people.

On a lighter note, Marianne Williamson stressed her policy to protect children, including the return of her $2,800 donation button.

We have what it takes to make America the best place for a child to grow up in the world.

Why would we accept anything less?

The brain of a child is our most precious resource. For 35 years, I have met with doctors, parents, teachers, counselors whose only professional goal is to aid and secure a better future for our children.

What is missing is neither the intention nor ideas, but the scale needed to address the challenges before us.

As president, I will make our nation’s children one of my highest priorities by establishing a U.S. Department of Children and Youth. Click here to sign the petition if you agree.
Here are a few select samples of the initial policy and program focuses:

Develop and implement a Public Education System that takes a whole-student approach focused on academic, social and emotional learning practices. It’s aimed at preparing students not only for the skills and jobs of the 21st century, but also to help them live vibrant and meaningful lives and make them strong contributors to a thriving democracy.

Develop and implement an Agriculture and Food System built on supports for whole, healthy foods and eliminating toxins, processed and unhealthy foods.

Develop and implement a robust Violence and Crime Prevention initiative focused on reducing trauma and despair, through the support of full-scale wraparound home, school and community prevention and intervention services; coordinating with state and local governments, expanding research, and sharing of best practices.

We’ve already gotten 8,193 petition signers, which is incredible.

Click here to sign the petition if you support the formation of U.S. Department of Children and Youth.

I am asking you to stand with me and add your name to our Petition to support a U.S. Department of Children and Youth.

Marianne Williamson

Did anyone else picture Williamson gazing lovingly into a jar with a child’s brain floating in formaldehyde? Just me? Okay…

In addition to her petition (did you get that she has a petition she wants you to sign? Because there’s a petition), she also pointed out that if you donated, you would get a free U.S. Department of Children and Youth sticker!

Elizabeth Warren also came out with a policy today, her way of transitioning to Medicare for All.

Spoiler: It’s a glide path similar to Medicare for All Who Want It.

I’ve already laid out how we can pay for Medicare for All without raising any middle-class taxes — and while putting $11 trillion in the pockets of American families.

But every serious proposal for Medicare for All contemplates a significant transition period. And that’s why, today, I’m announcing my plan to expand public health care coverage, reduce costs, and improve the quality of care for every family in America.

My plan will be completed in my first term. It includes dramatic actions to lower drug prices, a Medicare for All option available to everyone that is more generous than any plan proposed by any other presidential candidate, critical health system reforms to save money and save lives, and a full transition to Medicare for All.

We know every step in the coming fight to improve American health care — like every other fight to improve American health care — will be opposed by those powerful industries who profit from our broken system.

But I’ll fight my heart out at each step of this process, for one simple reason: I spent a lifetime learning about families going broke, including from the high cost of health care. When I’m president of the United States, I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that never happens to another person again.

I’m not afraid to fight, and I know how to win. It starts with our grassroots movement. Add your name if you support our plan to get to Medicare for All. I’ll always be deeply grateful to fight by your side.

In my first 100 days, I’ll…

→ Pursue comprehensive anti-corruption reforms to rein in health insurers and drug companies: If the next president has any intention of winning any health care fight, they must start by reforming Washington. By closing the revolving door, taxing excessive lobbying, ending lobbyist bribery, and more, we will keep powerful special interests from blocking Medicare for All.

→ Use the tools of the presidency to immediately start improving health coverage and lowering costs: I’ll reverse Donald Trump’s sabotage of the Affordable Care Act, protect people with pre-existing conditions, take on the big pharmaceutical companies to lower costs of key drugs for millions of Americans, and improve the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Medicaid.

→ Fight for a true Medicare for All option that’s immediately free for tens of millions: I’ll use the same process Mitch McConnell used to try to kill the Affordable Care Act and bypass the filibuster. We will give every American over the age of 50 the choice to enter an improved Medicare program. And we will give every person in America the choice to get coverage through a true Medicare for All option. Coverage under the new Medicare for All option will be immediately free for children under the age of 18 and for families making at or below 200% of the federal poverty level (about $51,000 for a family of four).

Look: There are many proposals out there that claim to be a “public option” — but most of them create the illusion of choice, when in reality they offer tens of millions of Americans the decision between unaffordable private insurance and unaffordable public insurance. A choice between two bad options isn’t a choice at all.

My approach is different. I have identified trillions in revenue to finance a fully functioning Medicare for All system — without raising taxes on the middle class by one penny — I can also fund a true Medicare for All option.

By the end of my first 100 days, we will have opened the door for tens of millions of Americans to get high-quality Medicare for All coverage at little or no cost. But I won’t stop there. Throughout my first term, I’ll also fight for additional health system reforms to save money and save lives — including a boost of $100 billion in guaranteed, mandatory spending for new NIH research.

Then, by my third year in office, I’ll fight to pass legislation that would complete the transition to full Medicare for All by the end of my first term. By then, the American people will know what it’s like to have the full benefits of a true Medicare for All option, and they’ll know how it stacks up against high-priced care that requires them to fight tooth and nail against their insurance company. By integrating every American into the new program, the American people would save trillions of dollars on health costs. The choice will be clear.

And at each step of my plan, millions more Americans will pay lower costs for care. Millions more Americans will see the quality of their current health coverage improve. And millions more Americans will have the choice to ditch their private insurance and enter a high-quality public plan.

But we won’t get it done unless we fight side by side. Health insurance and drug companies are profiting off of people’s pain right now, and they don’t want big, structural change — but the American people need it.

Add your name to demand Medicare for All, and be in this fight all the way.

Elizabeth Warren

Now, I’m actually comparing several healthcare policies side by side, so I’m not going to comment on that. But I am going to comment on one thing that jumped out at me as a huge red flag.

I’ll use the same process Mitch McConnell used to try to kill the Affordable Care Act and bypass the filibuster.

There is a process the Republicans used to try to kill our healthcare. Instead of making sure that process can never be used to hurt us again, Warren will instead gladly take advantage of it. After all, the problem isn’t that the weapon exists, right? It’s just that the wrong people are holding it right now.

For better or worse, Trump has put spotlights on all of the enormous ways our system is horribly broken. I don’t like the thought of leaving those broken processes around for Republicans to exploit next time they steal power. Sure, Warren is talking about using them for good.

But what about the person after Warren?

We need to make sure our government is built in such a way that it cannot be exploited to hurt us. Further exploiting it is not the right answer, no matter how many plans would be easier if we throw out the rules the same way the Republicans did.

Other was Pete Buttigieg again.

This post is already long, so I’ll keep this section short: Pete Buttigieg asked me to sign his Rules of the Road again, and on my donor account, he asked me to record a short video explaining why I supported him (and thanked me for already signing the Rules of the Road.) All I can say is: thank YOU, Buttigieg, for actually having a code of conduct.

And in the spirit of good things…

Theirs Too!

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 I’ll try to highlight ones worth your attention!

Jessica sent me an email from Kate Schroder, a Democrat running for Congress in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District. This email was such a cheerful and positive show of gratitude and talk about what Kate had been up to lately to help her city.

This was a great email.

Really, this email had it all. Great formatting, a strong color scheme/branding, and a lot of positivity and information about the campaign. Kate sounds like a great candidate for Cincinnati, and I wish her all the best in her race!

Not mentioned today: John Delaney’s accusations that his opponents aren’t telling the truth.

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