Happy Black Friday, y’all! Yesterday was Thanksgiving and a handful of the campaigns took the day off. Those who did email me kept their intrusions to a minimum. Read on to see who sent the best email of the day!
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.
With the holiday, most of the campaigns that emailed only sent a single email acknowledging Thanksgiving. However, both Steve Bullock and Marianne Williamson sent 2 emails.
While the vast majority of the emails were all about Thanksgiving and what the various candidates or campaigns were grateful for, there were a few that bucked that easy talk. Steve Bullock’s second email was about his campaign stickers. He wanted to send me one, so where should he send it? No ask for a donation with the sticker, just the sticker itself.
Julian Castro did talk about Thanksgiving, but he used his family’s participation in a San Antonio tradition of volunteering at the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner, serving hot turkey meals to thousands of seniors and folks in need, to talk about his People First Plan to End Hunger in America, which he had just released the day before.
Tulsi Gabbard talked about Thanksgiving, but she was grateful for the fact that her campaign had officially passed 200,000 donors to reach the December debate threshold. Gabbard just needs one more poll to get on the December debate stage. She included a video of her Thanksgiving thoughts for me to watch.
Marianne Williamson’s second email was a reminder of her livestream tomorrow.
While several campaigns did keep their signature Donate button, only Marianne Williamson openly asked for money. First, she asked me to keep her campaign in mind when considering my end-of-year contributions, and then, in the same email, she reminded me that access to her livestream tomorrow had a ticket price of $20.20. Even Steve Bullock’s stickers didn’t come with a price on Thanksgiving.
Elizabeth Warren was the only campaign that did not send an email from the candidate on Thanksgiving. Instead, Team Warren emailed me about ways I could bring up Warren’s policy points at Thanksgiving and encouraged me to use her Reach app to log conversations I had with people (training available if I needed help figuring it out!).
Both Tulsi Gabbard and Steve Bullock included videos that I could watch. Gabbard talked about Thanksgiving, while Bullock had a bunch of Thanksgiving-related Dad-jokes.
I shared Bullock’s video with my mother, and we groan-laughed together.
(I didn’t share Gabbard’s, because it didn’t arrive until after 9 PM ET, when I was already at home. Also, no one in my family would have wanted to see that.)
Everyone else just wanted to talk about Thanksgiving and their gratitude. Kamala Harris shared her mother’s bacon fried apples recipe. Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer shared photos of Thanksgivings past, while Michael Bennet, Julian Castro, and Amy Klobuchar shared photos of current Thanksgiving. Cory Booker made me laugh with a story about his mother, who was visiting him in New Jersey and spending Thanksgiving with him.
However, the winner (or loser?) of the Thanksgiving emails had to be Pete Buttigieg.
Did you ever have That Kid in your class, the one who would go above and beyond with their homework assignment and while they did really good and deserved the A, they actually went so far above and beyond that they made you look bad by comparison, and you kind of hated them even though there was nothing wrong with your homework?
Yeah, that was Buttigieg with these emails. If the assignment was “write a letter talking about Thanksgiving,” most of the candidates said something along the lines of “I’m so grateful for ____ and ____ and especially your support! Wishing you all the best for Thanksgiving!”
Buttigieg wrote an essay on how as we come together for Thanksgiving and sit across from relatives whose political views are radically different from ours, it is important to focus on the things we have in common and not the things that divide us, as that is what we will need to rebuild after this current presidency ends.
For the first time in a long time, I really enjoyed an email sent by a Presidential candidate, and not because it had groan-worthy jokes.
Dear Pete for America community,
Thanksgiving is an opportunity for Americans to come together — as families, friends, and as a nation.
We know that after a year of avoiding getting into political debates with some relatives on Facebook, we’re going to find ourselves sitting across the table from each other.
We sense those walls going up between us in our communities, our churches, and yes, even within our families. We feel the pain of what I can only describe as a crisis of belonging in America, with so many of our fellow Americans wondering where they fit in and whether they belong at all.
But on the day after this presidency comes to an end, we’re going to need to pick up the pieces of our divided nation and come together to tackle the urgent challenges we face.
So in the midst of a heated political season, I hope we remember the values we share — especially today, on Thanksgiving.
Let’s take inspiration from the extraordinary Americans I’ve met throughout this campaign. Veterans who didn’t hesitate to answer our nation’s call. Farmers in rural Iowa discussing how they can be a part of addressing our climate crisis. Young people demanding we act on guns. DREAMers making this country their own, and conservatives who recognize immigrants as a credit to their communities.
If we focus on what we hold in common, then I believe we can knit back our country and deliver a future where every one of us belongs.
I hope everyone has a meaningful Thanksgiving.Pete Buttigieg