Day 206: 12/12/19

Thursday brought a normal amount of emails. Deval Patrick feels the January debate is important, Marianne Williamson told me what a cardiologist was, and Pete Buttigieg has a new free sticker.


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.

Once you get a taste of that sweet email spam, you never want to stop.

Pete Buttigieg is once again in first place for amount of emails crammed into my inbox with 4. I may dream about the good old days when I’d get no more than 2 a day from him, but if my experience has told me anything, this sort of email flood only dies out when a candidate is preparing to drop out. Looks like we’ll be hearing a lot from Buttigieg for the next seven months.

Joe Biden, Julian Castro, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and Marianne Williamson were only slightly less desperate with 3 emails each, while Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, and Andrew Yang all sent 2 emails.

Holiday talk is a news event.

The debate deadline came and went, and Cory Booker and Julian Castro did not acquire any of their required polls. Both candidates sent out emails informing me that they didn’t need any debates to get ahead, they’re doing just fine! Mercifully, there was no plagiarism this time.

Team, I want you to hear this from me: I’m in this race to win it, and our path forward is clear.

I may not be on the debate stage next Thursday, but thanks to the outpouring of support from this community over the past few weeks, we know there’s a path to victory and we no longer need the December debate stage to get there.

Cory Booker

The Democratic National Committee just announced that I will not be on stage for the December debate. But although we won’t be on stage, we’ve been shaping the debate from day one:

I was the first to discuss immigration, an issue that will be critical in the general election 

I was the first to discuss support for the transgender community, the first in debate history

I was the first to discuss housing, an important issue to millions of families

I was the first to name the names of lives lost to police violence 

I was the ONLY candidate to say Iowa and New Hampshire, two overwhelmingly white states, shouldn’t vote first

We’ve shown that we don’t need a debate to see the differences between candidates…. …the difference is, I’m the candidate most focused on vulnerable communities, the candidate most focused on the middle class AND the poor, and the candidate who is willing to tell the truth when others won’t.

Julian Castro

Booker sent another email reiterating that I don’t need to worry, he sees a path to the nomination. Except… I don’t see that path, and he’s not giving me any details. I’m glad he has enthusiasm, but if his polls don’t pick up, he’s not getting the win.

Meanwhile, Patrick is trying to get on the January debate stage.

The qualifications for the presidential debates in January are coming out soon, and we need to be ready.

Making it to the debates will help spread our message and add more people to our team. Deval wants this campaign to be about all of us, and it will only work if we bring more people into the fold.

Will you chip in to help Deval reach the debates?

Abe for Deval for All

I’m not going to hold my breath.

Andrew Yang has a new ad to talk about how bad climate change is, while Joe Biden wanted me to know about how much Trump hates his ad (Trump really hates it!)

How do you think Trump feels about this ad?

Biden is also worried about the billionaires coming.

One billionaire is buying his way onto the Democratic debate stage, and one is buying his way out of it.

California businessman Tom Steyer has spent millions of his own personal fortune to saturate your airwaves and news feeds to qualify again for this month’s debate. And just this week, we saw former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg break records and surpass OVER ONE HUNDRED MILLION dollars in ads around the country — while maintaining that he would skip some of the early nominating contests.

Either way — this is not how democracy is supposed to work.

Bill Russo, Deputy Communications Director, Biden for President

I absolutely agree. This isn’t how democracy is supposed to work. But I also want to know Biden’s thoughts on the super PAC supporting him. Has he disavowed it like Cory Booker did to his?

Marianne Williamson re-sent an email from a supporter of hers, a cardiologist who really likes her ideas about health and wellness.

The cardiologist’s letter was below.

Sometimes, an endorsement helps you decide if something is good or not. “Hmm, I don’t know which toothpaste to pick, but 4 out of 5 doctors like Crest.” However, sometimes endorsements go the other way. “Doctor Sillypants thinks cigarettes are good? I don’t think Doctor Sillypants is a very good doctor…” Sometimes, endorsements can go both ways depending on who sees it.

I, personally, read this email with growing disbelief. This cardiologist endorsed Williamson? I hope I never need his services. However, I’m sure others will look at this email and go “This cardiologist endorsed Williamson? I’m glad she’s being backed up by credible sources!”

Unfortunately, there’s no easy fix to this sort of thing. Make sure you do your own research on candidates and their endorsers. Or, you know, pay $20.20 to see the livestream with Williamson and Deepak Chopra. Just a few days left to buy your tickets!

Someone asked for money outside their campaign?

Michael Bennet reminded me about Jaime Harrison, who is running against Lindsey Graham, and asked me to split a donation between Harrison and his campaign. It is also possible to just make a straight donation to Jaime Harrison without having to donate to Bennet, but you can’t use Bennet’s links for that.

I’d like to talk about Pete Buttigieg, though, and his 4 emails. Buttigieg sent some very good emails on Thursday.

He also sent me Trump’s face again.

If I had to look at it, so do you.

At least Trump was grayed out this time. Made him a little more palatable to look at.

Buttigieg started off the day with a story about South Bend, his hometown. He addressed the South Bend City Council for the last time as mayor, and he wanted to share some of his remarks with me.

My time as mayor in South Bend is almost over. Earlier this week, I attended my final city council meeting — and reflected on how far South Bend has come.

When I took office in January 2012, it had been just over 47 years since the last Studebaker rolled off the line in a South Bend factory. It was only one year since we had been named a “dying city” by Newsweek magazine.

Every administration in the previous fifty years had to undertake heroic work simply to keep the city afloat. The 2010 Census told us our population was in decline, and the blows we had faced as an economy were everywhere in the crumbling, vacant houses dragging down our neighborhoods.

South Bend’s wounded psyche loomed over us in those first months I was mayor. But today, thanks to the resilience of our community, South Bend’s trajectory has been changed beyond recognition. Our population has seen a fragile but steady increase, while our unemployment rate has fallen drastically — from 11.8 percent to 3.9 percent. City partnerships have brought in over $900 million in private investment, representing over 7,500 jobs.

We are no longer known as a dying city. Instead, we’re a beta city — a national model for innovative ideas and practices.

We are on the cutting edge of urban mobility, and are pioneering systems of lifelong learning. Last year South Bend was named a top Race-Informed City by Governing Magazine thanks to efforts to recognize and remove barriers to inclusive economic development.

The challenges and opportunities ahead for our city are enormous, but we know this much: South Bend is back. And now we need a new approach for our country, too. We need solutions big enough to meet this moment and unifying enough to actually get things done.

The crises we face have been years in the making, and politicians in Washington have seemed more interested in fighting with each other than in actually fighting to make our lives better. Americans are so fed up with the dysfunction and division — especially from this president — that many of us have completely given up on the idea that government can do anything for them.

But America has overcome tremendous challenges before and we can do it again. If we can summon the courage to break with the past, and if we can enlist the energies of every American, then we can be proud to tell our kids what we did to leave them a better future.

I am running for president because America is running out of time, and I am profoundly grateful for your support and partnership.

Pete Buttigieg

There was no actual ask, though you could click to donate on some of his emphatic paragraphs. This email was all about giving me information, and part of that information was how clearly Buttigieg loves his hometown. It was inspiring and emotional and everything that makes Buttigieg one of my favorite email writers.

Then he sent me the email about how he’s statistically tied with Trump in Arizona. Oof.

From there, he went on to a sticker offer:

Free with support!

When I was in my high school government class, we were preparing for the election between Bush and Gore. My teacher told us about how the Electoral College could decide the President and how rare it was for it to go against the determination of the people. We were given maps to color red and blue as the states were called.

My Florida was a mass of purple by the end of the night, and I wrote an apology on it when I turned it in. Even back then, we were talking about the shock of the Electoral College overthrowing the will of the people.

And then it happened again.

In the last twenty years, two of five Presidential elections have been decided by a handful of delegates rather than the American people.

The Electoral College artificially dilutes the power of minority communities and due to projected demographic trends, this problem is likely to get worse over time.

This is undemocratic. The Electoral College needs to be abolished and replaced with a National Popular Vote so that every citizen has a say in electing our president.

Team Pete

This year, we are going to be holding our collective breaths as we watch the Electoral College and hope we have enough of a blue wave to get past the expected rigging. I used to argue in favor of the Electoral College, but now I find myself agreeing with the candidates who want to get rid of it. One person, one vote, period.

Finally, Buttigieg sent the last email of the night from his Indiana State Director Arielle Brandy.

I’m the Indiana State Director on Pete’s campaign. I’m bracing you for a long email about my favorite Rule of the Road: belonging. I hope you’ll read my email to the very end and think about your own path to where you are today and where you feel the strongest sense of belonging. This is important to me because I care about the people who care about this campaign.

Before I continue, I want to personally ask: Will you make a $5 donation to Pete’s campaign for president right now?

My name is Arielle Brandy. I was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana.

I am a proud African American and Latina woman who grew up on the predominantly black, Northwest side of South Bend. When I was growing up, I saw the cyclical nature of poverty take its toll on my community over and over again.

Things started to change for me when I went to college. For the first time in my life, I was able to see the world outside of Indiana and given a chance to succeed in a world I never thought I could compete in as a woman of color — let alone thrive in.

Not unlike Pete, the more I learned about politics and social justice in my college and post-grad years, the more I wanted to return home and work to create more opportunities in my community.

So I packed up my life and moved back to South Bend. A place that once yearned for change, innovation, and new leadership, turned out to be the one place where I felt like I belonged in this country.

I returned to the Bend right as Pete had been elected Mayor — first to work at a local non-profit, then for the Indiana Democratic Party, and then as the department head of voter registration for the entire county, where I worked closely with Pete and his administration on issues impacting communities of color. By that point in my career, I was used to being the only woman in the room. I was used to being the only one talking about the issues faced by people of color. And I was used to being overlooked.

But Pete and his office were different. Pete welcomed me into places I never thought I’d have the opportunity to work, and to leadership roles I never thought a person of color would be in. I felt like I belonged. I felt important, useful, and valued.

Pete empowered me to establish myself in Indiana politics, advocate for people who looked like me — for black and brown girls of all ages — and engage directly with my community.

I felt a true sense of belonging in South Bend — finally. And now, years later, I am thrilled to be helping build a campaign that is based on that same sense of belonging.

I realize I have an invaluable opportunity to uplift the stories of my community on a national stage, surrounded by people who value not just Pete and his experience, but also my perspective and the experience that I bring to the table.

Today, I live in South Bend with my two daughters, working on Pete’s campaign as the state director of the very state that raised me. I am immensely proud to be working for Pete — the person who welcomed me and my voice with open arms; who listened and valued my opinions. I know that if we work together to elect Pete, we will be proud to tell our kids what we did to build them a better future. If you’re just as committed as I am in this fight for the presidency and for a brighter future the day after the Trump presidency, will you please make a $5 donation today?

Arielle Brandy, Indiana State Director, Pete for America

Have I mentioned that I love the rules of the road? I love the rules of the road. I’m still waiting for any other candidate to release a code of conduct, but I think they’re all too happy with their supporters running wild and organic.

So anyway, those were Buttigieg’s emails. He sent the most, but two of them were full of heart and one of them had a free sticker. I wasn’t overly upset with him today… though I’m really growing tired of him shoving Trump in my face. I get enough of that from Biden.

Do you think Booker and Castro are actually going to stay in the race?

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