Days 243 and 244: 1/18/20-1/19/20

Over the weekend, Pete Buttigieg turned 38, Michael Bennet said thank you, and Bernie Sanders was disappointing.


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.

No one can match Pete Buttigieg’s enthusiasm

Over the weekend, Pete Buttigieg sent out 10 emails to his non-donors, while Joe Biden only managed 8 and Elizabeth Warren was a distant 7. John Delaney was sticking to his unusual “let’s not email them at all and still plan for a win” strategy. Even Mike Bloomberg, who seems to have a distaste for letting the common donor have a say in his campaign, managed to send 1 email (discussing how he’s been leading on climate change for 15 years and will do more than just talk).

Saturday was just a little busier.

Interestingly, only Tom Steyer made any reference to the many Women’s Marches occurring over the weekend, speaking out in support of their agenda. Many campaigns had a presence at various marches according to Twitter feeds, but no one else took to email to talk about it.

This was the end of the Buttigieg birthday emails, I presume.

Pete Buttigieg asked me twice as a non-donor to sign his birthday card, but it was Michael Bennet who took an email just to say thank you, expressing his gratitude for the support that had gotten him this far.

Friends, I wanted to take a moment to share my gratitude for this team.

I’ve asked a lot of you over the last few months. Your individual contributions helped us to not just meet but exceed our fundraising goals. So thank you for everything you continue to do. This campaign wouldn’t be here without your continued support.

It’s not lost on me that some people considered this campaign a long shot, but the power of our grassroots team continues to dispel their doubts, and I’m grateful to have you in my corner, friend.

As a nation, we face momentous decisions about our future.

If we are again at one of history’s turning points, as I believe we are, then we have a choice to make.

We must decide if we’ll take the easy path of our worst instincts and pessimism, or if we will confidently rally together with vigor and optimism.

The United States is the world’s oldest and greatest democracy. It has grown in prosperity and power even as it has matured in its understanding of the rights its founders first articulated, as subsequent generations of founders sharpened those rights and extended them to people long denied them.

Friend, there is still so much more to be done for our nation.

Each of us, with individual talent and spirit and hard work, is called upon to be a founder. Each of us – in obligation to others – is called upon to rebuild the republic. What if each of us were to answer that call?

With immense gratitude,

Michael Bennet

There were no offers of stickers this weekend, just a lot of pleas for phone banking or donations to support the volunteers on the ground, mainly in Iowa.

They needed a lot of support.

Tulsi Gabbard, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang were all sending me emails worried about how behind they were on their fundraising and begging me to help them catch up. Andrew Yang acknowledged that he had missed a fundraising goal, but only to me as a donor. Michael Bennet, on the other hand, celebrated that he had made his $700,000 goal, a feat many pundits (myself included) doubted he would manage to pull off.

Not everyone bothered to hide their monetary asks behind pleas for volunteer assistance.

Elizabeth Warren reassured me, as she does in just about every single fundraising email she sends, that she wouldn’t be asking if it weren’t powerfully important. She’d be grateful down to her toes if I could donate.

I’d be grateful down to my toes if she never used either of those phrases again.

Bernie Sanders had his rose-colored glasses on, asking me to imagine the impossible.

Imagine four years from now. President Bernie Sanders — having passed Medicare for all, a Green New Deal, and canceled all student debt — will be gearing up for a re-election campaign to continue our incredible progress transforming our country.

Imagine college for all. Imagine health care guaranteed as a right. Imagine all that we can do for working people. It CAN happen. And when it does, we will look back to right now.

Sixteen days from today is the Iowa caucus. If we win Iowa, it will set us up to do VERY well in the rest of the primaries, no matter what the corporate media and political establishment throw at us. Victory is in sight.

It starts with as many Bernie supporters as possible making a contribution to our campaign today.

Can Bernie count on you for a $2.70 contribution to our campaign today? Every donation puts us on the path to a future with President Bernie Sanders.

Our donations we make to Bernie add up very quickly. All of sudden, it’s ten more organizers, and then another day of advertising in a key state. And then we win — and get to the business of transforming our country.

Thanks for all you do for our campaign.

Faiz Shakir, Campaign Manager, Bernie 2020

I don’t imagine for a moment that any of the candidates will be able to pull off their full plate of policy ideas, much less accomplish all of them in four years. I expect the very best, the most politically-savvy of the bunch, could maybe pull off one of their goals. Maybe. So when I see Sanders inviting me to imagine this future where everything is rosy and glorious, do you know what I hear?

It’s March 2024, the beginning of President Williamson’s second term. You are picking up your kids at school or getting ready for yoga class and the conversation turns to you…

A friends might ask you—“How did you know last election that Marianne Williamson was the leader that we needed?”  In 2019, all I remember was America’s strife, and exhaustion, and finger-pointing. So many candidates, jumping in the race out of fear, but lacking a vision for real change. Then………one voice……quiet at first, then growing, emerged to present this vision. 

“How did you know so early that she would be the leader we were talking about wanting but couldn’t see was right in front of us? How did you know to pick her out amidst all that background noise?”

All of you who support Marianne have this in common: You know what others do not yet know. You see what others cannot yet glimpse. It is a profound act of faith to allow the “better angels of our nature,” as Abraham Lincoln called it, to guide us to our greatness. While others may doubt, you know that this country is destined for great things. That we are a nation of good. That there is a path to being better. That Marianne can show us the way. 

Patricia Ewing, Campaign Manager, Marianne Williamson for President 

What is the difference here, really? Other than one coming from a man and one from a woman, what is the difference between their visions of the future?

Well, other than Williamson talking about being a nation of good and Sanders talking about the vices of corporate media and the political establishment.

It’s easy to be angry. When you are angry, it feels good to have your anger validated and fed back to you. But anger feeding anger leads to, unsurprisingly, anger.

Joe Biden tried to combat Sanders’ anger with the greatest of all parental weapons: disappointment.

I’m disappointed.

As Democrats I thought we all knew this election was too important to attack other Democrats.

But Bernie Sanders and his campaign don’t care about that. They’ve decided to unleash a barrage of negative attacks lying about and distorting my record. They’re even pushing around a deceptively edited video and saying I agreed with Paul Ryan about wanting to cut Social Security.

Let me be clear, this is 100% false. Take a look at Politifact — they said it wasn’t true. Or better — go look at the Vice Presidential debate I had with Paul Ryan where I told him President Obama and I would never let him privatize Social Security, to his face.

But with just 15 days until the Iowa Caucuses, these types of smears could be devastating to our chances.

So please, I’m asking you for your help. Can you chip in to my campaign today so we can fight back against these lies and set the record straight?

I have fought for the Democratic Party my whole career. I know what we stand for, who we stand with and what we believe. And it’s not just policies or issues. It’s in my bones. That’s not something everyone in this primary can say.

If my opponents want to have a debate on what they’ve actually done to truly implement progressive, meaningful change in our country — not just talk, but real accomplishments — I welcome it.

These kinds of negative attacks don’t help anyone but Donald Trump.

So let’s send a message to Bernie and his campaign: Stop it. Let’s keep our eye on the ball. Above all else, we must defeat Donald Trump.

If you’re with me, if you want to defeat Donald Trump, will you chip in $5 now to keep our campaign going strong?

Joe Biden

This is referring to a video Sanders put out in which Biden seems to be saying that he will cut social security and Medicare benefits. As Biden, and many other news organizations have pointed out, this is cut from a larger clip in which Biden says that as a form of mocking Paul Ryan’s tax plan. The context of “I’m saying this as an example of what my opponent says” is removed from Sanders’ video.

As of the time of this writing, Biden has asked for an apology from Sanders, and Sanders has doubled down on the appropriateness of the video. After all, this is a contest with only one winner.

Like Biden, I too am disappointed in Sanders. I read articles coming out that talk about Sanders being able to beat Trump at his own game and I wonder… who actually wins when America races to the bottom of decency?

It is a melancholy day today.

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