At 9:27 AM on Friday, January 31, 2020, John Delaney, former U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 6th Congressional district, officially suspended his campaign for President, surprising many for one of two reasons: either they didn’t realize he was still running, or they thought he’d actually stick it out through Iowa.
In the past 256 days, John sent me 141 non-donor emails and 112 donor emails for a total of 253 emails. That averaged out to just more than half an email a day.
With so few emails, John’s preferences actually shown through more strongly. He really liked to send emails on Tuesday, with 54 of his 253 emails arriving on Tuesday. Mondays and Wednesdays were also more popular, and Sundays were his day of rest.
John was respectful of my waking hours, emailing more during the middle of the day than any other time, with 147 emails coming in between 11 AM and 4:59 PM.
John was largely self-funding his campaign, so his asks were able to be things other than just asking for money, though he was still struggling to get donors for the debate thresholds. He asked for my opinions frequently and for me to sign on to his policies or pushes.
The only time John asked me to give money to an outside group was in August, after the El Paso and Dayton shootings. He extended some links to groups working to end gun violence.
Though John’s main topic for emailing me was about the Democratic debates, he did eventually give up. Around the end of August, he sent his last swathe of debate emails, and then he mainly tapered off, only interjecting here and there to talk about how the debates were actually scaring people by focusing on ideas that would be impossible to pass.
John liked to focus on how impossible the other Democrats’ plans were. He had a bad word for everyone else’s except his own, especially in regards to health care. The only people offering truly universal health care, he frequently said, were himself, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. Too bad Sanders and Warren would never get their plans passed. That’s why his plan, BetterCare, was the better healthcare plan.
BetterCare was a public option plan, but unlike the other public option plans…
Two hundred emails in and I still couldn’t tell you the actual difference between the actual other public option plans and BetterCare, other than the name and that John was very proud of his.
John had his moment in the July debates when he was frequently summoned by the moderators to spar with Elizabeth Warren, continuously hitting her plans for being pie-in-the-sky or fairytales. Warren countered with disbelief that anyone would run on what the Democrats SHOULDN’T ask for. Even after John failed to make further debates, he continued to hearken back to that moment to talk about how he was “elevating the conversation.” He insisted that he would remain in the race at least through Iowa, so he could continue to shape the discussion.
His voice was almost never referenced in the subsequent months, as most people completely forgot he was running. John himself seemed to continuously forget he had a campaign.
These emails are solely for my non-donor account. As you can see, John freaked out before the end of the Q2 FEC period, and then… not much. Ever. Aside from his one day of 4 emails, John never really went above 2 a day, if even that. Many days passed with no emails at all.
And yet, despite how few emails he sent, John kept apologizing for sending so many. He frequently wanted to tell me his story, how he came from a poorer family and developed his own businesses that went on to bring him success. He liked to let me know when he was being honest with me. And while I actually believed him when he told me that my $1 donation made me one of his top supporters, he never broke out the dreaded “H” word with me.
He never really broke out much of anything. John’s emails focused on chasing donors for the longest time, with no overarching inspiring message to rally around. He had some good ideas, yes, but he seemed to be leaning heavily on having been campaigning the longest more than campaigning the best. For the longest time, he was the only candidate who could boast that he’d been to all 99 counties in Iowa (until Amy Klobuchar did as well, boasting she was the only “top-tier” candidate who had done so). Unfortunately, that was the most notable thing about him. He didn’t even really play up his impressively large physique, though he did make some workout jokes around the New Year.
Ultimately, John Delaney’s campaign went downhill with about the same enthusiasm that he did at the Iowa State Fair. Only John could sit on a rug and shoot down a giant slide with a completely stone-faced expression. America looked at the blandness and decided to look away. At the very least, they wanted a candidate who would smile.
So long, John, and thank you for the memes.