On Valentine’s Day, I got fewer cutesy, loving emails than I expected. Of the three I received, Amy Klobuchar’s made me a little uncomfortable, Joe Biden’s made me a lot uncomfortable, and Pete Buttigieg’s made me smile.
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.
Yet again, Pete Buttigieg flooded my inbox with 7 emails in a single day, while Joe Biden only managed to send 5. Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren each sent only 3 emails each, which means combined, they didn’t contact me nearly as many times as Buttigieg did all on his own.
February 14 is a holiday, but it’s not a typical holiday where people shut down work and stop emailing. In fact, only 3 of the candidates sent Valentine’s Day emails at all.
The first was sent by Amy Klobuchar, or more specifically, her husband. He wanted to stress that while Klobuchar’s first Senate campaign had been funded by ex-boyfriends, now she had all of us to raise that money.
This Valentine’s Day instead of flowers or a romantic dinner, I’m giving my wife Amy something she’ll never forget: I’m raising $18,000 for her presidential campaign.
Why $18,000? As Amy has said before, in her first U.S. Senate campaign (when people were still struggling to pronounce her last name) she raised $17,000 from ex-boyfriends. But given her impressive showing on Tuesday in the New Hampshire primary, I’m betting that I can do even better. And of course, I want to give Amy a big boost of support at this crucial moment in her presidential race!
It’s been incredibly inspiring to watch Amy campaign around the country even as she continues to pass important legislation. She’s shown the whole country why she’s the candidate who will defeat Donald Trump and solve America’s toughest challenges. She’s demonstrated grit and grace, intelligence and integrity — and I couldn’t be prouder to be her husband or to be supporting her for president.
Can I count on you to pitch in to my special Valentine’s Day Fund right now? You’ll be giving Amy a boost of momentum at a critical time in this race. Plus, you’ll be helping me give Amy the best Valentine’s Day gift ever and outraise her ex-boyfriends! Amy needs your support and I’m counting on you to help us reach our goal. After all, as I’ve pointed out myself before, those ex-boyfriends aren’t an expanding base!
Happy Valentine’s Day! And thank you! Let’s WIN BIG in November 2020!John Bessler, Amy’s husband and #1 fan
You know, I really don’t want to be involved in a Valentine’s Day gift from one person to their partner. Sorry. Count me out. (I think it’s also a bit tacky that Klobuchar keeps talking about her ex-boyfriends. We get it. You dated a lot.)
Joe Biden also had an email about Valentine’s Day, but his email was trotting out an old message just because it had a heart in one of the pictures.
Here’s a Valentine’s Day throwback:
“Rabid dogs like Biden can hurt lots of people if they are allowed to run about. They must be beaten to death with a stick before it is too late.” – Kim Jong Un-backed newspaper
These are the kind of people Donald Trump looks up to. Remember when he met Kim and said he “fell in love?”
We can’t let Trump have four more years of cozying up to thugs around the world. So, if you’re like me and you want a leader in the Oval Office who stands up to dictators, will you spend your Valentine’s Day chipping in $5 to Joe Biden’s campaign?
Here’s the thing: Dictators hate Joe Biden.
They know Joe is the leader who will restore America’s place in the world. And they know a Biden presidency will be a threat to their desperate grip on power.
Trump knows it too. That’s why he’s pulled out every dirty trick in his book to try and hurt Joe’s chances — so he doesn’t have to face him in the general election this year.
Will you help us send this “Valentine’s Day” message to Trump that he’s right to be scared? With our fundraising numbers going public every month, we know he’s keeping an eye on our totals — he’s a little infatuated.
We set a huge goal for online fundraising this month, but if we hit it, we’ll be able to show the strength of our campaign to Trump, his dictator friends, and the whole world. Will you chip in $5 or more right now to keep us on track to hit our February fundraising goals?
Thanks for pitching in to beat Trump,Bill Russo, Deputy Communications Director, Biden for President
This is an email Biden sent back when Kim first insulted him, complete with the heart image. It’s not a very Valentine’s Day appropriate message, and it made me feel a little bit squidgey reading it, especially with the recent blatant homophobia in the news from Rush Limbaugh. (Speaking of which, the homophobic statements, directed at Pete Buttigieg, were refuted by Joe Biden in his next interview, who defended Buttigieg, and a few days later, were also refuted via tweet by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who simply denounced them.)
The final Valentine’s Day email was from Pete Buttigieg himself, and it was also the most Valentine’s-Day-appropriate.
Not only did Buttigieg’s design team add conversation hearts to his logo and change his donate button into some conversation hearts, but also, he added his code of conduct, the Rules of the Road, as the statements on said hearts. And not only that, but take a look at his link.
He changed the default hyperlink color to red for Valentine’s Day, because that is the level of detail that this campaign cares about. Who even DOES that?
(certainly not Amy Klobuchar of the multi-colored highlighters.)
Finally, of course, in true Tulsi Gabbard form, the Gabbard campaign emailed to let me know how much she doesn’t like the Democratic Party on a day she should be talking about love.
This email is longer than usual, but I hope you’ll give me a few minutes of your time to share why I’m more determined — and encouraged — than ever about where we are today.
I’ve been standing with Tulsi since 2012.
Following her two deployments to the Middle East, she came back with a firsthand understanding of the cost of war, a view into the complete lack of a strategic objective in the Middle East and a conviction to bring our troops home. She decided to run for Congress. Back then, everyone told her that she would never win. Too young. Too unknown. Too unconventional. But I saw it: She had something really special. She embodied the fresh leadership for a brighter future that Hawaii was hungry for, and against all odds, she won.
This is who Tulsi is. A soldier. A patriot. An unwavering champion for the people.
This election is still anyone’s game. Unlike other candidates, our campaign has never been given a single handout by the corporate media or establishment select. It’s been dismissed. Ridiculed. Attacked. Our story is one of perseverance, standing for what is right in the face of unending opposition, and the quest for a more perfect union for ALL Americans.
We knew what we were signing up for on Day 1 when we launched and saw the attack pieces start to fly, already locked and loaded. Tulsi was never going to be a candidate with the surges and dips of establishment darlings like Buttigieg or Biden. She wouldn’t have Bloomberg’s billions or Bernie’s existing base. These surges are the result of the establishment media and pundit class declaring the winners and losers before the people get a chance to decide for themselves. They counted Tulsi out on Day One — but we know what’s possible.
On Tuesday, Tulsi finished just .3% behind a billionaire who spent $19 million in New Hampshire alone. She finished ahead of Andrew Yang, and just five points behind the former Vice President of the United States who had 100% name recognition going into this campaign.
Where we are today — because of your support — is a HUGE achievement. It’s not something to be taken lightly, or for granted. We’ve worked for every single inch of ground we’ve gained together and we’re not stopping now. Will you chip-in $15 to help Tulsi continue the climb all the way to the national convention?
Michael Bloomberg needs to keep his $10,000-a-month campaign sushi budget replenished. Tom Steyer needs to keep paying the inflated salaries of career consultants. Pete Buttigieg needs to keep currying favor in wine caves.
Tulsi? She just needs you.
$19 at a time. No outside agenda. No special interests. Just all of us working with Tulsi to speak the truth about our disastrous foreign policy. To keep the Democratic Party honest and speak truth to power.
The truth is this: The only way we’re going to beat Trump is if the person who goes up against him represents the diverse coalition of people in our country — across age, race, religion and partisanship. Tulsi has both the experience to guide our foreign policy and work across the aisle with leaders from both parties, and the fresh perspective that represents the new generation of leadership America needs.
America is our country. The trillions spent on regime change wars and the new Cold War is our money. The airwaves that the corporate media have hijacked for billions of dollars in profit are our airwaves. We’re not here to beg for scraps from the table — we’re here to reclaim our seat at the table.
Our success doesn’t look like the success of other candidates, because our success is real. Every step we’ve taken forward has been earned by hard work, sacrifice and a commitment to put service above self. Every dollar in our bank account comes from someone like you who decided to give — maybe $5, maybe $50. That’s what our success looks like — slow, steady and undeniable.
Tulsi isn’t beholden to anyone but you. And that’s a powerful position to be in.Caitlin for Tulsi
Most people were all about the donation again, though Pete Buttigieg advertised his merch store with the ask to “wear your heart on your sleeve, literally.” Elizabeth Warren offered a Warren sticker to first-time donors. Buttigieg also had a new ad he wanted me to see, and Mike Bloomberg had a video highlighting stories from survivors of the Parkland Shooting, which happened on Valentine’s Day.
Tom Steyer asked me to tell him what my name was, so he could stop calling me “friend.” He wanted also to run a report so he could see how many people with different names were supporting Steyer. I’m honestly amazed it took this long after Pete Buttigieg did that in December for another campaign to realize that people like it when people talk about them.
Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders asked me if I was going to vote for him in Michigan. Early voting has started, after all. I could vote for Sanders if I wanted to. (I haven’t voted yet. I like the “I Voted” sticker from election day.)
What I found very interesting was the complete silence on Sanders’ part about a recent statement his campaign had to make.
The Nevada Culinary Union is an incredibly powerful union, made up of hospitality workers. As Las Vegas is a huge hospitality city, many of its workers are members of the union. Their endorsement is a big deal in Nevada, the next state to vote. The union circulated a flyer among their members that stated the positions of certain candidates on certain key issues, including health care, which is one of their biggest strengths: the Culinary Union has fought long and hard to receive incredible healthcare and have forsaken wage increases and other benefits so they could keep it.
Sanders supporters, or at least, people claiming to be Sanders supporters, attacked the Culinary Union for this, including doxxing several of their highest-ranked female members (Doxxing is releasing someone’s personal information, such as address and phone number, online without their consent). These women, and many Culinary Union officials, were viciously attacked online and threatened with offline harm. This article discusses it, though I do need to give a profanity warning.
The Culinary Union released a statement expressing their disappointment in these attacks.
Sanders supporters followed up by scoffing about how Medicare for All wouldn’t really end the Culinary Union’s healthcare because it would never pass that way, and would be negotiated down. Even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of Sanders’ most notable campaign surrogates, admitted that it was more likely Medicare for All would pass as a public option, and that such a thing “wouldn’t be a nightmare.”
(It’s worth noting that right now, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are dueling it out on Twitter over whether pushing for a public option to not further divide the country before this most important election is a good thing (Buttigieg’s stance) or a bad thing (Sanders’ stance).)
The Culinary Union ended up not endorsing any candidate, and Bernie Sanders went on record on a PBS interview saying that his supporters’ actions were not acceptable.
The candidate also dismissed reports that some of his supporters had gone after members of the union on social media for their decision not to endorse him: “Obviously, that is not acceptable to me. And I don’t know who these so-called supporters are. You know, we are living in a strange world on the internet….Anybody making personal attacks against anybody else in my name is not part of our movement.”PBS.org
However, Sanders did not follow up this interview with an emailed statement to his supporters. He did not tweet a denouncement of their behavior. He did not issue a press release (and indeed, his last press release on his website dates back to April 2019). In short, Sanders said what he was backed into a corner to say, but he did not make sure the message was received by the people most likely to be acting out.
In fact, Sanders’ emails from Friday had a decidedly different message.
Here we go.
Yesterday we learned the same outside spending group that placed almost $1 million in negative ads in Iowa attacking Bernie Sanders is at it again in Nevada. The ads launch tomorrow.
We also learned that Pete Buttigieg’s super PAC is going on the air in the state as well.
That is trouble.
Because it means that the Buttigieg campaign and the super PACs are effectively working in concert toward the same goal of erasing Bernie’s lead. We are likely going to be outspent in this final week, and that is not good.
So Bernie needs your help to fight back, because he simply cannot do this alone:Faiz Shakir, Campaign Manager, Bernie 2020
Fight back, because Sanders is under attack.