Day 379: 6/2/20

You ever just marveled as you set the expectations bar so low, you think there’s no way it can be missed… and then you watch someone skate right underneath it like they’re doing the limbo?


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.

Maybe four emails a day is the new norm?

Once again, Joe Biden sent 4 emails to each of my accounts, donor and non-donor.

News events are the biggest!?

And finally, finally, he addressed his email list on the state of unrest. He rolled COVID-19 and George Floyd together into a lengthy statement on system-wide failings. He was saddened by the pain and grief, angry at the injustices, and furious at Trump’s response. He was determined and strong in emphasizing that we are better than this, we can be better than this, and we will be better than this.

The history of this nation teaches us that it’s in some of our darkest moments of despair that we’ve made some of our greatest progress.

The 13th and 14th and 15th Amendments followed the Civil War. The greatest economy in the history of the world grew out of the Great Depression. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 came in the tracks of Bull Connor’s vicious dogs.

To paraphrase Reverend Barber ‑‑ it’s in the mourning we find hope.

It will take more than talk. We’ve had talk before. We’ve had protests before.

Let us vow to make this, at last, an era of action to reverse systemic racism with long overdue and concrete changes.

That action will not be completed in the first 100 days of my presidency ‑‑ or even an entire term.

It is the work of a generation.

But if this agenda will take time to complete, it should not wait for the first 100 days of my presidency to get started.

A down payment on what is long overdue should come now. Immediately.

I call on Congress to act this month on measures that would be a first step in this direction. Starting with real police reform.

Congressman Jeffries has a bill to outlaw chokeholds. Congress should put it on President Trump’s desk in the next few days.

There are other measures: to stop transferring weapons of war to police forces, to improve oversight and accountability, to create a model use of force standard ‑‑ that also should be made law this month.

No more excuses. No more delays.

If the Senate has time to confirm Trump’s unqualified judicial nominees who will run roughshod over our Constitution, it has time to pass legislation that will give true meaning to our Constitution’s promise of “equal protection of the laws.”

Joe Biden

It was strong and empathetic and moving. It touched on all the right notes that a leader needed to hit.

And it should have come at least three days earlier.

Still, it arrived. And Joe Biden’s newsletter arrived too (though I thought it usually came on the first of the month). He opened it with a reiteration of his words from his George Floyd email, and his entire newsletter focused mainly on how to help, what was going on, and how to thank people who are helping.

But in-between those two emails?


“I can’t breathe…”

“Everyone loves our sticker!”

“I’m writing with a heavy heart…”

As Rodericka Applewhaite, former rapid response for Pete Buttigieg, put it: read the goddamn room.

Is Biden genuinely mourning and angry? Or is this just another disingenuine political email saying what he thinks we want to hear?

Honestly, from my experience with Biden’s campaign, I think the two heavy emails are genuine. I really do appreciate them and their words, and I donated to Biden’s campaign to emphasize that this is the communication that I want to see.

But that sticker email… I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If Biden wins in November, it will be despite his team, not because of them. His entire email team is so disconnected. With one ill-timed email, they completely threw off the emotional beat of his message. Did no one stop and say “Hey, maybe we should save the sticker email for tomorrow and let today be heavy and serious?”

Look at all these colors… that’s how you know it’s a newsletter day.

For the first time in a long time, donation asks were not the majority ask of the day. Biden’s newsletter always comes with a lot of different asks, including one talking about their new Biden-branded face masks available in their store… and how every purchase of a face mask we make will trigger a donation of one unbranded face mask to a worthy organization. Biden talked about the importance of wearing face masks right now. It was a good little blurb and a good merch plug.

His George Floyd email did not ask for money (except in the typical footer of every email where the disclaimers reside). He provided a list of events (he only ever tells me what events there are during his newsletters) and offered to answer my questions. He gave me articles to read and news clips to watch.

And he asked me to buy a sticker.

Back on track, I guess.

2 thoughts on “Day 379: 6/2/20

  1. This is taken directly from his much longer speech yesterday in Philadelphia, which I thought went well (here’s the transcript in full: ). It was a major moment for Biden, who has now begun to appear in public after his governor’s stay-at-home order expired a day or two ago (I guess probably at the end of the month). The speech was powerful and looked presidential and was shown in full on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox. It was really a turning point in terms of coverage, and a real contrast to Trump’s actions and statements.

    It seemed to me that to see a part of it included in an email was wonderful, as it reflected the idea that Biden’s campaign should share his major addresses or statements via email as an additional “channel” for that content, instead of leaving email out as a sort of separate fundraiser with no ideas, which you’ve criticized. TBH, I was looking forward to how happy you would be about this, so now I am confused. Maybe they should have made the link more explicit or added a link to the full video or transcript?


    1. You’re right, I didn’t realize this was part of his much longer speech (because it wasn’t mentioned at all!). What was upsetting to me, as I’ve been pointing out all week, is that riots were happening last week and Biden’s emails were completely silent in favor of raising money. By waiting until AFTER the fundraising deadline to address the events via email, I felt like his team was saying “Money > Black lives.” However, as I said in this post, the email he did end up sending was very good… but the effect was diminished by following it up with “everyone wants one of our stickers! Donate anything to get one for yourself!”


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