Fun with presidential campaign fundraising emails | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Fun with presidential campaign fundraising emails 

“It was the same week Suicide Squad came out, and I spent the money on Margot Robbie instead.”


I know that we’re all ready for Nov. 8 to come and go as quickly as possible, but I am actually a little sad. I’m sad because as soon as we elect a new president, they’ll stop talking to me. I’m not talking about people I know who support Donald Trump (they stopped talking to me months ago). I’m talking about my famous friends like Elizabeth, Uncle Joe, Donald, Pat, Katie, Hillary, and Barack and Michelle.

No, I’m not on a star-studded pen-pal exchange; the missives from these folks have come in the form of fundraising emails. As I’m sure is true for many of you, too, I have been inundated for some time with mass-produced emails doing their best to sound personal in an effort to get me to “chip in $1 or whatever you can before tonight’s final end-of-month deadline.” Here are some of my favorites from the past several months.

The ‘Don’t we mean anything to you?’ email

If I were Democratic Party leaders, I’d be frustrated too. They take time out of their busy schedules to write to me, and I show them less respect than the Nigerian prince who last month offered to share his billion-dollar lottery prize with me. Apparently, I was being particularly douchey in July, because I got a lot of letters right at the end of the month from the whole gang.

“My husband Barack emailed twice; my friend Joe emailed twice; and I’m reaching out for a third time. That’s how important today is! We have an opportunity to turn out a record number of Democratic voters, elect a historic number of women, and take back the majority in Congress. But those opportunities will be lost if we get badly outraised tonight. So I’m coming directly to you,” said a letter First Lady Michelle Obama wrote to me.

And she was right: Barack and Uncle Joe had reached out, and I had selfishly ignored them. And then I got this note: “President Obama asked. Joe Biden asked twice. Michelle Obama asked twice. And now I’m asking. That’s how important tonight is. I just told the roaring Democratic Convention crowd that we can elect a record number of women and win the White House and Congress. But Charlie — if we get drastically outraised, it’ll be a horrible setback for our chances,” U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi told me in an email with the subject line “disappointed.” When Uncle Joe asked me for the fifth time, I almost gave a buck. But it was the same week Suicide Squad came out, and I spent the money on Margot Robbie instead. 

The ‘letter from a scary dude’ email

I must be on some sort of list of cantankerous donors, because when I didn’t respond to a sweetheart like Michelle Obama, they broke out the hillbilly assassin, James Carville. At first I thought he was going to share some of his down-home folksy stories, but things took a turn. 

“There’s nothing better than Halloween, Charlie — the costumes, candy, and jumping out of the bushes to spook the neighborhood kids (they deserved it after smashing our pumpkin!). But what REALLY keeps me up at night is the possibility that we fall short of our last fundraising deadline — our final chance to show our strength before the election. And if we do, Trump’s nightmarish rhetoric becomes our reality. The GOP has embraced Halloween like never before — they want to carve up Social Security, make Planned Parenthood disappear, and treat the Supreme Court like a joke. Happy Halloween, James Carville.”

In another note, he wrote: “Thanks to my new best friend Donald Trump, Democrats have a rare chance to win it all. FIFTY House races are now in play! But it’s not all unicorns and rainbows, because our Democrats don’t have enough cash to win all these races. So I need yah, and I need yah quick.”

The ‘gift that would keep on giving if I knew what the hell it was’ email

The Trump campaign wanted to give me something for my donation. The note read: “Receive your gift now. Friend, to receive your free personal gift from Mr. Trump, you must donate by 11:59 PM TONIGHT.” But there was nothing that explained what the gift was. However, another email did promise a specific gift — an “exclusive, non-transferable, invitation-only opportunity to receive a limited edition Trump Black Card.” My initial reaction was: “A Trump Black Card!?!?! Well, sign me up, because I can use some help with my holiday shopping.” But I realized that it was just a card to show that I’m going to proudly vote for Trump. I was going to write back and decline, because I don’t even plan to shamefully vote for Donald. But then I realized that in the eyes of the Trump machine, I’m special: “Who will be carrying this card? Only those who want to make a strong statement in this election,” the message promised. “You’ll be on a team that will be sending a message to Crooked Hillary to watch out, that we’re coming for her.” But I realized I was actually on Crooked Hillary’s team, so I decided not to get the card. I knew that Mr. Trump wouldn’t put up with anyone dishonest carrying his card.



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