8:25 a.m. Received an urgent e-mail from Al Gore with an unsettling subject
line: “Disaster.” Turns out the former vice president wanted to tell
me that the Republican Party has been "hijacked by an extremist fringe," and
I should send "$3 or more" a.s.a.p.
Now, I'm a fan of the former vice president and, considering some of the blather
I've heard recently from the Tea Party, it didn't surprise me to learn that the
GOP had been hijacked. But I'm beginning to worry that it's the Democrats who
are now controlled by an extremist fringe -- of e-mail writers.
|These are some of the
genuine campaign e-mails I received over just two days recently:
9:27 a.m. -- Under the subject line "This will be blunt," Joe Biden
writes, "This isn't hyperbole or exaggeration." He says there's a
serious problem with "the spending gap," and I should "donate
$75 today." The vice president adds that I'm like "second family" to
The following morning I woke to discover that Democrats had ratcheted up the
e-mails to include exclamation points!
8:26 a.m. -- A message from campaign official Donna Brazile carries the subject
line, "badmouthing!" Seems "these Tea Party Republicans," would "rather
badmouth the President than work with him." Her suggestion: "contribute
$3 or whatever you can."
8:42 a.m. -- The subject line was so odd -- the single word "So" --
that I almost deleted it. It was from "Barack," asking for $3 because, "Tonight
is one of the most critical fundraising deadlines we'll face."
I've come to realize that all of these fund-raising pleas are "critical" --
even the periodic missives I continue to receive about paying off Hillary Clinton's
2008 campaign debt.
9:09 a.m. -- "We're in this together," writes Michelle (Obama).
11:23 a.m. -- "Peter -- Did you see Al Gore's message?" Yikes! This
was campaign honcho Steve Israel writing to be sure Al's e-mail hadn't gotten
stuck in my spam filter. Also, "Donate $3 or more right now."
11:47 a.m. -- Michelle again. Apparently the first lady was worried that her
earlier e-mail had failed to mention donating. She requests "$3 or more."
1:10 p.m. -- Ah, reverse psychology. The email from the national finance director
carries the subject line: "Don't click on this link." Rufus Gifford
says if I want "Mitt Romney and the Republicans to continue kicking our
behinds in fundraising," I should not donate $75 or more before midnight.
2:13 p.m. -- Things are getting chummy. The subject line is "Peter" and
the sender is "Nancy." Leader Pelosi says $3 or more will "show
the world just how committed we are." She meant to a victory by Democrats,
but I'm thinking there's an equally big commitment to sending bulk e-mails.
5:10 p.m. -- "Wow!" says the subject line. It's Nancy again letting
me know that, "we are just 212 donations short" of a one-day record!
9:18 p.m. -- "Are you awake?" asked the subject line, in what I assume
was a rhetorical sort of way. It was campaign aide Julianna Smoot e-mailing a
photo. "Peter -- Do you know what this is? It's President Obama making
his donation to the campaign.”
The photo showed Mr. Obama, sitting with his laptop and a small potted plant,
in a room that was otherwise strangely barren. I don’t doubt that the president
was sending a dination. But if he’s as smart as I believe he is, he was
also deleting his name from the e-mail list.
For my part, I'm e-mailing: "Stop! You had me at ‘Dear Peter.’"
(c) Peter Funt. This column first appeared in The New York Times.
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