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Opinion >  Column

Spin Control: Biden campaign’s quest for cash seems relentless

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Del., Friday Sept. 4, 2020.   (Carolyn Kaster)
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Del., Friday Sept. 4, 2020.  (Carolyn Kaster)

I have become seriously worried about Joe Biden’s presidential campaign because it seems to be so desperate for money that it keeps sending emails asking for money, even though I’ve never given any political candidate a dime.

Although the Federal Elections Commission shows that they have raised more than $328 million – a bit less than President Trump, but still not chicken scratch – the Biden campaign or various email addresses folks connected with it tried repeatedly last week to pull a few bucks out of me like panhandlers on a street corner.

It’s possible the Trump campaign is just as relentless, but knows that getting money from reporters is like getting blood from stones.

Biden et al. began shaking their tin cups in earnest on the last night of the Republican National Convention, saying they needed to raise 500 donations from Olympia for the “Beat Trump Fund” before the president took the stage for his acceptance speech.

Why 500 wasn’t really clear, but the next morning another email from DNC HQ said it needed $7 from 98 people in Olympia to meet its goal. Whether this was different from the pre-speech goal or they had found 402 suckers Olympia wasn’t really clear.

That afternoon, Biden-Harris HQ said it had a goal of raising $427,500 from first-time donors in Washington, and any amount I give “would have a huge impact.”

That was a Friday, and the hectoring picked up over the weekend. At 7:21 a.m., Joseph R. Biden Jr. personally asked me to chip in $10 to help meet the goal, which was down to $382,500. He emailed again, 18 minutes later, repeating the request for a ten-spot. Someone needs to tell him that Washington is on Pacific time, and even people who give money are unlikely to do so before their first cup of coffee.

At 9:39 a.m. the Biden-Harris HQ informed me that the target was now down to $360,000. Even if I were someone who was apt to give money, this would be likely to convince me things were going along just fine without my help.

At. 11:59 a.m., Howard Dean wrote to say the goal of $7 from Olympians was down to 80 people. I covered part of Dean’s presidential run in 2004, and found him to be a good interview. But as for giving money on his say-so? No.

At 3:40 p.m., Kamala Harris said they now needed only $337,000 from first-time donors in the state. By 8:31 p.m., Biden-Harris 2020, which may or may not be the same as Biden-Harris HQ, had it down to $202,500 for first timers. It was like a telethon, although the dollar figures are going in the opposite direction.

At 8:53 a.m. Sunday, Barack Obama tried to get me to give $7 to the Democratic Unity Fund before Monday. He was smart enough to wait until I’d had a cup of coffee. But no.

At 10:10, Biden-Harris HQ said they needed $270,000 from first time donors in Washington. Someone had apparently misplaced about $68,000 over night. Why would I trust them with my money?

At 11:05 a.m., DNC HQ said the goal of $7 for the unity fund was down to 68 people from Olympia.

At 1:53 p.m., JoeBiden.com said the campaign needed $247,000 from first-time Washington donors to hit a goal by midnight Aug. 31 or “Trump could drown out or message.”

At 2:03 p.m. Kamala Harris suggested I split a $10 donation between the presidential campaign and the DNC, but $5 to each group wouldn’t be enough for a donut and a latte for whoever has to send out these emails. Two hours and 13 minutes later Democratic National Chairman Tom Perez said the goal of $7 per donor from Olympia was down to 62 people. About an hour later Biden himself told me the end-of-the-month goal was down to $225,000, so maybe I could give $25.

At 2:27 a.m. Monday, Team Joe wasn’t asking for money per se, but was inviting me to an event called “Cup of Joe with Washington Women for Biden.” Cute, but I don’t qualify, and would likely just wind up on more email lists.

At 7:49 a.m., Obama asked again for $7 for the unity fund. At 11:12 a.m., Harris said she was worried about not raising enough money in her first month on the ticket; but on the plus side, the goal for Washington was down to $157,000.

At 12:56 p.m., a plea from Biden himself could’ve dragged $10 out of me – if I weren’t more inclined to light money on fire than give it to a politician – with a promise that “This is the last you’ll hear from me before our deadline.” Sadly, not quite true. Some 34 minutes later, Biden For President was asking for money saying they were still short of their goal for Washington, which was down to $135,000. At 6 p.m. Team Joe was emailing again for $25 to hit their end-of-the-month deadline, now only $90,000 short.

At 8:08 p.m., Biden said this was the last email he’d send in August asking me to be one of the final voters of the month. Turned out the operative phrase was “in August.”

At 11:03 a.m. Tuesday, Biden wrote to say he was “blown away” by everyone’s contributions and is “grateful to you from the bottom of my heart.” And by the way, if I could send $25, I would be put on a list of first-time donors and “have an extra chance to end up on my grassroots call list, so I may be giving you a call to thank you myself.”

No thanks, Mr. Vice President, I don’t really need a phone call. I get enough email from you as it is.

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