An unsual email arrived last week from Hillary Clinton’s campaign (sender: Christina Reynolds). It seems to have gone out to out her general list rather than the Twitter posse specifically, because it encourages people to “join The Briefing”, the campaign’s rapid-response team. The text of the message includes the ENTIRE 9184-word transcript of Bernie Sanders’s interview with the NY Daily News editorial board…not exactly a common tactic!
This email is part of the Clinton/Sanders “unqualified” spat, with Clinton pointing to the transcript as evidence that Bernie hasn’t thought through his own pet proposals well enough (though he would of course disagree). And while some have questioned whether the interview revealed the ignorance of detail that Clinton alleges, the introduction to her email sets up supporters to see what her campaign wants them to see: “In fact, even on his signature issue of breaking up the banks, he’s unable to answer basic questions about how he’d go about doing it, and even seems uncertain whether a president does or doesn’t already have that authority under existing law.”
I doubt we’ll see too many 10,000-word candidate emails (we’re talking about a Unabomber-manifesto level of text here), but it’s a fascinating tactic in this case. It implicitly invites supporters to actually read and make up their own minds, even if it does frame expectations from the start. It also tries to actively involve them in the process of pushing back against the Sanders campaign, with Twitter and Facebook Share asks highlighted in the intro.
Note the tone in the full intro quoted below, too: respectful to Bernie (“Senator Sanders clearly cares passionately about the things he believes in, and he’s been a powerful advocate for leveling the playing field in this country”) but still critical. And, while the message DOES include a “donate” button, it’s all the way at the bottom. So let’s look at this message as an engagement tactic, one that shows a dangerously high level of respect for the intelligence and involvement of Clinton supporters. Well done — beats the hell out of yet another fundraising message. Intro follows:
Thought you — and every voter who cares about this primary — should read this telling interview with Bernie Sanders.
Senator Sanders clearly cares passionately about the things he believes in, and he’s been a powerful advocate for leveling the playing field in this country. We all respect that.
But we’ve said for a long time that this primary is about who’s really going to be able to get things done. And from reading this interview, you get the impression Senator Sanders hasn’t thought very much about that. In fact, even on his signature issue of breaking up the banks, he’s unable to answer basic questions about how he’d go about doing it, and even seems uncertain whether a president does or doesn’t already have that authority under existing law.
If you want to know why Hillary’s experience and deep understanding of the issues facing American families matter so much, you should read this.
Or if you (or your friends and family!) like what Bernie has to say but want to know how he’d get it done, you should read this.
Want to get more like this? Sign up to join The Briefing — the team of Hillary supporters helping hold our opponents accountable….
In the actual email, the interview transcript follows. You can read the text on the Daily News site.