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The 20 Creepiest Campaign Emails of the 2012 Season

Which politician wants to meet you at midnight -- and is "asking one last time"?

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

October 18, 2012 - 6:17 pm

There’s been a fair share of snickering and tweeting about the communications coming out from the campaigns this season.

Some of the emails sent to supporters and/or the media have sounded flip, some have been campaign-style cloak-and-dagger (“NOT FOR ATTRIBUTION – dirt dirt dirt”), and some have sounded downright desperate (aka 24 hours before fundraising deadline).

Maybe my vision is clouded by the fact that Bill Clinton is campaigning for President Obama. But some of the emails this season have sounded laugh-out-loud creepy from the subject line plus sender alone.

So in the interest of archiving this creepiness factor of Campaign 2012, I re-subjected myself to the list of some 3,000 emails from campaigns and campaign committees sitting in their appointed email folders. There may definitely be some creepier ones creeping around in cyberspace, but here are the top 20 I plucked from the recesses of campaign correspondence hell, with my editorial comment in italics.

20. FROM: David Axelrod
FOR: Obama campaign, 10/8/12
SUBJECT: Bridget, I’ll be blunt
(The trademark of the Obama campaign – inserting names of list subscribers in creepy ways, or just using your name alone as a subject line.)

19. FROM: Joe Biden
FOR: Obama campaign, 7/30/12
SUBJECT: This will be blunt:
(Stop.)

18. FROM: Manchin for West Virginia
FOR: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) re-election campaign, 9/19/12
SUBJECT: SENATOR MANCHIN LAUNCHES SECOND AD: ‘HAIR CUT’
(Is this the Manchin campaign or did we resurrect John Edwards? And “Hair Cut” is a sequel?)

17. FROM: Michelle Obama
FOR: Obama campaign, 6/4/12
SUBJECT: Sarah Jessica has a message for you
(It better be about Manolo Blahniks.)

16. FROM: Sen. Ron Johnson
FOR: National Republican Senatorial Committee, 8/15/12
SUBJECT: cheesehead
(And there was no Packers game involved.)

15. FROM: Yohannes Abraham
FOR: BarackObama.com, 9/27/12
SUBJECT: 62,151 people named Bridget
(How Big Brother is this? Or, even worse, Facebook?)

14. FROM: Barack Obama
FOR: Obama campaign, 9/25/12
SUBJECT: I’m asking one last time
(President or dad?)

13. FROM: Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC
FOR: GOP congressional candidates, 9/20/12
SUBJECT: Meet Pelosi’s Puppet
(I was half-expecting a Pelosi puppet, something in the realm of Janice from the Muppets — wait, that’s Debbie Wasserman Schultz.)

12. FROM: Obama for America
FOR: Obama campaign, 9/25/12
SUBJECT: Last call for Dinner with Barack EVER
(A little early to stage the last supper?)

11. FROM: Jeff Cohen
FOR: Rep. Connie Mack’s (R-Fla.) Senate campaign, 8/3/12
SUBJECT: Bill Nelson Throws Mud, How Sad
(Someone throwing campaign mud is no reason to get all Eeyore.)

10. FROM: GOP communications firm
FOR: Romney campaign, 9/19/12
SUBJECT: Puff, the Magic Drag on the Economy
(Ugh.)

9. FROM: National Republican Congressional Committee press office
FOR: Midwest region, 7/12/12
SUBJECT: liar liar pants on fire
(Serious?)

8. FROM: National Republican Congressional Committee press office
FOR: Midwest region, 8/16/12
SUBJECT: hey girl!
(Are we going to have a slumber party to chat about Ohio’s 13th congressional district?)

7. FROM: Sen. John Cornyn
FOR: National Republican Senatorial Committee
SUBJECT: wow
(There’s nothing like an excited chairman to rally the troops.)

6. FROM: Bill Clinton
FOR: Obama campaign, 10/17/12
SUBJECT: President Obama was terrific last night
(We’re all afflicted by Clintonitis screwing with perception of this sentence by this point.)

5. FROM: Obama for America
FOR: Obama campaign, 8/24/12
SUBJECT: High five!
(OK, Borat – extra creepy points for the image in the body of the email, in four-panel Warhol style.)


4. FROM: Joe Biden
FOR: Obama campaign, 5/31/12
SUBJECT: Midnight, Bridget
(Romeo and Joeliet)

3. FROM: Alex Skatell
FOR: National Republican Senatorial Committee, 9/14/12
SUBJECT: plans tonight?
(Before or after midnight?)

2. FROM: Bill Clinton
FOR: Obama campaign, 5/24/12
SUBJECT: Meeting you
(Schedule’s filling up.)

1. FROM: Michelle Obama
FOR: Obama campaign
SUBJECT: Barack, President Clinton, and Bridget – airfare and hotel covered
(No comment.)

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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