SOUTH BEND – In their frequent emails to me, Mayor Pete comes across as more confident, more hopeful, than Joe Biden. The former vice president, though he predicts ultimate victory, tells me often that he is worried, fearful of falling behind, and really needs help.

Just consider some messages their campaigns sent to me as the end of November fund-raising approached.
From Buttigieg: “Hey Jack,

The more people get to know Pete, the more people understand that he is the leader we need.

“We know that in order to keep growing our support, we have to reach as many voters as possible. We will continue to build our teams on the ground  –  and we know that television is still a great way to deliver key information about Pete’s policies to voters in a fast and effective way.

“Our latest TV ad is up on the airwaves today. It shows Pete talking about one of the issues we know is most important to voters in 2020, education and affordability.”
 
“Watch our new television ad and chip in . . .

”From Biden: “Judith, a poll from the Des Moines Register shows us tied for third in Iowa. And if we don’t hit our end-of-month goal, we risk not having the resources to persuade more voters to support Joe. So don’t delete this email. Don’t get distracted checking social media. And please chip in $5 right away!”

Why does Joe Biden call me “Judith?” Surely, he knows better. And don’t call me Shirley.

Well, he really doesn’t know better. Although I’ve met him in the past, there is no way he would or should remember me. And he isn’t checking names on all the emails sent out in quest of contributions. Mayor Pete isn’t personally checking his myriad emails either. Couldn’t.

Campaigns of presidential candidates send out appeals for funds to all the names of potential contributors they can compile. With a personal touch, as though they really know all of those folks, they use first names in salutations.

Somewhere there apparently is a Judith Colwell, and my email was mistakenly used in seeking to contact that potential contributor.
 
I’m not a potential contributor for Pete or Joe or any presidential candidate. As a journalist writing about politics, it would be improper to contribute to a candidate. So, my pathetic contributions go instead for things like journalism scholarships, the American Cancer Society and United Way.

My name gets on a lot of political fund-raising efforts, however, because it pops up in political stories and those grabbing names add it to the lists. I get surveys and fund-raising appeals from both the Republican and Democratic National Committees.
 
But back to the tone of appeals from Biden and Buttigieg.

From Biden, with “terrible news, Judith” the heading: “We just got a new poll from Iowa. And it sends a clear message: “Joe is the only candidate that a majority of people think can defeat Donald Trump. But we’re fighting for the lead among three other candidates. And we’ve dropped 5 points.”

From Buttigieg: “Jack, Did you see our note below? In several recent national general election polls, Pete beats Trump next November. Some of these polls even have Pete beating Trump by a larger margin than any other candidate in the Democratic field. If you can, please make a contribution today to help us reach tomorrow’s fund-raising goal.”

There was another email from Biden that was headed: “Judith, can I tell you a secret?” Since it’s secret, I can’t discuss it.

 I was also getting “Judith” messages from Kamala Harris. Somewhere there is a faulty list for fund-raising. Enough was enough. Too much cluttered email. I cut off her messages. Result: Harris, distraught at losing “Judith’s” support, just dropped out of the race.  

Colwell has covered Indiana politics over five decades for the South Bend Tribune.