Instead of helping her fellow Democratic senators facing midterm battles, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) made sure that people knew her birthday was “coming up.”
The senator’s political fund, “Kamala Harris for Senate,” made 396 advertisement purchases from Facebook attempting to gather as many birthday wishes (and email addresses) as possible for the senator.
Using several different taglines, including one from “Team Kamala” and one from her husband, Doug, the ads asked people to sign up to wish the senator a happy birthday while she campaigned for other Democrats “across the country.”
- “It’s Kamala’s birthday this week – wish her a happy one by signing our card!”
- “Hi there! It’s team Kamala here. With Kamala’s birthday coming up, we wanted to surprise the boss with some birthday messages while she’s campaigning across the country to elect Democrats in a few short weeks. Will you add your name to the birthday card we’re putting together for her?”
- “Hey there, I’m Kamala’s husband, Doug. Later this week, I’ll personally deliver names and greetings to Kamala as we celebrate her birthday, and I’m hoping we can count on you to take a quick moment to add your signature to her birthday card.”
Although these ads were just for birthday wishes and not a presidential bid, they did run nationwide, including in important swing states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Florida.
If eager birthday wishers followed the link to sign the card, they were brought to Harris’ campaign website and asked to provide their name, email address, and ZIP code. This information, according to the ad, would go on Harris’ surprise birthday card. That information could also come in handy if one was to run for president one day.
The ads ran from October 17 to October 20, which was Harris’ birthday. October 17 through October 20 were also important campaign days as the 2018 midterm elections draw near.
Although the ads claim that Harris was out campaigning on behalf of Democrats across the country, she was spending money and taking up ad space that could have gone to one of the struggling Democrats she was campaigning for.
While it isn’t clear if Harris made any supportive campaign stops in the three days leading up to her birthday, she did post several pictures from her stops in Iowa and Wisconsin on October 22 — which, again, could be good states to visit if one were to run for president.
Thanks for having me yesterday Wisconsin! Make no mistake, there is so much at stake in the midterms this year. From health care, to supporting manufacturing in our country, to the opioid epidemic, it’s all on the ballot in 15 days. Get out and vote! pic.twitter.com/ElyrgisQLT
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) October 22, 2018
— Maya Harris (@mayaharris_) October 22, 2018
It isn’t clear if Harris got the birthday card personally delivered by her husband, Doug, but it is pretty clear that she spent a lot of money running nationwide ads in a way that could greatly benefit a presidential bid.
IJR reached out to Harris’ team but did not receive a response.