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The numbers are staggering. Since 2007, mail volume in the United States has dropped by 43.1 billion pieces, post office visits are down by 200 million, and retail transactions have decreased at least $2 billion. The figures, worry some in the direct mail industry, could eventually lead the United States Postal Service to reduce delivery to three days a week.

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This issue's Shoptalkers: Fred Davis, CEO of Strategic Perception; Eric Hogensen, president of HSG Campaigns; Douglas Herman, partner at The Strategy Group; and Vince Monaco, owner of the Monaco Group.

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If you’re a first-time candidate, you’ll soon discover that a lot of people are going to give you their two cents about your campaign. The thing is, many of them have no idea what they’re talking about.

Here are five terrible pieces of advice that you are likely to hear, and the facts that you need to remember.

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Who Will Biden Pick?

Joe Biden, the Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, has begun to narrow down his choices for Vice President. In the final Democratic debate, he promised to select a woman for his running mate, which gave pundits and the public the first hint of his choice. Joe Biden is in the unique position of having once served as Vice President, and so has a direct understanding of the abilities needed to serve in this office.

Here’s who we think are the final four options:

Karen Bass

Congresswoman Bass from California started her public service as a community activist in South Los Angeles during the tense 1990s. In 2008, she became the first African American woman in United States history to serve as a Speaker of a state legislative body, where she earned respect for her effective negotiating skills. As the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, she is a dynamic and well-liked African-American leader who would be a positive and reliable addition to the Biden campaign.

Tammy Duckworth

Senator Duckworth from Illinois has a compelling story that is uniquely American. The daughter of a Thai mother and an American father, she continued her father’s family tradition of military service by serving as an U.S. Army helicopter pilot. In 2004, she received severe combat injuries in the Iraq War, including the loss of her legs. Despite this new disability, she continued to serve her country and was elected to the Senate in 2016.

Kamala Harris

Senator Harris from California is the clear media frontrunner for the spot, and as a younger minority candidate, she can provide the right demographic contrast to Biden. In light of the recent focus to combat systemic racism, Harris on the ticket could be the right messenger for these times. She could also boost African-American turnout in critical states, such as Florida and North Carolina.

Elizabeth Warren

Senator Warren from Massachusetts is the first choice of many Democratic voters, with a recent poll naming her as their top choice. She has also worked in the Obama Administration as an advisor, and perhaps is best equipped to meet the “ready on day 1” test. For many on the left, Warren is also their first choice and would help attract many former Sanders supporters. In light of her primary debate performances, she could also be a strong debater against Mike Pence.

Why I Chose HSG Campaigns

"HSG Campaigns is a great resource for campaigns and organizations to use in a grind. They are able to do a wide scope of work and give you the tools you need to make the right decisions."    

- Jeff Gozzo, California Senate Democrats

What We're Reading

This month, Mike is recommending Lost States by Michael J. Trinklein.

This book is a short casual read for those who wonder about the different states the U.S. could have had. We learn about the serious plans to divide California and Texas, as well as more unlikely proposals such as West Dakota and East Dakota. We also hear about past proposals to annex Greenland, Iceland, and Taiwan. For anyone who enjoys the history of geography, this is a fun book that shows what the United States could have been.

- Mike