On April 14, Pete Buttigieg (pronounced "buddha judge"), mayor of South Bend, Indiana, officially announced he is running for the Democratic nomination for US president in 2020. The move came after a few months of touring the country and sharing press with media outlets as part of an exploratory committee. With over $7 million raised from more than 70,000 individual donors, now Pete for America is committed to making Buttigieg win the primary and become America's next president.
Buttigieg boasts an impressive resume. The son of immigrants from Malta, he is a 37-year-old mayor of a town with over 100,000 residents. He won the JFK Profiles in Courage Essay Contest and went on to attend Harvard College, where he studied history and literature. He then won a Rhodes Scholarship and attended Pembroke College, Oxford, where he studied philosophy, politics, and economics. He briefly worked for McKinsey and served as a US naval intelligence officer in Afghanistan. He began his mayoral career in 2011 and is currently finishing his second term. Buttigieg is openly gay and lives with his husband Chasten, a teacher. He also speaks 7 languages conversationally.
Buttigieg has may advantages in the primary race. He is one of the Democratic front runners in terms of glittering media coverage and money raised. He has been steadily rising in the polls to only behind Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris. He has enlisted top fundraisers from the Obama and Clinton campaigns, including Steve Elmendorf and Robert Pohlad. He is a fresh face at a time when many voters want something new. But most importantly, Buttigieg is the identity candidate this cycle. As a gay millennial mayor from the Midwest, he often says that he is very different from President Donald Trump. Being the first openly gay and millennial president could sway many voters.
But Buttigieg also faces many obstacles. First, he is big on philosophy but not policy. His website still contains zero policy proposals. On the campaign trail, he has said he wants a Medicare public option and an end to the Electoral College. But he has not given specific proposals for climate change, economic inequality, labor issues, or education, among others. In a primary where Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang tower over the rest of the field in policy proposals, Buttigieg's ambiguity could be his downfall. Though he has no full-blown scandals, he once fired a black police chief for recording racist remarks by other officers and said "All Lives Matter" in 2015, so his record on race relations will be under scrutiny.
Ultimately, Buttigieg could be the next O'Malley or Obama. While he is currently solidly in the top 10, his performance in the upcoming debates will determine his electoral success.
- 1. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/14/us/politics/pete-buttigieg-announcement.html
- 2. https://peteforamerica.com/
- 3. https://www.businessinsider.com/who-is-pete-buttigieg-bio-age-family-key-positions-2019-3
- 4. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/17/pete-buttigieg-enlists-barack-obama-hillary-clinton-fundraisers-for-2020-campaign.html
- 5. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2019/04/14/pete-buttigieg-faces-hurdles-2020-white-house-bid-heres-why/3440568002/
- 6. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/19/us/politics/buttigieg-black-police-chief-fired.html