Pete Buttigieg is worth taking a close look

Mayor of South Bend, Indiana Pete Buttigieg is one of the Democratic candidates for president with lower name recognition. He was interviewed on the show Morning Joe about his candidacy and he was clear and articulate, despite facing vapid interviewers who asked the same old clichéd questions framed in trite ways. His responses were in general sharp, except for the one on North Korea that parroted the conventional wisdom of the foreign policy establishment.

The interview is worth watching and he is worth watching because he is very young (just 37) and even if he does not win this time, is likely to be a significant factor in future elections. It is interesting that the fact that he is gay and married to another man is mentioned in passing and seen as just a trivial curiosity, except of course by the nutters who would never vote for a Democrat anyway. It shows how far we have come.


  1. brucegee1962 says

    He may be the smartest guy ever, but it annoys me that he’s obviously just doing this for publicity. It makes him seem overly full of himself.
    Obviously we’re never going to have somebody jump straight from mayor of a medium-to-small city straight to president, so he must be angling for some other position — getting enough traction for a cabinet post, maybe? But even that seems unlikely.
    There’s a reason for the traditional route. Run for the House or, if you’re really ambitious, Senate. Establish a track record and the connections you’ll need — don’t just grandstand.

  2. polishsalami says


    Not everyone is running to win. This bloke will have more achievements under his belt by 2024/2028/2032. Not everything is about the next election.

  3. Dunc says

    It is interesting that the fact that he is gay and married to another man is mentioned in passing and seen as just a trivial curiosity

    Here in Scotland, the leader of the Conservative party is a married lesbian who recently had their first child. Nobody thinks much of it. (Actually, she joked on Twitter, back when the UK Tory leadership was being contested by a couple of candidates who opposed gay marriage, that whoever won was getting invited to her wedding. Everybody thought that was very funny.)

  4. says

    I’m just happy to see that there are challenges to the two party gerontocrats. I am heartily sick of seeing 70 year-olds running for office. They are already safe and comfortable and have spent a lifetime accruing and safeguarding personal power. The younger candidates haven’t had time to be thoroughly corrupted, yet.

  5. Jenora Feuer says

    Kathleen Wynne, the previous premier here in Ontario, was also a married lesbian, and it didn’t really come up in the last couple of elections. I think the people running on the Conservative side had advisors that pointed out that being that open was probably a losing tack to take.

  6. says

    Obviously we’re never going to have somebody jump straight from mayor of a medium-to-small city straight to president…

    Obviously you’re never going to have someone with no political experience jump str… Oh.

    I’m not going to deny that Buttigieg has no chance and may be angling for VP or just wants to give voice to his priorities, but I’ve no longer going to write anyone off until the first couple of primaries.

    Except for Hickenlooper.

  7. Sam N says

    @1, brucegee

    For real, what president is not full of themselves? Really. I don’t think anyone runs for president without being full of themselves. I find your attitude irritating. How about we wait for a primary debate (I believe he passed the number of supporters threshold), and see if he is the best candidate?

    He’s young, is able to communicate in a compelling manner that appeals to a wide swatch of people. I’m not thrilled by his foreign policy views, and I don’t feel like he is progressive enough on changing healthcare, supporting single payer, but seems like he would accept some more bullshit from insurance companies instead. But he is strongly pro-union / living wages yet isn’t anti-immigration.

    Also, why is he ‘obviously’ just doing this for the publicity? On the one hand you could describe his odds of winning the presidency as very low. On the other hand this isn’t like drawing an ace of spades from a deck of cards where there is certainty about the likelihood of winning. This is a case where we don’t even know what the odds are. I don’t fault any of the contenders so long as they aren’t doing harm to democratic primary process. If you have an argument that that is the case, I’d love to hear it.

  8. anat says

    brucegee1962, the problem with the ‘traditional route’ is that a person with experience in the legislative branch runs to head the executive branch, often with no executive experience. Mayor is at least an executive position (though obviously governor or mayor of larger city are more to the scale).

  9. Steve Cameron says

    I just heard Buttigieg, or Mayor Pete as the South Bend residents call him, interviewed on Mehdi Hasan’s Deconstructed podcast, and came to much the same conclusion you did, Mano. This guy’s going to be one to watch.

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