Bye, bye Pete

Pete Buttigieg has announced that he is dropping out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, joining Tom Steyer who dropped out yesterday.

Pete Buttigieg has ended his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Two campaign sources confirmed the news to the Guardian and said the former candidate was on his way back to South Bend, his home town in Indiana, where he would speak later on Sunday night.

At first on Sunday, which Buttigieg began with breakfast with former president Jimmy Carter in Plains, Georgia, it did not seem he would take the final step.

“Every day we are in this campaign,” he told NBC News, “is a day that we have reached the conclusion that pushing forward is the best thing we can do for the country and for the party.”

But later in the day he was out.

CNN reported that the former mayor was “unwilling to be [the] reason Sanders is able to get ‘insurmountable’ delegate lead on Super Tuesday”. It was also reported that Buttigieg was not planning to endorse another candidate on Sunday.

It appears that other factors in his decision were poor internal polling numbers for Super Tuesday, he had spent most of his money and had little left, and his support among minorities was dismal.

I cannot say that I am displeased. I had taken an increasing dislike to what I perceived as his phoniness and attempts to discredit the progressive proposals that were being put forward by Bernie Sanders using arguments and talking points that were favored by Republicans and Fox News.

The Democratic party establishment will no doubt welcome this news because although Buttigieg was supportive of their center-right agenda, they also want a single candidate to represent that ideology and Joe Biden’s strong showing in South Carolina meant that Buttigieg had no chance of replacing him as their standard bearer.

Buttigieg hates the progressive policies that Sanders has been pushing and seems to think that his supporters will now flock to Biden. But this race is so fluid and allegiances so unpredictable that it is not clear where they will end up.


  1. brucegee1962 says

    I doubt it will prove pointless. Everyone in the country now knows the name of the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana. How else could he have managed to achieve a similar effect?
    If he can’t manage to translate this into a bigger role, he’s stupider than I give him credit for. If the Democratic nominee wins, perhaps a cabinet position or ambassadorship. If Trump wins, maybe a slot on CNN or MSNBC. Besides, it’s not as if he was spending his own money. Ask Marianne Williamson — a presidential run is a fine investment in name brand building.

  2. Holms says

    I’d have preferred him to continue for the next primary day, purely to split the centrist vote a little more. His bowing out seems perfectly timed to benefit Biden, who was limping but just received a surge of credibility.

  3. sonofrojblake says

    On pointless vanity -- wtf was Steyer’s point? Enter late and almost immediately give up? Is he just bored?

  4. Who Cares says

    I suspect two reasons.
    1) They are supposed to represent the will of the people so when they as candidate stop they imply through that that those people are dropping out as well.
    2) It isn’t just the candidate that makes this decision (at least if they aren’t Trump level narcissists) so him stopping represents the decision of more then just him.

  5. says

    @sonofrojblake (#6):
    You seem to be confusing Steyer with Bloomberg. Steyer was one of the first to announce his candidacy, I believe.

    That said, I was confused as to Steyer’s point as well, but for different reasons. He seemed to be proposing more or less progressive policies, but then outright said it would be terrible for us to elect a progressive. So he alienated the people most likely to support him. My best guess is perhaps he realized he’d never be first choice for that group and so he tried to maneuver himself to find a more progressive #NeverBernie crowd…sort of like what Buttigieg seemed to be trying to do. Or maybe he’s just an idiot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *