Almost a year ago, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg had announced his candidacy for president, and outside of South Bend, nationwide not a lot of people knew who he was, yet alone knew how to say his name. As Buttigieg became more familar with people, we learned that he enlisted and served in Afghanistan in 2009, speaks at least seven languages, is very religious and most importantly, is openly gay and married. Once people got to know more about “Mayor Pete,” the more people started to support him. Now in November 2019, Buttigieg is in first place in Iowa, the first caucus/primary contest.
When Buttiggieg first came into the race, I honestly thought he wouldn’t last; I never heard of a Mayor governing a town with a population of a little more than 100,000 people running for president, but in the era of Donald Trump, anything is truly possible. Even then, Buttigieg brings a uniqueness to his candidacy that I never really thought about.
For one, he’s very religious and deeply cares about his faith. Usually, Republicans are characterized as the party of Christianity, but Buttigieg completely dismantles that characterizaion when he talks about what his faith means to him. Ironically, he’s also openly gay which people generally don’t coincide religion with. Buttigieg expresses how proud he is of his sexuality by openly presenting his relationship with his husband for the world to see and has even talked about having children in the future.
For me, the one thing that really makes Buttigieg’s record look impressive is his military servcie, enlisting in the Navy Reserve in 2009. I think those who have military service can truly attract voters who love and feel a sense of pride of politicians who have served and who truly understand the responsibilities of being commander-in-chief of the U.S. military.
As much as I do admire Mayor Pete, his flip-flop on positions have been worrisome for me. When Buttigieg first announced, he projected himself as a strong supporter of Medicare for all, but now he has changed that proposal as Medicare for all who want it. As Buttigieg’s support increases, I hope his positions won’t suddenly change for political gain.
Buttiggieg is leading in Iowa and while his support and resources seem to be gaining, he still has a lot of work to do, in particular to black voters where he’s polling at 0 percent; you can’t win the Deomocartic nomination for the presidency with numbers like that.