Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Buttigieg the presidential “flavor of the month,” how long will that last?

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., seems to be the flavor of the month when it comes to the presidential election cycle we’ll go through next year.

BUTTIGIEG: Really a 'new' Obama?
As in people interested in picking a Democrat from amongst the dozen or so currently in the running to challenge Republican Donald Trump are focusing their attention on Buttigieg – who seems to be trying to build up the notion that he’d be the equivalent of another “Barack Obama,” somebody whose election would give them a “first” to support.

BUT WHILE BARACK was the first black man who managed to win the presidency, Buttigieg would be the first openly gay man (and a married one, to boot) who could be elected president.

For all those people appalled at the notion that Trump won the presidency back in 2016 on a campaign of undoing all the “firsts” that Obama had brought our society, I’m sure that picking Pete as president would seem all the more appropriate.

His election could be perceived as undoing all the harm that this Age of Trump has brought upon us.

We’re going to be getting a lot of Obama/Buttigieg comparisons in coming months. The Chicago Sun-Times pointed out this week that several of the people who helped raise money to get Obama started at the beginning are now on the Buttigieg train.

Does 'Mayor Pete" replace Obama, … 
IN FACT, ONE of them on Tuesday is staging a fundraising event for Buttigieg. John Atkinson told the newspaper he’s now fully committed to “Mayor Pete.” Part of the reason is that he figures Buttigieg is from Indiana – one of the Midwestern states solidly in the Trump camp.

Could Buttigieg be a key in Democrats taking Indiana’s 11 Electoral College votes away from Trump – along with those surrounding Great Lakes states such as Michigan and Wisconsin? That could well be the key to a Democratic presidential victory in 2020!

The talk has been offered up that both Obama and Buttigieg are Midwesterners – Great Lakes-types who aren’t tied to the East or West coasts. Both also have their ties to Harvard University.

Superficial ties, they may well be. But compared to many of the reasons offered up by Trump’s backers for supporting him (mostly because they like the way he offends the sensibilities of the majority who voted against him, but weren’t enough to win the Electoral College), they come off as all-too sensible!

… or just a better option to Trump?
I’M WONDERING HOW soon it will be before the reports start getting stirred up about how Buttigieg, in his first few weeks as mayor of South Bend, fired Police Chief Darryl Boykins.

He was the first black police chief, and there are those who think it was because Buttigieg chose to side with white cops who had their own racial hang-ups.

The New York Times already has reported on the issue. But how long until the news organizations that put the ideological spin on their reports (under the guise that it’s everybody else that reports “fake” news) get ahold of this – wanting to let us know that Buttigieg is some form of hypocrite unworthy of our support?

With the conservative ideologues desperately hoping they can stick a knife in the back of the Buttigieg supporters who’d be inclined to think he’s another Barack Obama.

OF COURSE, WE’RE nearly a year away from the primaries where people actually cast ballots for who should get the presidential nominations (it’s March 17, 2020, in Illinois). Buttigieg possibly could have long faded-away as a credible candidate by then.

SANDERS: Will he get Dem nomination?
Particularly if those people who seriously want Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont to be more successful this time around (I’m not amongst them) than he was in the 2016 Democratic primary manage to succeed.

If anything, what people need to be doing is looking to the future – finding someone with a vision to advance our society forward, rather than reverting to the past.

Perhaps not someone offering up visions of being an Obama successor. And certainly not somebody determined to keep wearing that ridiculous cap about “Make America Great Again” by reverting to a vision of our society that offers to exclude so many of us.


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