Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Buttigieg seeks Jackson redemption

Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign is a confounding mess – he’s raising a significant amount of money that would give him a chance to be a competitive campaigner, yet he has many would-be black voters thinking he’s the devil incarnate.
BUTTIGIEG: In trouble with black voters

So what does he choose to do? He gets himself a spot on the program Tuesday of the Rainbow/PUSH convention held every year in Chicago.

IN SHORT, HE seeks out an audience with none other than the Rev. Jesse Jackson himself – hoping that Jackson will give him the political equivalent of a papal blessing that would get many black voters to quit thinking in terms of Buttigieg as the absolute last of the two dozen presidential aspirants whom they’d consider supporting.

Buttigieg, at 37, is amongst the youngest of the presidential dreamers, and he has attracted some support from the kind of people who want to believe that everybody else is far too old to be in charge of the federal government.

Youth, vigor, somebody who understands (and is fully a part of) the world of the 21st Century! Which is why he was able to raise some $24.8 million in donations during the second fundraising quarter – more than any other candidate.

He may have the kind of campaign cash that could make him competitive with the Bernie Sanders’ and the Joe Biden’s of the political world. But the man whose political background is serving as the mayor of South Bend, Ind., also is turning out to be the guy that black voters want to see go down to an embarrassing defeat.

AS IN THERE are some black voters who not only want him to lose, they want him to become politically-damaged goods to the point where he’d never be able to run for any government post again in the future.

It stems from an incident in South Bend where the local police were involved in a shooting incident in which a black man was killed.

It didn’t help that the officer was equipped with a body camera and a squad car with a video camera, yet neither one managed to record the incident – which might have backed up the officer’s claims that the man was armed with a knife and was brandishing it.
JACKSON: Being sought for his aid

Also the fact that Buttigieg himself has let himself get bogged down by the whole affair – making himself seem weak and indecisive and potentially helping to cover up details in the whole affair.

SO THE MAN who is openly in a gay marriage who’d like to think he’s the natural choice of all progressive-minded people has one segment of the Democratic electorate wishing he’d drop dead.

And some Democratic political operatives thinking that Buttigieg himself is just too flawed to unite the various factions that comprise the modern-day Democrats.

Hence, Buttigieg seeks redemption in the form of Jesse Jackson. Who had a meeting with the mayor, then allowed him to speak at the Rainbow/PUSH forum gathering.

But the most important part may well be the words from Jackson himself, who said he thinks the accounts many people have heard about what is happening in South Bend are distorted, and that Buttigieg has handled things about as well as any political person could.

“HE’S HANDLED AN awkward situation well by being transparent,” Jackson said of Buttigieg, while also tossing out a potshot against Indiana state law that actually forbids municipalities from having residency requirements for their police officers and firefighters.
SANDERS: Can 'Mayor Pete' beat him?

The fact that cops in South Bend don’t have to live in the city (only within an adjacent county) means local residents don’t necessarily trust them, and view them as something of the equivalent of an “occupying force.”

A description that I’m sure law enforcement types will resent, and one that could come back to bite Buttigieg on the behind if he gets perceived as having too much support from Jackson.

Although for now, I’m sure “Mayor Pete” would gladly accept a Jesse Jackson blessing, if only it results in turning black voters into a segment that eagerly awaits his electoral defeat in the 2020 presidential election cycle.


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