Make Way for Mayor Pete

Where Things Stand

No one entered the race this week, so here’s where we stand:

-      John Delaney

-      Elizabeth Warren

-      Tulsi Gabbard

-      Julián Castro

-      Kirsten Gillibrand

-      Kamala Harris 

-      Pete Buttigieg 

-      Cory Booker


Who’s up next?

-      Amy Klobuchar is likely announcing today – not to anyone’s surprise

-      With Oprah this past Tuesday, Beto O’Rourke disclosed that he’s been thinking hard about a presidential run and will make a decision by the end of the month – but it’s starting to sound like a safer and safer bet that he’ll jump in


Keep an eye on …

-      Sherrod Brown told CNN Tuesday that he’ll be deciding on whether or not to run by March

-      Who knows what Joe Biden will do and when he’ll do it – but he’s been calling around Capitol Hill searching for potential allies should he decide to run


On Pete Buttigieg

Mayor Pete brings something to the presidential race that we haven’t seen since Barack Obama 2008: the next generation. 

Like Obama and Clinton before him, Buttigieg is grasping at the baton – hoping to infuse our politics with youth, vigor, and new thinking. He believes the time has come for the millennial generation to seize control in Washington after years of getting harmed by the decision-making of our elder generations. He talks about the Iraq War, climate change, and gun control as primary examples of how Washington’s policies have had a direct, damaging, disproportionate impact on young people.

He’s exactly the change that young Democrats want to see in our politics. And that makes him instantly an attractive candidate to me.

His background makes him an even more formidable candidate. He’s an Iraq War veteran, Harvard graduate, and successful Democratic mayor in a deep red state – and only thirty-seven years old. His political talent is undeniable and those around him say he’s one of the smartest people they’ve met. He’s immensely qualified, even before you consider that he’s the first openly-gay man to seek the presidency.

I’m also drawn to his measured, pragmatic, but also idealistic, approach to the health care question. He affirms health care as a human right, commits to universal coverage, and denounces the profit incentive in the industry. But he also doesn’t rule out a role for private insurers in his vision for a more government-heavy approach. I think this compromise – which is widely popular across the country – will serve him well and differentiate himself from the crowding around Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare-for-All Solution.”

In previous years, a Middle-America mayor with no national political experience would be considered a long-shot. But this is no normal year: we have a reality-star president and our front-runners are a first-term Senator, a bachelor Senator, an actual socialist, and a former Congressman. We’re not sure what qualifies someone to be president anymore – except we know it when we see it.

Buttigieg has that “it” factor, and in a political moment where anything can happen, I’m excited to see how far he can go.


On My Mind 

This week, another 2020’er – Beto O’Rourke – will go head to head with the president at the southern border over. Trump’s in town to rally for his wall (spoiler: not going to happen), so Beto organized a counter-protest for the same time.

I’m curious to see how this shakes up the dynamics at play in the race. While Beto still isn’t in the race yet, he has an opportunity to juxtapose himself directly with the Democrats’ general election competition – so how he approaches this will be telling as to the type of candidate he would be should he enter and win the nomination.

Max Magid