Mayor Pete's Electric Campaign Launch

JACOB DENNINGER: Launching a campaign seen by many as a long shot, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg told voters in New Hampshire, why he — a millennial mayor of a small to midsize midwestern city — belongs in the 2020 presidential conversation. “If I’m not ready to answer that, I probably shouldn’t be here,” said Buttigieg, the 37 year old mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

From the size of the crowd at the meet-and-greet in Portsmouth, you wouldn’t be able to tell that Buttigieg is just a little-known mayor. The event room above Portsmouth Gas Light Co., a local restaurant, was packed from wall to wall with what I would estimate was at least 250 people.

The crowd seemed to like what Mayor Pete had to say. Buttigieg, who said he thinks about what the world will look like in 2054 (the year he turns 72, the current age of President Donald Trump), shared his vision for the country and for the Democratic Party.

Buttigieg shared a vision for the a Democratic party that wins not just one election, but the era. He said the Democratic party stands for three principles: freedom, democracy, and security. He talked about the need to reclaim the language of freedom from Republicans, the importance of continuing to make America more democratic, and how security is not just about walls and guns, but America’s reputation in the world, cybersecurity, election security, and climate security.

More importantly, Buttigieg shared a vision for America that looks forward, not to an ambiguous “again,” but to confront it’s most pressing challenges, including economic struggles, climate change, and gun violence.

Buttigieg also touted his experience as a mayor and South Bend’s successes. “We need Washington to look more like our best run cities and towns,” he said. And in terms of personality, Buttigieg was friendly, funny, dynamic, and charismatic.

I made the drive up to Portsmouth from Massachusetts to go to the meet and greet because after looking into Mayor Pete in the preceding weeks and liking what I saw, I wanted to see him in person. I wanted to see if Mayor Pete is the real deal.

I think he is. And now a lot of people are starting to agree.

If you would like to watch Mayor Pete’s speech in Portsmouth, you can watch a (poor quality) video of it here.

Jacob Denninger is a freshman in the College and prospective government major from Massachusetts.

Jeff Cirillo