There were three things we could say about South Bend mayor Bob Buttiegieg a month ago: (1) most people hadn’t heard of him, (2) few who had heard of him could spell his name without Googling it, and (3) even those who could spell his name probably didn’t pronounce it correctly.
Things seem to have changed ever since his presidential campaign started raising serious money, putting him on the radar of the press. Once there, he suddenly became a sensation. While he’s not garnering the same amount of headlines as Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, or Beto O’Rourke, he’s the fastest moving of the candidates with an 11% net favorability increase in the most recent poll.
What makes him so interesting as a candidate compared to others who are technically ahead of him like Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker is that Buttigieg is still unknown to over half the country. His upside potential is strong.
While he’s a white male, he is young and would be the only major LGBTQ candidate, making him even more appealing to the press. But one has to wonder why they seem so ready to promote him into the limelight when trends seem to favor the four already ahead of him. The answer is simple: Biden, Sanders, Harris, and O’Rourke all have flaws the press is starting to uncover. Thus far, Buttigieg is relatively spotless. From the perspective of the puppetmasters of mainstream media, he might be the best chance the Democrats have of defeating President Trump.
His positives are huge. The fact that he’s young and gay would have been seen as negatives for someone with presidential aspirations a decade ago when even President Obama was still arguing against same-sex marriage, but today it’s been made as hip as possible. Judgment in the court of public opinion comes down harder against bigots opposed to LGBTQ people than bigots opposed to any other group.
On top of his age and lifestyle, he is brilliant. He speaks at least half-a-dozen languages, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, and is a Rhodes Scholar. He’s also a veteran who served in Afghanistan, comes from flyover country, Indiana, and is a devout Episcopalian. All of these are characteristics that play well against President Trump who is not considered overtly intelligent, avoided military service in Vietnam, comes from New York City, and has never been very religious.
But here’s the thing. He’s still just a mayor of a midsized city with a record that has been somewhat questionable, particularly when we look at prosperity and crime numbers in South Bend. This doesn’t seem like a solid choice for the press to latch onto, but looking at the options, he may be the only choice with real legs. Keep in mind, most in the press aren’t really too set on any particular candidate. They just want to make sure President Trump loses, and Buttigieg may be their guy.
Of all the candidates, Buttigieg may be the hardest to beat. If he can get the nomination, he’s the guy who, on paper, may be the Democrats’ best bet. Of course, nobody’s taken a close enough look to know what we don’t know about the South Bend mayor.
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