Who Is Pete Buttigieg? | 2020 Presidential Candidate | NYT News
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Who Is Pete Buttigieg? | 2020 Presidential Candidate | NYT News


A millennial mayor with
a difficult last name. [Mispronunciations
of “Buttigieg.”] And, a knack for languages. [“Good morning, America”
in several languages.] Pete Buttigieg is in the
race for the White House. “I am running for president
of the United States.” So, who is he? Buttigieg, also known as — “Mayor Pete” — is the mayor
of South Bend, Ind. He got the job
when he was just 29 and quickly moved to reverse
the city’s economic decline. “Our hometown is not dead.” While serving as mayor,
Buttigieg took a leave of absence for a tour of duty
in Afghanistan. He came out as gay while
seeking re-election, and he won. So, what are his priorities? Ideologically he’s
a progressive, but he hasn’t unveiled
specific policies just yet. Instead, Buttigieg is
focusing on big ideas. “You know, our party
has this tendency to lead with the policies. First, we’ve got to
explain our values.” He wants to abolish the
electoral college, establish single-payer
health care and expand
the Supreme Court. “Yeah, but it’s not just
about throwing more justices on the court. What I think we need
to do is some kind of structural reform
that makes the court less political.” He’s also pushing for
the religious left to make a comeback. “No one party has a
monopoly on faith.” And, he thinks it’s time for
a younger voice in politics. “I mean, my face
is my message. A lot of this is
simply the idea that we need
generational change.” So, what’s his dynamic
with President Trump? Buttigieg is no fan of
the Trump administration, especially Vice President
Mike Pence, an opponent of
same-sex marriage and anti-discrimination laws. “And that’s the
thing I wish the Mike Pences of the
world would understand, that if you got
a problem with who I am, your problem is not
with me. Your quarrel, sir,
is with my creator.” And Trump has yet
to say or tweet anything about “Mayor Pete.” So, what are his chances? Buttigieg made a
name for himself when this appearance
on CNN went viral. “Do you think
Vice President Pence would be a better or worse
president than President Trump?” “Ugh.” And, it’s paying off. Buttigieg raised $7 million for his 2020 bid in
the first quarter, enough to qualify for the
first Democratic debates in June. But the question is whether
this relative newcomer to the national stage
can keep up his momentum throughout
the long primary season.

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