— Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites) March 16, 2019
(I read this anecdote to my Norwegian-American Spousal Unit, linguistics major, who replied, “And nobody ever bothers to learn Maltese… “)
Soon: Isn’t seven languages too many for an American president? Where are his real loyalties? What if he’s talking about us?! https://t.co/tSGqWnVFMw
— Mig Greengard (@chessninja) March 17, 2019
Seriously, though… I was kinda meh about ‘Mayor Pete’ at first, but his campaign is growing on me. Presumably Buttigeig (mayor, Navy vet, served in Afghanistan) and Warren would complement each other’s skill sets. And as much as we all despise the electability argument, there’s something to be said for the every-four-years voter appeal of “Your Favorite Teacher + That Nice Neighborhood Eagle Scout” as a ticket, yes?
— Peter Wallsten (@peterwallsten) March 16, 2019
… The Navy veteran with a hard-to-pronounce name, from a city small enough to fit every resident in a college football stadium, seems to be winning the argument at the moment. Weeks after declaring his interest in challenging President Trump, he has become, if not exactly well-known, a subject of interest for many Democratic voters, buoyed by a breakout performance at a CNN town hall on March 10…
Even in a Democratic field full of nontraditional candidates, Buttigieg stands out in many ways. A military veteran who deployed to Afghanistan, he is openly gay, and his husband, Chasten, maintains a lively Twitter presence. He would be the youngest president in history. No mayor has ever ascended directly to the presidency, let alone from a city of about 102,000…
Some Democrats say privately Buttigieg may not be prepared to be president, given his youth and that he’s never served in national or even statewide office. (Buttigieg is a decade younger than O’Rourke and was not born when former vice president Joe Biden was first elected to the Senate.) Trump’s tenure, they say, has soured Democrats on the notion of inexperienced candidates jumping into the presidency.
Buttigieg responds that, having been South Bend mayor since 2012, he has longer government experience than Trump and more executive credentials than Pence, who was Indiana’s governor for four years…
This guy isn’t going to be nominated, but he’s actually a thoughtful and somewhat unconventional pol. You can actually sense him trying to fully answer ?@ThePlumLineGS? questions. https://t.co/8tJ5MHIi3y
— Richard Yeselson (@yeselson) March 19, 2019
… Plum Line: We’re seeing a rise in white nationalism and serious anti-immigrant fervor in some parts of the country, and also globally. Are you going to be addressing this in a comprehensive way? It occurs to me that the 2020 Democrats should go bigger on these issues.
Buttigieg: Absolutely. We need to recognize 21st-century threats. Cybersecurity, climate security and security in the face of white nationalism are all clear and present security threats that folks on the other side of the aisle either refuse to acknowledge or decline to do anything about. It’s extremely important for Democrats to very vocally talk about those threats.
Plum Line: How do you view white nationalism as a policy problem?
Buttigieg: In the narrow tactical sense, it’s something we need to stay ahead of and monitor the way you would any kind of violent radical movement from abroad.
There’s a deeper phenomenon going on. As we see dislocation and disruption in certain parts of the country, from rural areas to my home in the industrial Midwest, and in the economy, this leads to a kind of disorientation and loss of community and identity. That void can be filled through constructive and positive things, like community involvement or family. And it can be filled by destructive things, like white identity politics…
Plum Line: Can you talk about your broader sense of the role that this type of economic vulnerability plays in creating the conditions for the kind of communitarian collapse that creates an opening for sentiments like white nationalism to flourish?
Buttigieg: I don’t want this to slide into the idea that some of these racist behaviors can be excused because they can be connected to economic issues. But I do think it’s easier to fall into these forms of extremism when you don’t know where your place is.
There’s this very basic human desire for belonging that historically has often been supplied by the workplace. It’s been based on the presumption of a lifelong relationship with a single employer. This isn’t just a blue-collar phenomenon.
The sense of belonging can be very powerful, and we’re very fragile without it. It’s not accidental that some areas that have seen the most disruption in our social and economic life are those that are most likely to produce a lot of domestic extremists…
why's he trying to sabotage him pic.twitter.com/D16wr8RACR
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) March 17, 2019
Balloon Juice special supplement:
Let me formally introduce you to our new dog Buddy. Buddy is a big source of joy in our household. Like his “brother” @firstdogtruman he represents the many loving dogs in shelters who need homes. pic.twitter.com/UaDr4g0FAP
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) December 19, 2018