Buttigieg is canvassing w Tina Belge, a young state senate candidate here. A group of girls just walked by and asked why cameras were following: “Oh, we thought it was a prom-posal video.” pic.twitter.com/Z9mEIC0WPi
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) March 23, 2019
Mayor Pete seems to have, among other assets, the priceless politician’s gift of timing in his gaffes. The gopbots and cosplay socialists who’d otherwise be laboring all night to gin up internet dissension over Buttigieg’s unfortunate remarks are too busy huzzahing their idiot king to make things worse, and it’s still a long year until the first primary votes are actually cast. Here’s the ever youth-romantic Dave Weigel at the Washington Post:
… Buttigieg, who was elected mayor of South Bend, Ind., before he turned 30, is used to the double-takes. As his dark horse candidacy has gotten more attention, he’s leaned into his age, declaring himself a member of the “school shooting generation” that will live through the “business end of climate change.” The people who come to see him, sometimes clutching copies of his memoir, marvel at how he graduated from Harvard, attained a Rhodes scholarship and fought in Afghanistan — all before he combed gray hair.
“He’s the smartest guy I’ve ever met,” said Eric Schronce, 43, an Indiana-based attorney who left his family vacation in Myrtle Beach to drive to a Buttigieg event in Columbia, 150 miles away. “The last election was about emails and porn stars and whatever. I want an election about issues, and Pete knows the issues inside and out.”
The Indiana Democrat, who is expected to officially launch his candidacy next month, has turned years of “next big thing” coverage into a genuine presidential boomlet. He raised more than $1 million after a CNN town hall and appeared to have met the standard for entering the first Democratic debates. He’s adding to a skeletal staff, expanding his campaign headquarters and beginning to build the sort of operation that could compete in early states…
My emphasis; I for one had forgotten that Mayor Pete is not officially a candidate, just yet, under the arcane rules of our quadrennial political circus. Which is more reason to weight how much the current outrage will actually hurt Buttigieg, assuming he can avoid repeating his mistakes.
Long story short, for those of you who are not Extremely Online, at least during the weekends: Tweets from last July where Buttigieg ‘defended’ Mike Pence resurfaced, leading to some heated discussion over whether a mayor refusing to whole-throatedly attack his state’s former governor was permanently disqualifying or merely a mistake that his enemies would weaponize.
Then came The Interview:
WATCH: Mayor Buttigieg on AG Barr’s report: To end Trump presidency, Democrats need to focus on the kinds of conditions that allowed President Trump to get into the Oval Office, and I fear if we’re not paying attention to those causes, he may succeed in 2020. pic.twitter.com/6MRjlt1sNv
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 24, 2019
If only he’d stopped there:
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) March 23, 2019
If I wanted a white guy who briefly acknowledges the racism of Trump voters before pivoting to the debunked claim Trump voters chose him due to economic anxiety I'd vote for Bernie Sanders.
— Ragnarok Lobster (@eclecticbrotha) March 23, 2019
The part of this that offends me most is that so many of us moved to cities from conservative rural or suburban areas because we felt unsafe and unrepresented. Maybe those areas wouldn't be struggling if they weren't so intolerant that they lost people to the "big cities."
— Erin Roche (@eRockinthehouse) March 24, 2019
In a less fraught era, I’m not sure this boilerplate would rise past the level of Problematic, much less all the way to Disqualifying. But I’m not a person of color, or even a refugee from The Heartland(tm), so I’m not the best judge here.
I will say that, IMO, Buttigieg might be suffering from a problem that’s not uncommon among Rhodes-Scholar-qualified individuals: From his exalted perspective, the average American voter seems the intellectual equal of Donald Trump and his most ignorant supporters. This attitude can come across as extremely condescending to those of us in the vast unsorted middle ranges of the IQ/scholarship rankings…
"There are a lot of people WHERE I'M FROM who say…"
1. Pete needs to get out more.
2. He needs to stop with the Prosperity myth.
3. White Prosperity after WWII was largely paid for by harming minorities.
4. Stop lecturing us on small town life; listen to us about our lives. https://t.co/Kw6W05dfDQ
— ??Devin Nunes Cocaine BJ Cow Did Treason (@Bravewriting) March 23, 2019
The most votes in American history are for a senator from the Midwest with his political roots in Chicago https://t.co/7zm7bggErs
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) March 24, 2019
Interesting take. Is it because he’s smarter than pretty much everyone on earth, or are all those candidates who’ve actually represented more than 101,000 people—the population of America’s 301’st largest city—a bunch of dullards? https://t.co/yVvm36P4bP
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) March 24, 2019
But, to repeat: I don’t think it’s too late for Buttigieg to repent / reboot… at least as a VP candidate, eventually. I still think he’d make a great backstop for Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris or one of our other exciting candidates, if only as visual reassurance for the ever-skittish BUT THERE MUST BE A WHITE GUY / PENIS ON THE TICKET!!! voters.