At just 37, Pete Buttigieg has deployed to Afghanistan, graduated from Harvard, learned seven languages and serves as mayor of a Midwestern American city.
Now the Millennial Renaissance man is seeking to become the first openly gay president of the United States — and the youngest — a longshot 2020 prospect whose odds appear to improve by the week.
I was listening to a live recording of the popular US Politics Gabfest podcast and was amazed by how many people in the audience cheered when Buttigieg’s name was mentioned.
In theory someone who has never held higher office that Mayor of a small city (301st by population in the US) should have no chance. But hey Trump never held any elected office before President. The rules have changed.
Buttigieg happens to be gay but isn’t campaigning as an identity politics activist (which upsets some on the left). His military service, earnestness, and sheer intelligence has gathered him a cult following.
He draws sharp contrasts with Trump on multiple fronts including age, government experience, military service, campaign style, and “intellectual curiosity,” she added.
“Every single thing about him is in diametric opposition” to the president, she said.
Buttigieg is relishing his breakout moment, fuelled by a star turn headlining a recent town hall that saw his national profile skyrocket.
Bookish and smart, he refutes the charge that he’s too young and inexperienced to compete in the diverse Democratic field, or against Trump himself.
“I have more years of government experience under my belt than the president… and more military experience than anybody to walk into that office on day one since George H.W. Bush,” he said at the event, broadcast by CNN.
“So I get that I’m the young guy in the conversation, but I would say experience is what qualifies me to have a seat at this table.”
Not lacking confidence.
In Iowa, Buttigieg surged from one percent support to 11 percent and third place in Emerson Polling’s survey released Sunday, behind former vice president Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders and ahead of more prominent candidates like senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.
One huge advantage Buttigieg will have is no voting record on national issues to attack.