American Presidency candidate, Pete Buttigieg is now growing fast in popularity after wining rave reviews at CNN’s town hall on Sunday and reaching out to his city’s muslim constituents following the New Zealand attack.
His entrance on CNN, before the town hall appearance, was marked by a 1 percent rating on polls in New Hampshire and Iowa and an awkward query from the CNN’s host about the pronunciation of his last name, ‘Buttigieg’. In response to host, Jake Tapper’s question of whether his name was pronounced ‘BOOT-edge-edge’, the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, simply responded, “Back home, they just call me Mayor Pete.”
For his first televised experience, Buttigieg produced well-delivered and insightful responses to Tapper’s challenging questions which included, if he believed Pence would make a better president than Trump. His laconic, honest answer, “How would he allow himself to become the cheerleader for the porn star presidency? Is it that he stopped believing in scripture when he started believing Donald Trump?” had such calm execution, rather than sounding merely accusatory that it became Buttigieg’s most talked about highlight of the show across social media.
He continued, “His interpretation of scripture is pretty different than mine to begin with. My understanding of scripture is that it’s about protecting the stranger and the prisoner and the poor person and that idea. That’s what I get in the gospel when I’m at church and his has a lot more to do with sexuality.”
In addition to being Mayor of South Bend, Pete Buttigieg is a war veteran having served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve and was deployed in Afghanistan, for which he took seven months of unpaid leave from his Mayor position. His persistent efforts in counterterrorism have awarded him the Joint Service Commendation Medal. The medal is not the only praise Buttigieg has received; following the election of Donald Trump, President Obama featured Pete as one of the ‘gifted Democratic politicians’ he envisioned rising up through the party.
At his televised talk with CNN, Buttigieg informed the audience, “I have more years of government experience under my belt than the President. That’s a low bar. I know that. I also have had more years of executive government experience than the vice president. I get I’m the young guy in the conversation, but experience is what qualifies me to have a seat at this table.”
Too Young to Be President?
Not only would Buttigieg be the youngest president at age 39 years old, he would additionally be making history as America’s first gay president. After the land mark victory of the Obergefell Vs Hodges case authorising same-sex couples the right to marry, he informed a local newspaper in an inspiring opinion editorial, ‘I was well into adulthood before I was prepared to acknowledge the simple fact that I am gay. It took years of struggle and growth for me to recognize that it’s just a fact of life, like having brown hair, and part of who I am.” His move to make the announcement was even more inspiring, as it was while he was pursuing his second term as mayor.
As promising as Pete Buttigieg sounds, there will always be some inevitable uncertainty about every candidate. A few have questioned, whether Buttigieg is too young for the post, especially having not held other senior senator or a governor posts where more political experience is required.
Regardless, perhaps Pete Buttigieg is the much needed, millennial intervention we are in need of to shape and transform our current legalizations.
Following his appearance on CNN, Pete Buttigieg’s fundraising campaign raised $600K in 24 hours.
See also: Trump’s America: The Story So Far