Thursday, May 9, 2019

What happened to Pete Buttigieg?

This New Republic piece explains the state of Mayor Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign:

It appears that the media’s . . . honeymoon with Pete Buttigieg is over. Gone are the days of flattering coverage from, well, pretty much everywhere—stories about Buttigieg’s love of Ulysses, his faculty with languages, and affection for Phish and the Dave Matthews Band (well, I guess they weren’t all flattering stories).

Over the last couple of weeks, Buttigieg has received scrutiny more appropriate to a leading presidential candidate instead of simply being rolled out like a new diet soda. There have been stories investigating his time as mayor of South Bend, and deep dives into his decision to demolish hundreds of homes and to fire the city’s black police chief. . . . Instead of wondering whether he can knock off Joe Biden, journalists are now asking questions about his failure to connect with black voters. . . . [Click through to the article for links on all those stories.]

Thus far, Buttigieg has been resistant to offer specific proposals. Asked about the lack of a policy section on his campaign website, he was dismissive. “I’ve been pretty clear where I stand on major issues,” he said last month. “But I also think it’s important we don’t drown people in minutia before we’ve vindicated the values that animate our policies. We go right to the policy proposals and we expect people to be able to figure out what our values must be from that.” The recipe here is probably right—articulate a broader message and then fill it in with specifics—but the justification still sounds like a hedge, the natural distillate of a presidential campaign rooted in a person, rather than in what that person would do as president. . . .

An early blitz of coverage turned the small-city mayor into a big-time contender, but that means there are now expectations he will act like one. The sketches he has drawn on Morning Joe, Today, and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert deserve to be colored in with actual ideas. . . .


David Begley said...

Wait until Mayor Pete is questioned by me. Doom!