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The Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Is Running for President

Pete Buttigieg wants to move forward, not backward. What a novel campaign platform!

Meet Pete Buttigieg! He's the Democratic mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and an openly gay (and married) retired Naval reservist who was deployed to Afghanistan. He has organized an exploratory committee to run for president, he announced today. Here's his announcement, explaining all about himself:

Well, that actually doesn't say a whole lot. Honestly, the entire video is carefully crafted to feel like a campaign ad to the point that all you get out of it are moods and intentions and a vague sense that Buttigieg is definitely a Democrat who supports liberal causes and thinks economic development in cities is, in general, a good thing.

Pete ButtigiegPete for AmericaI was particularly amused by one weird way Buttigieg describes his desire for a forward-thinking, progress-oriented America. He says early in the commercial, "There's no such thing as 'again' in the real world," an observation that he or his advisors somehow think is compelling and memorable enough to repeat later in the ad. It gives the entire script the feel of something written via a machine learning tool that has been fed hundreds of previous campaign advertisements.

Buttigieg has also launched a campaign site that also doesn't have a whole lot to say, other than a relatively brief biography and a declaration that he's a millennial at the age of 37. He's right on the edge between Generation X and millennials, so it's kind of interesting that he's making sure he's getting lumped in with the younger group. He notes in his bio that he ran for Democratic National Committee chair (but leaves out that he withdrew).

There is no issues section of the site. The New York Times' coverage of his announcement also is pretty light on any policy plans or even any ideas at all that he might have other than being "untethered to the policies of the past," plus typical political pabulum about moving forward and not looking backward.

After Trump was elected in 2016, Buttigieg wrote an essay on Medium titled "A letter from flyover country," which makes him seem as though he might grasp from the left how overregulation is a burden to average families, but then he immediately grabs the idea of "freedom" and runs it to a different place, making it less than clear whether he understands how much the heavy hand of the government often makes lives harder for his constituents:

I am a Democrat because I believe in protecting freedom, fairness, families, and the future.

First, freedom — not just the thin idea of freedom from overregulation but the freedom to choose our destinies, not to mention our spouses. Freedom from things like crushing medical costs and student debt, from dishonest banking practices and anything else that affects the most basic of freedoms: freedom to live a life of our choosing.

Living a life of our own choosing does come with a price tag. Much of Buttigieg's writing here seems to be an attempt to slap together simplistic and incredibly vague Democratic policy ideas in such a way that he doesn't fall into the "Well, how exactly are we going to pay for all of this?" trap.

There's nothing in Buttigieg's advertisement or on his site that explains what makes him different from other potential Democratic candidates or why he's trying to jump all the way from mayor of a city of 100,000 to the presidency. The New York Times even notes the irony that Buttigieg complained back in 2016 that the Democrats were so focused on the White House that they ignored important state and local races. And now, here he is running for president instead of for governor or Congress.

We'll probably see more seemingly quixotic campaigns like Buttigieg's. President Donald Trump is such a divisive figure that many folks on the left (and even a few on the right) want to jump at the possibility that there's an opportunity here to make him a one-termer. And then there's the fact that Trump himself defied expectations and essentially demolished a "norm" about where winning candidates come from. Who are we to say Buttigieg cannot possibly win?

Because of Trump's rise and how it threw a lot of media off-guard, we're also culturally in a situation where nobody wants to downplay these sorts of announcements. Because what if Buttigieg's campaign takes off? The media doesn't want to be caught in that position again. Particularly, since, as Buttigieg explains, there's no such thing as "again" in real life.

Nope. Still don't get it.

Photo Credit: Pete for America

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  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    There's no such thing as 'again' in the real world.

    Tell that to the Reason squirrels.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    There's no such thing as 'again' in the real world.

    Tell that to the Reason squirrels.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    There's no such thing as 'again' in the real world.

    Tell that to the Reason squirrels.

  • John||

    First, freedom — not just the thin idea of freedom from overregulation but the freedom to choose our destinies, not to mention our spouses. Freedom from things like crushing medical costs and student debt, from dishonest banking practices and anything else that affects the most basic of freedoms: freedom to live a life of our choosing.

    Really. How exactly can you make someone "free" from the costs of their medical care or their education or anything else they have or need without taking away someone else's freedom to provide such things at the price they choose?

    You can't. That whole paragraph is just an example of leftist "freedom is slavery" thinking. I think I will pass on having this douchbag free me from the responsibility of paying my own way thank you.

  • creech||

    And about 400 other douchbags will be "exploring presidential runs" too and I hope to hell Reason doesn't feel compelled to publicize them all to us.

  • Libertymike||

    If they ridicule them, why not?

  • Don't look at me!||

    Death frees you from all obligations.

  • Eddy||

    Ever heard of the estate tax?

  • EscherEnigma||

    Not something that you, the person in the casket, have to worry about.

    I mean, your survivors will probably appreciate it if you did and finangled things such that them cleaning up your mess was easier, but you don't have any obligation to pay for, arrange, or prepare for anything that happens after you die.

  • Eddy||

    To be fair, I was just trying to be silly.

  • Juice||

    How exactly can you make someone "free" from the costs of their medical care or their education or anything else they have or need without taking away someone else's freedom to provide such things at the price they choose?

    That whole paragraph is just an example of leftist "freedom is slavery" thinking.

    What? "We The Republic" don't have a duty? Sounds anarchist.

  • Robert||

    How? By making those things cheaper. Can't you think of ways to do that that won't diminish someone else's freedom, but actually increase it?

  • Tul­pa||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    There's no such thing as 'again' in the real world...

    If America is already great under Trump, why do I need this guy?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    We don't.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The world will end around the end of President Hillary's first term. What's the point?

  • Sevo||

    "The world will end around the end of President Hillary's first term. What's the point?"

    With any luck, *she'll* 'end' before that happens.

  • Mongo||

    PeeButt is the new GayJay.

  • Wrath0fKahn||

    This guy is probably the best the left will offer, so that's exciting. Here's hoping he gets the nomination.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    I hear that chick from Hawaii isn't totally insane.

  • Slickrick||

    Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (chick from Hawaii) is an interventionist. I like quite a few of her foreign policy ideas.

  • Jerryskids||

    Pete Buttigieg wants to move forward, not backward.

    Does he have a position on twirling toward freedom? And does he believe in abortions for some, miniature American flags for others?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Dude, have you seen his baton collection?

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    And always twirling towards freedom.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

  • Libertymike||

    Let's test the principles of this light in his loafers LGBQT liberty loving Leninist:

    He claims that we should have freedom "from anything else that affects the most basic of freedoms: freedom to live a life of our choosing."

    CASE # 1 - A is an incredibly talented pastry chef and has been making wedding cakes, on the side, for a few years and he cannot keep up with the demand for his services. He decides to quit his 9-5 and open an upscale bakery / café, out of which he will continue to make wedding cakes as well as operate a catering business.

    A is a practicing Catholic who abhors both abortion and the death penalty. Although he carries no ill will towards harlots and homos, he is adamantly against gay marriage and detests the globohomo paradigm. He therefore decides that he will not bake any wedding cakes for faggots, although he will permit fruits to patronize his bakery / café.

    He is a Notre Dame grad, and after some research, decides to open his business in South Bend.

    How does Mayor Buttplug react? Is he true to his principles? Will he steadfastly defend A's freedom of association or will he choose to be a typical, hypocritical homo piece of progressive garbage?

  • ||

    As a former Naval Reserve Intelligence Officer (Can you enlist in the Armed Forces as a desk pogue yet?), I'd love to hear his thoughts on Bradley Manning's treachery and pardon and possibly compared and contrasted with Snowden's

    I mean, not really, because he's a politician and I'm sure he's going to go with the position most likely to get him reelected, but I'd love to see him careen through that cactus patch.

  • Libertymike||

    Submit your question to his campaign website.

    Unless you are an Olympic swimmer, you should not hold your breath waiting for a reply.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    There's no reason to bring out the F-word.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    fruits?

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Freedom?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Fusili Buttigieg?

  • EscherEnigma||

    But if "libertarians" don't throw around slurs, how will you know how much they love freedom?

  • Slickrick||

    funny and true

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Feinstein?

  • Tony||

    Since you feel so strongly about it, surely you can point to the sentence in the US Constitution that refers to a freedom of association.

    Or is that an emanation and/or penumbra? You do know you're defending the right of sandwich shop owners to kick out customers for being black, yes? You're on the side of the cops with the dogs and the firehoses. That's what's so firmly wedged in your asshole and wiggling around, irritating you to no end.

    But knock yourself out. Just as long as libertarians understand that there is no libertarian side to that issue in terms of smaller government. The government goons have to take one side or the other. And if the homofags won't leave, you want the cops to come and drag them out like trash. You don't have to be for police brutality.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|1.23.19 @ 9:17PM|#
    "Since you feel so strongly about it, surely you can point to the sentence in the US Constitution that refers to a freedom of association."

    Of course not, you fucking ignoramus, nor can I point to one which refers to the freedom to drink a beer at the ball-park.
    The Constitution does not grant rights; it lists some in various amendments which are commonly trod-upon by the government. This was one that was never considered to require specific restraints on government over-reach; no one even guessed the government would legislate such a requirement.
    Even a caveman can understand that, so perhaps you'll stop posting such drivel.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    What the hell are you talking about, Tony?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony, the difference between freedom of association, and the Jim Crow era in the south (enacted and enforced by you democrats) which you allude to is very simple. The democrats codified into law rules which infringed on the constitutional rights of blacks. Which is very different from a private business deciding with whom they will transact business.

    You will undoubtedly not understand what I have hpjist said, as you are an obtuse, weak minded thrall to the democrat plantation.

  • EscherEnigma||

    An over-abundance of dedication to the law isn't what caused Ax-Handle Saturday and many other events of violent protest in support of segregation.

  • Tony||

    I understand that you idiots think other people are as stupid as you and might buy the idea that local governments elected by white citizens (since the blacks were disenfranchised) enforced Jim Crow totally against the will of said white citizens, who were hapless in the face of a government going against their totally tolerant and integrationist will. How convincing.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Keep clinging, Libertymike.

    And expect to continue losing the culture war to, and therefore complying with the preferences of, your betters.

  • Sevo||

    Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland|1.23.19 @ 10:32PM|#
    "Keep clinging, Libertymike."

    Keep assholing, scumbag. Maybe one day you'll accept that you are a loser.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Or the progs push too hard and the backlash puts Arty and his pals in landfills.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    First, freedom — not just the thin idea of freedom from overregulation but the freedom to choose our destinies, not to mention our spouses.

    Wow, he's running on marriage equality?! That's very courageous. Not quite courageous enough to make my top 3 choices (Harris, Warren, Gillibrand) but impressive nonetheless. Especially with the Drumpf regime literally trying to turn this country into The Handmaid's Tale by (among other things) outlawing same-gender marriage.

  • Libertymike||

    BREAKING NEWS:

    OBL DISSES GAY PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRANT!

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    That was hardly a "dis." There's no shame in not yet impressing me as much as Harris and Warren and Gillibrand have.

  • Libertymike||

    What about the mayor's intersectionality bona fides? He's young, he's gay, he's married to a man, he's apparently open to Koch / OBL style libertarianism, and he's mayor of a Midwest post-industrial / college town.

  • ||

    This is fair. Taking the helm of a rust belt city, steering it into the ditch before it runs out of gas, and then claiming success is something *any* democrat could do. Until he's leaked state secrets via a personal email *while claiming his opponent is a Russian puppet and the election was hacked* and/or gotten an ambassador killed on foreign soil on his own watch, he really isn't clearly deserving of the position.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    There's nothing in Buttigieg's advertisement or on his site that explains what makes him different from other potential Democratic candidates...

    No, he is different from the other Democrat candidates. He likes to be romantic with a man ... oh wait. Is this the new qualifying standard to be a Democrat presidential candidate?

  • Cynical Asshole||

  • Uncle Jay||

    Pete Buttigieg is running for POTUS?
    Now I can sleep at night knowing there is another village idiot running for the POTUS in 2020.

  • Eddy||

    Pete Buttigieg

  • Eddy||

    South Bend, Indiana.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    hmmmm

  • ||

    When I arrived in office at the beginning of this decade, the national press said this city was dying. People on the outside didn't believe our city had a future. We propelled our cities comeback by taking our eyes off the rearview mirror, being honest about change, and insisting on a better future.

    Does alive enough to commit suicide count as 'dying'?

    40. South Bend, Ind.
    Population: 102,442
    Median home value: $77,400
    Poverty rate: 24.7%
    Pct. with at least a bachelor's degree: 24.1%
    South Bend, Indiana is one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. There were 1,012 violent crimes in South Bend for every 100,000 residents in 2016, more than double both the state and national violent crime rates of 405 incidents and 386 incidents per 100,000 people, respectively. As is often the case in high crime areas, property values in South Bend are depressed. The typical home in the city is worth just $77,400, less than half the national median home value of $205,000.

    Of note, Gary, IN came in #14. I'd love to say, Gary's inhabitants running out of money to buy guns or have possessions to be robbed of probably fueled a lot of the change, but S. Bend's crime stats superced Gary's at it's peak. I'm sure both cities being run by Democrats consecutively for decades had nothing to do with it.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Most unfortunate name ever.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Weigel, Shackford, and all the other buttplugs are going to spend a lot of time daydreaming about plugging this guy in the butt!

  • Eddy||

    "Most unfortunate name ever."

    Pete Hitler disagrees.

  • Bramblyspam||

    Close, but not quite. I still think Joey Buttafuoco holds onto first place.

  • Uncle Adolf’s Gas and Grill||

    Well, one thing's for sure - after one look at the guy, I'm now convinced gayface is really a thing.

    Apparently so are gay names.

    I can think of one voter demographic this guy has locked down. Not too sure about many others.

  • Sevo||

    Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill|1.23.19 @ 10:54PM|#
    "Well, one thing's for sure - after one look at the guy, I'm now convinced gayface is really a thing."

    Not sure if it is the face, or the oh,so 'arranged' hair.
    It is axiomatic that gay guys dress 'up'; sharp creases, fashionable selections, etc, and I'm sure that extends to hair styling.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Low T in the womb and early years can often be observed in facial structure

  • cosMICjester||

    Democraps are the party of over regulation & micromanaging every aspect of our lives including freedom of association. What's bizarre is minorities feel oppressed by crackas they're allowed to segregate. Yet if whites want to get away from dysfunctional schools filled w/ folks who don't want to learn they're prohibited from doing so. Whitey constantly needs more diversity. Birds of a feather flock together DemoRATS can take your diversity & shove it up your culo

  • Sevo||

    "Freedom from things like crushing medical costs and student debt, from dishonest banking practices and anything else that affects the most basic of freedoms: freedom to live a life of our choosing."

    Freedom from having to WORK for a living, dammit!

  • Tony||

    All the candidates say the same things. Sigh. Why then do I worry that instead of 2 hardcore factions we'll have 15 this time plus the Bernie dregs? Millennials with our participation trophies couldn't really handle supporting one guy and then moving on to another when he lost. Now dozens of people, each the favorite of some people, are going to lose, and I'm not sure how we'll handle it. We must not have any more cults. It's why I have Beto stuffed in my attic.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|1.23.19 @ 9:22PM|#
    "All the candidates say the same things. Sigh...."

    Yeah, referring to those who might vote for someone else as 'deplorables'?
    You, the asshole rev and Hihn are aiming at a real double-down on losing, loser.

  • Tul­pa||

    "It's why I have Beto stuffed in my attic."

    God you're repetitive and uncreative Tiny Tony.

  • Tony||

    You think I'm tiny? How flattering! I did slim down after getting the flu and splurged on some new sweaters.

  • Sevo||

    BarryWine|1.23.19 @ 11:19PM|#
    "I earned $5000 last month by working online just for 5 to 8 hours..."

    Talk to the asshole rev; he needs help keeping up the payments on his double-wide.

  • AB Negative||

    " freedom, fairness, families, and the future."

    Holy crap! He's Farley Flavors!

  • EscherEnigma||

    The "again" comment is almost certainly in reference to "Make America Great Again". Which is to say, America didn't stop being great, so becoming great "again" doesn't make sense.

    I'm not sure I buy it, but it's not hard to see what he's referencing.

  • Slickrick||

    The more contenders in the quest for the Dem nomination the better. I like to think of it as the produce section at the supermarket. I like variety and diversity. Who will the media choose? Who will get some votes? I live in New Hampshire and have to believe I will be accosted by 4 or 5 of these folks as I innocently go about my business. Since we have a primary (paid for and sponsored by the State) I can vote for any candidate. Last time around I voted for Sanders because I loathe the Clintons. He beat her 2:1 but no one cared. I might vote for Gabbard this time around because the thought of her going up against Trump is irresistible. All the rest are tedious. Does anyone besides me think Andrew Napolitano should try for the Libertarian Party nomination?

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