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Could Buttigieg Pull It Off?

Jeff Hall

Posted on December 3, 2019 13:48

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Mayor Pete seems rational and calm in a time of irrationality and chaos. But can a gay man really win? Remember where Barack Obama was in this stage of the 2008 contest. Few gave him a chance. Then he won Iowa. Then he beat Hillary. Then he beat John McCain and became president.

I like Pete Buttigieg.  Every time he appears on the debate stage, he just seems to make sense. 

He's not a firebrand.  He's not ultraliberal. He seems really, really smart. He comes across as a problem-solver, not an ideologue.  How refreshing!

I like that he served in the military and his "Medicare for all who want it" seems like a prudent approach.

I think serving as mayor of South Bend is as good a qualification as any. And I don't think he's too young.  "Mayor Pete" argues for generational change; I think he's right.

Many of my Democratic friends say they'd like to vote for Buttigieg, but they aren't sure if he's electable. 

A Republican friend told me the other day that he, too, likes Buttigieg.  There is something simply likable about the guy. 

Many of us have evolved in our thinking regarding same-sex marriage.  Does that really matter anymore?  People used to wonder about the electability of a Catholic candidate (Kennedy) and a half-black candidate, (Barack Obama). 

That now seems silly, looking back through the lens of time.

Then again, we've never had a female president, nor a Jewish president, so there are barriers yet to be broken.

But in terms of gayness being an issue, if the Supreme Court says it's OK, shouldn't that put the matter to rest?

Maybe yes, maybe no. 

I know a guy, African-American, who is very Christian.  He told me in no uncertain terms that there was no way African-Americans would back a gay candidate and that the black preachers would pound the pulpits loudly in opposition to Buttigieg. 

That's a problem. 

White evangelicals will overwhelmingly support Trump no matter what.  But if Pete can't attract African-Americans, he will lose out on a key Democratic constituency that seems more and more critical to electoral success.

I don't know if she would do it or not, but African-American Stacey Abrams as VP would help Mayor Pete in at least three ways: 1) She's a woman; 2) She's African-American; and 3) She's from the south (Georgia).

If she became VP, she'd be well-positioned to one day become our first female president. 

Would African-Americans overlook Pete's being gay under this scenario? 

I think Pete's pollsters should be testing this idea right now.  If it's a winner with African-Americans, the sooner he gets Stacey Abrams on board, the sooner we'll see if this can work or not. 

If it's not a winning idea among African-Americans -- or if Stacey Abrams would refuse for some reason -- then Pete needs a Plan B.

One could argue Kamala Harris could play the same role, but there's a reason her campaign collapsed. She just doesn't have it.

I do not think Trump will be easily beaten. He has a solid base of support and he's wily as hell.

I personally like the idea of a David vs. Goliath contest.

Remember who won that fight.





Jeff Hall

Posted on December 3, 2019 13:48


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