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As Long as We Remember...

April 8, 2019

An Indiana Mayor Wants the Oval Office

Jason Miller

The list of declared Democrats running for President of the United States has become a preview of future failure with one exception. President Trump's MAGA Republican strategists should be concerned if an unexpected candidate emerges.


As a Midwestern Democrat from Indiana, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg seems more honest than Cory Booker, a better speaker than Beto O'Rourke, more socially graceful than Joe Biden, and free of the Bernie Sanders socialist label. This in-and-of itself makes him a noteworthy contender. He might win the primary race if his fundraising matches his Midwestern charm.


Many conservative Republicans should start to look at Mayor Buttigieg right now in order to understand why he matters in 2020. He has already managed to raise $7 million for his run for president. This may pale in comparison to his other challengers. However, for a little known mayor from a Midwestern city; that isn't bad at all.


Not since former President Bill Clinton has a relatively unknown candidate gotten so many recently bestowed accolades from major Democrat donors and progressive media talking heads. Mr. Buttigieg might even give President Trump a run for his money if he makes it out of the primary race.


The clearest reason for Republican concern is that Pete Buttigieg is not a typical Washington, D.C. politician. The approval ratings for Congress and the Senate is so abysmal that being free from its ties could generate a bump in polling automatically. How do you handle an opponent who has run for re-election twice in a city of 100,000 residents free of any scandals – political or otherwise?


Republicans should take heed of this and not run the proverbial last campaign which plagues many incumbents. President George H.W. Bush tried to use the strategy that worked against former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis and was met by a smooth talking, down-to-earth Arkansas governor named Bill Clinton who smashed President Bush's re-election bid with the help of Independent candidate Ross Perot.


Republicans need to understand that Pete Buttigieg is from the northernmost part of Indiana. The city he hails from is South Bend, a mecca for Notre Dame football fans. Blue and Gold of the Fighting Irish are part and parcel with the rest of the city's rich history.


Despite South Bend's popularity among Catholic academics and college football fanatics, it ranked in the top 20 cities experiencing economic decay in the United States. Mayor Buttigieg decided to turn that around. A fiscally conservative and socially liberal platform appealed to South Bend’s rust belt Republicans and Democrats alike.


Mayor Buttigieg was able to speak to problems that were very real for the residents of South Bend. As a 29 year old candidate and a Navy veteran, he was inspired to seek political office. He did so with a youthful energy seldom seen in municipal Indiana politics. After his election as mayor, he was able to fix many of the city's problems without alienating its more conservative Republican voters.


Mayor Buttigieg is as fiscally conservative and pro- Second Amendment as an Indiana Democrat can be these days. Despite this, he has still been able to check off all the progressive boxes that make him a bonafide Democrat. When he ran for re-election as mayor, he won with 80% of the vote, meaning that conservative Midwestern Republicans voted for him despite his declaring that he is gay during his campaign.


In the end, President Trump will win re-election over any of the declared Democrat candidates. Those who have stepped up to the plate are pandering to the far left in their own way. Red-blooded Republicans should not be complacent about President Trump’s re-election.


Mayor Buttigieg just might just make a better showing than Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail. He might just make it a close race if establishment Clinton Democrats can get out of the Democratic Party’s own way.


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