Mayor Pete

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Michael Siegel

Michael Siegel is an astronomer living in Pennsylvania. He is on Twitter, blogs at his own site, and has written a novel.

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48 Responses

  1. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    A boring President Buttigieg would be an incredible win for progressive politics, in the same way that President Obama’s boring tenure was, because it would show that you can have a Member Of An Oppressed Minority Group as President and America and the world continue to function pretty much the same as before.Report

  2. Avatar North says:

    Yeah I’m fond of Pete, he’s my #2 preferred pick. Good write up.Report

  3. I always have trouble with the “mid-sized city” part, at least when it’s supposed to imply South Bend is large enough that the experience is meaningful. South Bend would be only the thirteenth largest city in Colorado. There are seven Denver suburb cities that are bigger. If Mayor Pete were to come to Colorado and say he knew how to deal with our cities’ problems, the response would be, “Ha! South Bend’s population is essentially unchanged for 30 years. You have no idea about our problems.”

    As I have said multiple times in comments in this series of posts, the Dems have a problem. There’s an eastern wing of the party where “city problems” largely means decayed urban cores, stagnant population, disappearing jobs. There’s a western wing where “city problems” means almost-unmanageable growth.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Michael Cain says:

      The Buttigieg rise is a bit silly. Being mayor of New York City, or Chicago, or LA has rarely been considered a sufficient qualification for President.

      Only three former mayors have ever become President.

      Andrew Johnson was a mayor, then a representative, then a governor, then a senator, then a Vice President.

      Calvin Coolidge (who my dad campaigned for) was a mayor, then a state senator, then lieutenant governor, then governor, then Vice President.

      Grover Cleveland was mayor of Buffalo, then governor, the President.

      Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg both made failed bids after being mayor of New York, as did John Lindsay in 1972. No New York mayor has ever been elected to anything higher than mayor (such as senator or governor) since 1869.

      That a mayor from South Bend would throw his hat in the ring mainly indicates a massive disconnect from reality.Report

      • Yes, we certainly wouldn’t want to elect someone unqualified for the position.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Michael Siegel says:

          Indeed. A mayor from a small or medium sized town can’t viably run on their record as mayor, they have to have some huge accomplishments other than being mayor, perhaps the same ones that got them elected mayor.

          If Clint Eastwood ran for President, he wouldn’t just rely on his record as successful mayor of Carmel. Sono Bono was mayor of Palm Springs, which he used to run for the US House, not the Presidency. Bill Gates or Steve Jobs could have easily become a mayor, but that wouldn’t be what would make them think they could pull off a Presidential bid.

          Donald Trump is like many successful businessmen who ran, such as Steve Forbes or Ross Perot, or Carly Fiorina, or Andrew Steyer, or Andrew Yang, etc.

          Zachary Taylor, Grant, and Eisenhower never held public office before becoming President, coming in from the military side, in which leaders are promoted, not elected. Herbert Hoover (who my dad also campaigned for), had been our food delivery man in Europe, then served as commerce secretary, where he handled tons of work modernizing the country.Report

          • Avatar Fish in reply to George Turner says:

            Taylor, Grant, and Eisenhower were all promoted, in major part, due to demonstrated battlefield success which is a strong indicator of an ability to reason, plan, lead, and follow through. Otherwise, most military promotions happen because “you’ve been in long enough to have earned a promotion” or “you scored high enough on this test” or “you convinced a promotions board that you deserved a higher rank.” Military rank, in and of itself, is absofishinglutely not an indicator of leadership quality.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to George Turner says:

        Eh, if you see this as a marketing campaign, it makes a bit more sense.

        If Mayor Pete decides to run for the House in 2020, he’s pretty much already won. If he decides to run for Senate in 2022, he’s got a good shot, depending on the winds.

        How much free advertising is he getting? Globs.

        I suppose a good question might be “what’s going on that he’s getting so much traction?” but we know the answer to that already… he’s media-friendly and gives good soundbite and the “Gay Guy Everybody Can Agree On vs. Pence” storyline is too sweet for journalismists to pass up.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to George Turner says:

        Reality TV stars and shady real estate guys have also not historically been presidents but strange things happen. 😉Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain says:

      There’s an eastern wing of the party where “city problems” largely means decayed urban cores, stagnant population, disappearing jobs. There’s a western wing where “city problems” means almost-unmanageable growth.

      Dang.

      This is a great comment.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I’m more or less pretty sure that, unless Biden is the pick, Mayor Pete will be the VP.

    So if *ANYBODY* but Biden gets the nod, the ticket will be Not-Biden/Buttigeig.

    (I think Biden is going to be the pick, though. Which means that he *CAN’T* pick Mayor Pete. “Fight White Supremacy! Vote Biden/Buttigeig!” just doesn’t work. It’d be Biden/Harris in that case. *BUT*! If it’s not Biden, Buttigeig is on the ticket in the 2nd seat.)Report

    • I think that’s probably right. My feeling is that Mayor Peter is angling more for a future run in 2024 or 2028. His meteoric rise — well, somewhat — reminds me a bit of Obama. So a VP seat, Senate seat, maybe governorship. We’ll see.

      And I agree that Biden is likely to pick Harris if he wins the nomination. He won’t pick Warren because they’ll lose the Senate seat (and she’s more valuable to him in the Senate anyway). He will try very hard to pick a woman. Klobuchar might be a better fit as she would bring Midwest votes (and Minnesota has a Dem governor). But I think tapping Harris will solidify his flank.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

      I think Harris is effectively done, if not toxic, after her last performance. I’ve seen a lot of blacks expressing absolute contempt for her. Even the CNN pundits couldn’t find a good word to say about her performance. I would be surprised if she gets reelected to the Senate, but then California always defies rational predictions.Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I feel sympathy for Mayor Pete because I don’t think he has much of a political future in a deep-red state like Indiana. His chances of winning a state-wide election in Indiana are slim to none. He probably wouldn’t even come close to what Beto accomplished in Texas.

    Paradoxically, he can raise his political profile by running for the Democratic nomination for President and losing but losing a state-wide election in Indiana would be a career killer. My view is that he is smart enough to realize he probably will not get the nomination but knows he might land the VP pick or a cabinet position if Democrats win the WH in 2020.Report

  6. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    We have watched all the debates and myself, my wife and her 75 year-old parents all commented how he just sounds like a normal person. I love his Religious Left position. I love that he is pitching himself as the person you most want to see on a debate stage with Trump.

    Agreed he is an easy VP pick. America may not be ready for a gay president, but I think it can handle a gay VP.

    I would for sure vote for him if given the opportunity. I have already decided to switch to Democrat so I can vote in the primaries next spring. Hope he is still around, but usually things are all settled by the time KY weighs in.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      He’s my #2 pick as well and I’m very happy as a Democratic party member that he exists and is doing pretty well in the party. If, by some miracle, he won I wonder who his veep pick should be?Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to North says:

        Gabbard. Plenty of intersectional boxes to check and can you imagine Trump trying to lecture the two of them on foreign policy?Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

          Bold choice; an awful lot of baggage on Gabbards part. HI isn’t much lift either.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to North says:

            You’re right and I was being a bit sarcastic. I’d probably pick Booker. They’re bro memes would put Obama/Biden to shame.

            Harris seems like the smartest pick on paper but I really wonder if her ego would allow for #2.

            I’m also starting to think about cabinet picks if the nominee chooses from the field. Inslee at Energy would be a great pick. I think Harris would be a great Secretary of State. Gabbard as UN ambassador (technically not a cabinet position).Report

            • Avatar Brent F in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              Harris is more likely to be AG than get State I’d think.

              Buttigieg is in a interesting spot that he’s clearly running for a cabinet job if he doesn’t get a Veep nod, but there isn’t a natural fit for him. Unless its bringing that McKinsey energy to Commerce. He might be considered a fit for the VA, but he wants a job that launches a future career not ends it.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Brent F says:

                I thought about AG but it almost seems like an insult to her to go from AG to senator to AG (even if a much bigger job). Plus, AG is so politicized and after seeing what Trump did to Sessions I would not want that job for a million bucks.Report

  7. Avatar Fish says:

    Harris/Buttigieg was my initial pick. I’ve kinda backed off of Buttigieg as the #2, but I’m having a hard time deciding who would be a better pairing for Harris. Like it was noted above, I think Warren is too valuable to lose from the Senate just to fill the VP slot. Pete’s probably the guy if Harris gets the nod.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Fish says:

      If NY picked someone with her clout to take her spot, would they get her committee spots? Hillary? Bill? Lady Gaga?Report

      • Avatar Fish in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        You’re talking about Warren, right? She’s from Mass, not NY. But no, I don’t think her replacement would automatically get those committee spots. They’re in part awarded by seniority and some other mysterious metrics, right?Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Fish says:

          Ah, crap. My bad. I was thinking NY for some reason. Seems like a safe seat but I get that her voice is important.Report

          • Avatar Brent F in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

            In Mass, the Governor picks the replacement and its being held by a very popular Republican, so Warren resigning means they lose that safe seat until an election happens. So she probably doesn’t get picked for anything if she doesn’t win the nomination.Report

  8. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Mayor Pete for HUD Secretary.Report

  9. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    This is the first time someone younger than me is running for President.Report

  10. Avatar James K says:

    This was a solid endorsement Michael, above all else I agree with your criteria. Government should be boring, and a politician with the courage to be publicly self-critical is almost unheard of.Report

  11. Also, electing him would make Erick Erickson’s head explode.Report

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