Is Pete Buttigieg really a bold new choice?

A Feb. 19-20, 2019 national survey of U.S. likely voters conducted by Rasmussen Reports found that 62% of likely Democratic voters believed Democrats should look for a fresh face to run for president in 2020.

The national media have found that fresh face. No, I’m not talking about Beto O’Rourke. It’s Pete Buttigieg (pronounced “Buddha-judge”), the 37-year-old Democratic mayor of South Bend, IN. He has launched an exploratory committee, but hasn’t formally declared he’s a candidate.

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Pete Buttigieg

I didn’t vote for Trump or Clinton in 2016 and can’t imagine myself voting for Trump in 2020, so I’m open to a moderate alternative. I’ve listened to Buttigieg on television and radio and came away impressed. He’s extremely well-spoken (though he can be a bit long-winded) and comes across as thoughtful and good-natured.

“I’m definitely the only left-handed, Maltese-American, Episcopalian, millennial, gay mayor in the race. So I’ve got that lane all to myself,” he told CNN.

Calling himself a “millennial Mayor” who’s offering “a bold vision for our future,” Buttigieg’s well-educated (A Rhodes Scholar, he graduated from Oxford University and Harvard), has military credentials (Served as an officer in U.S. Navy Reserve 2009-17, deployed to Afghanistan in 2014) and is openly gay (Married Chasten Glezman on June 16, 2018).

In contrast to Trump’s bombast, Buttigieg offers calm deliberation. (He calls the other Democratic candidates “competitors, not opponents”) and says he’s considering a presidential race because, “Our democracy needs a tune-up.”

Like I said, he was intriguing and I found myself thinking, “Maybe he really is different and worth considering.”

Then I looked more closely, read about him, listened to his TV and radio interviews.

Talk about disappointment! He may sound calming and creative, but he’s essentially a carbon copy of the rest of the Democratic pack,. He supports:

  • Giving statehood and political representation to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico
  • Abolishing the electoral college in favor of relying on the popular vote
  • Expanding the Supreme Court (to 15 members) “What we need to do is stop the Supreme Court from sliding toward being viewed as a nakedly political institution.”
  • Treating healthcare as a fundamental human right.
  • Offering “Medicare for all who want it.”
  • Ensuring wide reproductive freedom. “The last thing (a woman) needs is a male politician like me imposing boundaries that might even be politically motivated on her healthcare choices.”
  • Initiating stronger controls over access to guns, including universal background checks and banning some weapons. “Not every common-sense rule amounts to an infringement of second amendment rights.”
  • Backing off from a border wall as a priority for border security.
  • Implementing the Green New Deal. “The Green New Deal gets it right that this truly is a national emergency.”
  • Aggressively confronting climate change.
  • Raising K-12 teacher pay “so teachers are treated commensurate with other highly valued professionals.”
  • Regulating the financial industry more aggressively.
  • Restoring the influence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “We Need to be more assertive in insuring that the public interest is met through regulation.”

And on and on.

In other words, Buttigieg isn’t so bold and different from the rest of pack after all. They’re all pretty much uber-progressive peas in a pod.

Peas in a pod

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