From the Left



Why Not Pete Buttigieg?

Froma Harrop on

Political news pounces on any poll suggesting Republicans' preference for the 2024 presidential candidate. Little attention has landed on the Democratic side, where the numbers have been quite interesting.

The Granite State Poll suggesting a considerable lead for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over Donald Trump also puts Pete Buttigieg well ahead of other Democrats, President Joe Biden included.

Of course, that poll surveys only voters in New Hampshire, which may lose its importance as the first to hold a Democratic presidential primary. Also, we are a long year away from the nominating process, forever on the political calendar.

Biden, meanwhile, hints he's running for a second term. His presidency has been getting things done, along with rising approval ratings. Biden has furthermore proven time and time again that it's a mistake to underestimate his political prowess -- underscored by the Democrats' surprisingly strong midterm performance.

This writer is agnostic on whether Biden should try for a second term. He's up there on age and has slowed down but is getting the job done, and well.

However, she is a believer in the strong pull of Buttigieg as a younger Democratic alternative -- as a pragmatic solver of problems. The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Buttigieg comes from the middle of America. He knows how to talk to the middle of America, and unlike the Democratic celebrities on the coasts, he wants to.


Buttigieg is plain-spoken and not grating in the older lefty ways of a Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. And how astute of him to become a presence on right-wing Fox News. Warren has gone after him for these appearances because of the network's attacks against the Democratic Party.

But his willingness to go to, what is now, the other side speaks of courage lacking in Democrats comfy in their partisan bunkers. He further argues that the Fox News audience includes persuadable voters.

Watch him. Buttigieg counters hostile interviewers without turning aggressive, without losing his cool. Fox carries an older viewership, and Buttigieg, a still-youthful 41 years, has surprised analysts in his appeal to Baby Boomers, apparent during his short-lived run for the presidency in 2020.

He has good manners, and just about nobody cares that he's gay.


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