Democrats Should Find a Place for Mayor Pete

Democrats Should Find a Place for Mayor Pete


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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“Mayor Pete” Buttigieg, the one-time mayor of small town South Bend, Ind., to rise to national prominence this last year with his unlikely run for president, finally bowed out of that race Sunday evening.

Initially scheduled to stump in Dallas, Texas, ahead of this week’s big Super Tuesday bonanza of primaries across the country, Buttigieg instead diverted back to South Bend to announce the end of his historic run, as the first out LGBT candidate to collect delegates in a presidential contest.

Whether you are a Democrat who counted yourself among Mayor Pete’s supporters or not, I think that you have to concede both the political skill he must possess for a small city mayor to have sustained a viable and credible run for the nomination for so long and the obvious sense of public service he demonstrates, as well.

In many ways, Mayor Pete captured some echo of the early excitement, enthusiasm and public spirit which propelled Barack Obama in his early years.

Certainly, talk will now turn to potential consideration for either the running mate spot or a Cabinet post for whichever Democrat ultimately becomes the nominee.

And those would certainly be excellent career paths for Buttigieg in order to continue to serve.

But what happens if those paths don’t open up?

How could Mayor Pete serve next?

Unfortunately, going back to City Hall in South Bend isn’t really an option, as the new mayor, James Mueller, is a friend and former employee in Buttigieg’s mayoral administration.

And as I once pointed out in this space, unfortunately Buttigieg doesn’t have many potential options as an out gay Democrat statewide in ruby-red Indiana.

However, there’s more potential in the other Mr. Buttigieg’s home state of Michigan.

Yes, Mayor Pete would have to make the painful choice to leave South Bend, but Chasten Buttigieg’s native Michigan could be more politically receptive.

No one wants to see Mayor Pete give up on the city which made him famous.

But it would be more of a tragedy for Buttigieg to have no further chance for public service.

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  • comment-avatar
    Marilynn J Kennedy March 2, 2020

    I have liked and respected PETE from the beginning and although this is not his time, I am sure it will come. I would love to be here to see that happen
    He must be tapped for some place in the Biden administration.
    Good luck Pete.