First it was Cory and Kamala. Then Beto took center stage. But could Mayor Pete be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2020?
For those who haven’t paid attention, Mayor Pete is Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana. According to CNN, he is “the hottest candidate in the 2020 race right now.”
He is bright, personable, speaks seven languages, and on Monday announced an impressive first-quarter $7 million fundraising haul for his presidential bid. He is also a Navy veteran who did a tour in Afghanistan. Mayor Pete is 37 years old.
OMG — he’s a millennial!
The millennial stereotype is not an appealing one: lazy, whiny, entitled and oversensitive, for starters. If you happen to be a millennial, you’ve heard it before, and it makes you want to scream — or retreat to Instagram or Snapchat.
Mayor Pete destroys this stereotype. Every time the engaging Buttigieg makes a TV appearance, he climbs in the polls. The latest Emerson College poll gives him 11 percent of the vote in the Iowa Democratic presidential primary, good enough for third place. Two months ago, he got 0 percent.
Just days ago, it seemed former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke might steamroll the field of Democratic presidential hopefuls. But now Mayor Pete has grabbed the spotlight. This mighty millennial is attracting large crowds and an impressive number of small donors.
BTW, did I mention Mayor Pete is gay?
Yes, Buttigieg is openly gay and has a husband. If he does get the Democratic nomination, I’m certain President Donald Trump will be respectful of that.
Sure he will.
The president, who gives new meaning to the term “bully pulpit,” most recently mocked Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) as “pencil neck,” and also called him “Little Adam Schitt.” The roll call of childish, nasty names he has given opponents is too long to list here. Can you imagine what Trump might say if a gay man were his opponent? Let’s not.
Meanwhile, could Buttigieg actually capture the Democratic presidential nomination? It’s still a long shot, but let’s go back 12 years. Did anyone predict a young African-American first-term senator named Barack Hussein Obama would not only get the presidential nomination, but win — twice?
Then again, Buttigieg is a millennial . . .
Follow playwright Mike Vogel at @mikewrite7.