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White House watch: Buttigieg The Mythbuster | Columns | Opinion

Pete Buttigieg. Photo via Facebook

South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg officially launched his Presidential campaign Sunday, declaring he is compelled to seek the highest office in the land in order to win a new era of Americans. 

“I recognize the audacity of doing this as a Midwestern millennial mayor,” said Buttigieg to cheers from the faithful gathered inside a plant that once manufactured Studebaker cars.

Buttigieg delivered sharp criticism of the Trump administration stating a myth rooted in resentment is “sold to industrial and rural communities.”  He even jabbed at the President’s vaunted “Make America Great Again” theme.

“The problem is they are telling us to look for greatness in all the wrong places,” Buttigieg said. “Because if there is one thing the city of South Bend has shown is there is no such thing as an honest politics that revolves around the word ‘again.’ It is time to walk away from the politics of the past and to something totally different.”

Buttigieg, 37, has surged in the early polling of Democratic presidential candidates. An MSNBC poll has Buttigieg third behind former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont with nine percent support. 

In Sunday’s 36-minute speech Buttigieg thanked his husband Chasten for “giving me the strength to do this and the grounding to be myself as we go.”

 

Austin Texas Mayor Steve Adler introduced Buttigieg stating, “it is local government where government works the best” and calling Mayor Pete a “true executive.”

Buttigieg’s speech emphasized his campaign’s three essential principles: Freedom. Security. Democracy. Freedom, Buttigieg said, is the right to marry the man he loves regardless what a county clerk says.

Security is a forte of Buttigieg, who deployed to Afghanistan as a U.S. Navy lieutenant.

“There is a lot more to safety and security than putting up a wall from sea to shining sea,” he quipped.

Democracy, Buttigieg said, should be restored by the simplest of measures – counting all the votes and making the popular vote the ultimate decider.

“It’s not much of a democracy when twice in my lifetime the Electoral College has overruled the will of the people,” Buttigieg said.

Although he never mentioned President Trump by name, Buttigieg denounced his administration in many ways.

“When something is grotesque it’s hard to look away and the horror show in Washington is mesmerizing. It’s all consuming, but starting today we’re going to change the channel,” Buttigieg said.

 

“Sometimes a dark moment brings out the best in us. Helps us find what is good in us — dare I say what is great in us. I do believe in American greatness. I believe in American values. I believe we can guide this country and one another to a better place.”

The crowd often chanted “Pete!, Pete!, Pete!” and “Boot-Edge-Edge!” and when Buttigieg concluded his speech, he kissed and hugged Chasten as the Creedence Clearwater Revival song Up Around The Bend blared over the PA system.

Meanwhile, the Democratic field continues to swell to nearly 20 major candidates. U.S. Congressmen Tim Ryan (OH-17) and Eric Swalwell (CA-15) declared their intentions last week. U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey kicked off his campaign on Saturday under a “Justice for all” banner in Newark.

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