Much to my surprise, Pete Buttigieg has ended his campaign for the presidency of the United States. Word broke last night and quickly made its rounds on multiple media outlets. I wasn’t the only one who was caught off guard by the sudden announcement but now that I’ve some time to reflect on it I’m sure it was the best.
After strong starts in Iowa and New Hampshire Pete was beginning to lag behind further and further with every result. His super poor showing in South Caroline laid bare a vital weakness in this candidacy: Failing to secure any real support from African-American voters. No Democrat in the modern presidential era has won the White House without clear support from this constituency. I was also troubled with the lack of clear support from the Gay Establishment as well but that is perhaps another blog for another day. Various news reports I have read also revealed that Pete’s donor support had dried up and the decision to spend more than they were taking in in order to get back in the race didn’t pan out. Given those two realities I personally think Pete might have been concerned getting publicly shellacked on Super Tuesday might have lowered the value of his political stock. I think Pete would make a great vice president and I sincerely hope he runs again for something somewhere. I’d like to see him run for Indiana governor or perhaps the U.S. Senate.
Pete Buttigieg has nothing but my respect and admiration. His candidacy has moved the goal posts in national and presidential politics for viable out and proud gay politicians. Pete Buttigieg was clearly the ground-breaking trailblazer for LGBTQ+ leaders and political hopefuls. He is the Harvey Milk of modern presidential politics and his historic run has re-framed the entire discussion and parameters for liberal and progressive Democrats. Like I said before, I hope Pete isn’t done with public service or politics. I’d love to see him run for governor. I think he would be a great V.P. but I don’t see that happening. I think the V.P. candidate is going to have to be a woman and probably a person of color. Maybe Pete should run for a Senate seat or perhaps there will be room for him in a new administration if we successfully unseat the Emperor.