“I think he might be too young, and needs more experience.”
There are days where this statement boggles my brain.
But it can be countered effectively. Here’s what I say: “Just look at what he’s done with his campaign.”
Eight months ago, I had no idea who Pete Buttigieg was. I thought he was getting into the race just to build up his brand. I didn’t take him seriously.
Now, Pete’s polling second in Iowa. And I’m out on the street talking to strangers to help get him elected.
He’s polling well with Democrats who consider themselves “highly aware” at this stage of the campaign, and they are the ones most likely to caucus. That means a win in Iowa.
He’s polling well with Millennials who understand he has a vision for the next fifty years for this country, because he will be here for it.
But – and this is important – he’s also polling well with voters over 65 who clearly see a wisdom and intelligence beyond his physical years. They recognize the thinking that they want to see in their president.
He’s polling well with the Midwest.
He’s polling well on the coasts.
He’s polling well with moderate Democrats, and will be able to peel off moderate Republicans.
He’s polling well with pragmatic progressives, those who want political reform, but in a way that is legislatively and financially feasible.
His rise isn’t an accident. He’s proving he can line up a majority from all sorts of voters with differing opinions. He understands better than any other candidate how to build a successful coalition.
Now imagine him working with Congress. Imagine him with the G-7. Imagine him re-building our global alliances.
He’s gone from being on almost no one’s radar, to challenging seasoned veterans like Biden, Warren and Sanders – and in less than a year. That’s a kind of political intelligence that can’t be learned.
He’s a candidate that comes along once in a generation, maybe in a lifetime.