The numbers in Iowa are shifting fast. The days where it was “the frontrunners… and Pete Buttigieg” are over.
Are we about to have another Obama moment?
There are only three months to go until the Iowa caucuses (mark FEBRUARY 3rd on your calendars, folks!). The last big, high-profile push by Democratic candidates in the state happened last Friday at The Liberty and Justice Celebration Dinner. And the biggest draw of the night was Pete Buttigieg.
NBC News reported that Pete Buttigieg had the largest crowd of supporters, filling over 12 sections at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines (shout-outs to all the Buttigieg “barnstormers” including my friends, Constance, Bill, Brenda, and Mary, who made the long journey to stand loud and proud for Pete).
Buttigieg was sharp as a tack, with a speech that met with the loudest reactions of the night. He was as eloquent and focused as we’ve all come to expect from the country’s most illustrious mayor.
There was no mistaking Pete’s comparing himself to another former unknown who went on to win the White House: “The first time I came to this state was as a volunteer, to knock on doors for a presidential candidate—a young man with a funny name.” The connections aren’t hard to see: 2008’s Barack Obama and 2019’s Pete Buttigieg are both, for the most part, Washington outsiders. They stand on a firm platform of generational change. They’re both a thinking person’s politician, with policy ideas that are progressive without being reckless, all-inclusive without being elitist.
Buttigieg continues to hammer home his centrist political path, which has begun eroding the support of 76-year-old former front runner Joe Biden, while re-assuring voters who fear Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are too far left on some issues, most notably health care.
“I am ready to gather up an American majority that is hungry for change… a majority ready to deliver the most progressive reform to healthcare in fifty years: Medicare for all who want it, honoring your decision over whether and when you want it,” Buttigieg proclaimed to loud cheering.
Pete Buttigieg has, in less than a year, gone from a man with a last name no one could pronounce to a near statistical-tie for the lead in Iowa against two sitting Senators and a former Vice-President.
The voters in the Hawkeye State are about to make clear to the country what Pete Buttigieg supporters already know: there is a whip-smart, grounded Midwest candidate ready to lead this country back to the sensible, moral and effective leadership it’s sorely lacked these last three years.