Tag Archives: Pete Buttigieg

There go the early votes

Pete Buttigieg’s sudden, but not surprising, withdrawal from the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primary race illustrates brightly the hazard of casting one’s vote early.

Texans have been casting early-vote ballots. The final day was Friday. Super Tuesday occurs in two days. Buttigieg remains on the ballot. He has suspended his campaign.

He no doubt will get a lot of votes when the ballots are counted Tuesday night. However, it just goes to show what many of us have said all along, which is that casting one’s votes early exposes us to last-minute surprises involving the candidate of our choice.

To be candid, I haven’t addressed specifically the notion of dropping out as one of those surprises; my concerns usually have centered on candidates’ behavior that sullies one’s vote for them.

I suppose, though, that my own decision to wait until Election Day to cast my ballot allows me to vote for candidates who are still in the hunt for the nation’s highest public office.

Rising star flames out

There once was a time when I thought sincerely that Democrats needed a fresh face, another Jimmy Carter-type to jump out of the weeds to capture the nation’s imagination. Then he or she could wrestle the presidency away from the most unqualified man ever to hold the office.

Pete Buttigieg kinda fit the bill.

Now, though, he has flamed out. The former South Bend, Ind., mayor has suspended his campaign for the presidency.

He leaves another center-left lane open to others on which to travel. It might be tailor-made for Joe Biden to gather up Mayor Pete supporters for his own political bandwagon.

Why didn’t Buttigieg catch fire? Hmm. Well, my sense is that this incredibly bright young man — Harvard and Oxford grad, Navy intelligence officer who saw duty in Afghanistan, multilingual — simply didn’t have a defining message.

He spoke for months about governing in a way that would “do things in a new way.” I found myself asking: What things do you want to do and in what way do you intend to do them?

Now he’s stepping aside, leaving the field to others with a far more realistic chance of being nominated.

At some level I am saddened that Buttigieg couldn’t catch fire. He did score a bit of a victory only in that he is an openly gay man who managed to gather up some delegates to the party’s nominating convention. Hey, that is no small feat! But he said he didn’t want to defined only by his sexuality.

Indeed, Pete Buttigieg has much to offer. The good news, though, is that time is on his side. I’m betting Mayor Pete will be back.

Mayor Pete lacks ‘experience’? Please …

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

I am giggling at home as I read about how Democratic Party presidential candidates aredinging Pete Buttigieg over an alleged “lack of experience” to become president of the United States.

Former Vice President Joe Biden makes an issue of it. So does U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Same with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Hey, I have three words for them: Donald John Trump.

Allow me to be crystal clear on this point: I am not saying that Donald Trump’s absolute absence of any public service experience has served the country well. It hasn’t. He is a disastrous excuse for a president, a commander in chief, the leader of the world’s most indispensable nation.

I just want to caution those who contend that Pete Buttigieg isn’t equipped to run the federal government’s executive branch.

Donald Trump got elected in 2016 despite lacking even a lick of experience. Buttigieg, the former South Bend, Ind., mayor, looks to me like a seasoned government hand compared to what Trump offered voters.

Does he have the chops of many of his rivals, such as the U.S. senators against whom he is running, or the former vice president (who also served for 36 years in the Senate)? No.

Remember, though, what has become something of a mantra about the current president, which is that if Donald Trump can be elected to the nation’s highest office, well … then anyone can get elected!

Democrats belong to the ‘inclusive’ political party, right? Well …

The Iowa caucus SNAFU is enough of a nightmare for the Democratic Party, given the app malfunction that has delayed final results from the caucuses across the state.

Then comes this tidbit that seems to shoot a hole in the notion that the Democratic Party is more a, um, inclusive major political organization.

It seems that a caucus-goer wanted to take back her vote for former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg when she learned that Mayor Pete is gay.

I guess she was unhappy hearing the news, allegedly for the first time. Now, I say “allegedly” because Buttigieg is openly gay. He is married to a fellow who’s shown up on campaign stages with the Democratic Party candidate from time to time.

Buttigieg doesn’t use his sexual orientation as a major campaign theme. He discusses other issues, such as, you know … climate change, ethics in government, war and peace, taxation, infrastructure improvement. These are issues that matter to all Americans.

The Iowa caucus-goer, though, sought to take her vote back because, I am going to presume, that she no longer thinks Mayor Pete is qualified to be president of the United States. Why? Because he is gay! That’s it.

My late mother had a saying that seems to fit this individual to the letter. Mom would say that someone is “so narrow-minded he could look through a keyhole … with both eyes.”

Painful to acknowledge … but ex-VP Biden likely is finished

It hurts to say what I am about to say, but here goes.

As much as I like and admire Joseph R. Biden Jr., I am concluding that his time has past and that he is not the right man at this time to become the next president of the United States.

The former vice president remains the frontrunner for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. To be honest, I do not yet know how I will vote when the Democratic primary parade rolls into Texas in the spring. Biden’s presence on the ballot likely will complicate my choice.

I have become afflicted with a bit of “joint candidate appearance fatigue,” which means I did not watch the latest one Wednesday night. I have heard about Joe Biden’s latest gaffe, when he said he has earned the endorsement of the “only” African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate; he was referring, I presume, to former Sen. Carol Mosely-Braun … but she isn’t the only one elected. The other African-American female senator stood on the podium along with Biden; her name is Kamala Harris.

This kind of stumble-bum rhetoric is grating on me. I don’t doubt Biden’s mental acuity. I believe he remains intellectually intact. I also believe he gets too worked up, too excited, wound too tightly to offer measured and reasonable pronouncements at all times.

I believe Democrats should nominate someone on what I would describe as the center-left portion of the spectrum. That would be Biden. Except that he keeps tripping over his own tongue. I do not want that in the next president.

I once posited that Democrats need to look for a newcomer, someone who jumps out of the tall grass, someone no one had heard of before the start of the current election cycle. That someone also should stand toward the center, but lean a bit left.

The individual who seems to fit that bill is Pete Buttigieg. He is intellectually sharp; he is a political moderate; he has executive experience as the mayor of a smallish American city; he is veteran who has served in a war zone.

I don’t want a flaming lefty. I don’t want a socialist, or a “democratic socialist” or someone who is trying to make some sort of a statement to be nominated and then elected. Nor do I want yet another billionaire business mogul.

We have a long road to travel. There will be plenty of twists, turns perhaps even a crackup or two along the way.

Perhaps the former veep can pull it together. However, the seeds of doubt are beginning to sprout.

Trump wasn’t kidding, apparently, about strength of his support

Many of us rolled our eyes in disbelief when Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump said he could “shoot someone on Fifth Avenue” and not lose any votes.

Sure, some Americans applauded. They laughed. They cheered. Others of us were, um, appalled.

Then the candidate got elected. Now the boast doesn’t seem quite so farfetched, given the strength of the president’s firewall in Congress against the amazing array of examples of his utter lack of character, his lack of decency, his disregard for the law, his ignorance of the U.S. Constitution.

Trump’s political base remains wedded to him at some level approaching 40 percent. They give him a pass as he tells Congress to stick where the sun doesn’t shine in search of answers to serious questions about whether the president obstructed justice. They stand and cheer this clown as he hurls juvenile insults at his foes.

They have shrugged as he called the late John McCain a “war hero only because he was captured” by the enemy during the Vietnam War; they laughed as he mocked a New York Times reporter’s physical disability; they didn’t care that he acknowledged groping women; the base didn’t flinch while he denigrated U.S. intelligence analysts’ view that Russians interfered in our 2016 election; they didn’t mind when he attached moral equivalence between Klansmen and Nazis to those who protested against them.

I could go on. You get my drift.

What was seen and heard as a preposterous assertion on the campaign trail no longer can be dismissed. Donald Trump rode that solid base of support to a victory no one saw coming. He is relying on that base now as he campaigns for re-election.

He has endorsed a hideous Twitter message that slanders House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, suggesting she is a drunk.

The base doesn’t care!

One of the many Democrats running for president this time, Pete Buttigieg, recently lamented how Republicans used to care about “character.” They no longer care about that.

They stand foursquare behind a president who lacks character at every level one can imagine.

Utterly amazing.

Mayor Pete takes it straight to POTUS

Pete Buttigieg is stepping it up while touting his military, executive government and public service experience.

Consider what he said during a recent interview about Donald J. Trump’s “bone spur” medical deferment during the Vietnam War.

Buttigieg is one of more than 20 candidates running for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination. He said Trump used his family’s wealth and privilege to concoct the bone spur deferment that kept him out of the military during the height of that war.

“If he were a conscientious objector, I’d admire that,” Buttigieg said. “But this is somebody who, I think it’s fairly obvious to most of us, took advantage of the fact that he was the child of a multi-millionaire in order to pretend to be disabled so that somebody could go to war in his place.”

You go, Mayor Pete!

Indeed, Trump has managed — according to congressional testimony given by Michael Cohen, his former lawyer/friend/fixer — to insult millions of Americans who did serve in Vietnam. Cohen told the House Oversight Committee that Trump said, “Do you think I’m stupid? I wasn’t going to Vietnam.” Trump was trying at the time to hide the details of those medical deferments from the public.

So, only “stupid” Americans went to war in Vietnam? Is that what he said? Well, thank you very much, Mr. President. Call me “stupid.”

Buttigieg did volunteer for service in the Navy and did serve in Afghanistan. So, he does have more military experience than Trump. He also has said he has more military experience than any president since the late George H.W. Bush.

It remains an open question, of course, whether any of this will resonate with voters, who knew about Trump’s dubious deferment when he ran for president in 2016.

Still, I stand with Mayor Pete Buttigieg on this matter, that Trump used — and abused — his standing as a child of privilege when others of his generation found a way to thrust themselves into harm’s way.

What Bible is Franklin Graham reading?

The Rev. Franklin Graham inherited the mantle of his late, great father, the Rev. Billy Graham, in preaching biblical doctrine as pitched initially by Jesus Christ.

I do not deny Franklin Graham’s influence on the nation’s evangelical movement. However, I have to wonder which version of the Holy Bible empowers him to say:

That a Democratic candidate for president, Pete Buttigieg, should “repent” for his “sin” of being gay, and that it’s OK to throw his support behind Donald Trump, who has cheated on all three of his wives and who has acknowledged that his celebrity status enables him to grab women by their pu***.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Franklin Graham in 2000 when he came to Amarillo for a series of “crusades” at Dick Bivins Stadium. He came across as a pleasant man and we had a cordial visit. I recall asking him about his political activism and he spoke forthrightly about his support for politicians who espouse their Christian faith.

However, the man’s support of Donald Trump continues to perplex me. He looks past this president’s lengthy life prior to becoming a politician, a life that has included an endless array of behavior, conduct and lifestyle that spits in the face of the holy figure he purports to worship.

Juxtaposed with that we hear Rev. Graham suggest that “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg must repent because he is an openly gay man who also happens to be faithful to his husband. Graham recently cited the Old Testament passage that calls for gays to be put to death, for crying out loud. He also did not mention that Jesus called on us to love everyone unconditionally.

Buttigieg’s presidential campaign has caught fire in recent weeks. He has emerged from a no-name, unknown Midwest mayor to become a legitimate contender for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Many conservatives, though, are focusing on his sexual orientation.

Franklin Graham is one of them.

Perhaps this matter illustrates one of the beauties — or curses, if you choose to call it that — of the Bible. We are free to interpret it any way we wish. We can take certain passages and mold them to suit our own bias.

I choose to draw a different interpretation from the Bible that Franklin Graham and I both read.

As for his support of the serial liar, philanderer, pu*** grabber Donald Trump . . . well, that’s his call. It doesn’t make sense to me.

Pence vs. Mayor Pete: It’s getting personal

Here we go . . .

The presidential candidacy of an openly gay Midwest medium-sized city mayor is starting to get ugly.

Pete Buttigieg is among the seemingly dozens of Democrats running for president. He has drawn the attention of a fellow Hoosier, Vice President Mike Pence.

Buttigieg has responded to statements that Pence allegedly has made about the mayor’s sexual “preference” by suggesting that the VP’s quarrel shouldn’t be with Buttigieg, but with his “creator.”

I am undecided about who among the Democrats I want to succeed Donald Trump. Buttigieg, though, has gotten my attention of late. He is an interesting young man with a wealth of life experience that needs to be examined.

Feud escalates

I want to point out that he is a Navy veteran. He served honorably while deployed to war zones in the Middle East.

He came out as gay only in 2015. Pence, who was Indiana governor at the time, said that Buttigieg — the mayor of South Bend, Ind. — is a “dedicated public servant and a patriot.”

Now, though, he has taken another view of Buttigieg, I guess.

Buttigieg is emerging from the field of Democrats as a potential contender for the party’s nomination. My hunch is that the vice president won’t be quite so magnanimous when discussing Mayor Pete in the future.

For his part, Buttigieg is pushing back hard on evangelicals’ support of Trump, someone who Buttigieg believes is the very antithesis of the kind of individual who should appeal to strong Christian believers. He says the “hypocrisy is unbelievable,” and adds that Trump’s behavior “is not consistent with anything I hear in scripture in church.”

I once commented on this blog that my preference would be for Democrats to look hard at someone who came out of nowhere, perhaps in the mold of Jimmy Carter. It might be that Pete Buttigieg is that individual.

Time will tell.

Hey, what about Pence and that religion matter?

Pete Buttigieg is running for president of the United States. Yep, he’s one of the hundreds of Democrats seeking to defeat Donald Trump in 2020.

Who is this young man? He’s the mayor of South Bend, Ind.; he calls himself a progressive; he’s openly gay.

He also wants to know a thing or two about Vice President Mike Pence, a fellow Hoosier who once was governor of Indiana.

Buttigieg acknowledges the vice president’s devout Christian beliefs and wonders how the VP can serve with what he calls a “porn star president.”

You know, that’s a good question. It’s one that I’ve rolled around in my noggin ever since Pence agreed to be Trump’s running mate in 2016.

The two of them comprise one of the more unlikely political tandems in recent history. I don’t doubt Pence’s religious sincerity. He has a policy of avoiding being in the same room with women other than his wife, Karen, without at least one other person present. He is the straightest arrow in the quiver.

Yet he serves with a president who, shall we say, is damn near the polar opposite. Oh, sure, Trump panders to the evangelical movement, but really . . .

Does he walk the walk of a man of deep faith? C’mon. Let’s be real. You’ve seen and heard how he comports himself in public. You’ve heard the language he uses. You all know about his acknowledged infidelity with two of his three wives; and, yes, we have credible allegations of the same conduct involving wife No. 3, the first lady of the United States.

Buttigieg wondered recently, according to CNN: “How would he allow himself to become the cheerleader for the porn star presidency? Is it that he stopped believing in scripture when he started believing Donald Trump?” Buttigieg said. “I don’t know. I don’t know.”

I’ll repeat: I don’t doubt Pence’s devotion to his faith.

However, it is fair to ask out loud about the vice president: How do you square your straitlaced reputation with that of a man who demonstrates constantly the amorality of someone with zero spiritual grounding?

Therein might lie a flashpoint as this 2020 campaign season reaches warp speed.