The Unlikely Presidential Candidate Everyone Adores (And It’s Not Beto)
The Democratic field for the 2020 presidential nomination is crowded. We all know that. And yet, in recent weeks, one of the lesser-known candidates has captured the hearts of potential voters (and non-Americans like yours truly).
Pete Buttigieg, affectionately known as “Mayor Pete”, is the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana; a town of 100,000 people. He’s a Rhodes Scholar who recently admitted he learned Norwegian because he wanted to read the work of Norwegian novelist Erlend Loe in the original language, and he’s a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. He’s also married to a beautiful man named Chasten. In other words, he’s the long-shot contender who, if elected, would become the United States youngest ever president and the first openly-gay man to occupy the Oval Office.
When Mayor Pete first announced his candidacy in January a lot of people asked “What’s the rush? You’re only 37? Why not wait?”. But his age is actually a large part of why he’s running: Pete belongs to the school-shooting generation – he was in high school when the Columbine Massacre happened. He belongs to the generation that provided most of the troops in the aftermath of 9/11. He belongs to the generation that will suffer the worst consequences of climate change. And, if nothing changes economically, he’ll belong to the first generation ever to make less money than their parents. No one has more at stake right now than us. And that “us” includes Mayor Pete. He believes that the needs of the Oval Office and of the country need to met now. So why not have someone in the top position who views the current condition of the country as a personal issue, rather than “someone else’s problem”?
While the public is slowly but surely falling in love with Mayor Pete (he recently surpassed 65,000 donors which makes him eligible for the June Democratic Committee debates), they’re also falling for his husband, Chasten. One hour before this article went live Chasten tweeted: “Do you ever just sit in the garage and let the sad Taylor Swift song finish before going into your house? Even when you’re not sad. Just, like, because?” CHASTEN I LITERALLY DO. He also writes Pinterest-worthy tweets about life, love and sexuality, “Your time in the closet and your journey to coming out belong to you. You are not required to open healed wounds or write lengthy threads in order to explain your worth to others who aren’t willing to see it themselves. You matter first.” Just imagine him as the First Man of the United States (!!). And if you’re thinking, okay this is all super cute Mads, but how the hell do you pronounce their last name. It’s pronounced “Boot-a-judge”, or my personal favourite, “Buddha-judge”.
Sure it’s crazy, in a lot of ways, that a 37-year-old gay guy who is currently the major of a city with only 100,000 residents thinks he should be the leader of the Free World, but isn’t it kind of crazy for anyone to think they should be the leader of the Free World? When asked by a reporter if he thinks the country is ready for it’s first openly-gay president, Pete responded, “Well, there’s only one way to find out.”