Meet the Candidates: Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg [“Boot-edge-edge”], Mayor of South Bend, Indiana: A Rhodes scholar, Harvard grad, and lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve, Buttigieg was elected as mayor of South Bend at age 29 in 2011, and re-elected with 80% of the vote in 2015. Named by Obama as a leader to look out for, Buttigieg is now consistently polling in fifth place, liked for both his emphasis on partisanship and direct commitment to progressive justice. If he makes it all the way to the White House, Buttigieg will be our nation’s first openly gay president.

Supreme Court: Buttigieg has a bold new idea for SCOTUS: expanding the justice count to 15, but requiring five of those seats be filled by rotating justices voted in unanimously by the others. As we wait to see the full impact of a Trump-packed Supreme Court on major issues like abortion and voter rights, this eye for partisanship and balance in our highest court is entirely unique.

Electoral College + Statehood: The electoral college is deeply flawed – in the last five elections, the popular vote for president has been overruled twice. Buttigieg wants to replace it with an actually democratic, national popular vote. He also plans to grant statehood to D.C. and Puerto Rico. Both moves would give significant, previously-denied representation to huge communities of people of color.

Healthcare: Buttigieg’s version of the big debate over Medicare For All is to make Medicare a public option available for purchase along side private insurance, thereby forcing the market to adjust to lower premiums and higher standards to stay competitive. He has also introduced a plan to target rural health, calling attention to the life-expectancy gap between rural and urban dwellers.

The Douglass Plan: An ambitious, wide-reaching policy introduced by Buttigieg, The Douglass Plan for Black Americans comprises a variety of political reforms and investments to target racial injustice and economically boost our nation’s Black communities. Highlights include a $25 billion investment in historically Black colleges, policy to triple the number of entrepreneurs from under-represented backgrounds, and using federal funding to increase police transparency.

Critics say… He’s too young, too untested and unprepared for a presidency, though Buttigieg thinks the office of mayor requires a similar type of executive leadership and complex multitasking. Many progressives believe his vision for college affordability is to conservative, leaving a crushing burden on graduates and continuing to bar many low-income teens from pursuing a degree. He has also been criticized for his handling of South Bend’s recent police brutality, a white officer shooting and killing a Black man, body-camera turned-off.

…and finally: Buttigieg served 7 months in Afghanistan, and stated on the debate stage that he would fully withdraw U.S. troops from there within the first year of his presidency…the most ambitious deadline as of yet from any candidate. Buttigieg is no stranger to ambition, and that is not a bad thing.

For more info on Pete Buttigieg’s issues, read up on his website!