Pete Buttigieg should keep his hands clean and gun for VP – Washington Examiner
Pete Buttigieg has made an impressive showing for a small-town mayor in a monstrous presidential race. He hauled in over $24 million for his campaign in the second quarter of 2019, more than any of his competitors during the same period.
Mayor Pete is currently in fifth place among the 2020 Democrats, polling at 5.3% according to the RealClearPolitics average. That’s a lot better than Beto O’Rourke or Cory Booker, but it’s also quite a ways behind even Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders. Truth be told, he’s not a big enough contender to win the White House in 2020.
But he is formidable enough to hang around for most of the race, and if he doesn’t make enemies out of the front-runners, he could be a very attractive pick for the vice presidency.
Buttigieg stands out from the Democratic crowd for being the only gay candidate, and the choice of Buttigieg for VP would allow the presidential nominee to play a unique diversity card. This could be a particularly skillful move if Warren or Harris is the nominee and the woman diversity card has already been played. Rght now, Warren and Harris’ stocks are both going up, while Biden and Sanders’ continue to go down. Hatred of Trump will already make the Democrats flock to the polls, but if they can vote for the first female president and the first gay vice president, the Democratic turnout could be unprecedented.
Additionally, if Buttigieg does become vice president, he will almost certainly be the front-runner for 2028 (win or lose reelection). Sanders and Biden will both be too old, and Warren and Harris will have either served as president already or blown their chance in a failed 2020 campaign.
Now, should Democratic voter support depend upon sexual orientation rather than policy ideas? Of course not. But the reality is that much of the Democratic base thinks this way. If Buttigieg is smart, he’ll show some restraint, keep his hands clean with respect to overly vicious attacks on his opponents, and behind the scenes seek the vice presidency in 2020.