Why is Pete Buttigeig running for president? It seems so blatantly cynical and self-serving.
My theory is that Pete Buttigieg is running for president to collect as many supporters as possible, stick around way too long, then drop out and endorse the most right-wing candidate left, to funnel his supporters into that campaign.
Why do I think this?
For one, Buttigeig did the same thing in the DNC chair election. He ran as a longshot centrist, between Keith Ellison, the left-wing candidate, and Tom Perez, the right-wing candidate. Buttigeig dropped out later than he should have, long after he had any chance of winning, and then most of his supporters became funneled into the Perez support base, giving Perez the win.
Buttigeig has demonstrated a similar level of strategical, political maneuvering in the presidential primary. The DNC chair election was a trial run for his primary run, testing out techniques ahead of time.
I think Buttigeig was chosen by the Democratic Party, or some political organ within the party, to do this long ago. Of course, every candidate running for president spends months, even years, preparing for it. But Buttigeig seems specifically chosen to receive extra help from the Powers That Be. This help would be necessary considering how much he’s a small-town mayor who has been thrusted into our face.
I think Buttigeig was chosen because he’s someone who old Democratic boomers think millenials would want to support. They’re like “wow, he’s gay! The younger folks will love that!”. They’re also like “wow, he seems like a Parks and Rec character come to life, that show was popular in the Obama era!”
Just to be clear, I don’t want to reduce him to being gay, or being a twee sitcom mayor, but political operatives zoomed in on these things for marketing purposes.
Even more than using him as a prop for identity politic pandering, he’s proven himself to be the quintessential suck-up to power, a willing fall guy, and someone who’s obsessed with getting pats on the back from the elite.
Buttigeig went to Harvard, and after graduating, THEN joined the Navy to fight in Afghanistan. How badly do you want to impress the world’s elite to go to Harvard, and then go into the military? That’s pretty bleak dude.
Not only does Buttigeig have a record of dragging elections rightward, and he is getting some type of help from Democratic operatives, and he’s obviously a kiss-ass, he’s also just deceptive as hell in a regular political sense.
The most obvious example is his position on Medicare for All. In February 2018, Buttigeig tweeted, ambiguously suggesting he’s in favor of Medicare for All (but not explicitly saying it):
Buttigeig was doing interviews around the time of this, where he defended and argued for Medicare for All. However, by early 2019, Buttigeig was already backtracking, saying he’d only support Medicare for All if it preserved private insurance (then it wouldn’t be Medicare for All), and by the middle of 2019, Buttigeig was the most vocal critic of Medicare for All on the primary debate stage.
By this point, Buttigeig’s intention became clear: he co-opted some elements of the left, gained momentum as an “outsider” choice who was also liked by the “insiders”. Once he established a supporter base on those grounds, he then did his best to wrangle them rightward.
Then, once the debate started, he was clearly working from a strategical ground. His strategy was to go after Elizabeth Warren and make her look bad from a right-wing perspective.
The only reason he targeted Warren is he already felt assured that Bernie Sanders isn’t going to make it. If it wasn’t for that, and Sanders was regularly polling higher, Buttigeig certainly would have targeted him instead. Buttigeig was designated the attack dog of the establishment, and the establishment determined Warren their current biggest threat.
Buttigeig is there to do one of these things: if everyone drops out but Sanders and Warren, he’ll drop out and try to funnel supporters to Warren. If everyone drops out but Sanders, Warren, and Biden, he’ll funnel supporters to Biden.
He will stay in the race too long, and it will inevitably help the most right-wing candidate left.