At the risk of undermining his appeal to the liberal Democratic primary electorate, it is hard not to appreciate what Pete Buttegieg has brought to the 2020 presidential race.
The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Buttegieg does not hold an office that traditionally serves as a springboard to the presidency. But then, neither did the current president. Buttegieg is thoughtful, even intellectual. He’s a Rhodes scholar, attended the University of Oxford, served his country in the Navy and was deployed to Afghanistan, and worked in the private sector before returning to his hometown where he took up politics. He’s a married gay man, but he has steadfastly refused to become mired in the Democrats’ woke-off, and he’s managed to avoid engaging with his fellow presidential candidates in the culture war’s unwinnable arms race.