‘You Can’t Fake Those Kind of Skills’: Pete Buttigieg’s Charisma Test

The millennial former mayor of a midsize city has far surpassed expectations in the 2020 race. He doesn’t get fired up. Can he fire up people in Iowa?

Comments: 220

  1. I appreciate the candidate bio's. They seem accurate and insightful. But I'm not interested in how Democratic candidates fare with Democratic voters. Please show us situations where Pete (or whoever) won over skeptical independents or Republicans -- or at least show them eliciting strong interest in the under-voting populations of swing states. Show us the difference that will make a difference.

  2. @Me We will know soon when Iowa votes. I hear he has strong support in rural and Obama-Trump counties.

  3. @Me I think that’s Pete’s strategy often commenting on coming from the heartland. As I am from east coast, I’m tired of being depicted as less American. But after the last election, I fully understand that it doesn’t matter how many millions more coasters vote for the eventual nominee if he/she can’t get the red/swing states. He’s very cerebral. I’m sure he has a plan.

  4. @Me On-line, there are a number of stories and testimonials of individual republicans switching registration to vote for Buttigieg, including more than one interview by different reporters of persons who say they switched parties and that they will caucus for Pete. This is anecdotal evidence only, but until the voting starts, that's all that's available. I know that there are a lot of people on twitter who say they switched to vote for him. I don't know if people say that about the other candidates too, however, because I don't really follow them.

  5. Former mayor Pete is polling around 1% with blacks. ““He says the right things. He sounds great,” said Maggie Murphy, a college student, after seeing him in Manchester, N.H. “I don’t think he’s a very genuine candidate.” She raised concerns about his record on race relations in South Bend.” Via: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/27/us/politics/pete-buttigieg-south-bend-police.html “Pete Buttigieg and the South Bend Police” Mr. Buttigieg fired Darryl Boykins, the police chief he inherited, after learning of allegations that Mr. Boykins had improperly recorded phone calls made by his white subordinates who were said to have used racist language about him.

  6. @steve That is not quite correct. First, Buttigieg reinstated Boykins when he took over as mayor from his predecessor. Then, after learning from the FBI that the chief of police was being investigated for illegal wiretapping, he demoted him.

  7. @steve Polls show Biden with 48% of the Black vote. Sanders is at about 20%. This leaves only 32% and 9 other candidates. None of them are doing particularly well with this demographic. Why people pick on Buttigieg for this but not Warren, Yang, Klubuchar, etc. is a little confusing. None of them are registering with this demographic. An honest analysis of these poll numbers would indicate that the black vote seems to favor longer term politicians. I don't know if this is driven by experience or name recognition or preference for older candidates. But the candidates who are either younger or newer to national politics are barely registering.

  8. @SJG the latest YouGov poll (January 26-28) shows Pete with 27% & 11%, respectively, very or somewhat favorable among Black voters, with 40% not knowing.

  9. Pete is one of the few candidates I can truly see winning the election if he gets the nomination. I’m young, so this is my first time really following the election cycle from the beginning. I’ve never believed in and supported a candidate the way I do with Pete.

  10. @Mandy Feuerman don’t just a pretty book by its cover. Pete is just a republican lite “Democrat”

  11. @Mandy Feuerman I agree with you completely. Pete would win if he could be nominated. Unfortunately, our nomination process is skewed to nominate the person with the loudest voice, not the best mind.

  12. @Dom Pete is just a republican lite “Democrat” This is a bizarre comment. Pete's platform is in the mainstream of what liberal Democrats have wanted for years. By contrast, there is no Republican proposing public health insurance available to anyone who wants it. There is no Republican offering to invest $50 billion in HBCUs. there is no Republican offering t make college free for 80% of America and subsidized for another 10%. And we could go on and on. Why don't you identify a Republican for us who is proposing what Pete is proposing?

  13. As a millennial voter I see through the potentially awkward outward aspects of Buttigieg's presentation and focus on the substance. He's pragmatic, even-keeled, and thoughtful in his views. He seems to innately understand that politics requires compromise. This is what I want my generation to stand for, and by coincidence these are the qualities that stand as a clear and resounding rebuke of Trump's crude thoughtlessness, what some of Trump's supporters see as "authentic."

  14. @Anson Baer I concur.... and am a child of the early 1960's. Pete gives me hope! I believe he can unite the party and lead us out of these terribly dark days.

  15. He’s passed the test with this voter. I and many of the folks I’ve canvassed here in OH are “fired up” and ready for him to WIN.

  16. I wasn't taken aback, but I was surprised that Pete was my ideal candidate when I took the NYT candidate test a couple of days ago. The more I learn about him the more I like him. He would be wonderful after 4 years of the current criminal infesting the White House! As a cusp-Boomer, I don't understand why more people in his generation don't support him. I suppose they're starry-eyed about the progressives. I'm old enough to know that the farther left candidates won't be able to deliver on their promises. Ain't gonna happen.

  17. Actually, the “far left” of the current Democratic party, Sanders included, is pretty much in line with mainstream Republican economic policy—including taxation—of 50 years ago. (Nixon would be laughed out of the modern GOP—price freezes!). As for the left never getting things done, the opposite is much closer to the truth. Our country still functions—somewhat—thanks to “socialist” initiatives. Reagan and his Republican acolytes began the systematic bankrupting of the nation & impoverishment of our citizens. Since Reagan, business has always boomed under Democratic administrations and slumped with Republicans in charge. To say nothing of us who are not in business...

  18. I really appreciate his calm. He seems unflappable.

  19. @Active Germ-line Replicator I like it that he's not fueled by anger.

  20. I’m a Buttigieg supporter, and I always find it very interesting that folks find him awkward or not warm. I could listen to him all day and think he’s charming. He appeals to my head and my heart. What might be true is that he’s reserved, not an extrovert. Maybe that’s what people are inferring. Personally, after 3 years of Trump I’m ready for someone who doesn’t need other people to stoke his ego.

  21. @Carol Buttigieg is not a pop culture and reality-TV personality if NYT meant by "He doesn't get fired up" He could be a person who would gain the RESPECT and trust back from the world that the US has lost. Like classical music vs pop music, it may take time to be fully appreciated.

  22. Pete is the best candidate running. I supported him and sent him money for a long time until his campaign turned me off by refusing to answer emails that didn't involve contributions. I met him. He is everything he claims to be and more. And he will not be the nominee. Biden is a slow moving train wreck. I cringe when I watch him in action. Mike Bloomberg is the only one who can beat Trump and get this country back on track. We all need to unite behind him if we want to get rid of Trump.

  23. @Simon Sez vote your heart, not your fears.

  24. @Simon Sez Respectfully, I believe the last thing we need is another out-of-touch billionaire in the White House.

  25. I wonder if coverage has the race all wrong. Perhaps the question that should be asked, as one commentator implied about how independents and republicans are won over, who does the candidate upset? turn-off? alienate? Because in the era of Trump, everyone shouting 'look at me' turns off at least half of the populace. As the article implies, Pete is more soothing--and is the total ANTI-Trump in every way.

  26. You are so right and I made the same point about Pete yesterday after taking the quiz to be matched to a candidate. He was one of my two top results and I wrote that at this point in the campaign, he has done the least to turn me off of any Democratic candidate. I can think of cringe moments and missteps and flaws from every other candidate. But not Pete.

  27. Many think Pete is inauthentic. I think of him as totally prepared. As he grows in maturity, he'll also grow into being a bit more spontaneous, which most asymmetrically assume to mean genuine. I think he genuinely cares about people and on improving himself. He's certainly one of the smartest folks in the room. I'll take brains any day, in any way, shape or form, for we are now in perilously short supply in the Executive Branch.

  28. @Mark This is SUCH a great comment. Thank you. I'm always irritated when journalists call him scripted; if prepared means scripted, I'll take it.

  29. If he is on the ticket every evangelical nutcase will come out of the woodwork to vote for Trump! Pete would be a disaster as a candidate for POTUS

  30. @Rit you think Evangelical nutcases aren’t going to come out for Trump regardless of who's opposing him?

  31. He is the only candidate can get evangelical vote. His faith is very important to him

  32. They were already going to vote for Trump. No loss.

  33. Who is it at the The Times who has such a prejudicial hatred of Pete Buittigieg? He is a flawed candidate, as are all candidates, but The Times is proactively working to undermine his candidacy. Multiple articles focusing on his negatives, with no similar attacks on other Democratic hopefuls. What is it about him that you are so eager to tear him down? Any journalistic integrity that the "paper of record" once claimed has been abandoned in recent months. You break my heart a thousand ways.

  34. I've noticed this too. Very disappointimg.

  35. @Guy William Molnar I agree. The bullying "Mayo Pete" line of questioning when Buttigieg interviewed with the Editorial Board wouldn't be tolerated at a job interview, and it showed a mean-spirited lack of objectivity that seemed weirdly personal.

  36. @Guy William Molnar Agreed. I'm glad to see someone else mention this because it's been bugging me for months.

  37. I know that tastes differ and obviously this reporter doesn't care for Pete Buttigieg's political style. Yet right this minute, the campaign is putting everything into making him as present as possible in as many Iowa town halls as they can, because talking to him in person is so important. That sounds like many voters feel differently about his personal appeal. To me, his appealing traits are brilliance, optimism, honesty, superb communication skills, and most important, an off-the-charts level of listening. When he's seeking the person asking a question (as described here), it's because he wants to lock eyes with them as he hears every word of their question, often checking in with them on details to make sure he's understood it. People who talk to him individually in a big get-together always say they feel as though it's just the two of them in the room, and there are a million anecdotes showing how he later thinks about what was said, incorporates it into what he says or does, and sometimes even follows up, meeting them again, adding them to speeches, and so on. He's also particularly good with teenagers and kids, which is appealing. Listening may not be the most obvious form of political connection -- it's not like Bill Clinton's expressiveness -- but surely anyone who's ever been on a date knows that it is by far the most powerful communication skill. Maybe this isn't about the head or the heart, as the reporter writes, but about the brain and the ears.

  38. @Fairfax Voter not to mention when dogs and kids like you that’s a good sign. They love Pete. Compare to what is there now...

  39. Buttigieg has passed the test with me and many of the voters I’ve canvassed here in Ohio. We’re “fired up” and ready for him to win! Sound policies, a clear vision, and a strong intellect are the things voters like about Buttigieg. He’s exactly the no-drama leader we need.

  40. "The millennial former mayor of a midsize city has far surpassed expectations in the 2020 race" He hasn't surpassed my expectations, he's met them. I heard a podcast interview with him last spring and immediately bet my good friend $100 he was going to be the nominee. My friend thought I was crazy back then. Now, not so much.

  41. @Jennifer Invest with Pete. Right ON.

  42. Voters may recall how disastrous it’s been to choose a president based on the characteristics highlighted in this article, neatly summed up by whether you’d like to have a beer with the candidate (George W. Bush, anyone?). I don’t want or expect a candidate to be anything other than their genuine selves; in that regard Mayor Pete is unimpeachable. He’s more capable, in my view, than any other candidate to lead this country forward with intelligence, honesty, and a unifying vision of a country that actually stands for worthy ideals.

  43. @Sean Meehan Except you have nothing but his, and his media's words to judge him capable, and there is plenty of money and silence there to cover up that he is someone's puppet.

  44. @Bruce Pete was was named Mayor of the Year in 2013. His accomplishments as a mayor are summarized in wikipeteia.com

  45. Pete is my candidate. I've never encountered a candidate I like and respect at the same time as much as I do Pete Buttigieg. He is the exact antidote to the criminal level of intentional chaos and noise we have now. His level of calmness is not practiced, it comes from deeply thinking over issues. As a mayor, Pete has to get things done. Why? because he lives alongside his constituents, facing them every day. If Murkowski, Alexander, Gardner and McSally had to do the same, our current president would be convicted and removed from office. Pete is the answer.

  46. @Gary The question is, who is nowhere near ready to be President of the United States.

  47. @Gary He takes big money which exacerbates the already oligarchical way our government works. We don't need wine caves, we need working class representation.

  48. @Jeffrey K He does NOT take "big money". Contributions are limited at $2,800. He has over 700,000 individual donors.

  49. I support and will vote for Pete. It’s time for a new generation of capable, competent, high achieving leadership. It’s time for the 70-80/year old boomers to step aside.

  50. @Brad For real! That's why we shouldn't pick a candidate with little youth support like Pete.

  51. Um, the oldest Boomers are 74.

  52. @Brad This is ageism! We should pick candidates based on their ideas, not their age. Pete's ideas have failed for years, let's try some new ones!

  53. I’m quite ready for this plastic candidate to vanish.

  54. Strangely, this article seems to only be a perpetuation of the peculiar bias the Times seems to have leveled against Mayor Pete. In addition to publishing largely baseless claims about his brief McKinsey tenure (not to mention an exceptionally aggressive candidate interview when many of the others were distinguished only by softballs lobbed), this article reads like an ad hominem attack of his character. The article is loaded with softly-framed insults to his personality, character, and moral integrity; it's not fact-based reporting and represents a variety of cherry-picked opinions to paint an unpleasant image of a candidate who by all accounts, distinguishes himself with his genuine, midwestern decency in the face of partisanship and hyperbole. While I still see value in the reporting the Times provides, I'm concerned when the paper has nothing better to do than publish long articles comparing front-runner candidates to cacti. There are plenty of sensationalist articles to be written about the other candidates, and yet pieces like this seem to be a near-daily event. This is unworthy of the Times. There are plenty of credible critiques to make of the candidate's platform, but this isn't one of them.

  55. @Paul W I am so glad I am not the only person who thinks this way. Their bias is appalling.

  56. @Jen the video of that consulting “question” asked by that smug reporter who knows full well he was wrong about his accusation was appalling. And that the reporter/editor then tweeted it because he was proud of that moment....ugh. I have been a subscriber a long time and nearly cancelled that day.

  57. This is the most ridiculous article I've read. What was the point other than to rehash the obvious.

  58. Constantly you pick at Pete. I’m not sure why. And you always bring it back to racial support. Give him some time to build momentum. But one week it’s his black problem, one week you focus on his big donors, one week his age, and today his charisma. Plus we saw your TV reality show on endorsements. Not a lot of charismatic folks on that NYT editorial board I must say. But I still read them daily. Despite this. Please give him a fair shake and honest break. If he errs, go after him. But the pop-psychology profiles of Pete are just so boring and beneath you.

  59. Wake up, Democrats. The natural succeeder of Barack Obama is staring you in the face, and it isn't Biden, Sanders or Warren.

  60. @Virginia As much as I love Pete Buttigieg, I really think Amy Klobuchar is that person you speak of. Pete just needs a few more years and some national political experience and he'll be perfect!

  61. @Minx Amy is not it. Even NYT said she has no charisma. She also has a actual black problem. Did you know the state NAACP in Minnesota is calling for her to drop out of the race ? Look it up.

  62. Pete Buttigieg is the one to lead us out of this darkness.

  63. Smart. Genuine. Rational. Come on America...

  64. Trump fires people up, and look where that has gotten us.

  65. I look at Buttigieg and all I see is fake. Come out of nowhere candidates always are. Wake up fellow citizens. If any of these candidates were real Americans they would be in Washington outside the Senate protesting and demanding Donald Trump's resignation.

  66. @Bruce Your comment reminds me of Emerson's famous words: If we find no gods it's because we harbor none.

  67. The Buttigieg campaign should make more formal complaints to national media for undermining his candidacy by mentioning "his problem w/ race relations & black voters," at every turn. This narrative has been tagged on him from the beginning. What don't some understand about implementing 21st Century policing in the face of one of the toughest police unions in the country, the Fraternal Order of Police, who just issued a statement that they will not be supporting Pete during the primaries because of how he made them implement bias training, body cameras and open data systems on use of force etc. Does this not translate as political skill for you? But Pete's the one with the problem, not the environment he assumed responsibility for? And yes, in Mike Pence's Indiana... What are the accomplishments his competitors have in calming race relations? South Bend also became one of the few "race-informed" cities (Living Cities/ Governing Magazine) in our country. This in a place where the business community led a 40 year protest against the renaming of a street to MLK BLVD. Pete helped get this seemingly small thing done and there were death threats on the naming committee in the process. Other initiatives worked to build a foundation for reversing decades of disinvestment in segregated neighborhoods. Yet national media & alt-left target the wrong guy, scapegoating our nation's problems onto him. Follow Emily Badger's lead... Race Equity South Bend: http://bit.ly/38Y0ZsA

  68. He has a great shot in 2032.

  69. Don't cry for Mayor Butti. Not his fault that Democrats are crying like babies over partisan impeachment at the senate trial and not paying enough attention to the Democratic presidential candidates duking out in Iowa.

  70. As a writer and NYT reader for more than fifty years, I maintain this article is an Op-Ed, and should have been published as such. Any piece that is sewn together with the author's roll-call of dislikes is not a news article, and the Times should know and do better. Pete Buttigieg, the most remarkable American Democratic talent since Barack Obama, displays in equal measure decency, brilliance, broad-based knowledge and policy on the entire spectrum of voter issues. He is masterful in his handling of adversity, interruptions and brickbats. Nothing fazes him, as befits a true leader. Contrast this with the current resident of the White House or some of the more easily ruffled Democratic candidates.

  71. The anti-gay rhetoric at the Times is abhorrent. Just a few short years ago we witnessed HRC discussing the dangers of implicit bias on the national level and now we have presumably internalized homophobia coming from what was once a reputable circulation. Buttigieg has displayed outstanding grace and humility in the face of strenuous competition. He has what it takes to lead our country out of the moral depths to which we’ve sank. Importantly, I’m a voter in Ohio. Say what you’d like about DJT taking the state, but the moderate vote here still matters. We will not be voting for just any democrat for the sake of beating trump. Buttigieg would get my vote.

  72. @Nick Anti-day rhetoric indeed. And saying Pete “vamps” is downright shameful.

  73. Sorry Mayor Pete does not fit your reporter’s subjective impression of how a candidate should campaign. But then, in my view, Mayor Pete is honest, fairly candid, clearly able, and even more clearly intelligent.

  74. Overly polished to the point of appearing manipulative. Lacking sincere self deprecation. Otherwise homophobia might be the only bigger obstacle to national office than misogyny. The sorry truth is he can't win with these anchors right now. Maybe in another decade or so he will have developed the gravity and the nation will have matured

  75. Am in the group that makes up the biggest group who consistently votes. Am an educated, age 60+ white widow, who is a registered independent Here in California I sheltered children of the undocumented, volunteered with local HIV/AIDS groups, food banks, built tiny houses for disabled and homeless veterans. Am a 21 st century green lifestyle person who craves sane discussions devoid of loudness and hype. It's why I have supported and donated to Pete Buttigieg from the get go . His reasoned thinking, ability to think outside the box, while also appreciating our constitutional rights is refreshing. As is his willingness to speak of his personal faith, which reminds us all that Christ said what we do to the least matters. As sappy as it sounds, Pete is the thinking persons candidate. The caring persons candidate. The fiscal responsible persons candidate. He is a candidate for the 21st century but I think the media only cares about the candidates that can create the most crazy click bait, which then gets ratings which then get more ad revenue. After all this is how we got a President Trump.

  76. @Beth Grant-Deroos Perfectly written! If you have met Pete in person or participated in any of his video calls, you have probably been won over by his attentiveness. I have never ever felt seen by a politician but Pete makes direct eye contact and listens to every word you speak. It's an impression you don't forget. I'm for Pete 2020!

  77. The best question to ask of any candidate in the US Presidential race is - who is it who wants this person to be President? Think about it, no one knows Pete Buttigieg, so some group with lots of money in a very Conservative part of the country backed him to run, FOR A REASON. Do not let your vote be hijacked by PR or advertising, vote for someone with a real record who is supported by real people.

  78. @Bruce Who wants him? The well over 720,000 individual donors to his campaign. The crowds who enthusiastically cheer for him in the dozens of small towns and rural areas where he spends a lot of his time campaigning and meeting people. He CONNECTS with people, he is devoted to improving the lives of Americans, and has done remarkably well for someone who was unknown a year ago and now is securely in the top 4 contenders (sometimes even the top 3) in this extremely long, grueling race. Who wants him to be President? I DO.

  79. Yes, Buttigieg is unusual for a politician playing in the big league — he is an introvert (by his own description). Imagine the self discipline it takes him to campaign as he does. I admire him tremendously for that trait. He is a very intellectualized person who is out there giving hugs to strangers and talking about his deepest feelings of identity. His earnestness is his charisma.

  80. Different people are drawn to different personalities. To me, Pete Buttigieg seems very authentic, sincere and humble. He does seem a bit awkward occasionally as a lot of introverts do in front of strangers wanting to get a piece of you. What I appreciate most about Pete is his ability to listen, to not shy away from hard truths or difficult situation and to face the problem head on with compassion and intelligence. I never follow a presidential race this closely becore but I am now because I connect so deeply with Pete and his progressive message of hope, healing and changes we wish to see for our children. I hope NYT will give him a chance. I appreciate this neutral piece, a refreshing break from more snarky pieces from the Times.

  81. I am not an American but I grew up loving America and I knew her when she was her best and I have spent enough time mourning her passing. I remember Paul Robeson singing Mourner's Kaddish and maybe it is time for Americans who believe in the future to recite the Kaddish and start building a better future. Jefferson was a scientist, he believed in evolution and he believed in Democracy. The Federalists feared democracy they still do but you thrived for 244 years despite the conflict between Adams' nation of law and Jefferson's evolving liberal democracy. I am thankful for Dershowitz's moment of truth. I am sure it frightened many of you. Democracy tells you the law is sometimes insane and here in Canada the law is always on trial. The law must serve justice otherwise it must be discarded and our Supreme Court serves only justice. America has in its corpse new beginnings with many of the greatest geniuses this world has ever known along with the talent and creativity that puts ancient Athens and Rome to shame. It is 2020 and it is time to untether from the Trumps, McConnells, Cruzes and Gohmerts. America no longer works and it is time for a burial and new births. It is time to again start listening to those that stand on the shoulders of giants and let those that believe in making America great again go their own way. Your greatest days are ahead not behind. You know from watching the week unfold America has no future but you can again try for more perfect unions.

  82. I adore Pete Buttigieg's nerdy, awkward, introverted and at times clumsy personality-with-a-mind-on-fire. It is a relief to listen to him because he's sharing a visionary and pragmatic vision of what we risk if we don't pivot now. Now, not after political snobs have pronounced him "ready." His character and values show in his priorities, his plans and his courage. Buttigieg's faith reminds me of my father's. Real, humble, and the basis for both a steel backbone and a heart at peace. I'm not religious, and trust him entirely. Over and over, those who listen to him pick up on something that may not convey cleverly on TV. He's genuine and he loves. Democracy, this country, and everyone in it. He's often said, "Whether or not you're for me, I am for you." I believe it.

  83. I've been to one of his rallies. I'm not worried about charismatic. I am interested in trustworthiness. He has got that.

  84. I am most definitely not a fan of Pete and his flip flopping on key issues but I can appreciate and respect that he at least doesn't try to lay it on too thick or be somebody he isn't. I'm really not interested in having a drink with any presidential candidate, I'd just like them to do their job and do it on behalf of everyday people as opposed to lobbyists, super PACs and special interests.

  85. His midsize city has a thousand times the number if employees as does a senate office.

  86. Pete is the smartest of all the candidates, the most well-prepared, the best speaker by far, and the one with the best ideas for this country. If he doesn't have that "huggable" factor, I say open your ears more than your arms. Listen to how he listens, and you'll understand that this man knows what he doesn't know and is smart enough to surround himself with highly qualified experts who can advise him on all critical aspects of American governance. A vote for Pete is a vote for competence and sanity. Go Pete!

  87. @Ed Kerry But doesn’t Yang have similar intelligence, broad knowledge and a bit more warmth?

  88. It's too early for Pete Buttigieg and Andrew Yang. They need to prove themselves as politicians first. Buttigieg's Midwest win as a mayor has been way oversold. Without the support of the liberal Notre Dame University community living in South Bend it would have never happened. I think I may have to agree with the heavy handed intervention of the DNC to get Bloomberg on stage. I think Bernie and Bloomberg are the only ones strong enough to face Trump.

  89. @Audrey I’d like for Warren and Bloomberg to have a meeting of the minds. I don’t mean to be on the same ticket but rather to have a broad and deep concern for the average American tested against the realities of how best to rope the neoliberal behemoth.

  90. @Audrey -- But Buttigieg and Yang aren't politicians: that's what makes them so refreshing, so creative. They aren't bogged down with the usual mental habits of people who have worked in government for years. Trump's outsider status is what attracted so many to him. They would be quite competitive against him.

  91. @Audrey if you look at the numbers, it is clear that Pete could not have been elected by ND faculty. And it's true that many, perhaps most Arts and Letters faculty live in South Bend proper; but (as I'm sure you know) the majority of Science, Business, and Engineering faculty, along with many older Arts and Letters faculty live in Granger or even Michigan, and so cannot vote in South Bend elections. South Bend isn't a college town by any stretch of the imagination, as a good article in yesterday's Times showed.

  92. I must say, just like in the Editorial Board's interview with Pete for endorsement, the Times seems to be focussed on the wrong aspects of Mr. Buttigieg career and personality. Calm and well-mannered, not to mention, well-spoken, does not, to my mind, make someone aloof or distant or lacking in charisma, it is the embodiment of a measured candidate who listens with empathy and responds with careful thought. Personally, I will take these qualities in place of a lot of throwing of one's hands in the air while reciting the same old lines about the one percent.

  93. @Lee Buttala I have shared that myself, writing to several staff to no avail. I don't think they are listening to Pete or his supporters.

  94. All those so eager to tear down the most impressive political talent since Obama are missing the obvious: if all these “negatives” so cynically put forth in this article were true or accurate how do they then explain a virtual unknown, starting a campaign from scratch, that gets to be front runner in a matter of months. I find Pete to have a perfect balance of brains and heart, amazingly articulate, wise and a great listener. He has decency and kindness. He has deeply inspired me and many people I know of varied backgrounds and ages, and I think he would make a very great President. Can’t wait to cast my vote for him.

  95. He seems to be an introvert. (As does Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren). And our American culture is biased against introverts. From a very young age, our culture rewards extraversion so introverts learn how to extravert but it never quite sticks as well as if it were their first nature.

  96. First time in my life, I have donated a candidate. I’m very hopeful, he will make a great president. He is hard working, pragmatic and sane. As country we are so lucky to have this man as president.

  97. Surprised by this article. Pete's meteoric rise came last spring when he began accepting interviews all over the media -- TV, Radio, print. His team put him in front of cameras because they knew he would sell himself— and it worked. Pete wins when people get the opportunity to hear him speak. Give him an hour and it's hard not to believe he is the right candidate for this moment.

  98. I've never been as committed to any political candidate as I am to Pete Buttigieg -- by FAR. Pete Buttigieg is an extraordinarily gifted leader. He gives people hope, and he inspires joy. He has the vision and the wisdom to move us forward in a new direction... towards unity and away from division. And I can't think of anything we need more than that right now.

  99. If Dems had some star power among their candidates, Buttigieg would be trailing more than now. His success reflects the lack of any "sure winner" in the group, something that bodes poorly for Democrats in the Fall.

  100. If "charisma" had anything to do with it, half the Democratic field and most of the GOP would be out of work.

  101. Enough with these style-over-substance analyses. Personally, I find Pete's style charming but that doesn't matter. I'm more interested in his capabilities and policies. I've heard hours of interviews with Pete and find his intelligence pretty much unequaled among his challengers. Pete's policies are solid and I have no problem visualizing him strategizing with advisors in the oval office or with other world leaders. Pete's a serious, strong candidate with the kind of leadership qualities I'm looking for. I think he'd do a great job.

  102. @Sydney... To me Buttigieg feels centered. He doesn't go into a dance like Bernie. He's not as emotional as Biden. But I think that he impresses with his intelligence... morality... and common sense. He certainly impresses me.

  103. I’m a huge Pete fan - but lately I’ve been thinking Klobuchar might be the best choice. Whatever happens, no matter who becomes the Democratic nominee, I’ll gladly donate, canvass & vote for them ... The trump nightmare has to end!

  104. @Chris M. Amy/Pete OR Pete/Amy--I'm for them.

  105. @Chris M. Absolutely!

  106. If Mayor Pete manages to secure the nomination, I'll gladly vote for him. However, his 'big test' is can he beat Trump in the battleground states? Right now polls say he can't. If Buttigieg cannot get 270 Electoral College votes, then Democrats need to choose someone who can because 4 more years of Trump would be disastrous for America and Planet Earth.

  107. @Mark McIntyre Buttigieg is doing well with Independents and polls well in the Midwest swing states.

  108. @Mark McIntyre Pete/Amy OR Amy/Pete--either way, a new generation is what we need.

  109. I have never heard anyone speak quite like Pete - and I mean that in a supremely positive way as he is as thoughtful and articulate as a man can be, and calm, poised, and with a beautiful speaking voice to boot. And that, my NYTimes editorial friends, is completely charming.

  110. In the next administration the President will need to deal with a tragedy. Every one does. Think school shooting, earthquake, bombing, etc. Now imagine each of the candidates at a podium addressing the nation; comforting the country; and then leaving to comfort those most closely impacted and mobilize a response to mitigate the disaster. Clearly our current POTUS would not due this with grace, compassion, or efficiency. Run the scenario with each of the candidates at the microphone...I think Buttigieg is the one most likely able to touch our hearts providing comfort AND effectively mobilize an appropriate response.

  111. @BAB not to mention he has dealt with more emergencies as mayor than any Senator has had to

  112. The person in charge of the DMV in NYC has more employees and a bigger budget then the mayor had. Let him come back when he has some real accomplishments to brag on.

  113. @Lawrence In his 8 years as mayor, he had to manage many times more staff than the competing senators.

  114. I think Pete Buttigieg has much more charisma and likeability than President Obama ever had. I like the way he stays calm and unruffled and to me, his introversion is a plus.

  115. @Sophie Personally I’m amazed at peoples interest in charisma and likability. To me these are really the least important characteristics of the candidates. I only want to know policy. What is your goal? What will you be able to do with executive orders and to strong arm Congress into enacting. The only ones who actually have something to offer me are Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

  116. @DJ Buttigieg’s policies are what wowed me in the first place and his temperament, experiences and perspective sealed the deal. It’s okay that voters are excited by different candidates, you know?

  117. Ever think that we see the passion Mayor Pete has for his accomplishments in government and ideas. We never need just an appealing politician, we need effective, committed, honest, intelligent, passionate, thoughtful, open minded and hard working. He is all that.

  118. Running for president -- much less, actually being president -- is not about "charisma" or some contrived "charisma test" -- or being a "rock star" politician, another ludicrous criteria once floated in the Times. It is -- and should be -- about experience in governing, specific policies and plans, and the ability to govern on a large scale. Being mayor of a city of 100,000 is hardly qualification to be president. The presidency is not a training program! Buttigieg *may* have policies and plans that merit serious consideration -- and which work to overcome his inexperience -- but we need to know about them. How about talking about policies, plans, and actual accomplishments? This "charisma test" commentary really debases the level of debate and belongs in a tabloid, not the Times!

  119. @NYer But Buttigieg has 8 of executive experience. That's more than most of his competitors can claim.

  120. @NYer I’ll take 8 years of actually governing over decades of sitting in a Hill office any time. Add that to being a naval intelligence officer and he is highly qualified.

  121. @NYer perhaps he should have his own reality TV show. That would make him a lot more qualified, eh?

  122. Charisma he has - a resume....not so much.

  123. He has an astounding resume that includes private sector work, the military, political experience, and an education. Worth noting, Thomas Jefferson was 34 when he wrote the Declaration of Independence.

  124. @Joe Runciter Harvard Graduate. Rhodes Scholar. Served in Iraq and Afganistan and Iraq as a commander of special forces and a mayor of one of the reddest states in the US. Better than Trump, and one of the few running either Republican or Democrat who can make full and thoughtful answers to questions without "um" "um" "look"........ He has charisma, charm, brilliance and I think a Biden/Buttigieg ticket would be an option. Biden could restore the country for one term, make Buttigieg the strongest VP in history, and hand him the torch.

  125. @Mockingjay Young people will not vote for Buttigieg. He has nothing of policy substance to offer them.

  126. Oh god who would want a pragmatic, level headed, candidate who is focused on substance.

  127. Maybe charisma is exactly what Pete Buttigieg has, but just not the variety which we have in mind or that which we are used to. I first heard of Pete when a friend emailed me and asked if I had heard him speak and included a link to an interview. I listened and was amazed at what I heard. I then sent around the same link with the question, Have you heard of Pete Buttigieg? Everyone I sent the mail to was wowed by Mayor Pete. That included an Australian woman lawyer age 80, an American male physician age 66, my godson age 39. We were impressed by the thoroughness with which he addressed a problem, his reasoning ability, his calm, his ability to speak in complete sentences and real paragraphs. He definitely is the anti Trump. He is smart, thoughtful, doesn't shoot from the hip, is obviously a good person, and, I do not say this often, a real Christian, not the fake kind.

  128. I’ve never been so for a candidate than I am for Pete. Maybe that’s because I’m desperate for someone who can moderate their tone in order to not elicit anger. Maybe it’s because I see a Democrat willing to cut across party lines, while not relinquishing their/my values. Maybe it’s because I miss a leader who values logic and coalitions of support - at home and abroad. A leader who sees the strength in numbers. I think many of the democratic candidates are capable, but Pete is unequivocally my choice. I believe he’s the only one who has the potential to truly unite the country after decades of division. I look at his campaign and the positivity and optimism is unmatched. For Pete’s sake he has “rules of the road” to follow as supporters. What other candidate does that? Pete is not just capable, but his ability to play politics and orate is unmatched. You go on Fox News and explain the values behind your decision that you are unequivocally pro-choice. Go to a white audience and explain your proposals to combat systemic racism - or the Douglass plan. And he does it in a way that’s explanatory to its core. Here’s what I believe and why. It’s an incredible gift. Almost magical. I’m all in for Pete. If he doesn’t win this election, I will be looking for him and supporting him in any leadership bid in the future. Edit: I have a problem and it’s that I like Pete too much.

  129. @Matthew Yes that is a problem. Are you not concerned at all that no one in his generation supports him and instead they all go for Bernie? Maybe it’s time to for the country to be more concerned about policy substance and reaching for real change than Kum-ba-ya nonsense. Buttigieg’s only goal with The public option is for his insurance company executive donors to get their bonuses by shifting the sickest onto the governments dime. The only way to reduce costs To the levels of Western Europe/Canada is imitate them and transition to single payer. 500,000 Americans should not be going bankrupt every year Medicare for all is my signature issue and I’m not even sick.

  130. @Matthew I like him too much, too, for all the reasons you give. Enough to resent the Times' coverage of him a bit, especially compared to Amy Klobuchar and her puffball interview.

  131. @Matthew I love your enthusiasm, and I am with you (and Pete!) 100%.

  132. We already have in Trump an aggressive crowd pleaser and successful demagogue. Look how far that’s helped the country. Do we want the same in a Democrat president? Grace and dignity and self-control and competent calm presentation are what we don’t have presently ... and we suffer great division as a result. Buttigieg is young, but that’s about it on what some consider a downside; but that’s not a clear drawback at all. Indeed, Buttigieg demonstrates true maturity, which seems fairly important for being president. Again, take at look at what we have and suffer from in a self-possessed individual. Buttigieg is a man of considerable integrity and political competence; and, quite important, he has a passion for serving others. Can more be asked for?

  133. Too soon for Pete. A year ago, nobody in Iowa ever heard of him. Bernie has an additional four years more of name recognition and speeches in every corner of Iowa. Better luck next time, Pete.

  134. Reminds me of a quote attributed to Joe Franklin (among many others:) “The key to success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.”

  135. @Stourley Kracklite That’s why Bernie Sanders has the voters under 40 locked down. They’ve seen authenticity look no further. Something Buttigieg sorely lacks

  136. He's cool, calm, collected. That's polar opposite, a night and day difference from what we have in office. The salesy loose with the facts and heavy on the schtick is what Trump is known for and it's gotten really old. Pete is very precise, measured and gives off an honest and humble vibe. It's refreshing!

  137. This critique of Buttigieg is made of gossamer, it is not far from harping on Obama for wearing a tan suit. Personally, I would like to see this candidate get more experience and return to the fray.

  138. I went to one of Mr. Buttigieg's rally last week. He began his talk by speaking to the death of his father. He painted a complex picture of health care, doctors, hospice and insurance that accompanies the passing of a loved one. I attended the rally with a few questions prepared in the event that I was handed the mic. They were questions one might describe as dry or a bit intellectual. After Pete was done speaking, he approached me, I don't know why. All I could do was tell him about the death of my father nine months ago. We spoke about loosing our dads and I felt as if we were the only two in the packed room. He was kind and generous with his, very sincere, emotions. I came away comforted, in awe, and very proud of the man I hope to call president.

  139. @Jen I respect that you’re looking for an emotional connection to a presidential candidate but for me that’s not at all relevant. To me the only thing that matters is policies substance war and what are you fighting for. For Pete who uses Republican talking points against Medicare for all is a complete nonstarter someone who I would never consider voting for and I’m not even sick. Single payer is the way the rest of the western world pays for healthcare and they get it For half the cost and 500,000 of their citizens don’t go bankrupt every year. If you’re ever unsure why people under 40 don’t support Buttigieg look no further everything about him is disingenuous

  140. @DJ I have a doctorate from the Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics. I think I can analyze Pete's policies with regard to the other candidates quite well, thank you. My first job was with a lobbyist working for a single payer plan and know something about this issue. Maybe you should be giving folks the benefit of the doubt and pay a bit more respect to people you don't know.

  141. @Jen I am sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing your story here. Comments like yours and so many others here reassure me that my choice of Buttigieg is the right one.

  142. We often pick the opposite of the president before. Pete isn’t a sales man and he isn’t loose with the truth. He’s not one to boast or tout his accomplishments. He’s just not your typical back-slapper politician. I am drawn to his cool, calm demeanor. He truly seems unflappable. I’m also drawn to his intellect and seriousness. Pete’s an old soul. His charisma is quiet, but as the administrator of one of his social media groups (that has almost 40k members) I see first hand how positively people respond to Pete. Don’t count him out!

  143. I know that President Obama went from a first term Senator to the White House in a miraculous rise in 2008. I know that Mayor Pete is a likeable well spoken young man, and has served his country and community well. I don't think Mayor Pete is another Barack Obama, and I don't think he has enough political experience to handle the Presidency. President Obama's early miscalculations brought is the A.C.A., a rapidly recovering economy, but little else. Hi lack of experience with the players showed. President Trump is a complete disaster for anyone earning less than a million a year. He's gotten nothing done. We need experience and savvy in that office. We need Amy Klobuchar.

  144. Bloomberg and Pete can’t be beat.

  145. @AAA How about Pete & Stacey Abrams? Both are our future, they could be a dynamic ticket. Pete's my #1, and I'm a straight white 70 yo grandmother.

  146. The phrase Mr Flegenheimer is looking for is "Still waters run deep." We've become so used to politicians and candidates being "entertaining" that many now overlook the quieter, more profound, more empathetic, more deeply grounded brilliant man who is Pete Buttigieg. Yes, he doesn't yell or make big gestures. And he doesn't try to be anything that he is not. He is authentic, courageous, kind, a superb listener, capable of taking in huge quantities of information & making sense of the complexity to inform his decisions—and he will gather experts whose advice & truth he will hear & consider, as a good leader must. People who hear him in person & who meet him come away glowing. They know they've been seen & heard, & that Buttigieg is devoted to improving everyone's life. He touches their hearts while challenging their minds. In this he is truly committed to serving the country. I encourage you to read this essay by a Harvard professor who taught Buttigieg: https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/reading-buttigieg?fbclid=IwAR0mzotxKYO5jHAmge1zPLU2xhAldsnVh8OKdqkF9sfxHQyjheXXX0n1oxw I don't get why this newspaper relentlessly attacks, demeans, scorns, & belittles Buttigieg. At a precarious, chaotic, dangerous time as we are in now, we need a stable, balanced, thoughtful leader with a clear vision, understanding, & the remarkable ability to draw people together. That person must be Pete Buttigieg. If you want to know more about his policies or to donate, go to PeteForAmerica.com

  147. @Jessiekitty Thanks for the link. I read the article and it helped me finally make the decision to vote for Pete in my state’s primary.

  148. @Jessiekitty Amen.

  149. @Catx2 wonderful! Thanks for letting me know. Please share it, and point people to his campaign website, where his many detailed policies are available: PeteForAmerica.com As an almost unknown person on the public stage a year ago, he has made extraordinary strides. Unlike Sanders and Warren, he doesn't have money from previous campaigns to inject into their campaign coffers ($10M), and he has no personal wealth (net worth nearly negligible with the household's 6-figure student debt, a mortgage on a house that needs a lot of work, and being unemployed as of Jan 1 this year). So if you and others are able, please contribute to his campaign. Thanks!

  150. Pete Buttigieg will make an excellent president , he is kind articulate, and most importantly a 'Politician' . Everything the current occupant is not. If Pete could talk her into it Kamala Harris would be an excellent running mate.

  151. If you haven't spent at least an hour listening to Buttigieg outside of the debates (which are nothing more than a warped attempt at soundbite reality conflict TV by their broadcasting networks), then please do so before remarking negatively about him. Early on, I watched several long interviews he did in which he had the opportunity to talk substantively and in depth about a wide range of fundamental issues. I was totally blown away. Buttigieg is, finally, the presidential candidate I've been waiting my whole life for.

  152. @fact or friction I couldn't have said it better. As someone else said, I've never donated to a politician before. I'm 70 and on a fixed income, but I've been sending ten dollar donations off and on every week since he first announced. Sound bytes are meaningless. He can speak in depth on any subject, but you do have to take the time to listen. As for charisma, one of my first impressions of him was how charming he was. Think about it. Someone who can come out of nowhere and reach the level that he has must have something going for him. He's a genuine, honest, brilliant man, dedicated to bringing this country back to the level it deserves. Shouting, arm waving and negativity isn't going to do that. Isn't that how we ended up with Trump?

  153. Whatever his sexual orientation, Mr. Buttigieg is a political featherweight and blows away under close scrutiny. He mouths all the right platitudes and liberal slogans, speaks well, but says nothing at all that will save this country from Trump and his cult.

  154. @Lewis Ford So easy to criticize from the cheap seats.

  155. @BE THE ONE Do you have a more expensive one?

  156. @Lewis Ford With respect, what are the words or policies or statements that someone might say that will save the country from trump? Please articulate this - nothing is more important.

  157. This is so ridiculous...Pete is very charismatic and that is one of his key strengths. I went to see him in Denver and the energy in the room was electric. He was inspiring, gave very thoughtful answers and connected with the audience. He has the qualities of a great leader that only come along once in a great while and wish people would give him a chance.

  158. @BNewt Agreed. Any time I've heard him speak I'm really impressed by how he sounds highly intelligent and highly human at once. Not many people can pull that off.

  159. Interesting how this piece contrasts Buttigieg's style with Obama's. Listening to Buttigieg speak, with his well-written speeches, clear thinking and hopeful rehtoric, I find him somewhat reminiscent of Obama. No, he doesn't connect like Bill Clinton. But the content of his message is still inspiring and he demonstrates competence with facts and as a problem-solver.

  160. I’ve watched all of the debates and I’ve been closely following the candidates, and the only one who actually helps me calm down and feel some hope for the future in the midst of all the strife in the US these days is Buttigieg. He’s focused, extremely intelligent, and passionate while at the same time relaxed. His peaceful demeanor is refreshing and desperately needed these days. I have another choice for president, but I’d love to see Buttigieg as a future president when he’s had more experience on a larger scale.

  161. First time in my life ( I am 48) giving money to a candidate. I know his chances are small but I believe in him. I believe he would restore some sanity (not all --I am not that naive) to our country. He is soothing and I live to listen to him . At a time when I feel like we are all on edge with our feeling rubbed raw, he is calming and healing.

  162. @Gwen Yes, Mayor Pete is the Bob Ross of American presidential politics.

  163. @Gwen Pete/Amy OR Amy/Pete--either one. I, too, will donate.

  164. @Gwen Absolutely!

  165. Pete has an uncommon combination of intellect and empathy. He works hard and has a history of service. All sorts of things the current officeholder lacks and that are so sorely needed.

  166. @Roy S Everything you mentioned Bernie Sanders has a greater quantities and quality. Pete is only interested in working for the rich. His absurd ideas on expanding the Supreme Court are more dead on arrival than anything Bernie has put out. Airheads who know little to nothing about policy substance like Ellen DeGeneres and wealthy donors make up his base and older African Americans especially will not vote for him.

  167. @DJ I see (as if it ever needed to be confirmed) that Bernie doesn't have anything like Pete's "Rules of the Road," enjoining his supporters to be civil about other candidates and their supporters, and to assume that they hold their beliefs in good faith.

  168. @DJ Do you not see how rude, crude and divisive this response is? How does this help in the effort to defeat President Trump? How does this persuade someone who likes Buttigieg to switch their allegiance to Sanders?

  169. I don’t need charisma or shouting. I need a president who is measured, rational and committed. The nation needs that. I do wish he was older though.

  170. I really like Mayor Pete. We are drowning in lies and boisterous rhetoric. It is very disturbing and he is none of that. He is without question the best overall in experience and education. And he will not win the Democratic nomination. He is young and gay, for many, two strikes. I look at Pete as a fantastic VP and hope it goes that way. He will be a President in training and that is a very good thing. It is way past time to put honor and honesty back in the White House. The Republicans let testimony that proves the claims against Trump. This is after 75 percent of those poled are in favor of it. I just hope people remember that when they go to the poles and vote next fall. I sure will!

  171. I am concerned about the way he dodged answering a question about whether he ever had used his political influence to get someone a job. Of course the common way it is done is you call another politician and they appoint the person you know and you return the “favor” by appointing someone that is close to the other politician.

  172. @William McCain well of course he has. He threw his political weight and funding behind African American City Clerk candidate Kareemah Fowler, who was running against an incumbent police union old style Democrat (who has since gone over to Trump). The incumbent unsuccessfully sued him. And Kareemah became his closest political ally, particularly working with him on the 1000 houses project to improve largely black neighborhoods - it's unlikely he could have gotten this crucial project done otherwise. Pete used up a lot of his political capital to break the hold of conservative union Democrats on South Bend, and to bring new faces into government. Together with his single handed preservation of reproductive rights in Northern Indiana, this made his second mayoral term historic. I am sure he is either too modest to mention it, or does not want to seem to be undermining Kareemah's own great political talent.

  173. With all due respect to the legislators running, (with the exception of Bloomberg)administrating a city is a lot more of needed "experience" than working in Congress. None have the experience of confronting , and handling a war, or unexpected global or natural disaster. Those occurrences require a deep intellect, ability and humility to respect the advice of expert advisers. The same deep intellect is needed to comprehend and address the medical,social, infrastructure,education (to name just a few ) of the existing deficiencies in our country. Okay folks..which of the candidates are you confident can handle these issues?

  174. According to Forbes Magazine (August 14, 2019), The Net Worth of Every Presidential Candidate, Pete Buttigieg has the most billionaire backers. Does this help to explain his rise in the polls? For me, his limited experience is disqualifying, whether charismatic or not.

  175. @beberg1 So Pete gets the support of 40 billionaires: $2,800 x 40 = $112,000, or 0.112 million, out of $76 millions from over 733,000 donors. That is less than 0.2% of the contribution to Pete. In 2016, FEC flagged Sanders for excessive contributions and illegal contribution from foreign nationals in 639 pages! During this primary, an FEC complaint has been filed against Our Revolution for violated campaign finance law by accepting donations in excess of federal limits while boosting Sanders' White House ambitions. We should reform campaign finance. But individual donations capped at $2,800 is hardly a major issue compared to dark money.

  176. "He doesn’t get fired up. Can he fire up people in Iowa?" Probably not. He doesn't have the natural, exuding charisma. But he can be much better than Bill Clinton. He's not gregarious, as Clinton. But he's more serious and good at thinking well on his feet and remain without fumbling. Anyone who talks with him for a few minutes would realize he's a very serious man, with full of progressive ideas. He's also dedicated to improving the conditions of his fellow-humans. As no one is perfect, he has his share of issues. His shortcomings are much less challenging than his apparent youth and homosexuality, which are more problematic from a practical perspective. There were some bloopers, like criticizing Joe Biden personally and insulting Beto O'Rourke at one of the debates. Those infractions could be excused, I believe. As many older people, I, almost 84 yrs. old, have a special fondness for him. I sincerely hope he gets the nomination. I would recommend to pick Amy Klobuchar as his running mate. If he doesn't get the nomination, I hope the nominee will pick him as their running mate. He's only 38.

  177. @A.G. I'm not aware that Buttigieg criticized any competitor personally. If I recall correctly, O'Rourke accused him of being "focus group tested", implying that he lacked integrity. Buttigieg told him that he didn't need lessons from him, political or personal.

  178. Considering the enthusiasm he arouses among his supporters, particulalrly the young, that must make Sanders the most charismatic of all the Democratic candidates. Trump is charismatic in the sense that Rasputin was.

  179. I sort of like Mayor Pete but his golly gee character is hardly presidential material. Being able to eloquently speak to our domestic issues is simply not enough to advance him to the White House. After all we already had the same experience with Obama who had a slick tongue but an empty suit that failed so miserably to correct the wrongs he campaigned on. Mayor Pete might have been viewed to be a spoiler or breath of fresh air but his balloon is leaking air and his prescient demeanor/platform is spiralling downhill. USA is simply not ready to embrace another quixotic political wannabe.

  180. Perhaps Pete is not the most charismatic politician, but he more than makes up for it with his magnanimity. He cited the acceptance of his sexuality by South Bend as an example why we need to give people a chance and invite them to come to the right side of history. He is generous, but firm on his principle - he calls out bad policies/actions, but he doesn't criticize motives. This is in sharp contrast to current "cancel culture." That's what we need from a leader - someone who invites ideas and encourage participation.

  181. Charisma is sorely lacking throughout the entire stable of Democratic candidates. When you add old age, infirmity, and radicalization to this toxic mix you have little wonder why Pelosi is in meltdown mode.

  182. More important (to me) is authenticity. I had the good fortune of meeting Pete just about the time the media hype blew up. While I didn’t have a lot of time with him, I was able to look him in the eyes and also observe him through out the meet ‘n greet. I do not doubt his sincerity. Barring any major revelations I intend to vote for him in the primary. I will be voting for the Democratic nominee in November.

  183. Pete's never going to preen and primp at midnight torchlight rallies alongside crazies, thank God. And he's no 'I feel your pain' Bill Clinton type either. Come to think of it, for two gay men, he and Chasten look about as charismatic as white bread surrounded by a white picket fence. But I'm not looking for crazy, out-of-control. He's not just a decent, forward-looking man, but brilliant, gentle, articulate, self-effacing. He'll restore dignity and honor to a disgraced White House, and he has my vote.

  184. Thanks for articulating your perspective in such lovely detail. I really liked Pete when he first introduced himself as a progressive, but lost interest when he pivoted toward a more centrist lane. To be candid, I think this election is so emotional for everyone as our nation is self-destructing before our eyes. I won’t vote for Pete this cycle, but your words made me remember why I found him compelling initially.

  185. @raven55 Luckily he will never be president.

  186. @Allegra I have been following Pete's campaign since Feb., and I see no evidence that he pivoted.

  187. Buttigieg is calm, even tempered, educated and polite. One can always hope he becomes the President or VP to Elizabeth Warren and bring calm, politness and order to all of us.

  188. It's just a tiny bit of the topic, but I was struck by this: "a baritone delivery belying his age". Pete Buttigieg just turned 38. That's a commentary on the prevailing pitch of American male voices today, when even network news anchors and reporters tend to sound like Beach Boys or post-irrepressible Ricky Nelsons -- or vengeful reincarnations of John Gilbert, whose high-pitched voice doomed his film career with the advent of talkies. Amid all the derision of Donald Trump's visible absurdities, such as his fastidious hair-styling and his improbable tan, it's rarely observed that he speaks in a high, namby-pamby whine. To be fair, one must admit that Adam Schiff isn't far behind. This is a cultural change that can be laid at the door of the baby-boom generation with complete justice. Until that generation, adolescents had always yearned to be grown-up. Look at a movie like Babes in Arms, in which the kids literally dress up like their parents for everyday life. Yes, teenage boys on and off the screen actually went around in suits and ties as a matter of course. Then came the baby boomers and the cult of youth. The cult persisted as the boomers aged, until a typical snapshot of father and son would show both in jeans, T-shirts, and sneakers -- once the uniform of the pre-pubescent American boy. Dressing down in age had become the new normal. So it is with American voices, male and female. The tones that once came from most grown-up throats now come mostly from old movies.

  189. While in the US I saw him on the debate for the Chair of the DNC. He as an unknown, when he spoke - wow. Been following him ever since. Now I'm back in Australia.what the US President says and does impacts our economy and politics. Buttigieg is one of those rare politicians that transcend their age (think Jacinta Arden - NZ); his foreign policy chops are superior to many of his competitors, and his detailed policies compelling - his Douglas Plan for Black Americans is unique amongst his peers. Part of his appeal is his consistent pivot to how his Presidency would directly impact voters rather than ranting about removing D. Trump - inclusive rather than polarising. He also never dodges a question. What is not always repeated is his reputation for listening and insisting in his cabinet, he doesn't want and can't presume to be the smartest person in the room. Gee, imagine that. Much of this is what people pick up on when they hear him speak. I consider the debates bit of a circus. However, listen to the first 5 mins of one of Buttigieg's town halls or on-stage interviews and you're likely to want to hear more, just not more of the same.

  190. You can't fake integrity and intelligence, qualities that Pete has in abundance. We now need a president with strong moral compass, not a liar, a shouter, or poseur in any way. Pete is the leader for these times.

  191. Maybe you can't fake charisma, but you sure can embellish your qualifications. Of all the former mayors who'd thrown their hats in the ring (Bloomberg, Booker, Sanders, and Buttigieg), he's the only one with an at-best spotty record (at best), the only one who made no stellar achievements during his time in office. Heck, this small city mayor couldn't so much as garner a statewide election for an obscure post (he got trounced). While Bloomberg never ran for a statewide office, he was three-term mayor of our nation's largest city. Meanwhile, Sanders and Booker rose from their stellar terms as mayor to become stellar U.S. Senators. He's big on charisma, small on accomplishment, maybe even smaller on honesty and authenticity in terms of how he depicts himself to the electorate.

  192. @Christopher It is funny that you compared Pete with Bloomberg. They tied in 2013 as Mayor(s) of the year. So that makes Pete at least, if not more so, as stellar as Bloomberg. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but for democracy's sake, check out Pete's record at wikipeteia.com.

  193. After reading this article, and nearly all the comments here, and the Commonweal article another commenter linked, I have made my decision on who to vote for in my state primary and it is indeed Mayor Pete. If he doesn’t get the nomination, I sure hope whoever does has the good sense to make Pete the VP. I had been bothered by his age, lamenting that he is too young. Well no more. He is by far the best candidate and he has my vote in the primary and hopefully in the general election.

  194. Funny, I first read this as Mr. Buttigieg's California Test, a test I've all along assumed he's capable of acing.

  195. While some may categorize Pete Buttigieg as being "awkward" or "smiles with effort in photographs" or gives a "thumps-up to a baby", I see a candidate who is not full of himself nor prances around in a coat of arrogance or smugness. He has solid suggestions about DOING aggressive and effective changes about global warming and the environment. He does NOT talk negatively about another candidate. He focuses on the issues rather than tearing down other opponents. I just like what I see and what I hear from Pete Buttitieg. I think he's the real deal and could make an incredible difference in this country if elected president. The more I read and see of him, the more I am learning towards giving him my vote.

  196. @Marge Keller I like your comment. I subscribe to it. Thank you marge.

  197. Much ink has been spilled over Pete Buttigieg's connection with Black and brown people, but a lot of it is regurgitated from the same sources: the same few people from South Bend and nearby (especially Michiana) who have always opposed him and who were his political rivals. Meanwhile Black men and women who support him—and who are many—are ignored or erased. Some notable Black women have been interviewed many times by many media companies, but the interviews are never published nor are they mentioned in other articles. When asked why, the editors/ publishers say the words of support didn't fit their story or their narrative. This is *erasure.* It's time for the Times and other papers to ask the same questions of the several candidates who also have low (even lower than Buttigieg's) support among Black voters. Time to vet Klobuchar and Yang, for example. Time to do a thorough vetting of Sanders, who seems to have escaped scrutiny until his 9 PACS and dark money finally surfaced a few days ago. Time to give due diligence to reporting on the many Black people who support Buttigieg, and not to continue recycling the out of date information. Stop it with the hit pieces, New York Times. You're supposed to be fair and balanced in reporting. Do it.

  198. Mayor Pete may be the cat’s meow to some but do Democrats and ‘progressives’ actually think this nation would elect a married gay man as president? (Forget the virtue signaling — it’s a serious question)

  199. I find Buttigieg’s appeal to be rooted in America’s obsession with ivy league credentials. He’s a kid. Good spokesmodel though.

  200. The idea that a 37 year old man is a kid is not grounded in reality. However, the idea that a 70 year old man has deteriorated mental capacity is scientifically backed. Thomas Jefferson was 34 when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. A kid he was not.

  201. Pete put his skin in the game in a way neither Trump nor Bernie were ever capable of.

  202. if we were to go with an old white man and his old neoliberalism politics, then we may as well stick with Biden and not Buttigieg. But let’s not. Let’s give a lady a shot. WARREN

  203. I think Buttigieg is the only Democratic candidate I wouldn’t vote for if he was the nominee (which he won’t be). Granted it is easier for me to look to a third party candidate since I don’t live in a swing state. Still the comment about him being neither a candidate of head or heart was spot on. I find him neither qualified nor inspiring.

  204. Based on nothing but your “hunch” and his likability factor and what other people pundit around.

  205. Buttigieg is my second caucus choice. Klobuchar is my first. I expect that I will caucus for Buttigieg since I don't expect Klobuchar to have fifteen percent delegates to form a viable delegate group in my precinct. Based on the precinct caucus four years ago, I expect my precinct to be heavily Bernie. I find Buttigieg to be impressive both in his intelligence and his charisma. My only concerns are that he lacks national experience and that he might not be able to attract enough moderates to beat Trump. Defeating Trump is my first priority.

  206. Call me an anomaly, but despite my age (25), I find myself more in line with Pete than Bernie. I find those who doubt the former mayor’s sincerity, those issuing purity tests, as he’s called it, to embody a certain cynicism that’s just downright unattractive to me (although I do think it’s true that a woman with the same resume wouldn’t receive the same coverage or enthusiasm). I wonder who, in due time, from Generation Z—given that, for many, a large part of their lives and social interactions are lived and recorded online from early adolescence on—will be “untainted” enough to run for office. Conversely, will we deem those without apparent blemish or traceable scandal “insincere,” or lacking charisma? Pete’s can be a bit awkward, sure; he’s. bit square and maybe a bit left footed. But hey, so am I! I think everyone is charismatic in their own way, if you give them the space to explain what they’re passionate about. Passion, to me, is charisma. He summed it up well when he said some people are given more space to be emotive than others. Call me square, but I’ll be voting for Pete in the primary.

  207. @John Pete strives to make city government transparent, and the graphs you posted in your column are from the city websites. In particular, the graphs on racial issues are work commissioned by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion of South Bend, established by Pete in order to better understand the barriers and set future goals. How the data is gathered and presented is important for understanding the graphs. For example, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion of South Bend hired consultant Colette Holt to conduct the study between 2015 and 2017. The study found 12 percent of contracts were given to women and minority owned businesses, which represent 15% of the firms available to do business with the city. The graphs by themselves are insufficient. Another example is the crime rate in South Bend. This has been pointed out by many that the jump has to do with changes in FBI's definition, and that was stated in FBI's report.

  208. South Bend is a mid-sized city?

  209. Go Pete!

  210. This should have been the actual NYT endorsement.

  211. *Insert laughing emoji here*

  212. Mayor Pete doesn’t generate interest or excitement, he’s just blah. He’s well coached, but not authentic or real. His latest religious pandering fell flat. All the wokes love him, but he won’t generate turnout if he wins the nomination, especially among POC.

  213. This article has about as much journalistic credibility as the predictions that Senate Republicans might vote to allow witnesses. Mayor Pete and Klobuchar are the next to exit the race. We may see one of them again as a VP candidate but both are longshots. Biden and Bloomberg will both benefit from Buttigieg's exit. Warren will benefit from Klobuchar fading away. Yang will press on.

  214. Isn't it about time to look for more substantial Presidential personality traits than charisma? Hillary Clinton wasn't charismatic, but if she were President, putin would not still be mucking about in our elections, would he? About half the country believes trump is charismatic, how is that working out? Many people thought Goerge W. Bush had a great personality. Bill Clinton's charisma hasn't aged well, has it? Mr. Buttigieg's authentic love of country, intelligence, emotional and mental stability, youthful vigor, high morals, ethical values, empathy for others, cognitive flexibility, and Audacity of Hope, come shining through to those who are looking for substance not style.

  215. I’m a lifelong Democrat, and Pete’s campaign is the first one I’ve sent a contribution. He speaks thoughtfully and passionately about his military service, his decision to risk his career for the opportunity to love, his religious conversion. He’s the antidote, not just to Trump, but to the cynical neoliberalism of the Clintons and Joe Biden. I don’t need the president to feel my pain; I need to know that he has an unshakable moral core, and that he believes in public service and the Constitution. And, yeah, I’m excited that we might get a gay president and a First Gentleman. When I was growing up, sodomy was illegal in my home state. I lost friends during the AIDS crisis, and rioted with Queer Nation while Joe Biden was busy gaslighting Anita Hill. It brings tears to my eyes that Pete served in the Navy and was married in the Episcopal church - two things I thought would never happen in my lifetime.

  216. Yet another bandwagon expose of “Mayo Pete.” Is there nothing else the guy does that’s newsworthy other than the fact that he is not a boilerplate blowhard politician? Why is the media - particularly the left wing - so intent on relentlessly hammering him as being dull? I get it. You want saucy, right? Perhaps a pompous New York billionaire real estate mogul would do the trick. Or a ranting, arm-waving revolutionary class warrior from Vermont? The idea that someone would just be composed, intelligent, and humble is just...so, like, not cool, right? How could someone with those qualities become President. Ugh. Stop sabotaging good candidates with this junk, please.

  217. I don’t want to get ‘fired up’. I don’t want someone I can ‘have a beer with’. I want a competent, intelligent, thoughtful individual who can address real problems.

  218. "As Mr. Buttigieg has outraised and outlasted many far more established Democrats this election season, opponents have often strained to make sense of a campaign that can bear some resemblance to the under-loved cactus of South Bend: dry, unusual, exceedingly difficult to kill." Could you add, "despite the best efforts of the New York Times"? I can't understand the relentlessly negative portraits you've been running of him, most of which seem gratuitous as well. Do you really have to search high and low for why Buttigieg might attract voters -- and after doing so, the best that you can come up with is that he is "the candidate of the ear"? Many find him sincere, intelligent, and even tempered. Others may not, but I think that the Times is flailing in its coverage of his campaign. It's great that you can't find any dirt, but you don't need to manufacture a dark cloud behind every silver lining.

  219. I made a contribution to his campaign and purchased an official PETE tee shirt. Here in south Florida, I might put myself in some danger wearing that shirt in public except for the fact that few in these parts have even heard of him. This is a strange place, far beyond all the bubbles.