Pete Buttigieg is now the clear front runner in the upcoming Democratic Iowa Caucuses. A goal he achieved for the first time a week ago, and whose numbers have only improved since.
According to NBC News, “Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, topped the latest poll of likely Democratic voters in Iowa, the first state in the nation to weigh in, via caucus, on who should be the blue party’s choice for president. The moderate mayor supported by 25 percent of respondents was followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts with 16 percent; former Vice President Joe Biden, 15 percent; Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, 15 percent; and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, 6 percent.”
Buttigieg was described by the Register as having “rocketed to the top” of the crowded Democratic field of about 19 candidates. His standing has risen 16 percentage points since September, according to its polling.
Yet, if we read the LGBT and “progressive” press you read things like this from Common Dreams, who warns, “Beware, Pete Buttigieg Is a Sharp Corporate Tool,” in an incendiary headline. It goes on to say, “With the mutual alignment of Buttigieg and his corporate healthcare-industry donors, Mayor Pete’s approach seems to be a case of a flimflamming candidate who poses as a forthright leader.”
Buttigieg, if you just read the headlines, also has an insurmountable “Black” voter problem, that apparently precludes any Democrat from winning without it.
Charles Blow brilliantly destroyed the logic of this position saying, “Reducing Pete Buttigieg’s struggle to attract black support solely to black homophobia is not only erroneous, it is a disgusting, racist trope, secretly nursed and insidiously whispered by white liberals with contempt for the very black people they court and need.”
Blow also pointed out, “First thing to note here is the size of the group: only 24 people. The second thing is that focus groups aren’t scientific surveys. As Liza Featherstone, author of “Divining Desire: Focus Groups and the Culture of Consultation,” has put it, “Focus groups are not a scientific and quantitative method of gathering knowledge.”
But none of that mattered. This fed a narrative that liberals — including some older black politicians and pundits — have nursed. A raft of articles was published. Social media posts started to fly.
“A few weeks ago, watching I-forget-which-one-we’re-on presidential debate at Dito’s Bar on 17th Street, I was listening to Mayor Pete’s answer to some policy question. Erudite, calm, collected, well-spoken — it’s everything we’ve been missing in a president and I wondered aloud just why he isn’t completely running away with the nomination. “Because he’s gay,” half the bar reminded me. Well, that may be. But also it seems to me when you ask around if America is ready for a gay president, it’s many of our fellow gays who seem to say, ‘no.'”
He continues, “Granted, my sample may be off, as I hang out with mostly gay people. But still, why exactly do we think we’re not ready for primetime? Why do we think we’re not ready, or don’t deserve this? It’s striking really. I wonder if we could all go back to, say, the year 2001, and ask around if the country was ready, or could elect, an African-American president? Would the answer be similar? “No, not right now. . . maybe in 20 more years or so.” I have to say is America ready for a fill-in-the-blank candidacy, that really depends on the candidate. Barack Obama was certainly a powerhouse, and to say Hillary Clinton had her share of detractors is a gross understatement. So then is America ready for a gay president? Again, it depends on the candidate. And if we depend on Mayor Pete then the answer is decidedly yes.”
Yes. Yes indeed.