As a Midwestern mayor reshaping a tiny manufacturing town in which was enervated inside early 1960s by the abandonment of currently-defunct carmaker Studebaker, Buttigieg believes his story as well as experience are what’s needed to beat Trump on the Democratic ticket.
Buttigieg is usually a Rhodes Scholar as well as Afghanistan War veteran who can boast of being the country’s youngest mayor of a city of South Bend’s size when he was elected in 2011 at age 29.
as well as if he wins the Democratic nomination, Buttigieg would likely be the first openly gay presidential candidate nominated by a major party. He arrived on the scene in a local paper’s op-ed pages in 2015 amid his re-election campaign for mayor, as well as married his husband, Chasten Glezman, in June.
He’s also an undiluted progressive in a state in which voted overwhelmingly for Trump inside 2016 election. To be fair, South Bend is usually located inside relatively liberal hamlet of St. Joseph County — the city is usually a stone’s throw coming from the University of Notre Dame as well as hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1972. Still, Buttigieg chalks his electoral success up to his willingness to innovate in a city whose economic engine had long ago stalled out.
“When I took office, you know, inside community the conversation was about whether we could get back to some style of our days generating Studebakers inside ’60s,” he said. “as well as we had to be very honest about the fact in which in which sort of economy was not coming back.”
After banning the phrase “we’ve always done the item in which way” coming from his government’s vernacular, Buttigieg worked to push the city in a more tech-friendly direction. The city launched a public data portal in 2013, for instance, as well as more recently has committed to plans to build a tech hub at Ignition Park in which were sparked by Buttigieg’s predecessor.
The efforts to change South Bend are delivering, at least by one metric: More people are moving in.
South Bend lost nearly a quarter of its population inside wake of Studebaker’s departure in 1963 — down to about 100,000 by 2010. however in 2015, an Indiana University demographer reported in which the city had grown in three of the past four years.
“We’ve been able to do things with data as well as technology in which have improved upon the lives of our residents,” Buttigieg said. “I think in which’s the style of government as well as leadership in which would likely be pretty welcomed in Washington right currently.”
His resume aside, Buttigieg faces a daunting uphill battle.
A tiny-city mayor has never before won the presidency, let alone one who still has microscopic name recognition compared to his Democratic opponents, or Trump. Same goes for his age — no one in their 30s has ever won the presidency. as well as an openly gay man has never come close to winning a U.S. presidential election.
“He’s an upcoming star inside Democratic Party,” said Darrell West, vice president as well as director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution, however a successful presidential bid is usually “not likely, because nobody knows who he is usually.”
Buttigieg concedes in which his bid is usually a long shot.
“I understand This specific is usually an underdog project,” he said, “however I would likely also say in which in a season like This specific, the less you resemble the others, the less you resemble what’s come before, the better.”