Go there and see pics!
There does not seem to be anyone with more star power in the race right now than Pete Buttigieg. Granted, I was writing about him in October 2017 which is why you should be following this blog.
As the news reports it, that meet and greet for 50 people turned into a campaign rally for 1600.
Pete Buttigieg seems to be the real deal. He has the energy and idealism of Barack Obama, and that force quickly moved across the audience. The main topic of his speech seemed to be around climate change, a topic other candidates have focused on. He also spent considerable time talking health care and LBGT+ issues, while weaving in personal stories, while his husband and mother stood cheerfully to his right. It was not hard to love those two (and the puggle back home).
Smart, but relatable and personal, he took questions randomly picked from a fish bowl after his speech. It was quite easy to like him as he interacted easily with the crowd. When asked how he would run against Trump, he compared it to Chinese Handcuffs- the more that you extend effort into it, the further into the trap you fall.
He nodded to Iowa’s groundbreaking legalization of gay marriage ten years ago . Telling his coming out story in Governor Pence’s Indiana, he said he couldn’t exactly poll voters to see if they would vote for “Mayor Pete if he was gay.” Buttigieg said his relationship with Pence was “well known”. Pete also contrasted his age and Trump's and took shots at the MAGA slogan.
I don’t want to give too much voice to the protesters who came to disrupt Buttigieg, but it has become one of the headlines. That particular protester was Randall Terry, who has publicly announced that he plans to show up all caucus season at rallies for Buttigieg, Booker and others. Terry is a far-right extremist and opportunist (similar to Fred Phelps). To date, he is most well-known for running against Obama as a Democrat in 2012, so he could get attention in an otherwise uncontested primary election, and trying to buy bizarre graphic ads during the Super Bowl.
The crowd galvanized behind Buttigieg during the incident, but it also showed how well Mayor Pete can speak off the cuff and react quickly to unexpected surroundings.
There were plenty of Pete shirts in the crowd (like Raygun’s “Give Pete a Chance”) and the rest of the crowd appeared won over. As I waited for Pete I speak, I talked to as many Democrats as I could to get a pulse on the current race, but that is a separate post.
It is hard not to compare Pete to Obama, and the buzz is real. I have heard similar things about Cory Booker who came to Iowa on the same day, and whose visit was just nudged or shared in the headlines. For sure, the wolves and MAGArs will come to attack Pete soon, so we still have a ways to go.