November 7, 2019 | Reading Time: 2 minutes

QT: Give Pete a chance

He's nothing more than a Democrat, and that's fine.

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Leftists tend to view Pete Buttigieg with deep skepticism. I think it’s because the leftists writing about him typically come from similarly privileged backgrounds.

This isn’t a complaint. We can learn something from kindred spirits.

Buttigieg is campaigning on the idea that the country needs generational change, and given that he’s 37 year old, he’d be the man to deliver. And yet, as Sarah Jones pointed out, Buttigieg isn’t really anything different from what we’ve seen many times before.

Voters get a candidate who can define neoliberalism in a sentence, who will even say that he thinks it’s a negative force in the world. But he has never explained what alternative he offers. Generational change, in the mayor’s case, doesn’t mean much. Voters will just get a younger version of a Democratic Party they already know.

Jones implies that that’s not a good thing. I suppose, especially if he really believes his own rhetoric. That’s why this, from Bloomberg’s Tyler Pager, has me a little worried.

In an era of divisive politics, Buttigieg is putting more emphasis on emulating Barack Obama’s successful hope and change message. When asked about Warren’s message of “big structural change” or Sanders’ call for a “political revolution,” Buttigieg dismissed those pitches as “definitely not unifying.”

It’s one thing to say America must be united and to campaign that way. It’s another to govern as if a Democratic president can expect help from the Republicans. Then again, channeling Obama’s spirit is shrewd politics. As a married gay man, he embodies a historically demonized minority. Best to pitch his appeal as broadly as Obama did.

—John Stoehr


  • Today Editorial Board: “‘OK, Boomer’ Is Too Timid.”

  • 25-year-old New Zealand lawmaker illustrates proper usage of “OK, Boomer.”

  • Christopher Cadelago wonders why Kamala Harris isn’t doing better. (Me, too.)

  • Trump is a con and a mark, says Michelle Goldberg. (This is a must-read.)

  • Trump could not save Kentucky’s unpopular Republican governor.


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John Stoehr is the editor of the Editorial Board. He writes the daily edition. Find him @johnastoehr.

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