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Photo: Edward Kimmel, Creative Commons license 2.0

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, announced today that he too is running for president, bringing the Democratic primary field to approximately the same size of his small Midwestern city. Yr Wonkette thinks he's swell! Dude is 37, so he's legal to be president (if elected, he'd take the "youngest president" prize right away from that old geezer Teddy Roosevelt, who was 42 when inaugurated). He's also the first openly gay Democratic presidential candidate, so that's nifty, if only as an opportunity for Donald Trump to needle Mike Pence about how Pence will probably want to murder him, ha-ha. He's not even the first mayor to declare for the top job this year; that honor goes to former San Antonio mayor Julián Castro.

We are all for Pete Buttigieg, even though even he has to know he isn't a top-tier candidate (mayors don't get to be president, it's a rule). This election really needs moments like NBC's Katy Tur pronouncing his last name "bootie judge" earlier today (source: Evan in the ChatCave). Buttigieg himself suggests "BOOT-edge-edge" himself, or just "Mayor Pete."

And while he hasn't held the sort of positions that usually qualify people for the presidency, like senator, governor, general, or multiple-bankrupt Twitterscreamy reality show figurehead, Buttigieg has a top-notch résumé, as 538 notes:


The son of an immigrant father from Malta, Buttigieg graduated from Harvard, earned a Rhodes Scholarship, and worked as a consultant at McKinsey before moving back home to Indiana at age 29 to become the mayor of South Bend, making him the youngest mayor of a city with more than 100,000 people. While still serving his first term, Buttigieg took a seven-month leave of office to serve with the Naval Reserve in Afghanistan in 2015. Less than a year later, Buttigieg came out as gay. Buttigieg's sexuality didn't stop South Bend voters from re-electing him to a second term with more than 80 percent of the vote.

All that success didn't go unnoticed. In a 2016 New Yorker interview, Barack Obama name-dropped Buttigieg as a potential leading light for the party. And the New York Times ("The First Gay President?") and Washington Post ("Could Pete Buttigieg Become the First Millennial President?") have both published profiles of Buttigieg in the last three years.

Buttigieg hits a whole lot of policy positions we think are nifty, too: raising the national minimum wage, Medicare for All, climate, and guns. Plus adopting rescue dogs (he and his husband Chasten have two). He's also big on revitalizing the Democratic Party from local candidates up, because for chrissakes that's how the Rs came to seize power despite a numerical minority. OK, that and money from billionaire assholes, which Buttigieg abjures.

He's also going for youth-based appeal, as seen in his announcement video, where he manages to call attention to himself as a Millennial without being insufferable, so go, Pete:

That's a pretty good line:

We're the generation that lived through school shootings, that served in the wars after 9/11. And we're the generation that stands to be the first to make less than our parents. Unless we do something different.

Little nitpick there though, Mayor Pete: The first generation to make less that your parents? Gen X forgotten again!

Buttigieg also wants to challenge Republican ownership of the word "freedom," which despite what the No Regulations Ever crowd might claim, shouldn't be allowed to become just one party's worship word:

"I think there is a failure on our side if we allow conservatives to monopolize the idea of freedom — especially now that they've produced an authoritarian president," he told Rolling Stone last year. "But what actually gives people freedom in their lives?" He listed off the freedom to marry, but also the freedom that comes from living in places with paved roads and working stop lights because it frees people up from worrying about those concerns. "The most profound freedoms of my everyday existence," he went on, "have been safeguarded by progressive policies, mostly."

In conclusion, we like this Pete Edgybutt guy a lot and welcome him to the field. Now if we can just find a way for the 2020 debates to be staged around a great big table in a coffee shop where we can all just listen in, we'd really love that, especially if the waitstaff screws up Kirsten Gillibrand's order, prompting a string of very presidential obscenities.

[538 / CNN / Rolling Stone / Pete for America / Photo: Edward Kimmel, Creative Commons license 2.0]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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We are happy to see that ALL THE COOL KIDS running for the Democratic nomination are now releasing policy proposals, even if they'll never catch up with Elizabeth Warren, who's intent on being the Lisa Simpson of electoral extra credit. That IS TOO an apt political analysis! The latest one comes from Kamala Harris, who plans to end the wage gap for women by demanding that all employers over a certain size prove they're paying women the same as men for similar work, or face some damn consequences for once.

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Donald Trump knows how to honor the highest values of the military that he very carefully avoided serving in. Sionce he never got that great big Kim Jong Un military parade he wanted, how about celebrating Memorial Day by pardoning a bunch of US military personnel who have been accused or convicted -- by the US military justice system! -- of war crimes? That ought to send a message to the troops: You can do what you want, go hog wild and butcher some civilians, and you'll be celebrated as a "hero." Maybe Trump could give William Calley a posthumous Medal of Honor while he's at it, to bind up old wounds. Can treason trials for John Kerry and Jane Fonda be far behind?

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