All About Pete


Current Affairs has the article All About Pete by Nathan J. Robinson.

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is being hyped as the “Democratic celebrity” of the moment.

I’ll offer two excerpts that may convey the story this article is trying to tell.

Buttigieg himself is quite explicit about pitching himself this way. Asked about why anyone should vote for him over other candidates, he did not cite a superior governing agenda. Instead he said:

You have a handful of candidates from the middle of the country, but very few of them are young. You have a handful of young candidates, but very few of them are executives. We have a handful of executives but none of them are veterans, and so it’s a question of: What alignment of attributes do you want to have?

Alignment of attributes? Are we building a Sims character? This is McKinsey-speak: optimizing candidate attribute matrix for maximal cross-national vote share. Unfortunately, many in the political press still find this meaningful. Have a read through the profiles and see how much time is spent thinking about Buttigieg’s Attribute Alignment versus asking him to name a single thing he plans to do to help working people.

To sum up, we have this excerpt.

Mayor Pete does not have an entirely different story than any other politician in our lifetime. He has the same story they all have. David Axelrod has gushed: “his story is in incredible story.” Is it? The son of two professors at an elite university goes on to several different elite universities, serves an uneventful seven-month tour of duty in the Navy, and then becomes the technocratic mayor of the city his parents’ university is in? Ilhan Omar has an entirely different story than any other politician. So does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This man is the story of the American elite.

If you were fooled by Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton, but don’t quite know why you fell for their sales pitch, this article may open your eyes.

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