Former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has announced that he is ending the presidential campaign in which he made history as the first openly gay man to win delegates in the race for the appointment of a major political party.
His exit comes one day after his disappointing fourth place in South Carolina and two days before Super Tuesday, when he had to continue to fight amid the domination of Senator Bernie Sanders and the resurgence of the former vice-president Joe Biden. Buttigieg’s departure from the once crowded field also comes a day after billionaire Tom Steyer suspended his campaign.
“A year ago, we launched our campaign for the US presidency,” said Buttigieg Sunday evening in a packed house in South Bend, moments after her emotional husband Chasten presented it. “We started this unlikely trip with a team of four in a cramped office here in South Bend. Almost no one knew my name, let alone say it.”
The crowd burst out laughing and burst out chanting “Mayor Pete, Mayor Pete”.
“I will no longer seek to be the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, but I will do everything in my power to ensure that we have a new Democratic president in January.”
As Buttigieg announced his decision, the crowd responded, chanting, “2024! 2024! ”, An apparent sign of assent to their hope that it will appear again.
“Our goal has always been to help unite the Americans to defeat Donald Trump and win the era of our values,” said Buttigieg. “So we have to recognize that at this point in the race. The best way to keep faith with these goals and ideals is to step down and help bring our party and our country together. So tonight, I’m taking the difficult decision to suspend my campaign for the presidency. “
Buttigieg’s success in the campaign, even outside of his personal history, was a remarkable success. As mayor of a mid-sized midwestern city, he went from relative political obscurity to become a viable candidate for the White House.
His delegate’s narrow victory over Sanders, Iowa was overshadowed by the chaos of the counting of votes there – and his victory remained in doubt until it was confirmed after a final. recalculation and recount have been performed.
“By all misconceptions, by all historical measures, we were never supposed to go anywhere,” said Buttigieg.
A week after Iowa, Senator Amy Klobuchar rose to third place in New Hampshire, eating Buttigieg’s support among the center-left voter bloc. He finished second behind Sanders by 1 percentage point. His campaign never found its foundation after that, and he failed to get 15% support in Nevada and South Carolina.
Buttigieg’s release before Super Tuesday also beats the past 20 years of history in Iowa’s democratic caucuses. Each Democratic caucus winner since 2000 has become the Democratic Party candidate.
But with his victory in Iowa, Buttigieg achieved what would have been considered politically impossible just ten years ago.
And at caucus night, an emotional Buttigieg was clearly struck by the significance of what he had accomplished.
He said that the success of his campaign had taught him to “believe in American belonging” and that he had let him “remember what it was like to be a teenager from Indiana, wondering if he would belong never to this world. ”
“You wonder if something deep inside him meant that he would always be a stranger. He would never wear the uniform, would never be accepted, would never even know love. Now this same person stands before you, a mayor, a veteran, happily married, and one step closer to becoming the next President of the United States. ”
Buttigieg was released in a 2015 editorial in the South Bend Tribune, a few months before being elected for his second term as mayor with 80% of the 10,000 votes cast.
In June, he told the Des Moines Register that he didn’t want his sexuality to be the only thing he was known for.
“I am proud of who I am,” said Buttigieg. “I am certainly very proud of my marriage and my husband. We are not afraid of that. It is not the only thing that defines me either.”
Buttigieg’s democratic opponents immediately responded with good wishes when he announced his departure from the race.
“Thank you, @PeteButtigieg. I know you will continue to give back and serve our country for many years to come,” tweeted Senator Elizabeth Warren.
President Donald Trump reacted to Buttigieg’s stall on Sunday by again suggesting that Democrats are trying to get Sanders out of the race.
“Pete Buttigieg is OUT. All of his SuperTuesday votes will go to Sleepy Joe Biden. Super timing. This is the REAL start of the Dems taking Bernie out of the game – NO APPOINTMENTS, YET!” said the tweet.
Buttigieg, a former Navy intelligence officer who served in Afghanistan, was one of the few military veterans in the race. As a Rhodes Scholar with degrees from Harvard University and Oxford University who speak multiple languages, he also had some of the highest university degrees in the race.
During the campaign, he presented himself as a moderate alternative to progressive candidates like Sanders and Warren, who was also younger and more in tune with the current Democratic party than Biden.
At 38, he was the youngest presidential candidate, yet he failed to connect with voters under the age of 30, who, ironically, tended to favor the 78-year-old Sanders. However, it has performed well with older voters.
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From the start, Buttigieg’s candidacy was haunted by headlines about his inability to gain the support of minority voters, especially African-Americans. Despite these efforts to make progress with black and Latin American communities, its number of polls remained grim with this demographic data. And this lack of support made him unable to compete as the race moved to more diverse states like Nevada and South Carolina.
During the campaign, Buttigieg was criticized for his response to a police shootout against an African American man in South Bend, as well as for the lack of diversity in the city’s police force.
His campaign found enthusiastic support among wealthy Democratic donors and was one of the primary recipients of donations from Wall Street contributors. These contributions led Sanders to present him as the candidate of powerful companies, which would not represent the interests of American workers.
Buttigieg, who only followed Sanders and Warren for contributions under $ 200, defended the campaign’s acceptance of donations from major donors. He told Fox News that even though he was “not a fan of the current campaign funding system,” he “also insisted that we should get on with it with all the support we could get.”
Contributor: Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY; Barbara Rodriguez, The Des Moines Register; Andrew Clark, the star of Indianapolis